This is the moment a cat was found alive 16 days after it was trapped under rubble in the devastating Italian earthquake.

The cat, called Pietro, was hauled from the ruins of a collapsed home in the central Italian town of Amatrice by fire fighters after they heard a faint meow.

It is thought the animal had survived on drops of rainwater ever since the quake on August 24 which claimed nearly 300 lives.

Emergency crews took the severely dehydrated animal to a vet in nearby Rieti with one rescuer saying: "It's really true that cats have nine lives, look at that."


Pietro is not the first animal to have been rescued long after the disaster struck.

Last week, a golden retriever called Romeo was pulled from the rubble, more than nine days after he was given up for dead.

Touching footage filmed by the firemen who saved him shows the shaggy dog being lifted out from under a pile of masonry that is all that remains of his owners' house.

Appearing completely relaxed, Romeo slurps his first drops of water in more than 230 hours from a bottle held by one of the firemen.

Romeo then walks into the arms of its tearful owners who had given up hope of finding him alive.

No human survivors of the quake have been found since the evening of August 24, when four-year-old Giorgia was pulled out alive after being located by another canine hero of the disaster, Leo.