Footage released by the RSPCA shows the animal attacker seemingly dancing down a road in Ramsgate, Kent, with the black cat at arm’s length in scenes of abuse lasting for more than 30 seconds.
At one point a man, thought to be an accomplice, is struck by the spinning two-year-old cat, whose name is Mowgli.
An RSPCA spokeswoman confirmed that a suspect was being questioned in connection with the incident.
She said: “We can confirm that a 20-year-old man from Ramsgate voluntarily handed himself in to Margate police station and is helping us with inquiries.
“We thank the media and the public for their help in our appeal following this incident involving a cat being swung by his tail.”
Owner Michelle Buchanan, an IT teacher from Ramsgate, said of the incident: “It’s horrific. I can’t believe anyone would do something that cruel. Mowgli is emotional. He’s just distraught. He won’t go out the door.”
Mowgli escaped the attack without injury but Ms Buchanan, who lives alone with her two other cats Missy and Milly, believes the incident has affected him.
“Now he’ll go as far as the door and turn back. He used to be outside constantly.”
Her other pets have been affected by the attack too, she said. “Before this happened, my cats used to sit outside the house on the steps and everybody knew them. Since then none of them do that.”
The RSPCA condemned the incident, which happened on October 29 at 8.30pm. Inspector Caroline Doe said: “This was a very violent, nasty attack on a cat.
“Anyone who witnessed this outside the pub must have been as shocked and appalled as we were. We are hoping that someone will recognise this man and come forward so we can investigate this fully.”
The assault echoes an incident in August last year when bank worker Mary Bale sparked outrage on social networks after she threw a cat into a bin outside its owners’ home in Coventry.