A Kamloops, B.C., man has been found guilty of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal for strangling his cat to death with his bare hands, and throwing it into a dumpster last year.

Steven Seidel, 27, was convicted of the Criminal Code offence in court Thursday.

He was also convicted on two charges under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, but they were stayed in light of the Criminal Code conviction.

Seidel faces up to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine, and could receive a lifetime ban on owning animals.

He was arrested last year after an investigation by the B.C. SPCA. Chief enforcement officer Marcie Moriarty said the judge's verdict sends a strong message.

"This was an absolutely unacceptable and quite horrific case of an individual strangling a defenceless cat," Moriarty said.

"More and more the courts are taking these cases of animal cruelty seriously. The Crown is bringing these cases forward, arguing strongly that no behaviour that causes pain or suffering to an animal is acceptable."

Animal rights advocate Leanne Pentney said it was tough sitting through testimony detailing the abuse of the cat named Oreo.

But Pentney said it was worth it to hear the judge's verdict.           

"I was very elated. I felt a bunch of emotions swarm over me, like yes, finally justice. Finally somebody has seen that animals do suffer."

With files from Brady Strachen