like a scalded cat

like a scalded cat

Extremely quickly. He screamed and darted out the door like a scalded cat when I snuck up behind him and gave him a fright. This car's engine is so powerful that takes off like a scalded cat.
See also: cat, like

like a scalded cat

BRITISH
If a person or animal moves like a scalded cat, they move very fast, as though they have been suddenly frightened. Sure enough, within minutes of the train pulling out, Brown was out of that seat like a scalded cat. The Derby winner of that year set off like a scalded cat, and was never caught.
See also: cat, like

like a scalded cat

at a very fast speed.
1997 T3 If you're in a desperate hurry you can bury the accelerator…and take off like a scalded cat.
See also: cat, like
References in periodicals archive ?
Wagner, who sings like a scalded cat, is clearly the least talented contestant the show has ever seen while poor Anne is simply a human wardrobe being pushed around by an out of puff Anton du Beke.
I've banned him from using tools around the house and DIY is out of the question after the incident with the boiling water - he took off like a scalded cat.
Masta Plasta set off like a scalded cat and was clear at halfway, but Buick was just biding his time and launched his winning run inside the final furlong.
As usual for a pacemaker from the Ballydoyle yard, River Tiber went off like a scalded cat and George Washington was on the back foot after badly missing the break.
You know the drill: Hose down that wasp nest under the eaves with wasp killer and then run like a scalded cat before the survivors extract their revenge.