It's morning time, you're in a rush to get to work and -- surprise! -- there's a kitten in your motor. What? Cats often climb into engines to keep warm, so winters are particularly dangerous. Can't be sure there's a kitten there? Honk your horn before you turn on the engine.
Get under the car and spray any openings with cat deterrent. This is a product you can find at pet stores that smells "objectionable" to cats. Rather than having to climb through it, kittens are more likely to find some other place to sleep.
Cover any openings with plastic or foil. As long as you're under the car anyway, spend some time finding any crawling spaces kitty might use to get into the engine. Found one? Block it using whatever you have at hand. This is an annoying solution if you have to undo the whole thing the next morning, but a good option if you plan on parking your car for a long period of time.
Give kittens an alternative shelter. If they have a better place to sleep in, they probably won't bother with your car at all. A carrier or box lined up with a warm, fluffy towel would help. So would a small bowl of food next to it. If the kittens can get shelter and food in another area -- as far away from the car as possible, chances are they'll stay there.
- Are you dealing with stray kittens? Try to capture them and bring them to a shelter or find them a home. The cold outdoors is no place for a kitten. If this is your own kitten, bring him inside to sleep.
- If you leave your car parked outside, always check the engine before starting your car. Even with all the necessary precautions, you might still find a kitten huddled up in there once in a while.
Tammy Dray has been writing since 1996. She specializes in health, wellness and travel topics and has credits in various publications including Woman's Day, Marie Claire, Adirondack Life and Self. She is also a seasoned independent traveler and a certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. Dray is pursuing a criminal justice degree at Penn Foster College.