A cat trapped in a cargo crate without food or water has survived a 35-day sea voyage from China to the US.

The owner of a North Carolina shop was amazed to find the animal, weak but still alive, when he took delivery of a consignment of motorcycle helmets, reports the BBC.

It is thought the cat, now named China, chewed its way into a cardboard box which was then loaded into a crate on a ship that left Shanghai on April 3.

A local vet suggested cats coped well with shortages of food and water.

"Usually we say that animals can only survive a few weeks without food and only a few days without water," said Michelle Misavage.


"The theory is that cats have such good kidneys their bodies adjust to the lack of water and somehow they received small amounts of moisture from condensation."

Eric Congdon, owner of Olympia Moto Sports, said he and a colleague called animal services when they discovered the frightened animal.

Another colleague plans to adopt the cat, once it has been vaccinated and quarantined.