'Below Deck' Season 11 Stew Cat Baugh Was Subjected to Strict Religious Beliefs by Foster Family

Cat Baugh says the foster family that cared for her as a teen made her follow their extreme religious beliefs.

Kelly Corbett - Author

Feb. 20 2024, Published 1:04 p.m. ET

cat baugh
Source: Bravo

Season 11 of Below Deck introduces eight newcomers aboard the St. David, including stewardess Cat Baugh. It's clear from the start of the season that Cat isn't the most adept stewardess, and the pressure of the job has been eating at her. And to make matters worse, she's been clashing with fellow stew Barbie Pascal.

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As the season progresses we learn that Cat has some deep-seated trauma after unexpectedly losing both her parents at a young age and then being coerced into following a "cult"-like religion as a teen by her foster family. Ultimately, these experiences have impacted her ability to excel and feel secure on board.

Below, we discuss Cat's troubled upbringing and religious past.

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What is Cat Baugh's religion? Her foster family made her succumb to their religious beliefs.

Cat opens up to chief stew Fraser Olender during an episode about how she was very religious as a teenager, but it wasn't by choice. She also notes that Baugh isn't actually her real last name.

“I was in foster care. My dad passed away when I was nine from Multiple sclerosis. And then my mom passed away when I was 13 just in her sleep. It was very sudden and no [they don’t know what it was],” she explained. “So me and my brother were thrown into the system and separated.”

According to Cat, she was cared for by a controlling group of people, adding, “The family I lived with I don’t talk to because they were like a cult religion.” In fact, they didn't even let her stay in touch with her brother.

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They wouldn’t even let me talk to him because he wasn’t religious,” Cat said. “It was that extreme of a religion that they wouldn’t even let me speak to my own biological brother.”

In a confessional, Cat offered more details about her difficult home life. “So I grew up in Orange County, California, with a foster family in a place called Yorba Linda. From 13 to 18, I was a part of this family’s culture and life and dynamic," she explained.

Cat Baugh
Source: Instagram / @simplycatmarie

Cat Baugh in 2020 while working aboard another yacht

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However, she didn't feel like her foster family cared about her well-being. “Once I turned 18, I decided to choose my brother and choose my life. I decided to live for me and that’s when I became the most independent. Now me and my brother are so close. He’s like my best friend," she said.

Since removing herself from that situation, it appears she has abandoned those religious beliefs, but it's unclear if she has adopted new ones.

Furthermore, while Cat never shared specific details about her foster's family religion, the area where they lived is home to the evangelical Christian megachurch Friends Church (formerly Yorba Linda Friends Church). Given the church's prominence in the community, it's possible that her foster family were members. However, there is currently no evidence to confirm their affiliation with Friends Church.

She further shared how those experiences have affected her work ethic.

"Just growing up with a lot of trauma, it makes you very insecure about yourself. The foster family I was with did a lot of things that made me feel like I was just not perfect,” she recalled. “You had to be perfect. So how people view my work ethic is very important to me. I don’t want to be viewed as weak. It literally makes me have major anxiety.”

New episodes of Below Deck Season 11 will air on Bravo on Mondays at 9 p.m. ET, or the next day on Peacock.

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