Sayings About Cats – Some Forgotten Proverbs

Our close relationship to cats has certainly given birth to many sayings about the creatures over the centuries. Some are outdated, and some have become obscured through time, causing some room for interpretation in our modern era. I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard most of these before. Though if I missed any that you’d be willing to share with me, please feel free to tell me about them using the contact form above. Thanks for reading!

proverbs-about-cats01. Care will kill a Cat.

02. A muffled cat is no good mouser.

03. That cat is the kind that sweet milk won’t lap.

04. When the cat winks, little knows the mouse of what the cat thinks.

05. Though the cat winks a while, she is surely not blind.

06. Happily would the cat fish eat, but she is loathe to wet her feet.

07. How can the cat help that the maid is a fool?
[In other words, how can a cat help breaking or stealing things left in its path?]

08. An old cat laps as much as a young kitten.

09. When the cat is away, the mice will play.

10. When the candles are out, all cats are grey.
[This is perhaps a kinder way to say a vulgar phrase: “In the dark, that woman is just as good as my wife.”]

11. The cat knows whose lips she licks.

12. By biting and scratching, cats and dogs come together.

13. ‘ll keep no more cats than will catch mice, or no more family than will earn their living.

14. Who shall hang the bell around the cat’s neck?
[Said in reference to a story about a meeting of mice, at which they decided to hang a bell around the cat’s neck, so they would have warning to run from him and stay safe. The problem: who is willing to make the sacrifice for the common good?]

15. A cat has nine lives, and a woman has nine cat’s lives.

16. Cats eat what hussies spare.

17. Cats hide their claws.

18. The wandering cat gets many a rap.

19. He lives under the sign of the “cat’s foot”.
[This means that his wife is domineering… she “scratches him”]

See Also:

Cat Superstitions

Black Cat Superstitions


Source: The Book of Cats: A Chit-Chat Chronicle of Feline Facts, Fancies, Legendary, Lyrical, Medical, Mirthful and Miscellaneous, by Charles H. Ross. 1868.