Alley cat – person with loose morals
Another breed of cat – something very different
Cat around- lead an aimless, immoral life
Cat burglar – silent thief
Catcalls – booing or heckling
Cat got your tongue? – Why aren’t you talking? May date to middle ages when body parts severed for punishment were fed to the cats or pigs.
Cat nap – short rest
Cat’s meow, cat’s pajamas, cat’s whiskers – special
Cat walk – narrow place to walk, requiring balance
Fat cat – well fed and pampered, wealthy
Cat on a hot tin roof – jumpy – from the play by Tennessee Williams
Pussyfooting around – moving carefully, not promising anything – like a hunting cat
Playing cat and mouse – being sneaky, secretive, like hunting
Not enough room to swing a cat – reference to cat-o-nine tails in the cramped quarters of a ship
When the cat’s away the mice will play – good off when not supervised.
More than one way to skin a cat – this saying actually relates to cleaning catfish, which has skin too tough to eat.
Curiosity killed the cat – being too nosy can land you in trouble. This saying was penned by Ben Jonson in Every Man in His Humor.
“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.” Jules Verne.
“I have lived with several Zen masters — all of them cats.” Eckhart Tolle.