What You Don't Know About Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt

You know her famous family (hello, Kennedy heir and The Governator!), but there's a whole lot more to this star than a marquee last name. Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt flew under the radar for much of her childhood, despite living in fame-centric Los Angeles, but she worked hard to carve out her own space in the world when she published her debut book when she was still in college (via USA Today).

Now in her 30s, Schwarzenegger Pratt has settled into the spotlight that comes with New York Times best-selling books and a high-profile marriage to actor Chris Pratt. She continues to grow her following on Instagram, and she debuted a new Instagram Live series called BDA Baby (Before, During & After Baby) in 2021. But who really is the woman behind all the warm grins and glossy photos on social media? We collected some tidbits for you to help answer that very question.

Despite her A-list parents, she had a 'normal and magical childhood'

For Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt being a gal with such famous parents, you might think she knew the glitz and glamour of the red carpet as a child. Though she was born in the spotlight, her parents, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, worked hard to give her and her siblings a normal upbringing. Schwarzenegger Pratt told the "Today" show, "We had a really normal and magical childhood, and we were allowed to kind of be our own people ... and kind of choose to step into whatever form of being public we wanted to when we felt comfortable." 

To make sure she kept a low profile while growing up, Schwarzenegger Pratt chose to not use her famous last name in school. Instead she went by the name "Katherine S." until she was in college, as she shared on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." This kind of privacy inspired the way she and her husband, Chris Pratt, intend to raise their children, hiding their faces on social media, as the author and blogger explained on "Today."

She is a big-time animal activist — she even hosted a dog rescue podcast

Before she became a mom to daughter Lyla, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt was a very proud dog mom. She grew up around animals and loves working with them, though it was her own dog, Maverick, that first introduced her to the rescue world. 

In 2019, she teamed up with Pedigree and hosted a limited series podcast, "The Dog That Changed Me" (via PR Newswire). As host, Schwarzenegger Pratt talked with celebrities like Mandy Moore and Julianne Hough about the life-changing impact dog adoption had on their lives. She didn't have to reach far when it came to finding podcast guests. "I know a lot of people in the animal rescue world that have had really amazing experiences. They all have such amazing stories about all the dogs that have been in their lives, and what a difference they made in their lives, and how much they've taught them about themselves, and also just about life in general," she told People

Even though the podcast has since wrapped, Schwarzenegger Pratt remains deeply engaged in animal activism and currently serves as an ambassador for the ASPCA and Best Friends Animal Society. Her love for animals goes far beyond dogs, too. She surprised hubby Chris Pratt with a pair of piglets for his 40th birthday, as he revealed on Instagram. The Kune-Kune pigs joined a growing menagerie, including sheep, at the family farm the two share on San Juan Island in Washington (via Wide Open Country).

She went to couples therapy before getting married

Before Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt and Chris Pratt walked down the aisle, they made a big investment in their relationship — they went to counseling. During an appearance on the "Meaning Full Living" podcast, the bestselling author described the premarital counseling she and her husband went through before their 2019 wedding, saying (via ET), "It was such an amazing gift in our relationship." She added, "[It] has been such a helpful thing to be able to have in our relationship of having that guidance, talking about things that maybe we wouldn't necessarily have talked about before getting married."

The two were married in a Catholic church which required the couple complete therapy together. But Schwarzenegger Pratt didn't succumb to the potential stigma of couples therapy. Rather than hiding the truth, she stepped forward to candidly celebrate the work she and Pratt put into their partnership. 

Another bonus of the couple's premarital counseling? Improved communication. She told the podcast, "[Communication's] a really big part of our relationship that is super important with everything, and especially with parenthood. It has been important, of course, in these times of COVID because my husband travels for certain parts of his job, so the communicating part of it and just being able to always touch base and be on the same page about things."

She wrote a children's book about her dog Maverick

Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt is no stranger to the publishing world — she has four books under her belt — but one title in particular differs from her usual self-help projects. "Maverick and Me" is a picture book about the power of fostering and rescuing pets, based on her own dog adoption experience (via PETA). Maverick, the author told Be Chewy, was one of seven puppies that she had fostered. But when it came time to find him a forever home, she apparently just knew that he had to stay with her, so she formally adopted him.

Before rescuing Maverick, she wasn't too familiar with how animal rescue worked. Beyond the experience opening up her world (and heart!), Schwarzenegger Pratt shared with E! News how much Maverick has meant to her: "He's made such a huge difference in my life. He's taught me so much about unconditional love and patience. ... He's taught me so much about life in general. And he's been such a great joy in my life." 

Maverick, whom Schwarzenegger Pratt lovingly refers to as a "California blend" (via "Today"), even likes to wear matching pajamas with his mom.

