Cat Idioms

Something I sometimes said when I was a high school teacher in the UK was “it’s like herding cats trying to get my year 9s to do even the simplest task on time

The underlined part is the idiom and means = almost an impossibility (can you imagine trying to herd a lot of cats? It’s hard enough trying to get ONE cat to follow an instruction! LOL

Anyway, if you’re trying to improve the range and tone of your speaking try some of these cat idioms. Remember what I said before though and do not add too many in to conversations at once or you might sound weird to whoever is listening to you. The aim is to use them sparingly and always appropriately if you want to sound fluent and confident when speaking.



Cat nap = a short rest during the day NOT said for rests during the night which is when we are usually meant to sleep anyway.

Cat fight = usually referring to an argument between two females (though I must say I have seen many cat fights between men too!)

Cat got your tongue? = said to someone when they are left speechless and have nothing to say for themselves.

Their relationship is like a game of cat and mouse = an unequal, unpleasant relationship.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat = meaning there are multiple solutions to be explored to get what you want.

He/she’s like a cat with nine lives = someone who always seems to get away with risky and/or dangerous things while others might not be so lucky.

She/he’s just the cat’s paw = someone who is easily manipulated by someone else.

Like a cat on a hot tin roof = can be said about someone who is acting very nervously.



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