Purple-dyed cat used as chew toy rescued in San Jose

A 7-week-old kitten that was dyed purple and may have been used as a chew toy by a larger animal was rescued late last month by a San Jose shelter and will soon be eligible for adoption.

The kitten was found by an anonymous person inside of a cardboard box filled with purple rags and lemon slices on Dec. 28, according to The San Jose Mercury. When he was brought to the shelter, veterinarians found the kitten weighed less than two pounds and had about 20 bite wounds and deep lacerations to his body, according to a Facebook post from the Nine Lives Foundation.

While at the shelter, the purple kitten was nicknamed “Smurf.” He got the nickname because his abuser had seemingly dipped him in a bath of indigo fabric dye, veterinarian Monica Rudiger told The Mercury. After receiving treatment, Smurf has apparently recuperated well and has been spotted playing with other cats.

"Smurf" is set to go up for adoption with a partner kitten when he's healed.

"Smurf" is set to go up for adoption with a partner kitten when he's healed. (Nine Lives Foundation)

“He’s a strong little guy,” Rudiger told The Mercury.

But the kitten’s first several weeks of life appeared to be horrific.

“I’ve seen a lot of animals used as bait for other animals, it looks to me like he was used as a chew toy,” Rudiger said. “He obviously wasn’t killed by the dog or whatever animal it was, but he was pretty badly injured.”

When he’s fully healed, Smurf will go up for adoption with a partner cat, Rudiger told The Mercury.

SMURF update! Today SMURF was playing with his 2 new friends, feeling so much better! Thank you to everyone who has...

Posted by Nine Lives Foundation on Wednesday, December 30, 2015