“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 greatly boost your vocabulary and help you express your thoughts in various situations, not necessarily related to cats. So, let’s get started…
Common cat breeds
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.
Of course 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 – (about a married couple) to quarrel all the time: 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. 🐈 Related: “English Vocabulary: Secrets”
- 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.
Did you like the article? If so, you may find “Dog English” interesting too. 😉