Adventurous Harry, a 10-year-old ginger rescue cat, stowed away under Tracey Wilson’s car as she made her daily commute to work.
But startled Harry made a dash for it when unwitting Tracey stopped in traffic and clambered into the engine of a car parked on a nearby drive.
Tracey and her daughter Leona, 17, desperately searched for missing Harry around their home with no luck.
It was only when the RSPCA was called to a property four miles away from their home after a motorist found the ginger cat stuck inside their car engine.
Tracey said: “I believe he’d been hiding in my car engine and then fell out while I was sat in traffic that day.
“I am so grateful to the RSPCA’s for their help rescuing him and to the couple who owned the car.”
RSPCA Inspector Natalie Taylor said the owners of the vehicle had become worried after hearing crying from the engine.
She said: “The car had been sat on their drive for a week and the owners said they became concerned when they heard crying from inside. When I arrived I found Harry wedged inside the engine.
“He was trying to push himself out of a very small gap in the wheel arch but was stuck fast.
“I managed to scan him for a microchip and contact his owners who rushed straight down to us to help me free the frightened puss.”
Harry is usually kept indoors so Tracey immediately knew something was wrong when he went missing on March 27 from his home in Great Harwood, Lancs.
She said: “We got Harry in December 2015.
“He’d been found living stray in the KFC car park in Accrington and I took him on. He has always been a house cat and very rarely wants to go out.
“Harry was found in Whalley, which is more than four miles from our home. I drive along this road every day on my way to work.”
Inspector Taylor believes the frightened puss then made a dash for the nearest driveway and clambered inside another car engine where he felt safe - before getting stuck.
She added: “Harry obviously has a taste for car engines having buried himself in two in one day.
“He was lucky we were able to free him and he wasn’t seriously hurt.
“While he had injured a toe and needed some veterinary treatment, I’m pleased he’s now back home where he belongs and is doing well.”
Tracey added: “Harry is improving every day, the swelling has gone down in both feet and he is managing to climb on to the window sill and chairs in the house like he used to do.
“It looks like he will always have a wonky toe though.”