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Cat Sayings and How They Originated

June 15, 2021

You’ve probably used the saying ‘Cat got your tongue?’ before. Or, maybe you’ve made references to cats having nine lives. There are quite a few sayings about our feline friends … and many of them are as quirky and puzzling as Fluffy herself! A local veterinarian lists a few of the more popular ones below. 

 The Cat’s Pajamas

Did you know that back in the 20’s, the word ‘cat’ was used by flappers to describe someone they thought was cool? This saying came into our common vernacular around this time, along with the phrase ‘The Cat’s Meow’. It was first made popular in the comic strip Indoor Sports. The saying made a bit of a comeback in the 60’s, and is still occasionally used this way today. (Note: we do not recommend putting pajamas on Fluffy. Ever.)

Raining Cats And Dogs

This ‘ cat chphrase’ goes back to at least 1651, when it appeared in Olor Iscanus , a collection of poems. The saying seems to have originated back when people had thatched roofs. If Fluffy climbed to a roof for a high vantage point, she could potentially fall through in a bad storm. 

Look What The Cat Dragged In

It’s not too hard to see where this one came from. We first domesticated Fluffy because of her hunting abilities. As anyone whose furball  has brought them ‘presents’ knows, these little furballs are very serious about offering their catch to their humans. (They also clearly expect praise and rewards in return for their ‘presents.’) As to what the cat that originally sparked this phrase actually dragged in, well, that one’s anyone’s guess. It could be anything from a rattlesnake to a porcupine to a skunk to a bunny. Have we mentioned that we recommend keeping cats indoors?


If you have more than one cat, you may notice that Fluffy and Mittens sometimes mirror each other. They may sleep  in the same place or position, fight over a toy, or synchronize their napping schedules.

Cat Burglar

If you’ve ever watched Fluffy ‘stalking’ a bird, mouse, or chipmunk, you know that she can move very quietly and gracefully … skills that burglars no doubt seek to emulate. Of course, some kitties have sticky paws. Our feline buddies have been known to steal toys, bras, socks, underwear, sausages, and even bikinis! 

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

To be fair,  we’re a bit purrplexed on this one. Most of our feline patients are more interested in getting into bags than getting out of them! 

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Please contact us, your local veterinary clinic, anytime. We’re here to help! 

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