Where does the saying “theres more than one way to skin a cat” come from?
There are several versions of this saying, which suggests that there are always several ways to do something. Charles Kingsley used one old British form in Westward Ho! in 1855: “there are more ways of killing a cat than choking it with cream”. Other versions include “there are more ways of killing a dog than hanging him”, “there are more ways of killing a cat than by choking it with butter”, and “there are more ways of killing a dog than choking him with pudding”. Mark Twain used your version in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court in 1889: “she was wise, subtle, and knew more than one way to skin a cat”, that is, more than one way to get what she wanted. An earlier appearance is in ’Way down East; or, Portraitures of Yankee Life by Seba Smith of about 1854: “This is a money digging world of ours; and, as it is said, ‘there are more ways than one to skin a cat,’ so are there more ways than one of digging for money”. From the way he writes, the author clearly knew this to be a w
I went to a web site (don’t remember which one at the moment) about common phrases and this is what I found on There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Cat fish have very tough skin and fishermen used to say there’s more than one way to skin a cat fish. The web site tells you the correct way to skin a cat fish. Overl time the phrase was shortened to there’s more than one way to skin a cat.