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Home > Cats > How to Keep Cats From Hiding Inside Car Engines (9 Tips & Tricks)

How to Keep Cats From Hiding Inside Car Engines (9 Tips & Tricks)

Cats under car

It’s not uncommon for cats to seek shelter in various places, including your car engine. One of the most common reasons cats hide in car engines is because they consider your engine a safe, warm place to rest. And while there’s no denying that the inside of your vehicle is warm and cozy for cats, it’s quite an unsafe place and could cost the cat its life.

Because of that, it’s crucial to keep felines away from hiding inside your car engine, but how can you do that?

This article will provide you with some of the best ways to keep cats from hiding inside your engine, so check them out below.

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Why Do Cats Hide in Car Engines?

Cats mostly hide in car engines during cold months while seeking a warm, safe shelter. This is especially common in stray cats, who look for cars parked in driveways, streets, and accessible garages.

Sitting hidden in your car engine is an excellent way for a cat to stay away from the cold, which is why many female cats also leave their kittens inside car engines. However, such choices have enormous consequences, and many cats die when hidden in such an unsafe place.

Starting a vehicle with a feline inside could injure or kill it as the cat could get stuck inside the vehicle’s moving parts.

Cat under shade car
Image By: natycabarcos, Pixabay

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How to Keep Cats From Hiding Inside Car Engines

1. Use Your Horn

Car steering
Image By: Tim Meyer, Unsplash

One of the easiest ways to keep cats away from your engine is to use your horn. If you’re planning on using your vehicle, open the hood, sit inside, and honk your horn before you start the engine. The horn is quite loud and should scare a cat off if it’s hidden inside your engine. You could also tap loudly on your hood in an attempt to scare any cats hidden inside.

This method might only partially keep cats away from your vehicle, but it will allow you to ensure there are no cats in your engine when you want to start your car.


2. Keep Your Vehicle Clean

While most cats hide in car engines because they’re warm, many cats will also approach your vehicle if there’s food inside. Many people forget to clean their vehicles, which attracts all kinds of pests, rodents, and even cats.

Because of that, one of the best methods for keeping cats away from your car engine is to keep your vehicle clean. Try to eliminate dirt, debris, and any food particles inside your vehicle, and wash it at least once a month to ensure that it’s always neat.

Of course, cleaning your vehicle doesn’t mean no cats will try to hide in your engine. However, their attempts should be significantly lower when your car is in good shape.


3. Consider Your Parking Location

Car parked infront of home
Image By: Jumpstory

Your parking location is one of the most important things for keeping cats away from your engine. While many people don’t consider this and park at the first available spot they see, your parking location is crucial when you want to prevent felines from hiding in your engine.

Most of the time, cats hide in cars parked outside, regardless of whether it’s parked in the street or your driveway. Because of that, it’s best to park your car in a covered garage or another sheltered spot where the engine will be less accessible to cats.


4. Cayenne Pepper

Although most people use cayenne pepper to spice up their dishes, this spice is also an excellent cat repellent, so you can use it to keep cats away from your car engine. The best way to use cayenne pepper for repelling cats is to sprinkle it around your hood and under the car.

If you still notice cats inside your engine even after using cayenne pepper, simply increase the amount of cayenne pepper around your engine. This method might take some time, but it has a proven record of keeping felines away from your car.


5. Use Mothballs

mothballs naphthalene balls on wooden scoop
Image By: Faizal Ramli, Shutterstock

Cats dislike mothballs‘ aroma, which is why using mothballs is a perfect way to keep them away from your vehicle and its engine. Using mothballs is cheap and efficient, so you should try this cat-repellent method out. However, one thing to mention is that mothballs could be toxic to cats, so you should try this method out as your last resort.


6. Use Sulfur

Another excellent repellent for cats is sulfur which is why you can use it to keep cats away from your engine. As sulfur could damage your car, you shouldn’t sprinkle it inside. Instead, find an empty tin can, and pour some sulfur inside. Sulfur repels cats because of its strong rotten-egg smell, so this method should keep your engine cat-free.


7. Use Herbs as a Repellent

rosemary and lavender herbs
Image By: gate74, Pixabay

If you don’t want to use harsh chemicals or things that are toxic to cats, you could try using natural herbs as a cat repellent. Most cats dislike herbs, especially those with strong scents, so lavender and rosemary are the perfect herbs to keep cats away from your car engine.

You can either use the herbs and sprinkle them under your car or make a spray out of the oils of these herbs and spray it near your engine. These herbs are cheap, which makes them convenient to use, although you’ll need to sprinkle them frequently as the wind can blow them away.


8. Cover Your Car

The easiest way to keep your vehicle safe and cat-free is to invest in a high-quality car cover. A car cover will keep cats away while preventing other pests and rodents from reaching your vehicle.

If your car is covered, no animals will be able to access it, meaning that there will be no cats in your engine. Also, your car will be in better shape as animals won’t be able to climb on it or scratch it.

Although most car covers are expensive, they’re well worth the money, so this is something you should definitely consider, especially if you have a habit of parking your vehicle in the street or the driveway.


9. Practice Prevention

Cat under the car
Image By: ahmedbousri00, Pixabay

Even with our best efforts to keep cats away from our car engines, a cat could stumble across your car and find its way in. Because of that, you should practice prevention and inspect your vehicle before starting it.

Although this may sound tiring, it’s still the best practice to ensure no cats inside your engine.

divider-cat Conclusion

While cats consider your engine as a safe location to hide, the situation is entirely different. Hiding under your hood is extremely dangerous for cats, and as they can’t sense the danger, it’s up to you to keep them away. By using one of the methods from our article, your vehicle should be cat-free, but it’s always helpful to inspect your vehicle before starting the engine.

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Featured Image Credit: Jumpstory

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