Why Neil Patrick Harris ‘May Wait’ to Get a Cat, Even Though the Twins ‘Very Much Want’ One

08/11/2015 at 02:35 PM ET

Neil Patrick Harris Inside the Actor's Studio Exclusive Clip
Larry Busacca/Getty

It seems like every day Neil Patrick Harris takes to Instagram and inspires major #familygoals with photos of his adorable family: husband David Burtka and 4½-year-old twins, daughter Harper and son Gideon.

PEOPLE caught up with the actor — who’s teaming up with Goldstar for its Smarter Summer campaign to keep children active and engaged in the summertime— to talk milestones, his dreams for his own kids (Cirque du Soleil?!) and why they “may wait a few years” to add a cat to the family.

Why did you get involved with Goldstar’s Smarter Summer campaign?

Summer’s tricky. Your kids aren’t in school. They don’t have the same structure and can be prone to run around and create chaos (laughs). So this provides an opportunity to quickly come up with good things for them. I was looking at the site, and you know what I’ve never been which I think would be fun that’s coming is the New York Renaissance Faire. I can see that being a potentially unforgettable memory for them. We’ll go do that. I’ll take a bunch of pictures of them walking around with turkey legs the size of their heads. I’ll Instagram it; don’t worry.

Obviously you’re a little biased, but would you say they’re budding scholars?

They say in the summer if you don’t keep educating them, they can sort of slide back in math skills, reading skills. We have workbooks and things that they do.Each of them excel in their own things unique to each other. So Gideon is very much into the tracing letters right now. He can focus on that for a while, and yet Harper is surprisingly adept at putting together puzzles, which I wouldn’t have thought. She’s much more free spirit, but she’s wicked good at puzzles. It’s uncanny. Granted, they’re 40-piece puzzles with giant pieces. I’m not saying she’s doing 2000-piece puzzles of the same image over and over. But I’m very proud of her.

Do they have a favorite thing to do in the city during the summer?

They’re big into swimming at the moment. They’re big swimmers, which makes me happy, so we’ve been in swimming lessons. And I hope that they will someday be in Cirque du Soleil’s “O.” That’s swimming-based.


A post shared by Neil Patrick Harris (@nph) on

Is there anything you’re dying to take them to?

I want them to see more theater, and it’s difficult to get kids to go to the theater just because their attention span… Our kids very much want a cat, so I think they’d really like to see the Moscow Cats Theatre: like, cats on a tightrope.

Adding a cat to the family anytime soon then?

We went and visited Beth [Ostrosky] Stern, Howard’s wife, at their house. She has a great charity that she spearheads called the North Shore Animal League. She has been rescuing and rehabilitating cats off to families for a while, has done an incredible job with it. Our kids very much want a cat, and we visited. I think they’re too young. Harper thinks they’re stuffed animals, and Gideon wants to throw things at them. I think to have cat comes responsibility. We may wait a few years before that, but I love cats. We’ve always had a cat in our family. I grew up with a cat. “Two dogs and a Cat” sounds like hilarious family entertainment and also the name of a potential sitcom.

—Jeff Nelson

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Showing 15 comments

lilly pond on

Cute kids………weirdo father’s!!!!

life goes on on

Come on, get them a kitten, so the twins can grow up with it. I was raised and had cats my whole childhood. It is good for kids to love a pet, it makes them kinder.

Anonymous on

These guys are not “weird” and only trying to raise good and well-adjusted
children in an unkind world, like some people posting on this site…
Keep up the great work, Dads, and teach respect and compassion to your
little boy and girl, whom can then go make a difference on this earth:)

Kestrel on

NPH is one of the best all-around talents we have right now. He can act, sing, dance, do comedy, improv – there’s nothing he isn’t good at. Those kids are so sweet and it’s awesome that he and David live in a time when they can have their careers, kids and a great marriage. Our grandchildren will be mystified why such families weren’t allowed to exist because of a few bigots who scream about the sanctity of marriage while the stats show more than half end in divorce and 3/4 of spouses cheat. They don’t want gay couples showing them how love looks.
Cheers, Neil and Family. Much love.

Catherine on

I love, love this family. David and Neil are a great couple and their kids are adorable. I think Harper will end up in show business, she seems like a ham already.

Debbe on

Neil and David, you must be doing something right because those are the happiest looking kids I have ever seen. (Besides mine when he was little.)

Debbe on

lilly pond….please do not procreate. Just please.

Trish on

What a fine looking family. Kids are so cute!

Lilly Pond, you are so narrowminded. I pity you.

Guest on

Adorable family

gracie on

I have taught kindergarten and these kids seem very typical for kids their age. Tracing letters is a rote activity…I would rather know Gideon is actually forming the letters on his own, not just tracing. At thier age, the average child should easily be writing his/her name, have a good sense of book handling skills, know the alphabet both in and out of order, have some sound /symbol association and be able to put together a 25-30 piece puzzle. As for the cat…I would wait until they are older and can understand that the animal is not a toy and feels pain.

ellen on

Another reason to wait on a cat is to teach them they can’t have everything they want exactly when they want it…that’s not how life works and the sooner kids learn the better…

Anonymous on

Adopt a cat from a shelter. My cat just went to heaven and I can tell you that she was the best gift in life I ever had.

Jeanne on

Adopt a cat from a shelter. My cat just went to heaven and I can tell you that she was the best gift in life I ever had.

Sarah on

It’s great that they’re waiting until the kids are actually ready for an animal!

akm on

Please don’t buy, adopt.