Happy Cat

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Senior Member
United States, English
Hello friends,
Earlier today I was referred to as a "happy cat" because I was in a good mood today :) If I wanted to say happy cat in German, would this be the correct way ? glücklich katze or possibly glücklicher Katze

Thank you, Eric
  • Sidjanga

    Senior Member
    German;southern tendencies
    I at least am not familiar with glückliche Katze for such (figurative) contexts.

    There are probably better (more or less) equivalent expressions out there, but something that comes to my mind here is the so-called "Honigkuchenpferd" (literally a gingerbread horse).

    glücklich (sein) wie ein Honigkuchenpferd
    sich freuen wie ein Honigkuchenpferd

    Nevertheless, your description of the situation - "in a good mood" - sounds as though the Honigkuchenpferd expressions might be too strong here.

    A rather everyday but here maybe more adequate expression is gut drauf sein:
    Heute Morgen war ich gut drauf.
    And your friens might say: Du bist aber gut drauf heute!


    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I am also not at all familiar with "glückliche Katze" - I don't think that you can use this in German figuratively like you do in English.
    About "Honigkuchenpferd", this sound equally alien to me - but obviously the term is specifically German; I think that most Austrians wouldn't know what this should mean (or only if context is very clear the meaning probably would come across).

    I think the following could probably work too:
    "Du bist ja heute ein richtiger Sonnenschein!"

    It is not awfully idiomatic - or at least I think it isn't - but I think there's little danger of a misunderstading (it would be clear to me; clearer than "Honigkuchenpferd" but then that's most likely so because I'm Austrian*).
    *) de Gruyter's "Variantenwörterbuch des Deutschen" claims that "grinsen wie ein Hutschpferd" supposedly is the equivalent Austrian idiom to German "Honigkuchenpferd" - but I must say that I haven't heard this figurative use of "Hutschpferd" either.

    Idiomatic expressions for the English meaning, as already mentioned by Sigianga, more likely use verbal phrases; some colloquial ones which are very common in Austria:

    - Du bist aber heute wirklich gut aufgelegt.
    - Du bist ja heute richtig happy.


    Senior Member
    German;southern tendencies
    (...); some colloquial ones which are very common in Austria:

    - Du bist aber heute wirklich gut aufgelegt.
    - Du bist ja heute richtig happy.
    Those work equally fine at least for the south of Germany (I am not sure about the rest, but I don't think they're uncommon or wouldn't be understod elsewhere).

    As to the suggestion I made above (Du bist aber gut drauf heute!): Du bist aber heute gut drauf! (different word order) would also work.


    Senior Member
    In case you want to use it in German, you have to consider the gender.

    Ich fühle mich wie eine glückliche Katze. (female)
    Ich fühle mich wie ein glücklicher Kater. (male)

    This is not a common German expression but it is possible. But it implies good mood because of sexual context.

    Another form is:
    Ich bin heute eine glückliche Katze. (This could be used for both male and female and does not imply sexual context.)
    Ich bin heute ein glücklicher Kater. (only male: I had success with woman.)

    The metaphor can be used. But it is not widespread.

    This is just to explain furthermore why you cannot use it in your context.
    Sigianga and Sokol gave proper alternatives.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    I'd like to add that "strahlen wie ein frisch lackiertes Hutschpferd" indeed is confirmed for Eastern Austria, meaning approximately the same as "happy cat": even though I'm now living in Vienna I grew up in Upper Austria - and I never heard that figurative use there.
    However it is confirmed on ostarrichi.org (link above) for Vienna and Lower Austria.

    Still I would not suggest that you use this: Austrians will understand the phrase even if they're not familiar with this use (as am I), but in Germany many won't even know what a "Hutschpferd" is supposed to be (and certainly wouldn't get the figurative meaning).
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