The RSPCA is searching for the owner of a cat which is thought to have travelled more than 250 miles trapped inside a car engine. The furry stowaway, who has been nicknamed Phileas Mogg, was rescued by the RSPCA and an AA patrol after pitiful mewing was heard from under the bonnet.

The driver suspects Phileas may have been trapped under the bonnet for four days and travelled more than 250 miles through two countries, along two motorways and even through a car wash.

Luckily the cat survived his epic journey with just minor burns to his paws and the RSPCA is looking to track down his owner.

Inspector Simon Coombs said: “He was lucky to escape with some burns to his paws but it could have been far, far worse. I would certainly say if cats really had nine lives he’s lost one of them.

“His owners must be worried sick about him and we’d love to reunited them with Phileas. If anyone recognises him please get in touch.”

The driver of the car, Colin Woodward who lives in Warmington, near Crewe, heard a cat meowing from under his Audi A4 on Wednesday evening (Nov 11) and thought it was a shy feral cat which he feeds.

Before driving he checked under the car and in the engine using a torch but because the mewing had stopped he presumed the cat had gone.

Three days later, on Friday night (Nov 13) Mr Woodward, a retired farmer, was parked up at his friend’s house in Easton-in-Gordano, near Bristol, when he heard the mewing again and found the cat in the engine compartment.

He said: “We followed the noise and found him, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was between the front wheel and the headlight, I have no idea how he got in there.

“I felt so sorry for him. I have been driving all over the place since Wednesday, I had no idea he was in there, I’m just relieved he survived. I left the bonnet open overnight to see if he would come out but when he didn’t I called the RSPCA and the AA for help.

“He’s a lovely cat, I do hope he finds his owners. He will certainly have a tale to tell them about his adventure.”

AA patrol Mark Nolan, took the front wheel off and removed the undertray of the car so inspector Coombs could reach in and rescue the stowaway.

Mr Nolan from Bristol said: “The poor thing was well and truly stuck around some pipework for the intercooler and air-conditioning, so I had to remove the wheel arch to free him. It’s the third moggy I’ve rescued – they’re attracted to the warmth of an engine bay but, unfortunately, sometimes get stuck due to the cramped space.

“I really hope the owner can be traced as it was such a big, friendly cat – just happy to be rescued.”

Phileas was taken to RSPCA Bristol Clinic where his burned paws were treated and they checked for a microchip but there wasn’t one.

Since first hearing the meowing and finding Phileas Mr Woodward travelled from his home in Warmingham to nearby Sandbach and Wettenhall, to Bangor-on-Dee racecourse in Wrexham, to Cheltenham racecourse before heading to his friend’s house near Bristol.

Inspector Coombs said: “It looks like Phileas could have travelled about 250 miles, along two motorways, through two countries and even through a car wash before he was found. But it’s also possible he jumped onboard at some point along the way so his owners could come from any of these places.

“He’s a very friendly cat so we’d like to find his owners as soon as possible and get him back home.”

Anyone who thinks they own Phileas can contact the RSPCA appeal line number 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Chief Inspector John Atkinson.