Footballer Kurt Zouma's cats have been taken away from him by the RSPCA following a video that was posted online earlier in the week that showed the footballer kicking and slapping them.

The West Ham United defender was also shown chasing the animal and throwing shoes at it.

His actions have drawn widespread criticism, especially after he was selected to start for West Ham's Premier League match against Watford on Tuesday (February 8).

Daily Telegraph journalist Ben Rumsby reported that the RSPCA had taken the cats into their care.

An RSPCA 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 vet and then will remain in our care while the investigation continues.”

Following the incident being exposed Zouma had put out a statement of apology.

He wrote: “I want to apologise for my actions. There are no excuses for my behaviour, which I sincerely regret.

“I also want to say how deeply sorry I am to anyone who was upset by the video. I would like to assure everyone that our two cats are perfectly fine and healthy.

“They are loved and cherished by our entire family, and this behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again.”