She turned up at the Five Sisters Zoo, in West Lothian, to help promote attempts to raise £80,000 for a new secure enclosure for the bears, who have been rescued from a life in the circus.
The actress, who plays Tracy Barlow, toured the facility on Saturday before stopping to sign autographs and pose with fans.
Kate, 34, said: “I’ve been involved with various animal rights campaigns in the past and the story of the bears really moved me, so I decided to get involved and do anything I can to help.
“Animals don’t have a voice so I feel it’s important for people like me to do it for them, because if we don’t then nobody will.
“I feel it is important to give animals the respect they deserve.”
The zoo is currently building a new purpose-built enclosure.