A stowaway cat may have survived a 6,200-mile trip in a container after being found in a shipment of bicycles.
The emaciated puss was discovered by workers at Raleigh's bike distribution centre in Nottingham hidden in the metal container which had come from Taiwan.
Experts say the cat may have stayed alive through the six-week journey by licking at condensation on the walls and on the bikes.
Further investigations showed the container came ashore in Southampton - and it is possible the cat sneaked among the bikes at the Hampshire port.
However, because officials think the cat could be from the Far East, it has been placed in quarantine at Heathrow.
There is probably a poor family in Southampton with a lost cat
Helen Briggs, RSPCA spokeswoman
RSPCA spokeswoman Helen Briggs explained what happened when workers at the warehouse in Church Street in the Eastwood area of Nottingham opened the container.
She said: "There was a very thin, upset and frightened cat inside.
"They thought initially it was from Taiwan.
"When we arrived we called trading standards and we discovered the load had docked into Southampton.
"We think it was probably a British cat that got in at Southampton.
"We don't think it would have survived the whole trip from Taiwan.
"There is probably a poor family in Southampton with a lost cat.
"I guess it is a warning to people to get their pets micro-chipped."