She's part of a blended family that caused quite the scandal

Being a child of divorce is fairly common these days, but the family drama that precipitated the divorce of Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt's parents, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, has a particular celebrity sheen to it. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Schwarzenegger Pratt is the oldest of four. But did you know that in addition to siblings Patrick, Christopher, and Christina, she also has a half-brother, Joseph Baena? 

Joseph is the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the family's former housekeeper, Mildred Baena, as noted by Men's Health. Schwarzenegger reportedly kept Joseph's paternity a secret from his wife and kids for 15 years before the truth came to light. Sounds like a scandal worthy of Shondaland series! 

Since her parents divorced in 2011, Schwarzenegger Pratt has had an unusual relationship with half-brother Joseph (via Page Six). He was not in attendance at her wedding, and though he shared warm wishes for the newlyweds on Instagram, her decision to omit him from a personal post celebrating National Siblings Day seemed to speak volumes (via USA Today). Despite the critics, Schwarzenegger Pratt is careful to make few public comments about her half-brother, though his absence at family gatherings is certainly noticed by the media and fans alike. Still, one thing all the siblings have in common? Love for their dad.

A college course inspired her to write her first book

Now a graduate of the USC Annenberg School, Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt was still a college student studying communications when her first book was published in 2010 (via Newswise). Add that to an already impressive resume! In fact, the writer and blogger credits her professor Alison Trope and a course on the effects of media for getting her thinking about her first title, "Rock What You've Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty." 

Her drive for writing her book, as Schwarzenegger Pratt described it, came from the research she did about societal pressures around women and thinness. In an interview with CNN, she explained, "I wanted to write [the book] really for every young girl who ever has times of being insecure. ... I want them to know they're not alone." She went on to share, "I think there's a huge amount of pressure on young women in general today in America to be really thin and to be beautiful and look like you just walked off a runway every single day of your life." 

Today the body positivity advocate remains committed to educating others about the destructive reality of beauty standards and diet culture.

If you are struggling with an eating disorder, or know someone who is, help is available. Visit the National Eating Disorders Association website or contact NEDA's Live Helpline at 1-800-931-2237. You can also receive 24/7 Crisis Support via text (send NEDA to 741-741).

She loves a good routine and likes to break a sweat in the morning

Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt swears by her morning routine — which includes daily exercise, coffee, and snuggles with her daughter, Lyla (via Verywell Family). In a 2020 interview with Women's Health, she praised her parents, saying, "I grew up with both of my parents being really great examples of [healthy eating]." She explained, "I grew up in the world of health and fitness but it was also about being able to enjoy food and to be active. I try to be somebody who works out and is able to have fun with food." 

So what gets Schwarzenegger Pratt up off the couch? She's a big fan of hiking and tennis, but when she can't get outside, she will often do Pilates or an Obé online class. She also revealed on Instagram that one of her favorite things to do in the summer of 2021 was go on her "gloomy morning walks on the beach" with Lyla. That's one way to make the best of a pandemic. In fact, Schwarzenegger Pratt explained on Instagram in a separate post, "I love having a morning routine, especially lately, when days seem to blend into each other." Girl, we feel you.

She got more comfortable cooking in the kitchen during the pandemic

Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt's a long-time baker — and a confident one at that. Some of her favorite treats are Sweet Laurel Bakery's banana bread (via Us Weekly) and her own family recipe for granola (via the Daily Mail). But during the pandemic, she started dabbling a bit more in the kitchen. 

During an Instagram Live with Grandbaby Cakes founder Jocelyn Delk Adams in July 2020, Schwarzenegger Pratt remarked, "I've been super eager to get more experience in the kitchen since being in quarantine." She added, "I love to bake, but I'm not that great with cooking." Earlier that month, she had told ET that it was a goal of hers to cook more. She explained, "I've always loved baking, but I definitely wanted to learn more in the cooking department. And to learn non-intimidating and simple recipes." 

And for those who follow her baking adventures on Instagram, you might even get treated to a live cameo by a Marvel superhero, aka Schwarzenegger Pratt's husband, Chris Pratt.

Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt is an 'organization freak'

It isn't essential oils or meditation that helps Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt relax, but rather, it's getting organized. "I like everything to look really clean and neat," she told ET in July 2020. "Learning how to organize your own refrigerator and pantry, those are all things that definitely keep me calm in this crazy time; this crazy, unpredictable time." 

Her mother, Maria Shriver, went so far as to describe her daughter as an "organization freak" during a March 2022 guest spot on the "Today" show. Despite having a flair for the neat and tidy, Schwarzenegger Pratt is featured in Season 2 of Netflix's "Get Organized with The Home Edit." On the show, Schwarzenegger Pratt and husband Chris Pratt recruited hosts Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin to redo their garage, hopeful to find designated spots for all their odd items like bows and baseball bats (via People).