Plymouth and South Hams Cats Protection say that thanks to the quick thinking actions of employees of Severnside Recycling, the young black male cat, nicknamed Black Jack, despite being painfully thin and traumatised, survived his ordeal.
Black Jack was found in the recycling bins at Plymouth University on April 18 and was not microchipped.
Tracy Hughes, welfare officer, said: "Strangely he appeared to have gloss paint on his pads and singed whiskers on one side.
"We cannot stress enough the importance of microchipping pets.
"Thankfully he wasn't trapped during the recent heatwave as he would most probably have died. Hopefully his owner will see this and get in touch."
Call Plymouth and South Hams Cats Protection on 0845 371 2753 or www.plymouth.cts.org.uk or Facebook Plymouth Cats Protection.