play cat and mouse with

play cat and mouse with someone

Fig. to be coy and evasive with someone. I know what you are up to. Don't play cat and mouse with me! I wish that they wouldn't play cat and mouse with me!
See also: and, cat, mouse, play

play cat and mouse with

manoeuvre in a way designed alternately to provoke and thwart an opponent.
The image here is of the way that a cat toys with a mouse, pretending to release it and then pouncing on it again.
See also: and, cat, mouse, play