Kurt Zouma pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act (Pictures: Getty/The Sun)

West Ham defender Kurt Zouma has avoided jail but been banned from keeping animals for five years after pleading guilty to kicking and slapping his pet cat.

The French footballer will also serve 180 hours of community service after disturbing footage showed him attacking a cat earlier in the year.

Zouma’s younger brother Yoan, who filmed the footage, was ordered to carry out 140 hours of community service.

West Ham star Zouma, who was signed from Chelsea in 2021, admitted two offences under the Animal Welfare Act at a hearing at Thames Magistrates’ Court on May 24.

Footage uploaded to Snapchat on February 6 showed Zouma kicking his Bengal cat across his kitchen in front of his seven-year-old son.

Zouma also threw a pair of shoes at his pet cat and slapped its head. In another video he was heard saying: ‘I swear I’ll kill it’.

The footage was filmed by Zouma’s brother Yoan (Picture: Getty)

District Judge Susan Holdham, who described the incident as ‘disgraceful and reprehensible’, took into consideration that the Zouma brothers had no prior offences and pleaded guilty at the earliest possible opportunity.

France international Zouma admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, while Yoan – who plays for Dagenham and Redbridge – admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.

Kurt Zouma apologised for his actions back in February and later agreed for his two Bengal cats to be rehomed by the RSPCA.

West Ham fined the player £250,000 while he was dropped by sportswear firm adidas. He was also omitted from the France national team.

The RSPCA are rehoming Zouma’s two cats (Picture: RSPCA)

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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