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How Cat Sayings Originated

July 15, 2021

You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘Cat got your tongue?’. There are actually a lot of sayings about cats, and many of them are as quirky and mysterious as Fluffy herself! A local veterinarian describes some of the more well-known ones below. 

Look What The Cat Dragged In

It’s not difficult to figure out where this saying came from. Fluffy’s hunting skills are what first attracted us to her. She brought some of our ancestors ‘ presents,’ and that was the beginning of our special friendship. Felines take giving their catch to their humans extremely seriously. All they ask for is praise and rewards in return. What did the kitty referenced in the phrase actually drag in? No one really knows, but it could be anything from a porcupine to a snake to a skunk. Have we mentioned that vets recommend that you keep your cat indoors?

The Cat’s Pajamas

In the 1920’s, flappers used the word ‘cat’ to describe someone they thought was cool. This phrase came into our common language around the same time, as did the saying, ‘The Cat’s Meow’. ‘The Cat’s Pajamas” was first made popular in Indoor Sports, a comic strip . The saying made a comeback in the 1960’s, and is still sometimes used the same way today.

Cat Burglar

If you’ve ever seen a feline ‘stalking’ a bird or squirrel, you know that she can move very quietly and gracefully, skills that burglars mimic. Like burglars, some cats have sticky paws. Fluffy has been known to steal sausages, underwear, toys, and even bikinis! 

Raining Cats And Dogs

This phrase seems to have originated back when people had thatched roofs. If Fluffy climbed to a high point, she might potentially fall through a soaking wet roof. This ‘ cat chphrase’ can be traced back to at least 1651, when it appeared in Olor Iscanus , a poem collection. 


Have you ever seen two cats interacting? If you have, you may have noticed how they mirror each other. They might sync up their napping schedules, sleep in the same position or place, or fight over a toy.

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

This one is a little tough to figure out. In fact, it’s quite ‘ purr plexing.’ Most of our feline friends enjoy getting into bags rather than getting out of them!

If you would like to know more fun sayings about cats, call your local pet clinic!

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