Kurt Zouma's cats taken away from him by RSPCA who were investigating West Ham star BEFORE horrific video emerged

THE RSPCA have confirmed they have taken Kurt Zouma's cats away from him and revealed they were investigating the case BEFORE the shocking video circulated on social media.

In truly disturbing scenes, the West Ham defender, 27, was filmed kicking his cat across his kitchen floor, before slapping their face.

The RSPCA have now confirmed they were investigating even before the video was shared on social media, with the cats now in their care.

A spokesperson said: “The two cats are now in RSPCA care.

"Our priority is and has always been the well-being of these cats.

“They’ve been taken for a check-up at a vets and then will remain in our care while the investigation continues.

“We’re grateful to everyone who expressed their concern for these cats.

"We were dealing with this issue before the video went viral online and are leading the investigation.

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“We continue to investigate so we cannot comment further at this time.”

Despite calls for police to take action, Zouma STARTED West Ham's 1-0 win over Watford on Tuesday night.

But the Hammers have now confirmed he has been dropped and fined two weeks' wages – £250,000 in total – for his disturbing actions.

The club said the cash will be donated to animal charities.

In the shocking video, Zouma is seen attacking his pet at his £2million mansion while his brother films him.

Zouma drops the cat and boots it in mid air across the kitchen floor.

The French international then chases the animal around his dining room in front of a child as the cameraman laughs.

Zouma also hurls a pair of designer shoes at the pet — which frantically tries to escape.

In a final clip, he is seen forcefully slapping the cat in the face — and out of the child’s arms.

On Tuesday evening, Essex Police said it was making 'urgent enquiries' into the video – but The Sun understands the force will now be dropping the investigation.

More than 120,000 people signed a petition calling for Zouma to be prosecuted over the footage and banned from keeping animals.

The Change.org petition, started by Matthew Dixon, said: "Professional football player Kurt Zouma was filmed horrendously abusing a defenceless animal.

"He should be prosecuted for his actions."

Mr Dixon wrote: "Thank you to everyone who has signed the petition.

"This 'man' cannot be allowed to get away with abusing this poor cat in this way."

It is understood the clip was filmed at one of Zouma’s properties in the Essex area – but police there are braced to announce today they will no longer be investigating.

An Essex Police spokesman said last night: "We are aware of a video circulating on social media relating to an incident involving a cat which members of our communities may find distressing.

"We have recently been made aware that this incident may have taken place in Essex and we are liaising with the RSPCA and urgent enquiries are ongoing."

On Tuesday night, Watford fans aimed a dig at Zouma after he was fouled during the Premier League clash at the London Stadium.

Hornets fans threw a barrage of insults at the France international as they labelled him a 'w***er' and chanted 'RSPCA' when he was in possession.

After he went down holding his ankle in the box after a collision with Josh King, Zouma was the target of more chants.

Travelling fans sang 'that's how your cat feels!' as the French centre-back lay on the ground.

Gary Lineker later slammed West Ham, tweeting: “Shocked and appalled that West Ham played Zouma last night. A tone deaf decision.”

The club since fined Zouma and vowed to donate the money to charity.

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