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List of animal idioms about cats and their meanings

How does the list works?

There are 3 parts to each idioms the first part is what the idiom is, then an explanation of what it means and the last part is an example of how to use it in a sentence.

How do I use the list of animal idioms A to Z?

To use the list of idioms click on each letter of the alphabet to get the list of the animal idioms for that letter.

[ A ] [ B ] [ C ] [ D ] [ E ] [ F ] [ G ] [ H ] [ I ] [ J ] [ K ] [ L ] [ M ] [ N ] [ O ] [ P ] [ Q ] [ R ] [ S ] [ T ] [ U ] [ V ] [ W ] [ X ] [ Y ] [ Z ]

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Animal idioms about cats

alley cat

- a stray cat

I began to feed the alley cat and now it comes to my house every day.

as conceited as a barber's cat

- very conceited, vain

My friend became as conceited as a barber's cat after she won the award at school.

as weak as a kitten

- weak, sickly

The girl is as weak as a kitten and cannot carry the books.

cat burglar

- a burglar who enters a building by climbing a wall etc.

A cat burglar entered our apartment and stole our television.

cat gets one`s tongue

- one cannot speak because of shyness

The cat got the woman's tongue and she could not say anything at all.

a cat has nine lives

- cats can survive accidents that would kill most animals

The boy never becomes injured. He is like a cat with nine lives.

a cat in gloves catches no mice

- if you are too careful and polite you may not get what you want

A cat in gloves catches no mice and I advised my friend that he should be more aggressive at work or he will not be successful.

a cat nap

- a short sleep taken during the day

I had a cat nap during the afternoon so that I would feel refreshed in the evening.

a cat on a hot tin roof

- full of lively activity

The boy was jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof and we could not make him be quiet.

a copycat

- someone who copies another person`s work etc.

The boy is a copycat and copies the other students' work.

curiosity killed the cat

- being too nosy or curious may get a person into trouble

"You should not worry about what your friend is doing. Remember, curiosity killed the cat."

fight like cats and dogs

- to argue and fight with someone (usually used for people who know each other)

The two children were fighting like cats and dogs when we entered the room.

a fraidy-cat

- someone who is easily frightened (usually used by children)

The little boy called his friend a fraidy-cat because his friend would not climb the tree.

grin like a Cheshire cat

- to grin or smile broadly

The little boy was grinning like a Cheshire cat when he entered the room.

let the cat out of the bag

- to tell something that is supposed to be a secret

The teacher let the cat out of the bag when she began talking about the plans to close the school.

look like something the cat dragged in

- to look tired or worn out or dirty

I was very tired and I looked like something the cat dragged in.

look like the cat that swallowed/ate the canary

- to look smug and self-satisfied, to look as if you have just had a great success

"You look like the cat that swallowed the canary. What happened?"

not enough room to swing a cat

- not very much space

There was not enough room to swing a cat in the small apartment.

play cat and mouse with (someone)

- to tease or fool someone, to change between different types of behavior when dealing with someone

The man is playing cat and mouse with his company about his plans to quit or not.

put the cat among the pigeons

- to cause trouble

Sending the unpopular supervisor to talk to the angry workers was like putting the cat among the pigeons.

rain cats and dogs

- to rain very hard

It has been raining cats and dogs all day.

rub (someone) the wrong way

- to irritate someone (just as you would irritate a dog or cat if you rub their fur the wrong way)

The woman who I work with rubs me the wrong way.

a scaredy-cat

- someone who is easily frightened (usually used by children)

The children called their friend a scaredy-cat because she would not enter the empty house.

there is more than one way to skin a cat

- there is more than one way to do something

I knew that there was more than one way to skin a cat so I did not worry about the rules and time limit of my project.

when the cat's away, the mice will play

- when you are not watching someone they may get into trouble, when a person with authority is absent then those below him or her can do whatever they want

When the cat's away, the mice will play and when the teacher left the classroom the students began to play.

Lessons that are related to the exercise

To view any of the lessons below click on link.

Idioms human body English lesson

A to Z Idioms - list English phrases

Small List of idioms A - Z English phrases

Dictionary and how to use dictionaries

Click on the following link for the Online English dictionary - English lesson