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 ...
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.