Kitten under the hood

I was listening to the show this morning and have a solution for the kitten under the hood for the lady who drives 150 miles rt to work each day North of Sacramento.

Open a can of very stinky tunafish - NOT cat food. And open it right there by the car so they hear it being opened, and lure them away from the car with it. Hopefully this won’t be a regular occurrence, but maybe if you did this every morning and got them away from the car, they would go to the spot where the tuna (eventually switching to cat food) is served! Meow!

(I learned to do this luring my cat out of a cistern under a house I was living in at one time)

If the cats are nesting under the hood in order to keep warm, no amount of tuna or other food is going to convince them to stop seeking the warmth of the engine compartment.

What you suggest was fine for one instance of luring a cat from the cistern, but I really can’t envision anyone doing this EVERY DAY prior to going to work. By the time that the caller goes back into the house to wash the “very stinky tunafish” residue from her hands, the cat(s) would likely be back under the hood.

Years ago a customer came in on a cold evening saying he started his car, heard a loud noise, and then his battery light came on. We opened the hood to take a look and there was fur, blood, and guts spread all over his engine compartment.

That is really not that unusual. In the colder months, cats frequently seek the warmth of engine compartments. And, that is why the OP’s suggestion really does not make sense to me.

I had a cat that kept getting under the hood of the car, so I put a set of socket wrenches and a box of spark plugs on the engine and told the cat to get to work if he was going to be under the hood. He never got under the hood again. (I couldn’t rssist this one).

I did find a kitten in our garage one evening 12 years ago that must have come in under the hood of the car. We have an attached garage and the door is always closed except when we run the car in or out. I managed to capture the kitten, and we fed the kitten, who was really starved. I placed an ad in the lost and found of the newspaper and canvassed the neighborhood with no response. The cat became a part of our family and is still with us.

Make sachets out of cut-up stockings and something called “Shake-Away Domestic Cat Repellent” (find it on the Internet), then tuck them away in convenient spots around the inside of the engine compartment. This product, which is scented with predator urine, does not give off an offensive odor but is very effective at scaring off most cats. The manufacturer even sells a “Stocking Ball Kit” that contains pre-cut stockings, measuring spoon, plastic gloves and instructions for making the sachet packets.

Keep wipes in the car to clean your hands! Cats always are alert to cat food or tuna fish as long as they smell it!

…and then throw the smelly wipes in the car?
No thanks.
I prefer to wash my hands with soap and water.

At my ranch we have pack rats that try to nest under the hoods of vehicles in the yard. We have found that they like the tight space, and warmth of the engine. The only solution that we have found is to open the hood and leave it up when we are not using the vehicle. It works most of the time, but now the cars in the drive look like there is always something wrong with them. At the same time it sure beats digging out twigs and leaves from all over the engine compartment.

I wonder if it would work to put a speaker under the hood that goes “chirp!” loudly. When getting going in the morning turn on the noise maker a minute before starting the engine. Theory is once the car is vibrating the cat will “freeze” but if it is only noise they might just run away, especially if the engine is now cold (except for what the cat is keeping warm).

Don’t think that just because you have ‘Farm Cats’ that these animals are anything like healthy or happy.

The problem is not simply that you have a kitten under the hood. The problem is that you have an unmanaged colony of Feral cats.

Most of those cute little kittens are going to die from disease, exposure, or be chewed up by coyotes.

The kittens that survive the first few months will be lucky to live for two years.

Feline leukemia outbreaks can wipe out the entire colony ( ). Death by FeLV is a miserable death.

At the very least you must trap these cats, have them spayed/neutered, and tested for FeLV.

Click and Clack were spot on with the water in a spray bottle, however… I have a particularly stubborn kitten that would simply brace itself for the water spray. The trick… put a little Listerine Mouthwash into the water (I chose a nice scented flavour - so it works as a bit of a freshener too). Now when the cat sees the spray bottle he stops his bad behaviour. This little trick worked for my brother and his dog too.

How many times did you have to spray your brother to get him out of the engine compartment?


A friend of ours trains big cats (lions, tigers, cougars, etc) she would use vinegar in a spray bottle. The cats hate the smell and will stay away from any area where it is sprayed. It also works on dogs too. You can put it in a super soaker or a spray bottle depending on the distance you need to reach. It can be diluted or full strength. I would start off full strength then dilute it once the cats know what its all about. We used this on a neighbors dog to get it to stop barking so much at us worked within 3 minutes. This treatment doesn’t hurt the animals and it smells better than fox urine. Good luck!

A VW bug got towed in with a inop starter. I jacked it up and there was a kitten laying on top of the starter and had knocked the wire off,true story,kitten went to animal control,mangey little critter.

A non-stinky alternative cat deterrent is any kind of citrus. Cats hate it. You could rub a lemon or orange peel on the inside of the car where they like to roost; pet stores may even have spray formulations for keeping cats off furniture. It’ll keep them away, but will be far more pleasant for the driver than fox urine or stinky cans of tuna.

The clatter of those wrenches and spark plugs when they fall is about as good as anything else suggested. My proposal: Cats like mice, but the hate mousetraps. Put a couple of set mouse traps on the engine. When they go off, the cats will scramble. For greater range, tie a small nut to a string to the end of a trap. The best way is to place some chicken wire or hardware cloth over a couple of set mouse traps on top of the engine. When a cat touches the wire anywhere the traps spring and off go the cats.

related note: I came home one day - 3 tiny black kittens under the front facia/bumper area. They have good new homes (we have plenty of cats here…all fixed, I promise!). So - totally related to this one…