The orange-and-white animal has been named Ni Hao, or Hello in Mandarin, after being found when the container was opened last week, following the two-week, 6,500-mile (10,450-kilometer) trip from Shanghai.
At first he was too weak to stand, but the shorthaired kitten is finally taking its first steps – and officials are now seeking a local cat-lover to adopt him.
“Ni Hao greeted the medical team with his first meows this morning and is attempting to stand,” said Marcia Mayeda, head of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control.
In theory he has to remain in quarantine for 60 days, but he “may be allowed to finish the quarantine period under the care and supervision of a foster family if his health continues to improve,” said Mayeda.
It was not immediately clear how the kitten got into the container.