Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back

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"Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back" is a variation of a proverb, "curiosity killed the cat", that includes the rejoinder "but satisfaction brought it back." Although the original version was used to warn of the dangers of unnecessary investigation or experimentation, the addition of the rejoinder indicates that the risk would lead to resurrection because of the satisfaction felt after finding out. The resurrection element may be a reference to the "multiple lives" of a cat.


On 10 August 1905, The Galveston Daily News newspaper (page 6) printed the following quotation without the word satisfaction:[1]

Curiosity killed a cat; but it came back.

On 23 December 1912, the earliest known printed reference to this variation of the proverb is found in The Titusville Herald newspaper (page 6):[2]

You will find greater values here. We are told:
"Curiosity killed the cat,
But satisfaction brought it back."
It is the same story with groceries.
"Prices will sell Groceries, but it is always final-
ity that brings the buyer back."

By 15 May 1924, the proverb appears to have been well known, as this quote from The Jewell Record newspaper (page 3) indicates:[3]

Come May 19th and 21st and see this puzzle completed. As the saying goes "Curiosity killed a cat, satisfaction brought it back."

Modern usage[edit]

The album New Values (1979) by Iggy Pop contains the song "Curiosity" written by Iggy Pop and Scott Thurston. The song includes the following lines:[4]

Curiosity killed the cat
But satisfaction brought it back
In terms of this cat, as a matter of fact
I'll meet you at the old mouse hole
I'll meet you at the old mouse hole


  1. ^ "Snap Shots". The Galveston Daily News. Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
  2. ^ "More Holiday News From Titusville's Greatest Grocery". The Titusville Herald. Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
  3. ^ "All On Account of Polly". The Jewell Record. Retrieved 2015-02-06. 
  4. ^ "Iggy Pop - Curiosity Lyrics". MetroLyrics. Retrieved 2015-02-06.