Live stowaway cat found in luggage during TSA inspection in New York

In November, Transportation Security Administration agents found a cat packed inside a traveller's suitcase. Twitter / @TSA

Every cat owner knows their pet can get into the darndest places, but one American traveller was especially surprised when they found a furry, orange friend stowed away in their suitcase.

According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), a Florida-bound traveller unknowingly packed a cat into their checked luggage this month. The feline was discovered when TSA agents at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport X-rayed the baggage and spotted the cat-shaped mass.

“We’re letting the cat out of the bag on this hiss-toric find,” the TSA wrote in a pun-filled social media post.

“This CATch had our baggage screening officers at John F. Kennedy International Airport saying, ‘Come on meow!'”

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One image provided by the TSA showed a tuft of orange cat hair sticking out from between the suitcase’s zippers.

In another photo, the TSA X-ray machine detected the cat amid what appear to be various bottles.

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TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein confirmed the find on Twitter and wrote that the orange cat allegedly belonged to another member of the traveller’s household and somehow snuck into the bag.

The cat was in healthy condition and was later returned home unharmed.

Upon discovering the cat, TSA agents paged Delta Airlines to locate the passenger. The traveller claimed they had not intentionally packed the pet in their suitcase. They did, however, miss their flight to Orlando as a result of the stowaway.

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The Washington Post confirmed the traveller was able to rebook their flight for the following day “without the cat!”

Delta, like most airlines in the U.S. and Canada, allows pets to travel with their owners if their pet carrier can fit underneath one of the cabin’s seats. Special exceptions can be made for service animals.

The TSA encouraged anyone travelling through the U.S. with pets to direct questions to @AskTSA on Twitter, which actively responds to submissions daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.

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