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‘DWTS’ Judge Carrie Ann Inaba: I Once Took My Cat to the Vet in a Ball Gown

Carrie Ann Inaba
Carrie Ann Inaba visiting the Veterinarian.Michael Simon/

Carrie Ann loves her kitties! Dancing With the Stars judge Carrie Ann Inaba opened up to Us Weekly about her three rescue cats — Mimi, Reb and Sophie — that she shares with her fiancé, Rob Derringer, as part of her partnership with Royal Canin’s National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on August 22. 

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The TV personality, 49, who also owns three dogs, loves being in a house full of animals. “I grew up with a household that always had at least two cats and two dogs at all times,” she told Us. “So, that’s the minimum requirement for me.”

Carrie Ann Inaba
Carrie Ann Inaba visiting the Veterinarian. Michael Simon/

Luckily, Inaba’s newest addition to the family, her 5-month-old Russian Blue Sophie, meshed well with the rest of her pets. “A dear friend of mine brought me Sophie after finding her in the hood of a car. She couldn’t keep her, and she knew I would take care of her and make sure she was placed in a good home,” she told Us. “Reb, who is normally afraid of just about everything, walked right over to Sophie and started licking and cleaning her. It was the most beautiful thing. So Reb and Sophie have an incredible bond. Sophie helped bring Reb out of his shell, and Reb helped Sophie by giving her the nurturing she needed at the time and showing me she was meant to stay with us.”

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The pro dancer added that she lavishes her feline friends with attention. “They have so many toys and I play with them all the time,” Inaba said. “Some people think cats are fine by themselves but it’s important to play with them. I also spoil them by making sure they eat great food — Royal Canin — and see the veterinarian at least once each year.”

Carrie Ann Inaba
Carrie Ann Inaba visiting the Veterinarian. Michael Simon/

Despite her devotion, Inaba revealed that she’s never called out of work for a pet-related situation. “I’ve never called off work from DWTS. Not once in all 25 seasons! I’m the only one who has never missed a day,” she told Us. “But there have been other times that I’ve had to leave to attend to my cats. I have had a lot of special needs cats over the years. There was a time in San Diego when I went to the vet’s office in a ball gown because my cat needed to have emergency surgery. I even stayed overnight in one of the kennels with my cat as he was recovering from surgery. It was a very successful surgery, and I was very lucky, but we always laugh about that — Carrie Ann is the lady who will come straight from an event in her ball gown to be with her cat.”

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The In Loving Color alum also shared her best tips for keeping her cats relaxed during a visit to the vet. “I think it’s important not to rush the situation. You need to be calm in order for your cat to be calm,” she continued. “Your cats always reflect your emotion. So, to me, the most important thing is to take your time, make sure they’re comfortable with the cat carrier in advance, and make it pleasurable by giving them cat treats. I talk to my cats on the way to the vet to keep them calm.”

Share a photo of your cat or tips for taking your cat to the veterinarian via social media using the hashtag #Cat2VetDay. For every post, Royal Canin will make a donation to help cats in need.

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