25+ Animal Idioms about CATS in English

There are lots of English expressions based on animals – most especially the cat


1. has the cat got your tongue?

Why are you not saying anything?

2. put the cat among the pigeons

Say or do something that causes trouble or controversy

3. like the cat that got the cream

Looking particularly self-satisfied, often to the annoyance of others

4. let the cat out of the bag

Mistakingly allow s secret to be known

5. fight like cat and dog

Continually arguing with each other

6. when the cat’s away, the mice will play

When the person of authority is away, people will behave badly

7. fat cat

A negative description of a rich and powerful person

8. curiosity killed the cat

Being too curious can get you into trouble

9. not have a cat in hell’s chance

When some something has no chance of success, it doesn’t have a cat in hell’s chance.

10. look like something the cat dragged in

When someone looks very untidy and messy, they look like something the cat dragged in.

11. no room to swing a cat

Very small, not big enough

12. a cat nap

A short sleep during the day

13. a copycat

Someone or something that copies, imitates, mimics, or follows the lead of another. Often used by children for other children who copy exactly what they do or say.


14. rain cats and dogs

Rain very heavily

15. there’s more than one way to skin a cat

There’s more than one way of achieving a certain goal.

16. a scaredy-cat

Someone who is excessively scared or afraid.

17. cat's cradle

The popular string and fingers game is called "cat's cradle". But it's used to mean "messy".

18. play cat and mouse

Trying to trick someone into making a mistake so you can defeat them.

19. Grin like a Cheshire cat

Smile a lot. This comes from Alice in Wonderland, when Alice meets a "Cheshire cat" who keeps on disappearing, but only its grin remains.

20. cool cat

Someone who has the respect of their peers in a young, casual way.

21. cat on a hot tin roof

Be extremely nervous

22. a cat has nine lives

Cats seem to get away with dangerous things

23. a cat's eye

A reflector set into a road to warn drivers of where the lane markers are.

24. even a cat can look at a king/queen

I have every right to do this.

25. a cat in gloves catches no mice

You can't get what you need if you're too careful.

26. bell the cat

The expression refers to any task that is difficult or impossible to achieve.

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25+ Animal Idioms about CATS in English

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