The feline was arrested outside Nueva Esperanza prison, which houses more than 1,700 prisoners, in the Caribbean province of Colon, north of the capital Panama City.
“The animal had a cloth tied around the neck” which contained packets wrapped in white powder, leaves and “plant material”, according to Andres Gutierrez, head of the Panama prison system.
It was probably cocaine, crack and marijuana, according to another official.
This is not the first attempt at creature crime.
Prisoners use food to attract animals to them after the creatures have been loaded with drugs by people outside.
Colon’s drug attorney’s office said on Twitter that it has opened an investigation into the use of animals to smuggle illegal substances in Nueva Esperanza prison.
He has published photographs of the drugs and the cat caught in the act.
Comprometidos con el bienestar de nuestra fauna doméstica, uniformados del Complejo Penitenciario Nueva Esperanza d… https://t.co/xXqzXeIoDu
– Policía Nacional (@ProtegeryServir) 1618610533000
The animal will be taken to a pet adoption center, according to prosecutor Eduardo Rodriguez.
Panama has some 18,000 detainees in 23 prisons, most of them overcrowded.
On previous occasions, authorities have intercepted attempted drug deliveries using carrier pigeons and even drones.