Kitten Recovers from Injury after Seeking Warmth in Car Engine

A kitten has recovered from injuries sustained after seeking warmth from a car engine, and is now available for adoption.

January 14, 2015 | 2 min reading time
A kitten has recovered from injuries sustained after seeking warmth from a car engine, and is now available for adoption. 

In early December, the owners of a car started the engine not knowing a kitten was hiding inside, likely seeking warmth. The car owners then found the kitten that had been injured, and took him to City of St. Louis Animal Care and Control (ACC). The kitten’s tail required amputation, and a portion of his ear was removed. 

“We try to raise awareness for keeping animals safe in cold weather, and watching out for critters that crawl into car engines seeking warmth is an important part of that message,” said Dr. Frei, ACC Veterinarian. “The people who found this kitten did a wonderful thing in seeking medical care for him. I know people don’t normally think to check under car hoods, but this kitten’s experience shows that it does happen.” 

Now named “Cubby,” the kitten spent some additional time recovering at the ACC shelter before being transferred to Tenth Life Cat Rescue, an animal rescue group that focuses on finding forever homes for cats with special needs. 

"When Cubby came to his foster home he had a scabby, ragged ear and a healing incision where his tail used to be. He was also quite fearful, and cowered in the corner of his kennel most of the time,” said Cubby’s foster mom. "After only about a month, his injuries have healed, and he is very much like a normal kitten. He runs and plays with the other cats, and then climbs up on your lap to rest, purring the entire time. He is very sweet, and nearly ready to make someone a wonderful pet!" 

Since January of 2009, Tenth Life Cat Rescue has cared for more than 750 cats and kittens, many of which suffered injuries or have ongoing medical conditions that make it difficult for other organizations to manage their care. Tenth Life works to dispel myths and fear surrounding special needs in cats and has successfully placed nearly 600 felines through adoption over the past six years. Cubby was a perfect fit for this organization, given his condition upon admission to ACC. 

ACC reminds citizens that the best way to protect your own cat from similar injuries is to keep owned cats indoors, especially during cold weather. During extreme cold weather, consider checking under the hood before starting your car to chase away any hidden cats or other wildlife. 

Providing alternate shelter for feral or neighborhood cats may also deter cats from seeking warmth from car engines. For citizens who are familiar with Trap, Neuter, and Return (TNR) methods, ACC encourages those citizens to utilize resources for caring for these cats during cold weather. Instructions for building shelters for neighborhood cats can be found at

To report stray cats, residents should contact the Citizens’ Service Bureau at 314-622-4800, or make a service request online.

To find out more about adopting Cubby, or to learn more about Tenth Life, visit their website at or call 314-808-2454. 

Animal Care and Control 

For more information, contact Stacie Zellin at 314-657-1486 or
  • Department:
    Division of Health
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