herd cats

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 ?
If the draw is oversubscribed, the marshals may as well herd cats! If say the marshals tell a group to pick up their pace when they have been waiting in all their previous shots, it only adds to their frustration.
It will become harder and harder to herd cats. Why not find someone more considerate and willing to share?
It's like herding cats, and how do you herd cats when you've lost your captain?" Klemmer teased.
It's hard to herd cats, and even worse when you put the cats in charge of herding.
People who can herd cats, and nail Jello to a tree.
This type of panic, natural or synthetic, real or imagined, is the best way to herd cats; i.e., direct the masses.
Trying to use the tools of a Western-style state to control these rooted societies was like trying to herd cats with a dog-training manual," he wrote.
And in the absence of cows, cowboys would be forced to herd cats or lasso sheep.
A fifth theory simply recognizes that trying to organize academics is like trying to herd cats. College and university presidents rarely act or speak as a group, except when they lobby for government money.
Trying to predict it was as tricky as "trying to herd cats," said one yesterday.
Basically, I seem to have spent 2007, along withmany of its predecessors, trying to herd cats.
The trouble is that asking the public to put in serious suggestions is like trying to herd cats.
So whether you're a metrosexual, a contrasexual or an ubersexual who wants to herd cats, fork a tree or shuffle some muppets, this is the dictionary for you.
It's made by winemakers each with their own set of ideas as to how it should be made and, like trying to herd cats, each goes off in his own inimitable way.