Matilda the Bagpuss lookalike cat rescued after being dumped in a bin

Matilda the cat has been nicknamed 'Bagpuss' after being compared to the much-loved cat and children's character from the Adventures of Bagpuss TV series. (SWNS)

A sickly cat that bares a striking resemblance to the beloved TV character ‘Bagpuss’ has been rescued after she was found dumped in a bin by refuse collectors.

The RSPCA believes the elderly Persian cat was deliberately binned, in Croydon, south London, because there was no way she could have got in there on her own.

Binmen discovered her in a large chest-height bin which would have been difficult for her to climb into, outside a block of flats.

Matilda was found to be suffering from several illness when a RSPCA vet looked at her. (SWNS/RSPCA)

She was taken to a nearby RSPCA centre for a check up after the workers failed to track down her owners and contacted the animal charity on Tuesday.

The distinctive cat, which staff have officially called Matilda, was compared to the much-loved saggy cloth cat and children's character from the Adventures of Bagpuss TV series.

Jo Elmes, from RSPCA Putney, said as soon as they saw the cat she reminded everyone of Bagpuss.

All of the RSPCA staff who worked with Matilda compared her to Bagpuss. (SWNS/RSPCA)

She added: “We can’t believe someone thought she was rubbish, she is such a sweet girl.

“She is doing really well here though so if no one comes forward hopefully we can find her a loving new home - although perhaps not with a woodpecker and some mice.”

Animal collection officer Tom Goldsmith they knocked on doors but couldn’t find anyone that recognised the cat and she didn’t have a microchip.

The Bagpuss puppet was used in the 1970s children's TV. (PA)

He said: “I think it’s unlikely she got into the bin herself because of the position and height of it, so sadly this may have been done deliberately.”

As well as showing symptoms of cat flu, RSPCA vets fear poor Matilda may always have problems with her eyes because of her breed.

Persians are bred with extremely short, flat faces, known as brachycephalic, and can suffer health and welfare issues as a result, including breathing.