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Mandy Moore helps shelter millions (yes, millions) of cats with the help of Purina

With more than 3 million cats entering animal shelters each year, something’s gotta give. And for actress and singer-songwriter Mandy Moore, it’s an issue she takes to heart. From a room full of felines at the MaxFund Animal Shelter in Denver, the sweet star — who has four rescue cats of her own — told us she’s hoping to inspire change by teaming up with Purina Cat Chow.

Partnering with Purina Cat Chow

As part of the “Building Better Lives” program, Moore will be working with Purina Cat Chow to encourage cat people to get out and support their local animal shelters in order to help improve the lives of shelter pets across the country.

“Purina’s donating $275,000 to 50 different animal shelters around the country, one in every state,” she explained. “And what we’re asking people at home who’ve adopted animals — and cats, more specifically — to do is to share their rescue stories on social media, whether it’s Instagram or Twitter or Facebook, with the hashtag #myrescuestory.”

If at least 1,500 stories are shared, emphasized Moore, Purina Cat Chow will then donate an additional $50,000 more to the Petfinder Foundation. It would then be used by the organization to help fund future cat adoption fees at various shelters.

The trouble with being coined a “crazy cat lady”

Moore has a few very personal ties to keep her inspired, admittedly, in her own ever-growing brood of rescue animals — most of which are feline. So, go ahead and call her a crazy cat lady. She doesn’t mind. In fact, she doesn’t think there should be a stigma surrounding “crazy cat” people at all.

“I want to try to change the connotation of crazy cat lady or crazy animal person, because 3.4 million cats go into animals shelters every year that are homeless,” she shared. “If I could, I would have a billion cats running around!”

She doesn’t, naturally — she and her husband, fellow singer-songwriter, Ryan Adams, have four rescue cats and two rescue dogs. They’ve also caught, fixed and tend to three feral cats living in their backyard. So, Moore stresses that there is no magic number that makes someone a crazy cat person… nor should there be. “I think as many as you can responsibly take care of is a good number,” she weighed in.

Her rescue-friendly family

Right now, Moore admits, she feels like she has her hands full with the pets she has — whom, as it turns out, she has a predilection for naming after people.

First came their dogs, Joni (“She’s clearly named after Joni Mitchell… not Joanie loves Chachi,”) and Jackson (“My husband’s from Jacksonville, North Carolina, so I think that’s where that came from,”). Their cats followed suit.

“Theo and Vincent are brothers, so we thought of the van Gogh brothers. And then my husband is a huge Moonlighting fan. That’s his favorite TV show, so we named Maddie and Addison for David Addison from the show. I’m a big proponent of human names for animals, when possible,” she divulged.

Which seems rather fitting, quite frankly, since the couple thinks of their four-legged friends as members of the family. Having both grown up with cats, they knew when they tied the knot that they wanted to add cats to the mix. So, while you may not immediately think of “cat person” when you consider rocker Ryan Adams, he totally is. Just ask his wife.

“Oddly, I feel like he’s more obsessed with the cats,” she revealed, “and the cats are certainly more obsessed with him than they are with me. I feed them, I take them to the vet appointments, I clean the litter box. He’s just, like, the fun parent — he comes in and rolls around on the floor and gets them catnip and pretends to be a cat or a dog or whatever, so the ‘kids’ have fun. I’m the boring parent!”

Boring parent or not, it’s obviously a role Moore relishes.

A new album and an animated series

Of course, animal advocacy isn’t the only gig keeping Moore busy these days. The singer is currently in the thick of preparations for her next album.

“I’m working on music right now, actually,” she exclaimed, “with my husband — we’re writing it together. We’re hoping to get into the studio sometime later this summer to start recording.” Moore will also be making a musical cameo on Adams’ new self-titled album, although she is quick to point out she only lent her voice.

“Oh no, he doesn’t need my help,” she laughed when asked if she’d co-written any of Adams’ tracks. “He gives me help with my music — he doesn’t need any help with his music!”

And interestingly enough, Moore doesn’t just love cats. She plays one, too.

The actress — whose film work includes Christmas in Conway alongside Mary Louise Parker, Because I Said So with Diane Keaton and a beloved turn as Rapunzel in Disney’s Tangled — voices the title character in Disney Junior’s Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, a series about a magic lasso-carrying cartoon cat with a drawl.

Yes, she assures us, it’s just as fun as it sounds.

“I kind of couldn’t pass up the opportunity. They said, ‘She’s sort of like the Annie Oakley of the Wild West, but she’s a cat. And she rides a sparkly horse and sings songs about different moral lessons and stuff.’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, I can’t really say no to that!'” she laughed. ” I get to have this weird Texas twang and sing a bunch of songs. It’s a great job.”

Hollywood Humanitarians

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