Kurt Zouma's cats are now happy and healthy as RSPCA prepare to re-home them
Kurt Zouma's cats have been pictured happy and healthy as the RSPCA prepare to re-home them following the disgraced footballer admitting to animal cruelty charges.
Newly released images show his former Bengal cats, Bonbon and Cherie, playfully roaming around their temporary homes while the animal rights charity begins the processing of transferring them to new owners.
The Premier League star this week admitted kicking and slapping his pet cat in a viral video which sparked a series of similar animal cruelty attacks, the court heard.
The shocking incident came to light after a woman who had been due to go on a date with Kurt's brother Yoan saw the footage on his Snapchat, prompting her to raise the alarm and cancel her date.
The woman, who was not named, told Yoan Zouma she 'did not want to associate' with anyone who found his brother's actions funny.
The West Ham United defender pleaded guilty to two counts under the Animal Welfare Act when he appeared at Thames Magistrates' Court in east London on Tuesday morning.
Zouma, 27, was forced to apologise after harrowing footage was filmed and shared by his younger brother Yoan, 24, who also admitted one offence during the hearing.
Prosecutors also told the court that the footage sparked a spate of copycat attacks which were filmed and shared online, sparking outrage from campaigners.
The court heard the Premier League defender has since agreed for his two Bengal male cats to be re-homed and they are still in the protection of the RSPCA.
An independent vet, who assessed the cats later and watched the video, said there were 'no remaining signs of injuries' to the cats when he examined them.
In his statement, he added: '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.'
The 27-year-old admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on February 6.
Yoan filmed the incident and admitted one count of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring his older brother to commit an offence.
Defending the West Ham player, Trevor Burke QC said his client had been fined £250,000 by his club and lost a 'substantial' sponsorship deal with Adidas.
He had also not been picked for the French national team, he said.
Mr Burke said: 'A Google search will always reveal the guilty plea and the video.'
District Judge Susan Holdham adjourned proceedings until the sentencing hearing on June 1. Two further charges against the men were dismissed.