Leadership Lessons from Cats

By | August 9, 2019

[August 9, 2019] Today is Friday, so I thought that I might deviate a little from my traditional articles on leadership and provide a few humorous points about cat ownership and how they can provide some leadership lessons.1 Yes, it’s true, you can learn from a cat. I readily admit that I don’t own a cat, but my daughter did once, so that makes me a cat amateur-in-training.

“The cat is the only animal which accepts the comforts but rejects the bondage of domesticity.” – Georges Louis Leclerc de Buffon, French naturalist

I was careful in choosing the thumbnail lead to this article. While looking for an apropos photograph, I came across one that reminded me of the first boss I had while working stocking shelves. His name was Billy Cox, was an “expert” at Piggly Wiggly Grocery stores, and wore a serious, penetrating look on his face. I’m sure he did well in life.

Here are a few things my friends tell me that they have learned from cats. Some are simply life lessons while others do give a sense that even cats can teach us a thing or two:

  • A good leader inspires others with their confidence.
  • Be practical. Be curious. Be inquisitive.
  • Be sassy, be sophisticated, but more importantly, be picky.
  • Never follow; be your own man (er, cat).
  • Always loyal but never a slave.
  • Never be the fool.
  • To be positive in a negative situation isn’t naïve, its leadership.
  • Gently, you can shake the world.
  • Don’t be a copycat leader.
  • Remain aloof but show you care in unexpected ways.
  • Think about something or someone other than yourself.
  • The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
  • Artists like cats, soldiers like dogs.

And my favorite cat quote is by Mark Twain, The man who carries a cat by the tail learns something that can be learned in no other way.”


  1. I wrote several articles about what we can learn from dogs. Given reader feedback that, yes, we can also learn from cats, I decided it’s about time for some feline lessons. For easy access to my dog articles, go here, here, and here.
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

15 thoughts on “Leadership Lessons from Cats

  1. Kenny Foster

    My favorite one is “never be the fool.” Purrrfect for cat lovers.

  2. JT Patterson

    Thanks for an entertaining article to get us warmed up for the weekend. But I’ll be taking my dog on a campout; cats don’t do well on campouts.

    1. Greg Heyman

      I agree. Gen. Satterfield has several dog-related articles that you can learn much more from reading. This one was, however, funny.

  3. Harry B. Donner

    “A good leader inspires others with their confidence.”
    I’m not convinced that this is something you will learn from a cat. Cats have confidence, yes, but not good at inspiration. Just a thought.

  4. Eric Coda

    Personally, I’m a dog man myself. I like larger dogs too. If you’re going to have a dog (and a good companion) then don’t get a little dog; you might as well get a cat if you like little dogs. When my wife goes for a walk, a big dog is good protection even if the dog is gentle. As long as the dog is well behaved, possible perpetrators will stay away.

  5. Anita

    I loved it but as you know, I’m a real cat lover too.

  6. Georgie M.

    🙂 🙂 🙂 Funny and I actually learned something.

    1. Dale Paul Fox

      Yes, Georgie, I too liked the article and sent it to my daughter-in-law is has two cats at her home. Her husband is not too thrilled about cats but maybe this can change his mind.

      1. Nick Lighthouse

        Good luck with that. There’s not much changing a cat person’s attitude about those furry little things.

      2. Yusaf from Texas

        This is what cat people do. They love their cats and anything to do with cats. I found on the Internet so many funny videos of cats and dogs that I finally had to stop watching altogether. My time was being wasted. But we do love our cats (and dogs).

      1. Roger Yellowmule

        Over 14 million views. Does that tell you something? I’m not sure what it says about people exact they love their pet cats. The ancient Egyptians revered and also loved their cats. What happened to them?

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