Inmates and staff at HM Prison Haverigg spotted the animal, named Padfoot, walking precariously along razor wire after he got stuck inside the prison perimeter.
Padfoot, who was reluctant to come down, was eventually rescued by RSPCA staff and taken to a vet with minor injuries.
With Christmas just days away, RSPCA inspector Martyn Fletcher took the cat home but luckily his owners caught wind of his antics and they were reunited on Christmas Eve.
Mr Fletcher said: “I have no idea how he managed to get so far inside the prison and so high up the fence.”
He added: “He nearly fell three times but managed to grasp the wire and pull himself to safety.
“The poor cat was very scared and reluctant to be rescued. It took a lot of patience, some ladders and a reach and rescue pole to be able to bring him to safety.
“He’s such a lovely cat, I didn’t want to put him into a cattery over Christmas and New Year so I took him home with me where he could chill out for the festivities but luckily the owners made contact the next day after hearing what had happened from their neighbours.”
Padfoot’s owner, Angela Driver Swales, said the family pet had made a name for himself after his attempted break-in.
She said: “He’d been missing for about four or five days but he’s done this before.
“He will go but he always comes back so it wasn’t until one of our neighbours told us about the rescue that we thought it might be Padfoot.
“He’s now become a bit famous, there have been lots of jokes about him breaking into the prison, as you can imagine.”
Ms Driver Swales said she would be microchipping the cat in case he decides to wander off and get into mischief again.