A 59-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of abusing his pet cat by forcing it to swim in a bathtub, police in central Japan's Aichi Prefecture said Wednesday.
The unemployed man had posted a photo and a video of the kitten being forced to swim on social media, the police said.
The video showed the kitten swimming for one minute and 29 seconds. Because cats usually do not like water, the act by the man, Masatoshi Hosono, in June last year is considered to constitute a violation of the animal protection law, according to the investigators. They said the man denies his behavior amounted to abuse.
The investigation was launched after a person who saw the man's posts on social media reported them to the Aichi police last October.
An animal welfare group urged police to pursue criminal charges against Hosono the following month.
The man, who was residing in Aichi's capital Nagoya when the suspected abuse occurred, told the investigators he has given the cat to an acquaintance. His current residence is in Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo.