This Winter, Watch Out for Cats in Car Engines
As the weather gets colder, we humans tend to move inside where it’s warm. Many of us are lucky enough to enjoy winter comforts like heating, fireplaces, blankets, and warm places to sleep. But for small animals that live outside, such as cats and rodents, finding a cozy place to sleep isn’t as easy. This is why drivers often find cats in car engines looking for a warm place to hide from frigid temperatures. Of course, this behavior can be deadly for the animal. Luckily, there are some things you can do before driving off to check that no critters are hiding under your hood.
Bang on Your Hood
Before you start your engine in the morning, bang on your hood. The noise and movement will wake any animal taking refuge in your engine, and should make them move on before you begin your daily commute. It’s especially important to do this if you live in an area with numerous stray cats or other small mammals.
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Honk Your Horn
Unless your job requires you to leave the house at 5 am, consider honking your horn before starting your car. As with banging on your hood, this will startle any snoozing creature under your hood and cause them to run away, allowing you to start your car guilt-free.
Open and Close Your Hood
Another way to get the attention of a kitty enjoying a cat nap in your engine is to open and close your hood before starting the car. The noise and movement will make the cat think twice about its hiding place and move onto somewhere quieter.
Keep Your Car Inside
Wherever possible, park your car in a garage. Just make sure the garage is well-sealed—if there’s a small gap in the door or a crack in the wall, a rodent or small cat could find its way inside and curl up in your engine. However, keeping your car inside does reduce the risk of napping kitties in your car.
Keep Your Cat Inside
If you’re a cat owner yourself, make sure your cat is indoors when it’s cold outside. If your kitty is out and about when a cold snap hits, he or she will likely try to find refuge somewhere warm. If not your car, your cat might crawl into your neighbor’s engine, and they might not be as likely to check for a critter before starting the car.
- Rod ShelffoContributor
After four years in The Marine Corp, Rod formed a career at Hatfield Buick GMC that has spanned more than 25 years. He is married to Lori, has one daughter, Staci, and two grandkids, Kimberlyn and Kaden. He's an avid golfer and past president and active member of the Redlands Optimist Club.