Airport security 'shocked' to find cat packed in passenger's luggage

23 November 2022, 14:58 | Updated: 23 November 2022, 15:06

Smells the cat got into the luggage
Smells the cat got into the luggage. Picture: TSA

By Kit Heren

Airport security staff were shocked to discover a cat accidentally packed into a passenger's luggage over the weekend.

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Airport security found the feline stowaway in the suitcase of a checked bag at New York's JFK airport on Saturday when it went through an X-ray.

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) said the passenger in question was unaware that the furry traveller, named Smells, was in their luggage, adding that it belonged to someone else in the man's household.

A security officer discovering Smells the cat
A security officer discovering Smells the cat. Picture: TSA

A spokesperson for the TSA said: "A TSA officer was shocked to find an orange cat inside a checked bag at JFK, after it went through the X-ray unit.

"Traveler said the cat belonged to someone else in his household. On the bright side, the cat’s out of the bag and safely back home."

In a picture posted to the TSA's Twitter account, a small tuft of ginger fur is visible poking through the zip of a black suitcase, which had come slightly undone.

"We’re letting the cat out of the bag on a hiss-toric find,”, the agency added.

The cat's fur poking out
The cat's fur poking out. Picture: TSA

“This CATch had our baggage screening officers JFK airport saying, ‘Come on meow’! Feline like you have travel questions reach out to our furiends. They’re available every day, from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (ET).”

The spokesperson went on: "On the bright side, the cat’s out of the bag and safely back home."

The traveller had been visiting the couple who owned Smells, and the cat appears to have climbed into his luggage before they left.

X-ray of Smells the cat in the luggage
X-ray of Smells the cat in the luggage. Picture: TSA

Police reportedly called the couple and asked them if they wanted to press charges, the owners said.

They said no, adding that "our cats really like to check out bags and boxes and apparently one of them climbed into his suitcase."

Smells the cat
Smells the cat. Picture: Supplied

They said: "It was just an accident.”

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The owner's fiance said that Smells had emerged from his ordeal unscathed.

She said: "I was worried he’d be freaked out but he wasn’t even meowing on the way back.

“I went to give him some extra treats and he acted like nothing had happened."