West Ham United have condemned the actions of Kurt Zouma after a video emerged of him kicking his pet cat while the police and the player's sponsor Adidas both said on Tuesday that they are investigating the incident.
The 27-year-old France international has apologised after the video showed him slapping the cat and kicking it across the floor. He is also seen throwing shoes at the animal and chasing it around the room.
"West Ham United unreservedly condemns the actions of our player, Kurt Zouma, in the video that has circulated," the Premier League club said in a statement.
"We have spoken to Kurt and will be dealing with the matter internally, but we would like to make it clear that we in no way condone cruelty towards animals."
Zouma said it was an isolated incident.
"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. This behaviour was an isolated incident that will not happen again."
The video has caused outrage with animal charity the RSPCA saying it could investigate the matter.
"This is a very upsetting video. It's never acceptable to kick, hit or slap an animal, for punishment or otherwise," a spokesperson said.
"We are so grateful to people who report suspected animal suffering to us and we would like to reassure people we will always look into and, if necessary, investigate any complaints made to us about animal welfare."
Essex Police said they were aware of the video circulating on social media.
"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," a spokesperson told Reuters.
Zouma's sponsor Adidas said it was aware of the "deeply upsetting video".
"No animal should be subject to cruel and unwarranted abuse, and we are investigating the incident internally," the sportswear giant said in a statement.