Animal Idioms: Cat Part Two

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As I promised you, here are five idioms involving cats for your unlimited use. If you know others who will need to learn this idioms, please share this page using our site share buttons.

#6 Who will bell the cat?

Bell the cat

Literal meaning: If you bell the cat, you agree to do something quite dangerous, difficult, or impossible. It probably comes from a story in which a group of mice decide that they will tie a bell to a murderous cat so that its jingle will warn them of its presence. But then no one wants to take on the dangerous role of belling the cat.

Related terms are bells the cat, belled the cat, belling the cat.

This is why it is said that making a plan is one thing but executing it is an entirely different thing. Execution is more important than ideas. So, have you ever tried to bell a cat? What happened? Feel free to tell us more in the comments.

#7 Raining cats and dogs

Raining cats and dogs

Literal meaning: No one knows the precise source of this 17th century expression, but we can be sure that it didn’t originate because animals fell from the sky, however, the most probable explanation is that it originates from England in the 1700s when storm drains would often carry dead dogs and cats away when heavy rain fell. Thus, the possible connection between heavy rain and cats and dogs.

It’s raining like a pissing cow in Paris this week. That’s the French equivalent of “raining cats and dogs” (Il pleut comme vache qui pisse).

#8 Put the cat among the pigeons

Put the cat among the pigeons

Literal meaning: This idiom refers to the act of letting a cat go inside a dove house where pigeons are kept where the cat would scare all the birds whilst hunting and killing some of them. So, if you put the cat among the pigeons it means you tell a person or group of people something that is likely to scare or worry them, or at the very least ruffle some feathers.

Other forms: To set the cat among the pigeons.

In order to help you learn and memorise this idiom just think about what would happen if you really put a cat in a group of pigeons!

#9 When the cat is away, the mice will play

Literal meaning: This idiom is probably based on the Latin version “Dum felis dormit, mus gaudet et exsi litantro” (When the cat falls asleep, the mouse rejoices and leaps from the hole). The idea being that mice come out of hiding when a cat isn’t present.
Other forms: When the cat’s away. While the cat’s away, the mice will play. 
The French equivalent for this idiom is “Quand le chat n’est pas là, les souris dansent.” (when the cat is away, the mice dance) It’s basically the same thing. Except, the French mice will dance instead of just playing. 🙂

#10 A cat nap

A cat nap

Literal meaning: The idea here is that cats have numerous short naps every day. So, if you have a short sleep say, after lunch, it’s considered “a cat nap”.
Other forms: To cat nap.
When you take a nap, you rest, usually during the daytime. In some cultures, everybody naps after lunch, while in other places naps are only for young children and elderly people. 
If you’re really tired during the day, go ahead and take a nap, even if you have to hide under your desk. A nap is a brief sleep. Have a lovely cat nap.


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15 thoughts on “Animal Idioms: Cat Part Two

  1. Kym Gordon Moore

    Loved your cat idioms! 😀 You included many that I completely forgot about. I truly enjoyed the read. You are very resourceful. Could it be that you were a bit curious maybe??? 🙂 Cheers!

    1. Oxford Junior Post author

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment, I really appreciate it so much. Yes, it was out of curiosity that I made two posts about idioms involving animals especially cats! I love cats and I love languages too 🙂 I am very glad to acknowledge that no cat was harmed while writing this answer. Thus, curiosity is innocent from any killed cat! 🙂

    1. Oxford Junior Post author

      I am so sorry I haven’t seen your comments till today. I found your comments in the spam section! I don’t know how to explain this but something has gone wrong! Thank you so much for sharing my post in linkedIn, silly me! I was wondering who shared the post in linkedIn lol So, once again thank you so much. I love your blog especially posts about cats 🙂 You mean the reblog button? Or Press this button? I am going to search about how to activate those buttons or install a plugin soon.

        1. Oxford Junior Post author

          My current version of WordPress comes with Akismet installed by default. So Akismet is a comment spam filtering service which uses an algorithm that catches blog comment and pingback as spam, this algorithm learns from its mistakes and from the actions taken by participating websites or users.

          For example, if a user’s comment is marked as spam by a number of blogs, then Akismet would learn to mark all comments by that user as spam. That’s the most common or logic reason why I found your comments in the spam comments’ section. Like any other automated platform, Akismet is not perfect, but it is the best so far.

          Now that I have marked your comments as legit, Akismet learned that your comments on my blog are not spam, so now I can see your comments on the comment section and approve them.


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