Emma Lothian of Mayfield said Tinker, a 10-week-old tortoiseshell, was nestled in the laundry and wound up going through the hot-water wash cycle before it was found, the Scotsman.com reported.
"I'd been doing some housework and I noticed Tinker wasn't running around as usual," Lothian said. "Then I heard something coming from the washing machine. I had a look and I saw her stuck inside on top of all the clothes."
She extracted Tinker after prying open the door with a wallpaper scraper.
"I wrapped her up in a towel and took her to the vet, but honestly, it didn't look as if she would pull through," she told The Scotsman Saturday.
The vet put Tinker in a heated oxygen chamber.
"Luckily, Tinker had managed to avoid inhaling any of the water, otherwise she would have drowned," veterinarian John Buxton said. "In my 15 years as a vet, this is the first time I have treated a cat that managed to get in to a washing machine."