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Derek Hough, choreographer of Dancing with the Stars fame, dancer, actor, and singer, lives in a bit of “a zoo” but “wouldn’t have it any other way,” he says. He lives with two rescued cats, Palo or “Prince Palo,” the orange tabby and Lily, a grey cat with green eyes. 

“It’s straight Animal Planet in my house 24/7‼️”

Palo and dog get into it

Images, media via Instagram/ Derek Hough

Recently, Palo was in a viral video with her cat daddy, doing what cats do best, sitting on laps. As Hough casually sits there, Palo shows how much he loves Dad, but the song makes it funny.

“Wanna go on a walk?” the lyrics say.

“I have a cat on my lap.” comes the refrain.

Come what may, the answer remains the same.

“Sorry I’m inCatpasitated 🐈” reads the caption.

The ‘There’s a Cat On My Lap’ song has been mega-viral on TikTok after Morgan Morse shared it. You can also see it on his YouTube channel.

Prince Palo Came from the Gutter

Hough found the orange tabby Palo in a gutter several years ago. Since, he has frequently appeared on Instagram doing all sorts of things, like opening doors and flying through the air. You name it.

Palo the orange tabby jumps through the air in a kitchen

“We found this little guy in a gutter exactly 1 year ago. Definitely not a cat person 🐈.”

Palo as a kitten and adult

The couple often refers to the kitty as “Prince Palo” because he “runs the house like it’s his, and acts like we’re lucky to be in his presence,” Hough jokes. The orange kitty is also nicknamed Mr. Palito.

“Mr. Palito will see you now.”

Mr. Palito the cat wears a tie and glasses

Derek Hough Has 2 Rescued Dogs and 2 Rescued Cats

The dancer also shares two rescued dogs with his fiancée, Hayley Erbert, a professional dancer of So You Think You Can Dance? fame. Together, they have been active in helping rescued cats and dogs find homes (and sometimes other critters like ducklings).

“I know the joy, firsthand, that comes with the companionship of a rescue pet,” Hough says. “Picturing an animal sitting in a shelter waiting for a home just breaks my heart…”

He announced their engagement in June, pointing out her way with animals.

“I know she’s just going to be an amazing mother and amazing wife and she’s so thoughtful, so caring, so loving,” Hough said. “Just seeing the way she is with our animals, I mean if she’s even a quarter of the way she is with our animals how she is with our kids I just can’t wait to see her be a mom.”

“Family Photo”

Derek Hough and Hayley Erbert with their two dogs and two cats

Luna, Romi, and Lily

The couple lives in California with Luna (nicknamed Lunatic for her crazy antics) and Romi (nicknamed George Clooney for his grey fur), both German Shepherd/husky mixes. 

Palo and Luna often get up to mischief.

“It can also be…a hat”

Palo the cat sits on dog's head

Meanwhile, their other cat Lily enjoys lounging on the sofa with her belly hanging over and observing the other pets.

“She’ll throw you a cool look over her shoulder like, ‘Hello, darling,” Hough said.

Lily the grey cat on carpet

Like most kitties, Palo and Lily have their scrappy moments.

“Honestly the musicality of this is perfect 😂🐈🐈‍⬛”

Could Derek Hough Be…a Cat Person?

Hough sometimes jests that he’s not a cat person, but the evidence does suggest otherwise. Yep, this is a cat dad if ever there was one!

“I’m not a cat person😜But if I was, this picture would make me laugh out loud every time I looked at it and instantly brighten my day😂 #palo

Holding orange cat Palo's cheeks

“Morning face 🐈”

Hough in bed with Palo the cat

And Erbert is definitely a loving cat mom too!

“When your kid is embarrassed of you, but mom and Dad just need to kiss dat face. 🐈”

Hough kisses Palo with Erbert

Derek Hough Loves Big Cats in the Wild

Not only does Derek love his two house cats, but since he was a boy, he has been obsessed with Big Cats, which he shared on Instagram.

“When I was a young boy I was obsessed with Big Cats. My Dad used to collect National Geographic Magazines. I remember going through them all and cutting out images out of all the Big Cats and making collages on my bedroom walls. Sorry Dad:),” he wrote. 

It was a profound moment for him when he locked eyes with a lion in his natural habitat of Tanzania.

“I would gaze at them in absolute awe. Having the opportunity to see these majestic beasts up close, and I mean up close and personal, in the Wild was a dream come true. There was a few times when a lion would make direct eye contact with me, and I honestly felt like he saw my soul.” 

You can see more on his Instagram. 

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