When Man Invented the Car He Did the Domestic Cat a Great Disservice

The motor vehicle, invented by humankind in the late 1800s is a hellishly dangerous invention for the domestic cat. There are so many ways that a domestic cat can be hurt by an automobile. A cat can be trapped in the engine compartment or most commonly killed on the road and in the story below, which ends happily, a Siamese-like cat was trapped in the bumper area of a car and was left hanging half in and half out of a grill just above the bumper where air is normally sucked into cool the engine.

This cat must have been in or around the engine compartment and decided to try and get out of it, misjudged the amount of space within the grill and ended up trapped. Meanwhile the owner of the car jumped into it and drove off down the street; horror story begins…..

Fortunately people on the sidewalk (the pavement in the UK) saw the cat and flagged down the car. This all happened near Kaiser in the Mission Gorge area of San Diego, USA.

Cat trapped in grill of car above bumper
Cat trapped in grill of car above bumper
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

You can see from the picture how the cat was trapped. He was extricated by good people and returned to his owner whose name is Caryn Clancy. The cat’s name is Gnocchi. The whole episode was reported by the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services on Facebook on FB.

It is fortunate that he was micro-chipped because it was instantly discovered that he lived next door to the owner of the car in which he was trapped. Apparently he’s an indoor cat but he escaped. He is a well loved cat and Caryn is overjoyed to see that he is back home. Judging by Caryn’s comment she was nervous of being harangued and criticised online for what happened. It would have been unfair if she was.

Here is the embedded story on Facebook:

Cat Survives Harrowing Ride Stuck in the Bumper of a CarWhen a woman got into her car in Santee and drove away, she…

Posted by County of San Diego Department of Animal Services on Friday, February 26, 2016


Immediately after his ordeal Gnocchi acted as if nothing had happened. I am not sure he fully realised the danger he was in. The overriding theme of the comments on Facebook regarding this story is that cars and freeways are dangerous places for cats and that cats should be indoors and/or in an enclosure.

Ashley Miller, a person who commented, wrote that when cats came into being as domestic cats there were no freeways or cars. She says that it isn’t safe for a cat to just wander anymore. The outside has become dangerous for them and if a cat “needs” to go outside the only safe way to do it is to build an outdoor enclosure for him/her or a catio. I totally agree with that. Thank you Ashley.

….And back when animals developed there weren’t these things called “freeways” or “cars”. It isn’t safe for cats to just wander anymore. We have domesticated them and our lives around them have enhanced to the point where it is dangerous. If a cat “needs” to go out as you claim build it an outdoor ENCLOSURE

Christine Sperry wrote: Poor kitty. Curiosity got the best of him. So glad he’s okay and back home. Thank you Caryn Clancy for having him microchip.

Dana Storms writes: Such a wild testimony for having cats chipped! Animals can get out, even with every precaution in place, microchipping and registering that chip is SO important!

Another person commented that she hopes that the experience has taught Gnocchi a lesson not to do it again or at least to steer well clear of the interior areas of cars particularly the engine compartment under the hood (bonnet in the UK).

2 thoughts on “When Man Invented the Car He Did the Domestic Cat a Great Disservice”

  1. Always sad. But, I don’t think that we can blame car manufacturers for creating what may harm a cat.
    There are many, many dangers in our world, most of which are inside our own homes.

    • Agreed we cannot blame car manufacturers for harming the cat but we can blame them for not trying hard enough to stop polluting the planet and to be honest (e.g. the Volkswagen saga). Also humans generally can do more to make the world less dangerous to cats (and people!).


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