There are lots of English expressions based on animals – most especially the cat
CAT Idioms in English
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.