Mariska Hargitay Says She's 'in Awe' of Her Kitten Named After Taylor Swift: 'She's So Elegant' (Exclusive)

The "Law & Order: SVU" star shares insights into her cat, Karma, who is starting to "cozy up a bit more"

<p>Todd Williamson/NBC via Getty; Mariska Hargitay/Instagram</p> Mariska Hargitay (left) and Hargitay

Todd Williamson/NBC via Getty; Mariska Hargitay/Instagram

Mariska Hargitay (left) and Hargitay's cat, Karma

When it comes to her cat's personality, Mariska Hargitay says her Siamese feline Karma makes the rules.

"I feel like cats make people so insecure," says Hargitay, 60. "My dog Kaia loves me so much and shows it — and the cat makes me work for it."

"It's like, why won't you come into the room when I come home? Why do you walk the other way?" notes Hargitay, who spoke to PEOPLE at a recent event for Purple Leash Project, a campaign working to make domestic violence shelters more pet friendly. "It's almost like she's doing it on purpose. And it's always up to her mood when she feels like coming over and rubbing against my leg or letting me pet her. She makes me needy — it's so funny."

Related: Mariska Hargitay Joins Effort to Make Domestic Violence Shelters Pet-Friendly So Families Can 'Heal Together' (Exclusive)

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Karma joined the family in November 2023, after Hargitay's entire household — husband Peter Hermann and their kids, August, Amaya, and Andrew — all fell in love with the feline. The group named the kitten Karma after Taylor Swift's song from her Midnights album. The pet's name nod to Swift comes almost ten years after the singer-songwriter named her Scottish fold cat Olivia Benson, after Harigaty's beloved Law & Order: SVU character.

Hargitay introduced the cat to her Instagram followers on Nov. 30 with a photo of the Siamese feline lounging on a bed.

"Karma is a Cat @taylorswift Meet Karma. My Cat.🐱 #MeAndKarmaVibeLikeThat #AndIKeepMySideOfMyPawClean #KarmaIsACat," Hargitay wrote in the post's caption, which included references to lyrics from the Taylor Swift song "Karma."

Related: Mariska Hargitay on Her 'Full Circle Cat Moment' with Taylor Swift: 'It Was a No-Brainer' (Exclusive)

While Karma the cat has played hard to get at moments with Hargitay and her family, she is also settling into a life filled with love and attention.

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"She's starting to cozy up in the bed with me and let me pet her and purring more," Hargitay says of how Karma is today. "And just starting to give it up a little more."

"They say that Siamese cats meow loudly, and that's just starting," adds the actress and activist. "It's so fun to hear her presence. She's so slinky and elegant. Just the way she moves always leaves me a little in awe."

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