Donate Sponsor

Tiny kitten found in hand luggage on long-haul flight.

A female kitten called Zara was discovered at Heathrow airport in the hand luggage of a passenger who had flown in from Tel Aviv, Israel.

tabby and white kitten on cat play tower

Zara is being held in quarantine until she is given a clean bill of health


The passenger was in transit on the way to the United States and didn't want to pay the kitten’s quarantine fees so Zara was detained under the Rabies Order 1974.

She is currently being held at a facility in Hampshire to ensure she doesn't pose a threat to other animals and humans. Cats Protection will then find the tabby-and-white kitten a new home once she has received a clean bill of health.

Ross Hayes, Deputy Manager of the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC), said: “The centre was alerted to the arrival of Zara, an illegally imported four-week-old kitten that was found within a passenger’s hand luggage.

white tabby kitten sat on blanket

Zara when she was in the care of the HARC


“The owner didn't hold the animal’s correct paperwork so she was transferred into quarantine. We carried out the necessary health and welfare checks on Zara and I’m sure she will make a wonderful pet when she’s ready to be rehomed.”

Beverley Russell, Cats Protection’s Operations Support Manager, said: “Zara seems to be no worse for wear despite her adventure. She must have been very quiet on the plane as she wasn’t discovered until she arrived at Heathrow."

If you would like to donate some money towards the cost of Zara's quarantine fees, please call 0800 917 2287.

To find cats and kittens looking for home in your area, visit 

Find a Cat
About us