Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl is now in its sixth year, and host Beth Stern has been at the helm since day one. We were lucky enough to attend the taping this year (spoiler alert: get ready for cuteness overload!) and talk to Beth about her involvement in the show, why this year is a little different from years past, and of course her life-long passion of rescuing kittens and cats and finding them furever homes.
How is Kitten Bowl VI different from other Kitten Bowls in the past?
This year we are showcasing adult cats. We’re doing a Cat Bowl the night before as just a little pre-game for the Kitten Bowl and there are always, of course, adult and senior cats on the set so this is the biggest change and my favorite part of this year.
What’s your favorite Kitten Bowl memory?
Oh, wow, I think when we were taping the close a couple years ago, a kitten literally crawled up my back and was on my head and I wanted so badly for that take to make it but I flubbed my line so it was my fault. He was just literally sitting on my head! Lots of scratches on my back but worth it!
When Hallmark Channel first approached you about hosting the Kitten Bowl, did you have any idea it would become such a beloved and impactful tradition?
To be honest, I did! I knew as soon as Hallmark presented to me what they had in mind and I knew that by involving North Shore Animal League America it would be a win-win. I was so excited by the thought of what it could be and now we’re here six years later, so it’s not a surprise. It just feels incredible.
What’s the most fulfilling part of your work with North Shore Animal League?
It’s the amount of lives I’ve been able to help them save and the homes that we’ve found for the animals that come through my home. My husband and I have fostered over 700 cats and kittens in the last five years. And it’s just been my full-time purpose in life and I am so lucky and fortunate that I’m able to do it day-in and day-out — and saving lives is the greatest feeling in the world.
What advice do you have for viewers looking to become more involved with their local animal shelter?
I’d say give it a try because I promise you’ll be so fulfilled. Go to your local shelter, google local shelters, or get into contact with North Shore Animal League America and we’ll direct you to a local shelter. Ask them what are ways you could be involved? Whether it’s becoming a foster parent or coming to help walk the dogs or petting kittens or socializing kittens. There are so many fun things, some hard things, but whatever you can give we will take.
How hard is to give away the kittens that you’ve fostered?
It’s horrible. I cry every time, but I found a solution to that, which took me a little while to figure out which is as soon as I hand off a kitten to their forever home I automatically go and pick up somebody else who needs me. That’s why there’s been over 700 that have been through our home!
How many cats do you have at home?
We have five. They’re the loves of our lives.
Hallmark Channel’s Cat Bowl airs at 10pm ET Saturday February 2, followed by Kitten Bowl VI on Sunday February 3rd at 2pm ET.
Editor’s Note: If you’re interested in adopting, be sure to follow Beth Stern’s Instagram account (@bethostern). It’s a purr-fect place to see all of her foster cats and kittens looking for forever homes. And I should know because that’s where I first spied Clarence, who became my fur baby in January!