West Ham's Kurt Zouma admits to kicking and slapping his cat

West Ham United's Kurt Zouma lines up ahead of the Premier League match against Watford at London Stadium

West Ham United defender Kurt Zouma has admitted to kicking and slapping his cat at Thames Magistrates’ Court this morning (May 24) - Credit: PA

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has admitted to kicking and slapping his pet cat.

Appearing at Thames Magistrates' Court this morning - May 24 - the 27-year-old defender pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, an offence under the Animal Welfare Act. 

Brother Yoan Zouma stood accused of aiding and abetting his brother, an offence he admitted during today's hearing.

The brothers were released on bail ahead of their sentencing at the same court next week.

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma hides his face as he arrives at Thames Magistrates' Court, London where

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma hides his face as he arrives at Thames Magistrates' Court this morning - Credit: PA

The court was told about disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Kurt's home and posted on Snapchat by his brother on February 6.

A woman who had been messaging 24-year-old Yoan saw the video and raised the alarm.

She was so appalled that she cancelled a date with the Dagenham and Redbridge player, saying: “I don’t think hitting a cat like that is OK – don’t bother coming today.”

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In the footage Kurt could be seen volleying the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before throwing a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.

Prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court the elder brother could be heard saying: “I swear I’ll kill it, I swear I’ll kill it.”

Yoan Zouma, the brother of West Ham defender Kurt Zouma, arrives at Thames Magistrates' Court, Londo

Yoan Zouma arriving at Thames Magistrates' Court this morning - Credit: PA

Ms Stevens said: “Since this footage was put in public domain there has been a spate of people hitting cats and posting it on various social media sites.

“Their behaviour falls short of what is expected of a high-profile image.”

Kurt has since agreed for his two cats - who have been cared for by the RSPCA since the incident - to be rehomed.

The footballing brothers were summonsed to the courts following an investigation by the RSPCA, who confirmed its intention to bring a case against the pair back in March.

While not the charging body, the animal welfare charity detailed the allegations to a magistrates' court who then summonsed the brothers to appear today.

Its chief inspectorate officer Dermot Murphy said: “It’s never acceptable to treat an animal in this way and we were shocked when the video was first brought to our attention.

“What makes this case even more sad is the way the video was filmed and shared, making light of such cruelty.

“We hope this case will serve as a reminder that all animals deserve to be treated with kindness, compassion and respect, and that we will not tolerate cruelty by anybody.”