Marcie Moriarty of the SPCA says a woman who bought a used cellphone contacted the agency in April after seeing the disturbing video.
Moriarty says it showed the kitten being abused for 50 minutes.
She says only a man's hands were visible in the video and that the left one had a distinctive tattoo.
The phone was traced and led to the arrest of Jordan Lucas, who was already wanted for breach of probation on unrelated charges.
He faces up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 and could be prohibited from owning animals.