Advice: Dealing with a trapped animal in your car

10th Mar 2022

By Daniel Hitchman

How to release a trapped animal from a car

You may have seen those television programmes that follow animal charities as they rescue animals from various predicaments.

Avid viewers will have seen the episodes where a charity encounters an animal that's managed to get itself wedged within the mechanicals of a car.

Animals have been known to seek refuge in and under cars for a number of reasons; usually for shelter or warmth.

This guide will give you advice on how to deal with a stuck animal, who to contact if those methods don't work, and advice on how to prevent it.

Methods you can try yourself

Cat eating food

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell if the animal is genuinely stuck, or if they're just being awkward.

If it's a domestic pet, such as a cat, then there are a few things we recommend trying yourself first. These methods could apply to situations that involve wildlife, such as squirrels and hedgehogs, but we'd advise caution to avoid injury to either yourself or the animal.

Get some food

Appealing to the stomach of your unwanted passenger is an effective method if they're not physically stuck. This is more likely to work with domestic pets.

Leave a trail of food

Same principle, only this time you'll remove yourself from the area. This is a useful method for wildlife, who aren't accustomed to human interaction, and therefore won't move if you're nearby.

Lend a helping hand (domestic pets)

If the animal appears to be calm and receptive of help, then trying to gently free them is an option. Don't try this on wild animals, however, since there's a high chance they'll panic and injure both themselves and you.

Call the RSPCA or another animal charity

If the methods above haven't worked, then we'd recommend contacting a local animal rescue charity, such as the RSPCA.

These charities will have the correct knowledge and tools to help free a trapped animal, regardless of if it's wild or a household pet.

If they can't free the animal, then they'll have access to the contacts of people or organisations who can help.

How to prevent an animal getting stuck in your car

Man calling for assistance with car bonnet open

On the grand scheme of things, it's unlikely you'll have to contend with a trapped animal in your car.

However, if you live in an urban area with lots of pets in the vicinity, or you reside close to a woodland area, then these prevention tips are worth considering if you think it could be a problem in the future.

Create a shelter

Creating a shelter is an inexpensive alternative for animals seeking refuge from the elements.

There are plenty of websites that sell weatherproof shelters for domestic pets and wild animals, so it's worth doing some research to find the right solution for you.

Make sure your car's protective shields are in place

Modern cars have protective plastics and mouldings that are fitted in both the engine bay and underneath the car. Their primary purpose is to protect key components, but they also do a stellar job of keeping animals out.

It's not uncommon for some older cars to have missing protective plastics, so we'd recommend checking to make sure they're present and fit for purpose. Your local Evans Halshaw dealership can help with this, if required.

Use your garage (if applicable)

If you have the luxury of a garage, then it's worth utilising it for car storage. We especially recommend doing this during the winter months, when animals are more likely to look for warmth and shelter.

As an added bonus, it'll protect your car from the elements, which is never a bad thing.

Evans Halshaw: Here to help

Dealing with a trapped animal in any capacity is never going to be a pleasant experience. We trust that the tips above will prove helpful, whether it's advice or prevention tips you're looking for.

For more helpful articles, and general motoring tips, please head over to our blog section, which is regularly updated with fresh content.