Stowaway cat survives 130 mile journey in car engine

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 January 2020

This cat was found in the engine of a car that had travelled from Birmingham. Picture: Celia Hammond Animal Trust

This cat was found in the engine of a car that had travelled from Birmingham. Picture: Celia Hammond Animal Trust

Celia Hammond Animal Trust

Travelling the country at Christmas is not unusual - but riding more than 130 miles in a car engine certainly is.

That's how this cat risked one of its nine lives by making its way from Birmingham to Shadwell.

Now in the care of the Celia Hammond Animal Trust, the female cat is believed to be a pet - but has not been microchipped, making it much more difficult to track down the owner.

Celia Hammond, who runs the Canning Town clinic, told how she received a frantic call on the evening of Christmas Day.

A driver had pulled up outside a block of flats in Cable Street, where people told him they could hear miaowing coming from underneath the car's bonnet. He opened it and found the tortoiseshell cat, which is believed to be around a year old, in the engine compartment.

Celia said: "She must have been terrified.

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"Fortunately the people outside the flats managed to grab her and rushed her into the nearby flat of one of the residents before she had a chance to bolt."

Once inside, the cat - who was unharmed by the ordeal - was able to calm down before being rescued by Trust staff.

But by that time, the driver had left - meaning the Trust has no information about what part of Birmingham the car was driven from, or whether any stops were made on the journey.

It is thought the cat was looking for somewhere warm when it made its way into the car engine from underneath.

"I don't think people realise if you go under a car you can get into engine components," Celia said.

She described the cat as "sweet and very friendly", with distinctive markings - meaning that anyone who thinks the stowaway feline is theirs will have to supply photographs.

Celia said the team had been checking Midlands-based missing pet pages with no success, but added: "If someone has lost their cat in Birmingham, they have got a bigger chance of getting her back now."

Anyone who recognises the cat or has information is asked to call Celia Hammond Animal Trust's Canning Town branch on 020 7474 8811 or email

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