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October 30, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Vehicle Engine: A Deadly Place for a Cat

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

The leaves are changing colors, and the air is turning brisk. It is that time of year again! Many outdoor cats will seek shelter in the most dangerous places, like a vehicle engine

Here are some tips to help guide you in making sure outdoor pets are safe:

The warm air from the engine is an enticing place for a cat or kitten to hunker down into unbeknown to the owner of the vehicle.

There are many stories on the internet about a cat traveling with an unsuspecting driver. Upon stepping out of a vehicle, and hearing a faint meow come from the vehicle, it is then realized that an unwanted traveler has hitched a ride. Some of these cats arrive safely without any harm, except for a slightly confused look on their face, as if to say "what just happened?" Sadly, many others are mangled, fall off during the traveling of the vehicle, or lose a limb during the incident.

It is very important to remember that if you park your vehicle outside during the colder months of the year, to check your engine prior to starting it up to see if a little furry feline found it to be their warm place for the time being.

Try these simple steps to see if a cat has indeed climbed into your engine prior to starting your vehicle:

  • Bang on the Hood - this will help prevent you from waking your neighbors, but will definitely wake a slumbering kitty in the engine
  • Honk the Horn - this will startle a sleeping kitty
  • Blow a Whistle near the hood
  • Say "Here Kitty Kitty," some cats will answer back with a meow

After running through these steps, listen for a second to see if you hear a meow or noise from your vehicle. Many cats can become wedged inside of the engine area, and are unable to escape quickly. If you continue to hear the meow, this could mean that the kitty is stuck and is unable to free themselves.

Pop open the hood and take a look around to see if you can find where the furry feline has sought refuge within the engine area. You might be able to assist them in getting out of the engine. If the cat is too scared to make an "appearance" grab a can of tuna, open it, and place it underneath the engine on the street. This should entice the cat to come out.

If you are unable to help the kitty free themselves, you might need to call a mechanic or towing company for assistance.

Hopefully these tips will help you from driving away with a stray, or neighbor's cat caught in this deadly trap.

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