“Time spent with cats is never wasted”.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis
Many people have a soft spot for cats (= they like cats very much) but some claim that these creatures are self-willed and capricious. Whichever opinion you hold, you’d better know the most common cat breeds and idioms related to felines (= members of the cat family) as it will boost your vocabulary greatly and help you express your thoughts in various situations, not necessarily connected to cats. So, let’s get started…
COMMON CAT BREEDS
|Breed||Picture||About the cat|
|Persian [‘pɜːʃən] cat||The Persian is widely known as Iranian cat in the Middle East and in Iran it is known as Shirazi cat.|
|Siberian [saɪ’bɪərɪən] cat||The Siberian is a domestic cat, present in Russia for centuries.|
|Siamese [ˌsaɪə’miːz] cat||The Siamese cat is one of the first distinctly recognized breeds of Asian cat.|
|British Shorthair||The British Shorthair is a domestic cat with a chunky (= short and heavy) body, dense coat and broad face.|
|Sphynx [sfɪŋks] cat||The Sphynx is a cat known for its lack of coat.|
|Scottish Fold||The Scottish Fold is a breed with folding ears, making the animal look a bit like an owl.|
|Maine [meɪn] Coon||The Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated breeds of cat.|
|Ragdoll||The Ragdoll is a cat breed with blue eyes and a distinct colourpoint coat (it means the cat has a pale body and a relatively darker face, ears, feet or tail).|
|Exotic Shorthair||The Exotic is similar to the Persian in many ways, including temperament and conformation (= the shape or structure of an animal).|
PARTS OF THE CAT BODY
Claw [klɔː] – one of the sharp curved nails at the end of the cats’ toes: My cat sharpens her claws on a claw sharpener.
Fur [fɜː] – the thick hair that covers the body of the cat: The Persian is famous for its long and thick fur.
Hind [haɪnd] – at the back of the cat’s body: My cat has injured his hind leg and we have to go to the vet’s.
Paw [pɔː] – the foot of the cat: Cats’ paws are very sensitive.
Whisker [‘(h)wɪskə] – any of the long, stiff hair growing on the face of a cat: They say cats use their whiskers for spatial orientation.
Sure enough, there are some idioms on the topic which we are happy to share with you:
- The cat’s whiskers / pyjamas / meow [miː’au] (old-fashioned) – better than everyone else: John thinks that he is such a cat’s meow but he’s so wrong!
- To lead (led; led) a cat and dog life / to fight (fought; fought) like cat and dog – to quarrel all the time (about a married couple): They lead a cat and dog life and I think they will divorce soon.
- Enough to make a cat laugh – extremely funny: This joke is enough to make a cat laugh! Where did you hear it?
- To grin like a Cheshire cat – to smile contentedly (= happily): Why are you grinning like a Cheshire cat? What’s so funny? (Cheshire cat is a character of “Alice in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll.)
- To let the cat out of the bag – to reveal a secret: If you ever let the cat out of the bag, I’ll never speak to you anymore.
- To see which way the cat jumps / to wait for the cat to jump – to delay making a decision or taking action waiting for the situation to develop: I’d like to see which way the cat jumps not to be sorry afterwards.
- Fat cat – someone who has a lot of money, especially someone in charge of a company who has the power to increase their own pay: He is a fat cat and so he simply doesn’t know what it is like to struggle from paycheck to paycheck.