Why Cat People Might Be More Entrepreneurial

Cat people and dog people will always find ways to fight about whose pet is better. But some surprising new science may indicate that feline friends really can help you get ahead in the world. Of course, there's sort of a gross tradeoff — this is biology we're talking about here.

This week, a University of Colorado professor made headlines with a vaguely sci-fi claim: Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite often found in cat feces, is found in higher rates among people who major in business and who start their own enterprises. It follows observational evidence that mice infected with toxoplasmosis are less afraid of cats, which makes them easy prey in the natural world but bold capitalists among people.

It's important to stay skeptical about bold causal reports like this one, especially when the research is so preliminary and speculative. But it is worth thinking about what could happen if you live your professional and financial lives with a little less fear. Recent research has shown that failing big can sometimes be the best outcome, since it can help you diversify your efforts and give yourself more chances to succeed. Really feeling those feelings of failure is also a way to normalize for yourself what is normal in the real world. Shame won't get you anywhere but down on yourself.

Find a way to be more open about your failures and rejections, like Sapling writer Mary Kate Miller did. When you acclimate to trying more and taking on more risk, you're better able to define the world around you. How perfectly feline.