be like herding cats

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be like herding cats

To be very unwieldy or unmanageable; to be nearly impossible to organize. Usually said of a group of people. Getting all of the extended family into their right places for the reunion photo was like herding cats! It's like herding cats trying to manage all these different software development teams.
See also: cat, herd, like

herd cats

To attempt to coordinate or control subjects that are uncooperative. Often used as a point of comparison in the phrase "like herding cats." Trying to get my two toddlers out the door these days is like herding cats!
See also: cat, herd
References in periodicals archive ?
Trying to coordinate seemingly simple acts like putting on coats and leaving the house is like herding cats.
We gathered together a group of specialists in the area, which was much like herding cats.
Yet by its very nature it was idealistic from the start, and far from perfect in practice; an exercise in herding cats in many respects, without the benefit of catnip.
And, of course, experience in herding cats is essential.
Academics and researchers, the authors of Herding Cats contend, are much like cats in their predilection to exercise as much independence as possible in their professional careers and in their tendency to be unwilling to be easily led.
I'll stop there, although I'm dying to say something about herding cats.
Leading the Higher Education Department in this state is something akin to herding cats.
Leading people in a law firm is a lot like herding cats, but as the cat-herder said in the commercial, "It ain't an easy job, but when you bring a herd into town and you ain't lost a one of them--there ain't a feeling like it in the world.
The two articles that follow--Herding Cats I: Disposal of DoD Real Property and Contractor Inventory in Contingency Operations, by Captain Lyndsey Olson, (6) and Herding Cats II: Disposal of DoD Personal Property, by Major Kathryn Navin7--seek to provide JAs with the legal framework related to the disposal of all DoD property overseas.
Ranging from visual artists and architects to jewellery designers and games developers to filmproducers and even newspaper publishers, it's no surprise that forming a single cohesive group is about as easy as herding cats.
It s like herding cats, we have so many personnel going through," said camp transit director Lieutenant Colonel Cecile Warren.
With no council members making a move to take over the job - once compared to being as difficult as herding cats - it looks like Garcetti will continue in the post he has held since January 2006.
In my experience, trying to get newspaper chief executives to agree on a single course of action is akin to herding cats, but the effort is noble and civic-spirited.
Down the line, we are facing an explosion of media and consumer choices that make the job of marketing a bit like herding cats.