Not sure if this is the origin of the phrase, but seems a very apt usage.
From Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr.’s address to the Senate:
It was at that moment that I formulated my theory that being leader of the Senate was like herding cats. It is trying to make ninety-nine independent souls act in concert under rules that encourage polite anarchy and embolden people who find majority rule a dubious proposition at best.
Well said, sir.