Kurt Zouma's cats have been taken into the care of the RSPCA and the West Ham United player has been fined by his club.

The animal charity confirmed an investigation is underway after worrying footage circulated on social media of the player appearing to hit a cat.

Yesterday, Dagenham & Redbridge FC also condemned its player Yoan Zouma, Kurt's brother, for his alleged involvement in the video.

An RSPCA spokesperson added: "Our priority is and has always been the wellbeing 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."

They added the charity had been dealing with the issue before the video went viral and cannot comment further during the investigation.

Essex Police confirmed the force had been made aware that this incident "may have taken place in Essex" and is liaising with the RSPCA.

The Metropolitan Police said the incident is "outside of the geographical area which is policed by the Met" and therefore the investigation does not fall within its remit.

Meanwhile, long-time animal rights campaigner Andrew Rosindell said he is "disgusted" after watching the footage.

The Romford MP said: "Cruelty towards animals is totally unacceptable in any shape or form.

"Cats, like all animals, are more than just household pets. They are our friends and family who deserve the same respect as any one of us."

Mr Rosindell said Zouma "should be absolutely ashamed of himself" for bringing himself and West Ham "into disrepute".

"Many young people within my constituency follow the club and look up to its players, and Zouma’s appalling behaviour sends the completely wrong message as a role model," he added.

West Ham said both player and club are "co-operating fully" with the RSPCA's investigation, and Zouma "willingly" handed over the cats to the charity.

"Kurt is extremely remorseful and, like everyone at the club, fully understands the depth of feeling surrounding the incident and the need for action to be taken," a spokesperson said.

They also confirmed that, separate to the RSPCA’s investigation, Zouma has been fined the "maximum amount possible" by the club.

The player immediately accepted the fine, the club said, which will be donated to animal welfare charities.