You all know what a cat is right? If not, I’ll tell you…

A cat is a fluffy domesticated feline that is usually kept as a pet. A baby cat is called a ‘kitten’, a male cat is called a ‘tom’ and a slang term for a cat is ‘kitty’.

 

Larger cats include lions, tigers and leopards. These larger cats are found in the wild.​

cat idioms and phrases

Here’s a list of idioms about cats.

  • cat got one’s tongue
    meaning – a comment you make to someone when they are quiet
    example – I think the cat has got Harry’s tongue; he hasn’t said a word all morning.
  • cat nap
    meaning – a short sleep
    example – When we arrive, we should have a cat nap then go exploring.
  • cat’s whiskers
    meaning – someone/something that is excellent/superior
    example – Leanne thinks she’s the cat’s whiskers. She’s just an idiot.
  • copycat
    meaning – a person who copies another person
    example – There have been lots of copycat crimes recently.
  • curiosity killed the cat
    meaning – being inquisitive can be dangerous
    example – Don’t ask where I got the money from. Curiosity killed the cat.
  • fat cat
    meaning – a rich and powerful person who earns more than they deserve
    example – A couple of fat cats want to invest in my business, they believe in my products.
  • fight like cat and dog
    meaning – argue and fight continuously
    example – Me and my brother fought like cat and dog when we were kids.
  • grin like a Cheshire cat
    meaning – have a very big smile on your face
    example – Luke asked me to marry him. I’ve been grinning like a Cheshire cat all week.
  • kitty
    meaning – a pool of money contributions for shared use by everyone
    example – Let’s start a kitty for the house. We can use it for cleaning products and toilet roll.
  • let the cat out of the bag
    meaning – reveal the secret
    example – We’re throwing a surprise party for my parents, don’t let the cat out of the bag.
  • like a cat on a hot tin roof
    meaning – be anxious, agitated, nervous
    example – The kids are like cats on a hot tin roof. It’s exam results day.
  • like the cat that got the cream
    meaning – be very pleased with yourself
    example – Seb is like the cat that got the cream now he is dating Sophie.
  • look what the cat dragged in
    meaning – imply someone who has just arrived looks bad or you don’t like them
    example – Look what the cat dragged in. Do you remember her? It’s that witch who lives on Southmead.
  • more than one way to skin a cat
    meaning – there are many ways to accomplish a goal
    example – I didn’t get tickets to the concert, but there is more than one way to skin a cat.
  • no room to swing a cat
    meaning – a very small, cramped space
    example – They gave me a new office. It’s nice but there is no room to swing a cat.
  • not a cat in hell’s chance
    meaning – no chance at all
    example – There is not a cat in hell’s chance Tina will take Larry back after he cheated on her.
  • play cat and mouse
    meaning – tease/pursue before turning violent
    example – I’ve been playing cat and mouse with this hot guy, but I think he has got bored of my games.
  • put the cat among the pigeons
    meaning – do something that will cause trouble/a disturbance
    example – I won’t tell Sarah I saw Tim with another woman, I don’t want to put the cat among the pigeons.
  • rain cats and dogs
    meaning – raining heavily
    example – It rained cats and dogs all week, I couldn’t hang out my washing.
  • scaredy cat
    meaning – a wimpy person who is easily frightened
    example – Lilly is such a scaredy cat. She won’t come to the cemetery with us tonight for a séance.

cat idioms and phrases with pictures

Click on the pictures below to learn some common idioms and expressions with cats. Each idiom includes the meaning and a real-life picture example.

common idioms - animal idioms - cat expressions and phrases
cat sayings - cat got one’s tongue
cat sayings - cat nap
cat sayings - cat’s whiskers
cat phrases - copycat
cat phrases - curiosity killed the cat
cat phrases - fat cat
cat phrases - fight like cat and dog
cat phrases - grin like a Cheshire cat
cat expressions - kitty
cat expressions - let the cat out
cat idioms - like a cat on a hot tin roof meaning
cat expressions - like the cat that got the cream
cat expressions - look what the cat dragged in
cat expressions - more than one way to skin a cat
cat idioms - no room to swing a cat
cat idioms - not a cat in hell's chance
cat idioms - play cat and mouse
cat idioms - put the cat among the pigeons
cat idioms - rain cats and dogs
cat idioms - scaredy cat

lion idioms

Here’s a list of idioms about lions.

  • the lion’s share
    meaning – the majority
    example – Jay gave the lion’s share of his lottery win to charity.

lion idioms with pictures

Click on the pictures below to learn some common idioms and expressions with lions. Each idiom includes the meaning and a real-life picture example.

lion idioms and sayings
lion idioms and sayings - lion's share

You can download a table of cat idioms and phrases below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more animal idioms by clicking on the links below.