I have a cat in my heating duct!

topic posted Thu, April 13, 2006 - 9:09 PM by  TomCat
about an hour ago I'm watching my cats watching the return air duct in the dining room when all of a sudden I see a pair of green eyes looking back at me.
And then it says *mew*!!!

I jumped a bit.
Now my weekend plans are shot to hell.
How do I get a cat out of the duct work?
Is it possible to patch the entry point or am I going to have to replace the entire 50' run?
And how do I do that? ?
posted by:
  • A
    offline 0
    Some more info might help:

    Is it one of your cats? If not, do you know who it belongs to?

    "Is it possible to patch the entry point or am I going to have to replace the entire 50' run? "

    Tell us more about this "entry point".

    Is this a house, an apartment ...?
    Is duct a floor duct, for example running thru a crawl space?
    Or is it a vent in wall that runs up inside wall to attic? (cold air return? my furnace is in attic)

    What sort of vent? What is the inside diameter of the ductwork?

    Okay, here is what I would try, but it's so obvious - I'm sure you would already have tried this -- if it were possible.

    I'm hoping the furnace is turned off.
    Place your cats in another room not sharing the same immediate duct. Remove the vent cover from where you saw the cat. I'm thinking the cat is face-to-face mewing, so it won't take much encouragement to have it come out. If it doesn't come out, open a can of cat food (not dry) and try to get the cats attention with it. Then place it a couple feet from the duct . . . well you get the idea.
    If its a scaredy cat, you may have to rig up something to close the opening by pulling a string or something like that (something that won't smash the cat) - so it doesn't run back into vent.
    Once you have the cat out, replace vent grid; locate entry point and cover it.
    • Unsu...
      According to this recent article, cats in ducts is a tricky problem:
      • A
        offline 0
        Trog, interesting drama. Shall we start a pool?
        • Unsu...
          A good idea, but it's too late.

          Extensive coverage in the New York Times of the Cat-In-Duct issue, and how it affects us all as members of the human race. The cat's trappedness is nothing more than a symbol of our own desperate lives.

          • Unsu...


            For those without sign-ups, these excerpts are priceless:

            > In a drizzly rain, crowds of bystanders ebbed and flowed yesterday on this corner near Horatio Street, sometimes pressing against the yellow police caution tape.

            > A psychic stood on the sidewalk, shouting down into the basement where rescuers worked. "I feel the cat in the wall on the lower left-hand side," she shouted. "My image is she is trapped."

            > A second psychic, who did not identify herself to reporters, tried to take her message directly to a City Department of Buildings inspector who appeared to rebuff her. She reacted with anger.

            > Rescuers had tried, to no avail, a pet psychologist, drills, high-tech miniature cameras on cables, cat food and raw fish, as well as oral enticements, presumably including the smacking noises peculiar to cat owners.

            The article says that cats trapped in walls can go three weeks without food. That's pretty amazing, though I understand that some humans have gone without food for 40 days as part of a meditation, and that guy in india went for 6 months before he disappeared.
    • It's a neighborhood cat.
      It's stuck in the cold air return heating duct that runs in the crawlspace under my house. I guess there's a broken screen or a shredded up portion that she hopped through- I'll inspect tonight before it gets dark. maybe she comes and goes- I don't know just yet.
      My 2 cats sit in front of the return vent (a 2.3' grate in the dining room floor) and watch the kitty go up and down the flexible duct work, about 12' in dia.
      It's a house- I own it.
      I can get the cat out no problem. I want to make sure she(it) doesnt get back in again and am wondering if this stuff is repairable or should I just replace it with a new length. Maybe i should just get the freakin cat out, secure the crawlspace and then tear out the duct with something better/upgraded at home despot this weekend. It can't cost that much..........
      • A
        offline 0
        Thanks for more info.

        "Maybe i should just get the freakin cat out, secure the crawlspace and then tear out the duct with something better/upgraded at home despot this weekend."

        Yes to all above.
        Except, before you head off to your local "home despot" , I would inspect duct. Take a tape measure and roll of duct tape with you and maybe some wire. Inspect the duct; patch it if damage is minor; replace if not (take measurement).

        Or, do nothing. If you're not annoyed. If your cats are entertained. If it's okay to leave crawl space access open - you've got yourself a mouser (crawl spaces are favorite haunts for mice).
  • A friend had that flexible duct work in his house and the same thing happened but with his cats. they got into it in the basement. at first they were just kind of nesting on it because it's warm, but then they ripped a hole in it and got inside.

    What you need to figure out is how this cat got close to your ducts. how it's getting under your house.. It wont matter how much you patch it, if it can still get to the ducts then it will just rip a fresh hole.

    Oddly enough, duct tape works great on patching the holes.
    • Unsu...
      At least its better than mice!

      The place I had in TN had flex duct in the crawl space, the mice got in there the first winter (it was a new house that had sat idle for a year) - drove the dogs nuts, mouse air coming out of the floor registers.

      We coxed them out with *special treats* annd making the crawl space warmer than the duct work (which isn't that difficult sine they use heat pumps there not actual furnaces). I taped up all the holes and continued to leave *snacks* out for my potential guests.

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