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This entry is about the animal. For the musical, see Cats (musical).

In ancient times, cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this. ~ Terry Pratchett

The cat, also called the domestic cat or house cat, is a small feline carnivorous mammal of the subspecies Felis silvestris catus. It has been living in close association with humans for between 3,500 and 8,000 years.


I think all cats are wild. They only act tame if there's a saucer of milk in it for them. ~ Douglas Adams
If you try and take a cat apart to see how it works, the first thing you have on your hands is a non-working cat. ~ Douglas Adams


  • I think all cats are wild. They only act tame if there's a saucer of milk in it for them.


  • I recollect him one day scrambling up Dr. Johnson's breast, apparently with much satisfaction, while my friend smiling and half-whistling, rubbed down his back, and pulled him by the tail; and when I observed he was a fine cat, saying, "why yes, Sir, but I have had cats whom I liked better than this;" and then, as if perceiving Hodge to be out of countenance, adding, "but he is a very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed."


  • Lat take a cat, and fostre hym wel with milk
    And tendre flessh, and make his couche of silk,
    And lat hym seen a mous go by the wal,
    Anon he weyveth milk and flessh and al,
    And every deyntee that is in that hous,
    Swich appetit hath he to ete a mous.


  • Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.
  • Perhaps God made cats so that man might have the pleasure of fondling the tiger...
The kitten has a luxurious, Bohemian, unpuritanical nature. ~ Robertson Davies
  • The kitten has a luxurious, Bohemian, unpuritanical nature. It eats six meals a day, plays furiously with a toy mouse and a piece of rope, and suddenly falls into a deep sleep whenever the fit takes it. It never feels the necessity to do anything to justify its existence; it does not want to be a Good Citizen; it has never heard of Service. It knows that it is beautiful and delightful, and it considers that a sufficient contribution to the general good. And in return for its beauty and charm it expects fish, meat, and vegetables, a comfortable bed, a chair by the grate fire, and endless petting.


It is a very distinct tribute to be chosen as the friend and confidant of a cat. ~ H. P. Lovecraft
  • The Naming of cats is a difficult matter;
    It isn't just one of your holiday games.

    You may think at first, I'm as mad as a hatter
    When I tell you a cat must have three different names.


  • Nothing's more playful than a young cat, nor more grave than an old one.


  • All cats can see futures, and see echoes of the past. We can watch the passage of creatures from the infinity of now, from all the worlds like ours, only fractionally different. And we follow them with our eyes, ghost things, and the humans see nothing.
  • If enough of us dream, if a bare thousand of us dream, we can change the world. We can dream it anew! A world in which no cat suffers from the malice of humans. In which no cats are killed by human caprice. A world that we rule.
  • Dream the world. Not this pallid shadow of reality. Dream the world the way it truly is. A world in which all cats are queens and kings of creation. That is my message. And I shall keep moving, keep repeating it, until I die. Or until a thousand cats hear my words, and believe them, and dream, and we come again to paradise.
  • Little one, I would like to see anyone — prophet, king or God — persuade a thousand cats to do anything at the same time.
    • Neil Gaiman, depicting a cynical cat, in Sandman #18: "A Dream of a Thousand Cats".


  • One cat just leads to another.
    • Ernest Hemingway, letter to his first wife Hadley Mowrer (25 November 1943), in Hemingway, Selected Letters 1917–1961, ed. Carlos Baker (New York: Scribner, 1981), p. 555.


  • Cat, I'm a kitty-cat, and I dance, dance, dance, and I dance, dance, dance.
    • Steve Ibsen, "The Kitty Cat Dance".




  • It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroe and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle's lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.
  • We own a dog — he is with us as a slave and inferior because we wish him to be. But we entertain a cat — he adorns our hearth as a guest, fellow-lodger, and equal because he wishes to be there. It is no compliment to be the stupidly idolised master of a dog whose instinct it is to idolise, but it is a very distinct tribute to be chosen as the friend and confidant of a cat.
  • The cat is a wild animal that inhabits the homes of humans.
  • Yes, it is strange that anyone should dislike cats. But cats themselves are the worst offenders in this respect. They very seldom seem to like one another.





  • Don't want a cat
    Scratching its claws all over my
    Giving no love and getting fat
    Oh, you can get lonely
    And a cat's no help with that.
  • In ancient times cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this.
    • Terry Pratchett is credited as author of this, as quoted in Chicken Soup for the Soul : What I Learned from the Cat (2009) by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark; also in Ghost Cats : Human Encounters with Feline Spirits (2007) by Dusty Rainbolt, p. 7
    • Variant: In ancient times, cats were worshiped as gods. They have never forgotten this.
      • Quote attributed to unknown author, in Chicken Soup for the Soul Celebrates Cats : And the People Who Love Them (2004) by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Sharon J. Wohlmuth, p. 1.




  • I cannot agree that it should be the declared public policy of Illinois that a cat visiting a neighbor’s yard or crossing the highways is a public nuisance. It is in the nature of cats to do a certain amount of unescorted roaming.
    • Adlai E. Stevenson, as governor of Illinois, veto message (April 23, 1949), reported in The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson, ed. Walter Johnson (1973), vol. 3, pp. 73–74.
  • For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
    For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him.
    For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
    For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness.
  • Moreover, cats perform useful service, particularly in rural areas, in combating rodents — work they necessarily perform alone and without regard for property lines.
    • Adlai E. Stevenson, as governor of Illinois, veto message (April 23, 1949), reported in The Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson, ed. Walter Johnson (1973), vol. 3, pp. 73–74.


  • When there was room on the ledge outside of the pots and boxes for a cat, the cat was there — in sunny weather — stretched at full length, asleep and blissful, with her furry belly to the sun and a paw curved over her nose. Then that house was complete, and its contentment and peace were made manifest to the world by this symbol, whose testimony is infallible. A home without a cat—and a well-fed, well-petted, and properly revered cat—may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?
  • Of all God's creatures there is only one that cannot be made the slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.
    • Mark Twain, in Mark Twain's Notebook, prepared by Albert B. Paine (1935, reprinted 1972), pp. 236–37.
  • When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade, without further introduction.
    • Mark Twain, "An Incident" from "Who Is Mark Twain" by Mark Twain
  • If animals could speak, the dog would be a blundering outspoken fellow; but the cat would have the rare grace of never saying a word too much.
  • A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.
In the eyes of a cat, all things belong to cats.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 91.
  • A cat may look at a king.
    • Title of a Pamphlet. (Published 1652).
  • Lauk! what a monstrous tail our cat has got!
  • Mrs. Crupp had indignantly assured him that there wasn't room to swing a cat there; but as Mr. Dick justly observed to me, sitting down on the foot of the bed, nursing his leg. "You know, Trotwood, I don't want to swing a cat. I never do swing a cat. Therefore what does that signify to me!"
  • Confound the cats! All cats—alway—
    Cats of all colours, black, white, grey;
    By night a nuisance and by day—
    Confound the cats!
  • The cat would eat fish, and would not wet her feet.
  • It has been the providence of nature to give this creature nine lives instead of one.

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