Country cuties! In addition to crooning successful country tracks, many of the genre’s beloved artists spend their time raising their faithful four-legged companions.
Taylor Swift, whose “I Bet You Think About Me” garnered a coveted Video of the Year nomination at the April 2022 CMT Awards, is the proud cat mom to three felines: Meredith Grey, Olivia Benson and Benjamin Button. (The three cats are named after her favorite TV and movie actors: Ellen Pompeo’s character in Grey’s Anatomy, Mariska Hargitay‘s role in Law & Order: SVU and the title character in Brad Pitt’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.)
“[The] most influential factor in my life is cats. I have cats. I’m obsessed with them,” the “All Too Well” songstress gushed during an April 2019 interview with Time. “They’re just a real joy to live with. And I love my cats so much that when a role came up in a movie called Cats, I just thought, like, ‘I’ve got to do this. Like, this is my calling in life to do this for the ladies.’”
While Swift’s cats make frequent appearances on her social media, they each have their own distinctive personalities.
“[Meredith’s] just a very private little cat. She likes her business kept to herself,” the Pennsylvania native said in an April 2021 Instagram video. “She doesn’t like a camera shoved in her face, and who could blame her?”
Blake Shelton, for his part, frequently incorporates dog imagery into his country songs in honor of his connection with his pooch, Betty.
“Betty’s pretty damn excited about her favorite song comin out tomorrow… can’t ya tell?!!” the Voice judge — who married Gwen Stefani in July 2021 — captioned a September 2017 Instagram post.
Betty is not Shelton’s only furry companion. He also is the doting pet parent to a cat named Dave and even grew up with three pet raccoons.
“We had to drag him into the house at night,” his mother, Dorothy Shelton, told Men’s Journal in July 2013. “He loved all animals: grasshoppers, locusts, lizards, snakes, worms. One time I had a fly swatter and I killed a fly, and he cried.”
Kelsea Ballerini, who married fellow country crooner Morgan Evans in December 2017, frequently dotes on her pup, Dibs.
“It took like two years for Dibs to be like, ‘Well, guess [Morgan is] sticking around?’ But now they’re the best of friends,” the “Peter Pan” singer explained during a November 2019 interview on Hank FM radio. “If Morgan’s on the ground, Dibs will sit on his lap, like, he claims Morgan more than he claims me now. … I wanted them to get along but I still wanted to be his favorite, but I’m not anymore!”
Scroll below to meet the pets of country music’s biggest stars: