Why do cats enter a car engine?

This blog post will answer the question, ‘Why do cats enter a car engine?’, and cover topics like how to prevent cats in a car engine, methods to avoid cats in the engine, and what to do in case of a cat in the engine.

Why do cats enter a car engine?

Smaller stray animals like cats can easily get inside the engine. They find the gap between the engine and the hood very suitable for napping and hence conserve their energy. 

Cats have a comparatively higher body temperature than humans and this spot is the ideal one for them to relax and recover.

A very common reason behind cats choosing the engine bay as their resting area is to shelter them from the harsh winter climate. The vehicles that are often left out in garages or vast driveways offer these feline creatures a humble abode on the warm engine bay, thus protecting them from the cold.

It is not only used by any cat just to rest for a while and recover energy, but mother cats often choose this comfortable spot to shelter or nurture their young ones.

How to prevent cats in a car engine?

These are the following ways to prevent cats in a car engine:

  • Performing regular vehicle inspections
  • Honking to double-check for a cat
  • Parking the car at the right location
  • Using cayenne pepper-based substances
  • Deploying dogs to keep cats at bay
  • Not leaving the car unused for a long period of time

Methods to avoid cats in the engine

The following methods can be followed to prevent cats from entering or staying inside the engines for long.

Vehicle inspection

Before starting the vehicle, it is a good idea to perform a quick inspection. This might scare or alert any cats in and around the vehicle.


Blowing the horn might scare cats away. Tapping the hood or fenders can also be a warning sign for them. If they are persistent, keep up the honking or tapping.

Parking at the right location

A vehicle that is parked out in the open sun or a place that receives direct exposure to sunlight will attract more cats as they will try to find shelter from the heat. Therefore, parking in a closed and secure garage or shed might do the trick.

Using cayenne pepper

This popular condiment has a history of keeping stray animals away from vehicles. All we need to do is sprinkle some cayenne pepper around the edges of the vehicle and in a few days, the cats should be gone.

Deploying man’s best friend

Using dogs to sniff out cats is a good idea too. Dogs cannot stand cats at times and act in a hysterical manner upon detecting one. Cats too will try their best to avoid a confrontation with their arch enemy.

Not leaving the vehicle unused for a long time

An unused vehicle is the most suitable kind of environment for any kind of animal gathering. We must ensure this does not happen as this can pose a threat to both these feline beings and the mechanical components inside the engine.

What to do in case of a cat inside the engine?

The following steps need to be followed in case of a cat is stuck or resting inside the engine:

  • The first step needs to include warning the animal by walking around the car or by honking or tapping parts of the car.
  • Wear rubber gloves and open the hood to either warn them away or make a gentle attempt to retrieve them without scaring them or making them hostile.
  • If the situation is difficult for you to take action on, it is advisable to call the animal control unit or related emergency services.
  • Luring the critter away with either placing cat food like tuna or milk in a bowl. They might scramble towards that just at the scent of it.
  • Catnips are a good idea and can either be placed in front of them or used to form a trail leading outside the engine.
  • They can also be retrieved using a towel and a box, open the hood, and make a quick nab at them to grab them and place them in the box, they will either escape or get retrieved by their mother.

Research shows the steps to be followed in case of a cat getting inside the engine bay, involving the use of cat food and some heating pads to lure it out.


This blog post addressed the question, ‘Why do cats enter a car engine?’.

We came across various methods to avoid cats in a car engine.

Furthermore, some DIY methods have been suggested to tackle this kind of situation in a proper manner. Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why do cats enter a car engine?

How do you get a cat out of a motor of a car?

Try to lure the cat out with cat food like tuna or milk or other substances that can entice it and make it curious. Try different methods to get it to behave or make it jump out of the engine. Cat toys or any other pet toys can be used to entice them and lure them away from the engine.

Where do cats hide in cars?

Kittens or rather cats are very clever when it comes to taking shelter in warm places. Usually, they can be found near the vehicle exhaust pipes or in some extreme cases, also the engine bay.

Why do cats go under cars?

Cats go under vehicles more in the winter months to shelter themselves from the snow and rain and keep dry. They also choose the engine bay as a shelter especially those with a recently turned-off motor.