RSPCA releases pictures of Kurt Zouma’s cats in care as they search for new home

Zouma and his brother both pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences today

Emily Atkinson
Tuesday 24 May 2022 15:31
Kurt Zouma arrives to Court before admitting kicking and slapping his pet cat

Photographs of disgraced footballer Kurt Zouma’s cats have been released by the RSPCA after videos emerged of him kicking and slapping one of his pets.

The West Ham defender, 27, and his brother Yoan Zouma, 24, who plays for Dagenham and Redbridge, both pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences at Thames Magistrates’ Court today.

Footage showing their brutal treatment of the cats was posted on social media after Yoan sent the clip to a woman he was supposed to be going on a date with. She was shocked by the clip and cancelled their meeting.

Pictures released by the RSPCA after Tuesday’s hearing show the two tabby Bengal felines playing happily with staff at a secret location. The two cats have been signed over to be rehomed.

Yoan Zouma admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.

Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma's brother Yoan Zouma arrives in Thames Magistrates' Court

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

The court was told about disturbing footage of the incident, filmed at Zouma‘s home and posted on Snapchat on 6 February.

It is not clear which cat was seen on the video being attacked and both were taken into the care of the RSPCA, where they are due to be rehomed.

The Premier League star could be seen throwing the Bengal cat across his kitchen, before launching a pair of shoes at it and slapping its head.

The clip also contained laughing, and featured laughing emojis.

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

Premier League footballer Kurt Zouma arrives in Thames Magistrates' Court

He admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on 6 February.

A vet who assessed the cats said there were no remaining signs of injuries to the felines when he examined them.

But the expert added that being hit and kicked would have caused suffering, while being chased would have caused fear or distress.

In his statement, he said: “In my opinion, the force of the kicking into the abdomen of a cat and the slapping of the cat to the head, both of which were with force, as seen in the video recording would have without any doubt in my mind have cause soft tissue trauma, pain and discomfort to the cat [or cats] on the day but any evidence of that soft tissue trauma would be very unlikely to have been found three days later.

“I have no doubt that Kurt Zouma knew or would be expected to know that kicking a cat into its abdomen would cause or was likely to cause pain, discomfort and distress or worse injuries. It is my opinion that there can be no justified reason to treat a cat or cats in this manner.”

In a statement, RSPCA 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.”

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