"I opened it like this much and I saw something move and I said, 'Oh my God, there's a something in there,'" Maya told KMPH-TV.
Maya posted a video to Facebook showing the cat trapped in the unusual hiding place.
Maya called the Fresno fire department, but responding firefighters were initially skeptical, she said.
"The fire department came and they said, there's no cat in there, I video recorded it, and they were right here looking and that's when the little kitten had popped its head out and they were like, 'Oh, here it is!'" Maya said.
She said the firefighters were able to pull the cat to safety without disassembling the car. The feline did not appear to be injured.
"I'm just surprised it got out by itself and we didn't have to take my door off," Maya said.