A man claims that he was attacked by a big cat that reached through an open window and scratched him with its 20 inch claw.

Matthew Wild was at his girlfriend's house in Porthleven on Sunday night when they noticed a creature throwing itself against the window, which was slightly ajar.

He said: "It was very intent on getting in. It was trying to get through the window. I thought it had gone and went to shut the window and it went to get me."

What happened next left Matthew convinced that he had just encountered a savage wild cat.

He said: "It grabbed my hand through the window. I used to work with animals and this thing was like nothing I'd ever seen. It was worse than anything on telly."

Matthew said "if it was standing on the floor it would be reaching about six feet" to get to the open window. 

The Ruan Minor martial arts practitioner said that the cat clawed him and let out a deep growl. Luckily he has "very tough skin" due to a medical condition and was not badly injured.

Unfortunately Matthew did not get a good look at the beast or manage to snap a picture as it was night time, but he is convinced that he encountered a big cat that may still be roaming the area.

"I would say it's a domestic cat crossed with a panther because of its tone, strength and might."

He says that it was a good thing he was there to protect his girlfriend, as if he "hadn't been there and kept it from her it would have eaten her".

But despite this ordeal, which might have been terrifying for some, Matthew is not worried about future attacks.

He said: "I'm not a person who suffers from worry. I have always seen worry as an absolutely futile waste of energy."

As for his girlfriend, Matthew said "she didn't know what to make of it". Although "she was horrified," she did not seem to share Matthew's conviction that it was a big cat.

Likewise, he was frustrated when the authorities did not take him seriously.

He said: "I phoned the police and they weren't interested and threatened to take action against me if I called again."

Even in the face of doubt from others, Matthew remains convinced.

He said: "It growled deeper and louder than anything on Tarzan except the lion. It's definitely a wild cat."