The freeing of a cat that had been stuck under the floorboards of its home for more than 24 hours was described as "like giving birth to a baby" by its owner.

Nala, a black and white cat belonging to Flora Couidhou from Abbots Langley, was trapped for 24 hours after it found a hole by the kitchen sink, squeezed its way through and then couldn’t get back out again.

Ms Couidhou said: "Nala managed to find a little hole in the corner of under the sink, managed to squeeze himself through it and the outside of the hole was covered in his fur. We’ve just moved home and he’s not taken it well which is why he’s trying to hide in places.

"I didn’t hear anything from him for 24 hours and it was really worrying. I rang the builder and he said Nala could literally be anywhere under the floorboards in the downstairs of the house. So it’s like, where do you start? It’s a big area.

"I would have expected to hear a cry but there was absolutely nothing. My main concern was that he’d hurt himself getting through the hole and was bleeding or maybe even dying, god forbid."

The 44-year-old called the fire brigade who told her the best thing to do would be to find a plumbing company who would come to their house with an under-floor camera.

She said: "That’s what I did. I got onto Dyno-rod, who were really nice and concerned. Managed to speak to a guy, Tony, who said he’d come round. He actually said I’ve got a job on but this sounds more important."

The plumber managed to locate Nala and the builder was called, who cut a hole in the floor and freed the cat.

Ms Couidhou said: "It was like giving birth to a baby. He was completely trapped and stuck and we had to wedge him out. He was alright after that. I think he got off lightly."

Tony Bodell, an engineer at Dyno-rod who helped free Nala, said: "I was on call and a lady was put through to me who said her cat was stuck under the floorboards and she needed to find someone with a camera. I said yes of course I’ll come and take a look.

"We found the cat but I actually thought it was dead because it wasn’t moving. Luckily though it was just because it was wedged in and when it got out it was very placid and seemed fine."

Once Nala was out of the floorboards she had something to eat and went straight to sleep.

Ms Couidhou added: "The builder and the plumber were absolutely amazing. The amount of care they showed was incredible, they went beyond the call of duty for us and we’re so grateful."