Blue-dyed rescue cat maybe used for dog bait is super-friendly

NEWS AND COMMENT: This is Smurf. The rescue people don’t know why he was dyed blue but they have suggested – and it is a reasonable suggestion – that he was prepared for dog bait. You may know that illegal dog fighting groups sometimes take cats from the street and dye them different colours and then throw them into a fighting dog arena. The participants bet which cat will survive longer and of course the cat is identified by their colour. Clearly the vile people who enjoy dog fighting can’t identify cats by their natural coat.

Smurf a cat dyed blue for an unknown reason
Smurf a cat dyed blue for an unknown reason. Screenshot.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Theo Randall on TikTok posted the video which is below. It’s done very well as you might expect and it is not only because Smurf is blue. It is because he is so beautifully friendly and clearly seeks human interaction whenever possible. Smurf is naturally a ginger tabby cat. When they found Smurf, he was like this but apparently healthy and totally normal.

It is possible that he was dyed blue by his owner. Sometimes people do this. There is a well-known red dog on the Internet (see link below). Their owner said that she wanted her dog to stand out and that the red dye is harmless. I’m not entirely convinced that so-called harmless dyes are actually as harmless as they say when bearing in mind that domestic cats constantly groom themselves. I don’t think it is sensible to put anything on their fur.

RELATED: TikToker dyes her dog bright red for good reasons, she says. Is it safe?

Quite a lot of people who commented on the video thought that Smurf had been dyed blue for dog baiting. Megan Sorbara, the president of the Naples Cat Alliance in Florida speaking to Newsweek said that often times domestic cats are stolen and used in dogfighting rings. She said: “I learned about it…a few years ago. There were two kittens that…had magic marker on them. One was green, the other was purple. That’s where I first learned about it. [Dog fighters] apparently take bet on which kitten is going to die first, or which one is going to live.”

Smurf was found in an area of Florida which is notorious, apparently, for dogfighting, which is why they thought he may have been dyed for this purpose. If he had been stolen for this purpose then he clearly escaped. He had no injuries and apparently has not been abused. They say that the dye was used for landscaping and is not a hair dye. I don’t know which is better or worse! As I understand it, ‘landscape dyes’ are used to dye fabrics.

Research on this matter is difficult but organic dyes are apparently toxic and are a major contaminant of industrial wastewater. I’m surprised that the rescuers did not try and remove the dye but instead made the video which is obviously more interesting if the cat is blue.

Because of Smurf’s sweet character it is unlikely that he was actually used as dog bait but it is unclear. I have a hunch that he was dyed by an owner who just simply fancied trying it out without realising the potential toxicity. I’m surprised in fact that nobody has mentioned that.

Dog baiting groups would not bother to dye an entire cat. They would dye a part of the animal because their purpose is simply to identify the cat.

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