People who live in rural areas have more worries about their cats than urban cat owners who typically keep their cats inside. Cats love to roam and the countryside provides an interesting place for a cat to improve their hunting skills. However, there are other animals like foxes that can turn into predators.
Is it possible for cats and foxes to get along? The answer is they are mostly indifferent to each other and avoid meeting. There are some places where the two get used to seeing each other so they might get along. There are cases where foxes view cats as prey and cats can defend themselves well if they have their claws.
Read on to discover the relationship between cats and foxes.
A Fox’s Personality
Foxes avoid most interactions with humans, dogs, cats, and other animals. They prefer to be stealthy and roam mostly at night. This makes the chance meeting with a cat highly unlikely unless the cat is let out to roam at night or is a feral cat.
Neither the fox nor cat tries to interact. Foxes can find a cat’s presence intimidating, particularly if the cat is larger and protective of his territory. British vets say they rarely see any cats injured in fox fights and haven’t seen any in a year.
Cats as Prey
Foxes sometimes see cats as prey but they don’t view every cat this way. Cats are not a natural prey of a fox. Veterinarians say foxes are opportunists and prey on things they see as weaker. They will kill an old, injured, small cat or a kitten.
Cats that are healthy and able to defend themselves are not ones that foxes will bother.
Foxes will also fight with a cat if they are defending their den or young. Spring, between March and April, is big for fox kits to be born so that’s when cat owners should be careful.
Other Bigger Threats
Vets say cats have other larger outdoor threats beyond foxes. Those include other cats, dogs, and cars. All of those cause far more injuries and deaths than foxes.
The Real Fox Danger
The primary danger of a fox to a cat is rabies. Foxes can carry rabies and could pass it to a cat in a fight. Making sure your cat is vaccinated and up-to-date on their shots is key to preventing this.
Foxes can also carry mange and other diseases so be sure that your cat is well managed through your vet, especially if you see an interaction.
How do I keep my cat from getting hurt by a fox?
The best way to avoid your cat from getting injured or killed by a fox is to keep your cat inside at night. Foxes are nocturnal, like cats. However, cats can do very well inside so keep your feline friend in at night to keep them safe.
Can a fox kill a cat?
Yes, a fox can kill a cat if the cat is old, weaker, small, or a kitten. However, typically it’s the fox that walks away with the most injuries when it tangles with a healthy cat. That’s why most foxes avoid cats.
That doesn’t mean you should take foxes for granted. It’s best to supervise your pets whenever they are out in the yard to avoid them from being snatched by a fox or any other predator.
Do foxes just live in the country?
Foxes are found mostly in rural areas but there are cases of foxes living in suburban and urban areas. Foxes make dens in small places like crawlspaces, under porches, decks, and in sheds. Paying attention to what’s living outside around you will help protect your cat.
Do foxes ever attack during the day?
They can attack during the day but that is most likely either during mating season or if food is scarce. Foxes like to hunt things like chipmunks and squirrels during the day so you should be aware of them, cautious, but not overly frightened.
The safe bet to protect your cat is to always be out with them whenever they are outside or keep them inside if foxes are prevalent.
Do foxes attack dogs?
Typically, most dogs aren’t at risk for a fox attack unless they are miniatures. Smaller dogs are vulnerable to many different outside predators including foxes.
What can I do to keep foxes out?
Foxes dig under fences so you will need an L-shape footer around the outer perimeter of an enclosure for your unattended animals. Electric fences are also useful.
Put the electric fence about four inches above the ground on the outside of your perimeter fencing. Some areas have laws pertaining to electric fences so check with your local municipality before installation to see what rules apply.
What if a fox bites my cat?
Take the cat to your veterinarian immediately. They will need to advise on any injuries and address any vaccination. Contact your local animal control as well as your public health agency. Monitor your pet at home or leave it in a veterinary clinic to monitor for a few days.
How do I scare away a fox?
- You can deter foxes from nesting on your property by sight, smell, and sound. Filling their den with loose soil, mulch and leaves will encourage them to go elsewhere as foxes suspect snakes in such areas.
- Putting smelly things, like kitty litter with urine, a sweaty T-shirt, or stinky socks, near the den opening will also deter them.
- Bright and shiny balloons or Irri-tape on sticks in front of the den will also keep them away.
- You can scare a fox away from your property with loud sounds and water, like banging a pot or pan, using a motion-sensitive alarm, or installing a motion-activated sprinkler.
- Products that repel domesticated dogs from gardens and yards will also work on foxes.