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How Cat Sayings Originated

August 1, 2021

You probably have heard the saying ‘Cat got your tongue?’ before. That’s not the only popular cat phrase out there. There are actually a lot of phrases about felines… and they’re all as quirky and mystifying as Fluffy herself! Here, a local veterinarian discusses some of the more common ones. 

 The Cat’s Pajamas

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

Look What The Cat Dragged In

It’s not difficult to figure out where this purrticular phrase originated. Kitties take offering their gifts to their pet parents very seriously, making it obvious that they also expect praise and rewards. No one knows exactly what that kitty dragged in to inspire the phrase, but it could have been anything from a skunk to a porcupine to a snake. Do you know veterinarians recommend keeping cats  inside?

Raining Cats And Dogs

This phrase could have originated when people had thatched roofs. If Fluffy climbed to a high point, she could potentially fall through a soaked roof. Seen first in at least 1651, the ‘ cat chphrase’ appeared in Olor Iscanus , a poem collection. 

Cat Burglar

If you’ve ever seen a feline ‘stalking’ a squirrel or bird, you know that she makes her approach quietly and gracefully. That stealth approach is also a skill that burglars use. Like burglars, some cats have sticky paws. Kitties are known to steal toys, sausages, underwear, and even bikinis! 


Cats like to mirror each other. They often fight over a toy, sleep in the same place or position, or sync up their napping schedules. This is always cute to watch! 

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

This one is a bit puzzling. Most of our feline pals seem to prefer getting into bags, rather than getting out of them! Give your pet a paper bag on occasion.

Do you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or care? Contact us, your local veterinarian for all your pet’s needs! 

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