Author and columnist Yi Shun Lai shared a photograph on Twitter of the cat being held aloft by a flight attendant on her recent flight in an effort to reunite the creature with its owner.
“On last night’s @JetBlue flight, ONT-JFK: ‘Is anyone missing a CAT. A grey-and-white CAT.’ Yes I woke up for this,” Lai wrote alongside the image.
It quickly transpired that the cat, named Brian, had escaped his carrier during the flight and elected to explore the cabin.
While many North American airlines permit passengers to travel with a cat or small dog in the cabin for an additional fee, they must remain in containers approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) during the flight.
Updating invested followers, Ms Lai then tweeted: “The cat’s owner was found!! It had escaped from its carrier and was roaming the plane.”
The image of the “chonky” cat quickly went viral, attracting over 133,000 likes on the social media platform – including from Brian’s owners, who shared their own update.
“He’s doing great! My partner and I travel with him in a cat-backpack and the bottom flap isn’t very secure. So Brian (pictured) must’ve nudged it open while we were asleep,” owner Alexis said.
“Thank you for all the love, he’s safe and sound but definitely not sorry,” she added in another post.
“Attendant’s not-amused-but-a-little-amused face is everything”, wrote one commenter, while another said: “Retired flight attendant here, my dream flight would have been one full of cats and dogs, no humans.”
It’s not the first time a feline has been found free-roaming on a flight.
In January, a cat was discovered exploring the cabin on a flight between Dallas and San Francisco, before being reunited with its owner.