The key to winter safety is not to turn the key…
When the weather turns frightful, a nice warm place to cuddle up and drift off to sleep is the perfect remedy. For an outdoor cat, that warm spot might just be your car’s engine. In the winter months, it isn’t uncommon for veterinarians to see cats being brought in with extensive burns, degloved tails, or worse. This winter, take precautions to help cats out of this dangerous spot.
Why Do Cats Hide in Car Engines?
Cats and kittens, especially strays, seek out warm shelter in the colder months. When cars are left on the streets, driveways, or even easily accessible garages, cats will gravitate to the warmth. Sitting in between the engine and hood allows them a safe break from the harsh weather. Mother cats will often stow their newborns in this location, as well.
Avoiding an Accident with a Cat in Your Engine
If you are unable to park your car in a garage, try to get in the habit of doing a quick check for unwanted passengers before you start your car. A quick bang on the hood or beep of your horn might be enough to scare the tiny hitchhiker away. Do not start your engine prior to checking!
It’s also recommended to peek under your vehicle and on top of your tires to see if there is anything snuggled up in a spot only safe when stationary. Make sure to give them a minute to scramble out just in case they were in a deep sleep. These quick tricks could quite literally save a life.
How to Remove a Cat Stuck in Your Car Engine
If you come across a cat or kitten hiding out in your engine or wheels, first and foremost try to warn them via the tips above. If they do not scatter, that could mean they are sick or injured, or worse, too young to move themselves to safety.
1. Locate the Cat in the Engine
Using a flashlight, do a visual inspection of the engine to determine the cat’s exact location. Be careful not to startle the animal, as they may be frightened and could try to flee (which would be ok) or (worse) hide further within the engine.
2. Turn Off the Vehicle
Ensure that the vehicle is turned off and put the safety brake on to prevent any accidental movement. This will protect both you and the cat during the removal process.
3. Approach the Cat with Caution
Approach the cat slowly and calmly, keeping a gentle tone while speaking to them. Gently tap or knock on the hood of the car to encourage the cat to move out of the engine. Remember that the cat might be scared, so being patient is essential.
4. Use Protective Gear
Before attempting to remove the cat from the engine, put on a pair of thick gloves to protect your hands from scratches or bites.
5. Create an Escape Path Out of the Engine
Clear any obstacles around the vehicle that might prevent the cat from easily escaping. This will encourage the cat to leave the engine on their own and reduce the risk of injury.
6. Employ the Assistance of a Companion
If available, have a friend or family member present to assist in guiding the cat out of the engine and keep an extra pair of eyes focused on their movements.
7. Gently Coax the Cat Out
If shooing the cat out of the engine isn’t work, try using a piece of cloth or a blanket, gently try to encourage the cat to move out of the engine. Slowly drape the cloth over the cat and lift them out of the engine if possible.
8. Contact a Professional if Needed
If the cat remains stuck or becomes distressed during the removal process, contact your local animal control agency or a professional rescue group to safely remove the cat from the engine. They’re most adept in handling these kinds of emergencies.
9. Check the Cat for Injuries
Once the cat has been successfully removed, check for any visible injuries or signs of distress. As long as you didn’t start the engine, it’s unlikely the cat received any injuries from the engine itself. But if it was in there when it started, even if the cat appears to be unharmed, consider taking them to a veterinarian for a thorough examination.
10. Reunite with Owner or Seek New Home
If the cat is a stray, contact local animal shelters or rescue organizations to see if they can help find a home for the feline. If the cat has a collar or microchip, use this information to contact the owner and reunite them with their pet. If not, call around to see if any facility has space for a potential rehab-kitten.
Remember that your care and patience could potentially save a cat’s life in these situations. Taking the necessary precautions and following this guide on how to remove a cat from your car engine can ensure the safety of both you and the animal.
One way to prevent these incidents from happening is to keep cats indoors or well-supervised when outside. Indoor cats tend to be safer and have fewer risks of getting into accidents. However, if your cat enjoys outdoor time, providing safe alternatives for outdoor access can help prevent them from seeking shelter in dangerous places like car engines.
The Story of One Poor Kitty that Got Caught in a Car Engine
If your indoor kitty gets outside and you’re unable to find them, the first place to check is under the hood of your car Fletcher, a domestic shorthair cat, fell out of the window to his house and his pet parent was unable to locate him for a whole day. Sadly, when he was finally found he had barely escaped their neighbor’s fan belt. He had a big cut across his lower belly, and a broken tibia and fibula. Fletcher’s misadventure cost his mom over $5,000. Thankfully, Embrace reimbursed almost $4,000.
Protect Your Furry Friend with Cat Insurance, Even from Unexpected Engine Adventures
Accidents can happen at any time, and having the right protection in place is essential to ensure your cat’s well-being, even in unexpected situations like getting caught in a car engine! Embrace Pet Insurance offers comprehensive cat insurance coverage, tailored to meet the unique needs of your feline friend. Our team of pet lovers and insurance experts is dedicated to supporting you in navigating the complexities of pet healthcare. Invest in a lifetime of love, protection, and care for your cat by choosing a customizable plan that offers essential coverage, swift reimbursements, and reliable support. Don’t wait for your cat’s next engine escapade – contact us today and explore the benefits of Embrace Pet Insurance tailored to your needs!
If you’re looking for a safer alternative to loaning your warm engine, check out some of these cheap DIY outdoor cat homes! It could be the difference between life and death. Creating a warm and inviting shelter can provide outdoor cats with a safer place to seek refuge from the cold, reducing the chances of them ending up in your engine’s compartment.