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Patrick Roberts

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Cat Quotes — 3

On this page:

Cat Communication
Proverbs & Sayings
Sleeping Cats

I don't speak from any position of authority, but it seems to me cats could well be the animals that have been most written about. There must be many thousands of books written about them; and so, too, there are large numbers of quotations. No list could hope to be comprehensive, and I have merely selected some that I've come across over the years which have appealed to me; some are very well known, others less so. We hope you will enjoy browsing through them. It's arranged very roughly in sections, such that quotes about similar aspects of cats appear together.

The photos are our own originals of cats we have either lived with or encountered: some are no longer with us, but others are very much alive. A number of the pictures are from 'chance encounters', and these are referred to as 'anonymous', giving the year. Unless stated otherwise, photos were taken in the UK.

Remember: 'The smallest feline is a masterpiece.' —Leonardo da Vinci


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Midge, 2003 Minette, Canada, 1978 anonymous, Guadalest, Spain, 1986 Tyburn, 2009

A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.

Mark Twain

You can keep a dog, but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans to be useful domestic animals.

George Mikes

As anyone well knows who has ever been around a cat for any length of time, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human mind.

Cleveland Amory

One reason we admire cats is for their proficiency in one-upmanship. They always seem to come out on top, no matter what they are doing — or they pretend they do.

Barbara Webster

I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of the cats is infinitely superior.

Hippolyte Taine

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 and deteriorate the cat.

Mark Twain

In the beginning, God created Man; but seeing him so feeble, he gave him the cat.

Warren Eckstein

Cats are smarter than dogs. You cannot get eight cats to pull a sled through the snow.

Jeff Valdez

After scolding one's cat, one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it has understood every word. And has filed it for future reference.

Charlotte Gray

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Cat Communication

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Jasper, 1990 Pushkin, 2002 anonymous, 1994 anonymous, 1994

'Meow' is like 'Aloha' — it can mean anything.

Hank Ketchum (b. 1920)

Purring would seem to be, in her case, an automatic safety device for dealing with happiness overflow.

Monica Edwards (b. 1912)

'That got me a look so intense I was unable to interpret it — like the way cats sometimes fix on you. What they mean by the look is completely beyond understanding; but it's meant for you, you alone.'

Donald James, Walking the Shadows

Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr . . . a purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement for something we would all like to believe about ourselves — that we are nice.

Roger A. Caras (b. 1928)

When I meow it means . . .
I am hungry . . . I want food in my bowl . . . I want food in my bowl right now . . . I want to go out . . . I want to come in . . . Brush me . . . Get my toy out from under the sofa . . . It's time to change the litter . . . I just put a mouse in the bureau drawer . . . I did not break that vase . . . Get me down from this tree . . . Please kill that dog next door . . . Hello . . . Goodbye.

Henry Beard

It is a very inconvenient habit of kittens (Alice had once said) that, whatever you say to kittens, they always purr.

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

A cat can purr its way out of anything.

Donna McCrohan (author)

If cats could talk, they would lie to you.

Bob Kopack

If cats could talk — they wouldn't.

Dan Porter

'There is no snooze button on a cat who wants his breakfast.'


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Proverbs & Sayings

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Poppy, 2001 Pushkin, 2002 anonymous, 2002 Soxy, 1994

Beware of people who like cats.

Irish saying

When rats infest the palace, a lame cat is better than the swiftest horse.

Chinese proverb

You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats.

Colonial American proverb

In a cat's eye, all things belong to cats.

English proverb

Cats are at home everywhere where one feeds them.

German proverb

Happy is the home with at least one cat.

Italian proverb

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Sleeping Cats

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Blackie, 1967 Maggie, 2003 Thomas, 2000 Polly, 2001 Ginger, 2009

The real measure of a day's heat is the length of a sleeping cat.

Charles J. Brady

A little drowsing cat is an image of perfect beatitude.

Champfleury (Jules Fleury-Husson) (1821-1889)

Cats are rather delicate creatures and they are subject to a good many ailments — but I never heard of one that suffered from insomnia.

Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970)

A cat allows you to sleep on the bed. On the edge.

Jenny de Vries

The trouble with sharing one's bed with cats is that they'd rather sleep on you than beside you.

Pam Brown

'You can't look at a sleeping cat and be tense.'

Jane Pauley (b. 1950, US TV anchor and journalist)

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Opus 2, 1987 Midge, 2004 Tommy, 2004 Whiskers, 2004 Whiskers, 2004

At dinner time he would sit in a corner, concentrating; and suddenly they would say, 'Time to feed the cat,' as if it were their idea.

Lilian Jackson Braun (b. 1916)

A cat isn't fussy — just as long as you remember he likes his milk in the shallow, rose-patterned saucer and his fish on the blue plate. From which he will take it, and eat it off the floor.

Arthur Bridges

Perhaps the silliest thing that is said about the cat is that it will, given the opportunity, instinctively choose a balanced and sensible diet. It won't.

William H. A. Carr (b. 1924)

When the tea is brought at five o'clock
And all the net curtains are drawn with care,
The little black cat with bright green eyes
Is suddenly purring there.

Harold Monro, 'Milk for the Cat'

More quotations about cats...

Quotes 1
Appreciation of Cats

Quotes 2
Nature of Cats
Cats' Attitude

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Our featured feline at the head of the page, having quite a lot of fun, is Ragamuffin, or Rags for short: sadly he's no longer with us. A cat of great character who seemed to live by the maxim 'Life is for living', it was devastating for me when that life was cut short by a road accident. A rescue cat, he lived with me in North Wales for less than four years only. You can see a little tribute to him here with a more flattering photo.

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