Thieves around the world are stealing catalytic converter's (cats) right out from under cars on the street!

The external location of the devices and the use of valuable precious metals including platinum, palladium, rhodium, and gold are making cats an easy and lucrative target for thieves.

The problem is especially common among late-model trucks and SUVs, because of their high ground clearance and easily removed bolt-on catalytic converters.

But even if your cat is welded on you're not safe - they are cutting those off too! Portable reciprocating saws are easy to hide and to use, but can often damage other components of the car, such as wiring or fuel lines, and thereby can have dangerous and expensive consequences.

Thefts are wide-spread throughout the U.K. and U.S.A., but have been reported in most other countries too.

How do you keep your cat safe?

There's no fool-proof way, unfortunately. A good car alarm with movement detection is probably your best bet. Alarms which notify you via SMS are likely give you the best chance to catch a thief in the act and hopefully scare them away.

What do you do if your cat gets stolen?

Depending on how "clean" a job the thief does, you may be able to drive the vehicle home - but bearing in mind the above noted potential issues with other damage caused, this may be either impossible, or inadvisable.

If your cat does get stolen it is advisable to replace it ASAP, even if the vehicle does still drive. As well as being illegal (in most countries) to drive without one, your tune will almost certainly be negatively impacted and you could do some damage quite easily.

What is a catalytic converter anyway?

A cat is a device installed in line with the exhaust system on all modern vehicles. It looks like a muffler, and contains some clever chemistry by way of small traces of precious metals which react with impurities passing through the exhaust, rendering them safe to be ejected into the atmosphere.

New Love food? Try foodtribe.