Scott Parker was accused of hiding the drugs in the bottoms of three cat crates with the animals still inside. The cats were on a flight from OR Tambo International Airport to Heathrow Airport in London.
Britain's National Crime Agency said workers at the Heathrow Animal Reception Centre thought the crates were unusually heavy after the cats were removed.
Officers uncovered a false bottom in the crates and found the hidden heroin.
Parker was arrested and had been charged with importing a class A drug into the country.
Parker, from Benoni, had dual South African and British nationality.
He appeared in the Uxbridge Magistrate's Court, where he was not required to enter a plea. It was unknown when he appeared in court, or when he was arrested.
He had been remanded in custody and was due to appear in the Isleworth Crown Court next Thursday.