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How Cat Sayings Originated

July 15, 2021

There are quite a few sayings using our feline buddies as the main characters.  Most likely, you’ve heard or used them before. For example, you’ve probably used the saying, ‘Cat got your tongue?’. Many of these expressions are just as bizarre and mystifying as Fluffy herself! A local veterinarian discusses some famous cat sayings below. 

 The Cat’s Pajamas

In the 1920’s, flappers liked to use the word ‘cat’ in reference to a person they thought was cool. This saying, as well as the expression, ‘The Cat’s Meow’, came into our common language around this time. ‘The Cat’s Pajamas’ was first made popular in Indoor Sports , a comic strip, and returned in the 1960’s, and is still used the same way from time to time. 

Look What The Cat Dragged In

It’s not difficult to figure out where this phrase came from. Fluffy’s hunting skills are what first attracted us to her. If you have a kitty, you know that cats think offering their catch to you is very serious business. With this, they also want treats and praise in return. Cat owners know that their feline friends could drag just about anything inside. It’s always a surprise! Their gift could be anything from a rat to a skunk to a porcupine. This is one reason why veterinarians recommend keeping your cat inside.

Raining Cats And Dogs

This  ‘ cat chphrase’ originates back to when people had thatched roofs. If your kitty climbed to a high point, she could potentially fall through a rain-soaked roof. The expression, ‘Raining Cats And Dogs’ goes back to at least 1651, when it was published in Olor Iscanus , a poem collection. 

Cat Burglar

If you’ve ever seen a cat stalking a bird or squirrel, you know that she can move gracefully and quietly, skills that burglars want to emulate. Like most cats, robbers have sticky paws. If you’re missing anything from toys to underwear, Fluffy may well be the culprit! 


‘Copycat’ is an expression that comes from watching two kitties, let’s say, Fluffy and Mittens. You’ll notice that they often mirror each other. For example, they could sleep in the same place or position, fight over a toy, or sync up their napping schedules.

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

We must admit, this one is a bit of a mystery. Most feline patients want to get into bags rather than getting out of them! 

Got questions about your cat and her health? Call your local veterinarian for more information.