A Barnsley woman cooked her pet kitten in a microwave for five minutes because she thought it had attacked her goldfish.
In what an RSPCA inspector branded an horrific act of cruelty, Laura Cunliffe, 23, put Mowgli - her black and white female cat - in the microwave believing she had attacked her other pet, Barnsley magistrates court heard.
Cunliffe then arranged for the kitten to be buried after she died a slow and painful death.
RSPCA prosecutor Brian Orsborn said Cunliffe had had the four-month-old kitten for a short time when she put it in the microwave oven, which she turned on for five minutes.
Mr Orsborn said: “The kitten was in a distressed state when Miss Cunliffe took it out of the oven. She took the animal to a relative’s home.
“The animal could not get its breath and died about 90 minutes later.
“Miss Cunliffe made arrangements for the body of the kitten to be taken away to be buried. The RSPCA became involved and was able to trace the man who carried out the burial.”
Mr Orsborn added that Cunliffe disclosed what she had done three days later when she was at Barnsley Hospital.
After the hearing, Lynsey Harris, the deputy chief inspector for the RSPCA, said in the 13 years she has been in the job she had never dealt with a case like it before.
She said: “It is a particularly horrendous case because the period of suffering for the kitten would have been awful.
“The kitten was about four-months-old and the exposure to the radiation in the microwave would have cooked the animal’s internal organs and that will have been pretty horrendous.
“It is a horrific case in the fact the death of the cat would have been prolonged and it is unimaginable what it would have gone through, taking some time to die.
“Our main aim is to get her banned from keeping animals so there is no risk of any other animals she may come in to contact with suffering.”
Alan Greaves, defending Cunliffe, said her problems included psychosis and depression, and she had been sectioned under mental health legislation several times.
Cunliffe, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Presiding magistrate Michael Marks said a full range of sentencing options would have to be looked at.
He said: “We need to know much more about you before the court can deal with you.”
Cunliffe was granted unconditional bail. She is due to be sentenced on March 13.