I have been learning British English. I found a sentence in a TV series:

'I heard an alley cat screeching.'


'Stop screeching like an alley cat!'

However, I don't quite understand the meaning. I have googled 'alley cat', but it turned out that 'alley cat' is a bar... I guess 'screeching like an alley cat' may mean 'being very emotional' but I am not sure. Could anyone tell me what does it mean?

2 Answers 2


"Alley cat" is a synonym for a stray cat, specifically one that lurks around in urban or suburban places, typically shown looking through garbage for food. The word "alley" describes a passageway that results from two buildings being built adjacent to each other in a town or city. The speaker is demanding that the "screecher" be more quiet in the second sentence, and is making a simple observation in the first sentence.


An alley cat is a feral cat inhabiting an urban area; i.e. a stray cat one might find scavenging for food in alleys.

It is a television and film trope that such cats are unpleasantly noisy while fighting, mating, calling for mates, or being prevented from mating, and human residents in the area have little recourse but to throw a show into the alley to attempt to frighten them off.

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