Cat Idioms List with Meanings, Examples, & PDFs

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Cat Idioms List

Download the Cat Idioms List & PDF Worksheets

PDF Cat Idioms PDF

View the updated web-version of the cat idioms list in the table below.

The idiom worksheets and games are also free to download.

  • Download and print the PDFs.
  • Use the materials for interactive learning activities in class.
  • Students can also complete the worksheets to review or for self-study.

Cat Idiom Worksheets for ESL Students

PDF Worksheet A: Defining Idioms & Writing Sentences with Idioms

PDF Worksheet B: Reading Idioms in Context & Describing Meanings

Fun Cat Idiom Games for the Classroom

PDF Cat Idioms Crossword

PDF Cat Idioms BINGO

PDF Cat Idioms Checklist (for BINGO)

31 Idioms and Phrases About Cats

*Updated: December 2021

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Idiom / PhraseMeaningExample Sentence
a cat in gloves catches no micebeing too careful can result in failureYou need to tell her how you really feel if you want to marry her. Remember that a cat in gloves catches no mice.
bell the cattake on a difficult taskPoliticians should bell the cat and start reducing the inflation rate.
cat and mouseplayfully deceiveThe boss kept playing cat and mouse with me and never gave me the raise.
cat aroundsleep with many peopleHis wife used to cat around while he was working hard at the office.
cat burglarquick thiefThe cat burglar took everything in the house before the cops arrived.
cat got your tonguesaid when someone doesn't speakWhat's wrong? Cat got your tongue? You haven't said a word since we arrived.
cat on a hot tin roofvery nervousI felt like a cat on a hot tin roof waiting for my medical results.
cat's cradlesomething overly complicatedThere is a cat's cradle of rules that you must follow to board a flight these days.
cat's meowsomething wonderfulHer birthday cake was the cat's meow. She ate the whole thing in less than a minute!
cat's pawsomeone being exploitedPoorer citizens are usually the cat's paw of politicians. They use them only to get votes and never follow through on promised policies.
catcallsexually suggestive commentThe construction workers were all catcalling the woman as she walked by.
catfighta fight between two womenThe catfight was brutal! The other girl scratched her face with her nails.
catnapa short sleepMy father always takes a catnap after work.
cool cata hip or cool personHe was such a coot cat. He was respected by his peers and the girls all loved him.
copycatsomeone who copies anotherYou're such a copycat! Do your own work!
curiosity killed the catcuriosity may lead to unwanted circumstancesDon't enter that haunted house. Remember that curiosity killed the cat!
fat catwealthy personFat cats get wealthier with inflation while the poor have to pay more for groceries.
grin like a Cheshire catmischievously satisfiedShe was grinning like a Cheshire cat after she had used her boyfriend's credit card.
let the cat out of the bagreveal a secretDon't let the cat out of the bag about the birthday party.
like herding catsa difficult taskGetting everyone to take the vaccine is like herding cats.
like the cat got the creamsatisfaction with some kind of achievementAfter proving her innocence, she smiled at the police officer like the cat got the cream.
look what the cat dragged insomeone unwelcome has arrivedLook what the cat dragged in. We told you to stay home and talk to your therapist.
more than one way to skin a catmore than one way to succeedThere's more than one way to skin a cat. Let's quit our jobs and start a business by the beach!
no room to swing a catvery small placeThere's no room to swing a cat in this apartment. I can almost touch the two walls with both hands.
not have a cat's chance in hellno chance whatsoeverYou don't have a cat's chance in hell of marrying her.
put the cat among pigeonsan action that causes problemsYou really put the cat among pigeons when you brought up those bill payments again.
raining cats and dogsraining heavilyIt's raining cats and dogs. Remember your umbrella.
scaredy-catsomeone who is always scaredAre you really afraid of the dark? You're such a scaredy-cat!
the cat's pyjamasthe best person or thingShe's the cat's pyjamas. Everyone loves to watch her perform on the stage.
the cat's whiskersthe best person or thingDo you think you're really the cat's whiskers? Anybody can parallel park with car sensors now.
while the cat's away, the mice will playpeople will misbehave when there is no authority figureThey never do any work when the boss is out of the office. While the cat's away, the mice will play!

Extra Examples of Cat Idioms in Use

Do you want to read more examples and sentences with cat idioms?

Try entering the expressions in a corpus database or language app.

We highly recommend the following corpus resources and tools:

Watch on YouTube: Cat Idioms and Expressions in English

View more Idioms and Phrases on ESL Expat

View the complete list of English idioms and phrases.