Cat found tied up and doused in petrol

A young cat in the US has been rescued after being found doused in gasoline, only narrowly dodging death.

Two Pennsylvania sanitation workers were in the process of crushing down trash from their garbage truck when they heard a faint noise from inside.

Upon investigation they discovered the one-year-old cat, tied up and doused in petrol inside a trash bag.

The workers rushed the cat to the Humane Society of Berks County, who told CBS News it's the most brutal case of animal abuse they'd ever seen.

"She was in shock, very dehydrated, underweight and her temperature was extremely low... [It was] life-threatening," Dr Kimya Davani said.

It's believed the cat, since named 'Miracle Maisy', was inside the trash bag for at least six hours. How she managed to survive breathing in nothing but petrol fumes is unclear.

The rescuers were unable to wash off all the petrol and she had to be shaved.

The Humane Society of Berks County is offering a US$1000 reward to anyone with information that leads to a criminal conviction.

She'll need treatment for a few more weeks but Maisy is now looking for a new, more loving, family - someone who will give her chin rubs and cuddles, not throw her into a bag.