Missing cat found in shipping container after 49 days

Pippa is recovering from her ordeal after spending 49 days in a shipping container and traveling over 1,700 miles. The photo above was taken after she was found. Extraordinary.

Forty-nine days trapped in a container with no water and no food might be a world record for a cat. I have heard of a month before but this is a different league and this is Australia. The container was transported across the interior of Australia. It must have been stiflingly hot in that container.

The picture above is of Pippa before she being trapped and enduring her journey. She definitely looks thinner in the first photo but you would not think she had been through the ordeal.


Pippa went missing from her home in Darwin, Australia and ended up in Brisbane. Pippa became trapped in a neighbour’s container when they moved. The journey commenced on Feb 20th and ended with the container being opened on April 10th.

When the neighbors arrived and opened the container they called Pippa’s owners to say:

“Hi, this is Jason, we’ve found your cat in our container,”

Once opened the container contained some messy signs of a cat in distress: poo, urine, vomit and hair. What made Pippa vomit, I ask myself. Perhaps she tried eating inedible objects. Perhaps it was the heat.

Pippa has recovered. Unsurprisingly she suffered from dehydration and weight loss. Her recovery took place at Animal Welfare League of Old under vet Heday Nakayimato. She is now at a foster home.

The next hurdle is to get her home. It is a 1,700 mile flight and flying is stressful for cats. Pippa’s owner Rebecca is naturally keen to get her back especially as it is around the time of her daughter’s birthday.

Internationally, it is not that uncommon for a cat to be trapped in a removals container. We don’t hear of cats dying in them but it must happen. I guess the moral is that people should be vigilant when moving or when their neighbors are moving. They should keep their cat inside or in one of the rooms. Cats will naturally investigate a container full of household items. It is ideal territory for a cat to explore.

Cats are one of the few species to be able to endure these lengthy periods without food and water under very hot conditions because their wild ancestors lived in very dry conditions.

Source: Missing cat found in shipping container after 49 days | Life With Cats

6 thoughts on “Missing cat found in shipping container after 49 days”

  1. My previous cat “Trixie(1995-2007) went for almost over a month without food just surviving on water. She was suffering from a “VIRUS” and since i was away from home my aged parents didn’t know her ailment.On arriving home i immediately rushed her to the hospital and a single injection restored her back to normalcy over.It took her weeks to gain weight as she was reduced to a skeleton.Sadly i don’t have any photographs of her in that stage of her life.Yes cats can survive for long periods without food but do require water.I have written her life history, a cat that proved the fact “Cat has 9 lives”. :-


    • Thanks Rudolph. I am wondering how Pippa found water. There is only one possibility: condensation inside the container from her breath but that is her liquid being condensed on the walls of the container and it is not new water.

  2. I like how you put the onus of responsibility on all the cat-owner’s neighbors. Never once blaming the cat-owner for letting their cat roam free and getting into and destroying the property of others. That’s exactly why things like this keep happening — and far worse. You are not only encouraging but applauding criminally irresponsible pet-ownership. Nice plan. It’s ALWAYS someone else’s fault, isn’t it. Everyone can blame you for their cats dying and suffering. I most certainly do.

    • I like how you put the onus of responsibility on all the cat-owner’s neighbors.

      I didn’t do that. Where did I say that? Stop skimming the text and read it properly. If you are going to troll, try and do it properly.

  3. What an ordeal to live through! So glad she has a home to go back to.

    I shipped my kitties on a jet, from Hawaii to California in the cargo hold. They actually seemed fine, but that was only a 5 hour flight. I had to move without them, since I had no place to live, and was dependent on finding something after I got here. My son was caring for them, and although after 3 months of not finding a job, and house sitting, he said he had to send them.

    Imagine that I had my kitties with me during the next few months of house-sitting? Of course, I never said that up front. I tried other things, like offering to help at boarding places in exchange. But no one would take me up on it.

    I finally got a job, though I was still house sitting. I was lamenting my situation at work, and my boss offered to take them in! I could hardly believe my ears. She didn’t have any animals, and loved cats, so they spent the next 2 months with her. I visited them weekly to make sure they were o.k. and to re-assure them that I was still around.

    I finally got a flat, and we were all very happy to be united once again. They adjusted pretty well to all those changes of living in different places, and the journey over the ocean.

    At that time, I knew very little about cats, and how I could have made those things easier on them with Bach Flower Remedies or other things to reduce stress. During all my years of ignorance, they were very resilient, and resistant to health issues in spite of crappy, cheap food. But they were “indoor-outdoor” cats, and had access to the live, raw meat of geckos and mice from the macadamia orchards. I think that may have actually helped a lot.


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