Carrie Ann Inaba has a very full house 鈥 and a very full plate. As she gears up for the next season of Dancing With the Stars, the veteran ballroom judge is also planning a wedding to fianc茅 Robb Derringer, running her Animal Project Foundation, and caring for her many pets, all of whom are rescues.

鈥淚鈥檝e always had cats,鈥 she tells Brit + Co. 鈥淪ince I was born, we always had at least two cats in the house. I, personally, got my first cat when I was 18 and living in Japan. She was the cutest little calico cat, and I named her Hang Ten. I actually had to sneak her onto the train to get her home, as I hadn鈥檛 thought it through and no pets were allowed on the train. So I put her in my bag and took her all the way home.鈥

Today, Inaba has three dogs and three cats, including Mimi, a special-needs cat; Reb, a formerly feral kitty; and Sophie, a five-month-old Blue Russian found by one of the TV star鈥檚 friends. 鈥淪he brought her to me and I was originally going to take her to a rescue that I knew wanted kittens, but then Reb 鈥 Mr. 鈥業 Don鈥檛 Want to Talk to Too Many People鈥 鈥 got up from the sofa, hugged her, and started kissing and cleaning her,鈥 Inaba recalls. 鈥淪o really Reb adopted Sophie.鈥

Inaba frequently posts pictures of her pets on social media, which recently led her to get involved in Royal Canin鈥檚 campaign for National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day. For every photo that cat owners share of their feline family members with #Cat2VetDay, Royal Canin will donate $5 to the charity Frankie鈥檚 Friends.

鈥淐ats are so magical but they need us to be magical,鈥 Inaba tells us. 鈥淚 know they are stoic, independent creatures, but they need us, as cat owners, to practice preventive care and ensure they are healthy by taking them for annual check-ups and more often if they are sick.鈥

Inaba has a few tips (or, as she calls them, 鈥渃at hacks鈥) for making vet visits a little easier 鈥 including leaving the carrier out so your cats can get used to it; giving them treats on the ride over; and taking advantage of slow times at the clinic.

Between vet visits, of course, Inaba has a full schedule 鈥 especially with the new season of DWTS premiering in less than a month, on September 18. 鈥淚鈥檓 looking forward to seeing what kind of set-up we can do for the dancers. One of the things I love about our show is the fact that the producers are so creative with the choreography and the set-ups,鈥 she tells Brit + Co. 鈥淲hen I choreographed my judge鈥檚 choice dance, we had rain, smoke, sand, trees, all this stuff. I love the production value. So I鈥檓 always excited to see what kind of creativity is going to come out of that show.鈥

The cast hasn鈥檛 been announced yet, but Inaba has a few names in mind. 鈥淚鈥檝e said this before, but my dream contestant is Manny Pacquiao,鈥 she says. 鈥淚鈥檇 also like to see someone like Lindsay Lohan. I think it would be really great for her.鈥

As for the other big date on her calendar? 鈥淭he wedding planning is on, that鈥檚 for sure! It鈥檚 a lot more planning than I ever imagined it would be,鈥 she shares. 鈥淚 mean, I didn鈥檛 realize there were so many things to think about. But Robb is a wonderful partner and he is very much involved. It鈥檚 really a wonderful experience to be doing it together.鈥

(Photos via Michael Simon/ + Frederick M. Brown/Getty)