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Tiny Kitten Seeks Refuge Under Car’s Hood, Suffers Severe Injuries

Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 1:00pm
ASPCA Vet holds kitten

While winter weather poses many threats to animals, perhaps one of the most serious dangers occurs when cats and other small animals seek warmth from the engines of parked cars. One such unlucky cat was Flapjack, a tiny kitten found on the side of the road in New York City last December. Fortunately, a Good Samaritan spotted Flapjack and brought him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital.

It was clear that Flapjack had been caught in a car’s engine. He was suffering from multiple serious injuries, including a fractured lower jaw, a severe tongue laceration and other wounds.

ASPCA Veterinarian Dr. Maren Krafchik says the hospital staff performed the first of three surgeries on Flapjack that same day, including using wire to repair his jaw and inserting a feeding tube to help him eat.

This brave little kitten is now happy and healthy with his foster parent, an ASPCA veterinary technician. He had his feeding tube removed and can now eat normally, and the swelling he experienced as a result of his injuries has gone down a great deal.

We’re so relieved that Flapjack has recovered, but his story provides a valuable lesson to anyone who drives during the winter months. According to Dr. Krafchik, there are multiple ways to prevent such injuries, including:

  • knocking on the hood of your car
  • honking your car’s horn
  • checking under your car’s hood to ensure that a small animal is not inside.  If you start your car and hear something unusual, turn off your engine immediately.

Keep your pets healthy and safe this winter by checking out our full list of cold weather pet care tips.




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Hroswitha

I'm thrilled for Flapjack. But how about this - if a cat has to take shelter in your car, it has nowhere else to go. If it's a pet, keep it inside. If it's a stray, get information on your local trap/neuter/release program and get the animal fixed, then set up cold weather shelters for it. We have a small colony in back to care for and feed, and they don't stray far from their homes. They'll live longer, be healthier, and less at risk - and they won't continue to breed. We are all responsible for the fates of these animals. It would be nice if we did more than just avoid hurting them, and instead sought ways to help them.

erika

hroswitha
i really agree with what you said! those poor things have no where to go, people need to be more aware that these little guys need their help, and to not just hit them while driving, maybe your awareness will share some light here thanks!

Catherine Nunez

We should all be aware that this might happen during the winter months. Please be careful, always when it pertains to animals.

Amy Miller

Many years ago, I had a cat who decided to take a trip in a truck engine compartment. She was full grown, and neither we nor the driver of the truck, who was just a neighbor, had any clue she was there until she jumped out when he parked a few miles from home. Luckily, he noticed her, called us, and we went out and got her. Otherwise, though she was unharmed, we might never have found her. That was in the summertime, too.

May Flapjack find a forever home and live a long and happy life, free from any more injuries!

Michele

I'm so glad Flapjack will be ok and thanks to all the caring people who made this possible. Last year I drove to Walmart, 5 miles from home. When I got out of the car I heard several meows. I drove to their automotive department and a mechanic found 4 kittens in my engine compartment. They were all ok so he put them in a box and I took them back to my house and they were reunited with their mother.

Michele

I'm so glad Flapjack will be ok and thanks to all the caring people who made this possible. Last year I drove to Walmart, 5 miles from home. When I got out of the car I heard several meows. I drove to their automotive department and a mechanic found 4 kittens in my engine compartment. They were all ok so he put them in a box and I took them back to my house and they were reunited with their mother.

penny

THANK GOD FOR ALL OF YOU!!!THANK YOU FOR TAKING CARE OF THIS ANGEL!!!ALWAYS REMEMBER TO HIT THE HOOD OR TURN THE KEY SLIGHTLY TO MAKE ANY CAT RUN!!!POOR BABY!!!

Ina

I watch the ASPCA on Animal Planet and wish we had one here in Gadsden, Al. Things have improved a lot in the last 40 yrs., but we have a long way to go. Animals are just tossed out and a little food and water given them so that is taking care of them. No matter they are dieing for someone to love them. Their fur is matted and they smell. I want to get every one of them out of their loveless life and let them get adopted be someone that would love them. It will never happen here.
1. People would not support it. 2. Plus they are property, like a stick of furniture.
I wis you were here with full police power and could get some good judges (animal
lovers) to try the cases.

Kris

I am so relieved that this kitten is resilient and on the mend. This can happen anywhere so take heed on making noise like honking the car horn or knocking on the hood of the car. Many years ago, a co-worker and I were leaving work one night from a shopping mall (with no residential homes nearby), she started her car as I was getting in to mine and we both heard a horrible sound from an animal from under her car. She immediately turned the car off and we looked but could not see anything. We could hear the cat, in pain, we just could not see it. It was the night before a holiday and all was quiet around us. We called the Police for assistance and thankfully the Officer who arrived was a cat lover. Once the Officer was able to free the cat we knew that the cat was too gravely injured and so the Officer put the cat out of it's misery. No animal should have to experience that and I have never forgotten. So make noise before starting your car!!

Renee

The same thing happen to our cat Tiger, years ago. Our father was on his way to work, he stopped at a stop light and heard Tiger's cries. Tiger wasn't hurt but we all learned an important lesson that was over thirty years ago. We still check under the car or truck, before starting the engine it is checked which has made us better pet parents and good mechanics, also. Tiger lived to a ripe old age and is buried in his favorite sleeping spot in the backyard.

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