Inspectors found filthy conditions when they visited well-known Blackpool hotel.
They discovered a toilet brush in the kitchen sink and a cat living in the food preparation area.
The owner of the 100-year-old Moores Hotel on Banks Street admitted five hygiene offences when he appeared before Blackpool Magistrates.
Retired Metropolitan Police officer Iain Ferguson, 59, was fined and ordered to pay court costs totalling £2,546.
Lynda Bennett, prosecuting for Blackpool Council, said inspectors found dirty surfaces in the 18 bedroom hotel.
Shelving and the cooker were dirty and there was water damage to part of the ceiling .
The grill and griddle, hot cupboard and chopping board were also below standard.
A car litter tray containing cat waste was discovered in the kitchen as was old cat food.
The prosecutor said: “The current rating of the hotel is zero – urgent improvements are required.
“You cannot prepare safe food in a dirty environment.”
The court heard Mr Ferguson had operated the hotel for 14 years.
Mr Ferguson told the hearing that his partner has suffered a broken shoulder and all the work had fallen on him.
He said: “I accept things were not up to standard.
“The place can look cluttered at times when we are busy and at that stage I was doing everything myself.”
“The cat does go into the kitchen because it was the only way in or out.
“The leak in the ceiling has been repaired and the shelves have been varinished. Steps have been taken to bring in a new cleaning regime.”
Coun Gillian Campbell, Deputy Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Food businesses that cut corners on hygiene put the public’s health at risk and this is not acceptable.
“Members of the public have a right to expect high standards of cleanliness and that restaurant kitchens are safe to store and serve food.
“Major improvements have been ordered in cleanliness and management of food safety to ensure that guests are not being put at risk by poor food safety practices.
“It is worth reiterating that the majority of eateries and hotels in Blackpool are kept in a safe, hygienic state however it is always worth checking their individual hygiene ratings so that you can make an informed choice about where to eat.”