What's with cliché expressions and cats?

It's raining cats and dogs outside, and I don't have enough room in here to swing a cat. But I still look like a cat that got the cream, because there's a cat's hope in hell I'll get home on time tonight, so my boyfriend and I won't have to fight like cats in a bag. And that's the cat's meow.

What? Cat got your tongue?

...

Ever noticed how many common phrases include the word "cat" compared with other animals? Any other examples of good cat phrases? Or does anyone have an example of another animal that gets used a lot?

Look what the cat dragged in. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

Dogs, birds, and horses are the subjects in a quite a few idioms, too.

The dog days are over, which is good because I'm sick as a dog. My dogs are barking, but every dog has its day. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, so quit dogging/hounding me about it. It's best to let sleeping dogs lie. Call off the dogs, it's just a dog and pony show. This bar has gone to the dogs, but I need a hair of the dog that bit me.

They're all pretty common animals, so it's not surprising they wind up in a lot of expressions.

I guess you let the cat out of the bag.

I have more cat phrases...

Curiosity killed the cat
Dogs have masters, cats have staff
Fight like cats and dogs

For dogs:
Let sleeping dogs lie.
When you lie with dogs, you catch fleas.
Every dog has it's day.

MetalMagpie:
It's raining cats and dogs outside, and I don't have enough room in here to swing a cat. But I still look like a cat that got the cream, because there's a cat's hope in hell (after curiousity killed it) I'll get home on time tonight, so my boyfriend and I won't have to fight like cats in a bag. And that's the cat's meow.

What? Cat got your tongue?

...

Ever noticed how many common phrases include the word "cat" compared with other animals? Any other examples of good cat phrases? Or does anyone have an example of another animal that gets used a lot?

I think the cat's out of the bag on this one, you forgot one up there so I edited it in, but as punishment, I suppose you'll have to take thirty lashes with the cat-o-nine-tails.

And in many languages, by the way, the word "cat" is also used for "hangover". So if a German or a Slovenian has been drinking heavily the next morning they will tell you that they're dealing with the mother of all cats.

I believe, actually, that trying to list all idioms that contain cats is like herding cats, but there's more than one way to skin a cat, such as, instead of saying you couldn't swing a dead cat around, you could say you couldn't cuss a cat without getting fur in your mouth.

But seriously, this thread is going to be an utter catastrophe, I can tell.

I guess cats are common enough in every day life that they have become infused in every-day language.....and the internet.

Everyone loves cats; as a matter of fact, I think we need more cat in our speech!

Every cat has it's day
You eat like a cat!
as strong as a cat
sly like a cat
as sick as a cat
meowing up the wrong tree

You've got no cat at all.
That's so cat!
what the cat?
You've got to be kitten me!

Hmmmmmm, if you'll excuse me I have to go see a man about a dog.

I haven't even heard of half of these phrases. It's very intriguing.

Catfood220:
Hmmmmmm, if you'll excuse me I have to go see a man about a dog.

My Great Uncle says the same thing, except he says: "If you'll excuse me I have to go see a man about a horse."

Which makes more sense then a dog.

There are a lot of them, like any other grouping of cliché expressions?

I don't see what's so special about cat idioms.

Don't look a gift cat in the mouth.
A cat saved is a cat earned.
Too many cats spoil the broth.
Said the pot to the cat.
If at first you don't succeed, get a cat.

Some of these may be wrong...

OT: Maybe people just really like cats? I mean, cats do lots of silly things, so it's not hard to see why they'd get turned into certain sayings.

geK0:
I guess cats are common enough in every day life that they have become infused in every-day language.....and the internet.

Everyone loves cats; as a matter of fact, I think we need more cat in our speech!

Every cat has it's day
You eat like a cat!
as strong as a cat
sly like a cat
as sick as a cat
meowing up the wrong tree

You've got no cat at all.
That's so cat!
what the cat?
You've got to be kitten me!

Goddamnit. You're sounding like Bubsy the bobcat. Are you a purrfessional too?

geK0:
Everyone loves cats; as a matter of fact, I think we need more cat in our speech!

Until one day we will all talk only in varied intonations of the word "cat"!
I dare say I look forward to this time. Or should I say... "cat cat kittycat cat".

Quaxar:

geK0:
Everyone loves cats; as a matter of fact, I think we need more cat in our speech!

Until one day we will all talk only in varied intonations of the word "cat"!
I dare say I look forward to this time. Or should I say... "cat cat kittycat cat".

that sounds purrfect

nya nya

Dags90:
Dogs, birds, and horses are the subjects in a quite a few idioms, too.
[...]
They're all pretty common animals, so it's not surprising they wind up in a lot of expressions.

Zachary Amaranth:
There are a lot of them, like any other grouping of cliché expressions?

I don't see what's so special about cat idioms.

Yeah, I think Zachary Amaranth said it best - why single out cats? Are they more common than the rest? Or are they less common? Or something else?

 

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