Foxes are known to be skilled hunters. They are mostly nocturnal, so they would go out from their dens and look for possible prey during the night. Once they sight a potential victim, they would do all their might to seize and grapple the said creature and bring it back to their small pack. The captured animal will be the meal of the family.
Do foxes eat cats? Foxes eat cats. Although it may be uncommon, they will not hesitate to attack and capture any available members of the Felidae family. They have an opportunistic trait, so devouring a pet cat is highly possible. However, this is only true for small cats and kittens as the adult ones can defend themselves and usually have a similar size to foxes.
In this article, you will learn more about these creatures by understanding if foxes can hunt and breed with cats, their habits, other food preferences, and some useful tips on keeping foxes away from your pet cats, especially your kittens.
Table of Contents
Do Foxes and Cats Get Along?
Foxes and cats don’t usually have a bond as they are somewhat indifferent to each other. They don’t typically mingle and interact on a regular basis as they are not the best of friends nor have similarly compatible traits. In fact, foxes are quite intimidated by the presence of pet cats and dogs. They would prefer to distance themselves. However, it is a different story when a fox is extremely hungry and cannot find another food source. Having an opportunistic trait, they will probably feed on any creature that they can find, including a pet cat.
Can a Cat Breed With a Fox?
Cats cannot breed with foxes. They don’t belong to the same genus or family, so cross-breeding between them is impossible. Also, they do not have a similar set of chromosomes and genes that could initiate the creation of offspring.
Do Foxes Hunt Cats?
Due to a cat’s defensive traits and they’re somewhat similar in size, it is not typical for a fox to hunt for cats. If foxes would see their strong claws and sharp teeth, they would definitely have doubts on whether they will attack the said creatures and make it their meal. This is the reason why they would not pursue cats in a regular and conventional manner.
Will a Fox Kill a House Cat?
Foxes may kill a house cat in some instances. This is particularly true when a fox is put in a threatening situation and is forced to battle for its life. Adult house cats may appear very strong and defensive, so they can definitely put up a fight with foxes.
Do Foxes Eat Kittens?
Foxes can eat kittens. This can occur if they lack any available food in their usual hunting places, and feeding on a kitten is convenient. However, this is only limited to juvenile, and smaller cats as adult cats have the ability to defend themselves from the attacks of foxes. Also, kittens have an average weight of five pounds, so they literally make easy prey for bigger animals.
How to Keep Your Cat Safe From Foxes?
If you want to keep your cats safe from foxes, it is advisable to employ the following measures:
1. Keep an eye on your cat, especially at night.
Foxes are mostly nocturnal. They hunt and scavenge for animals to devour, and it is usually done at night. To protect cats from foxes, it is important to keep an eye on them. Your pets should stay indoors at night or at any time when there is a fox presence in your area. This is due to some fox creatures having learned to go out during the day.
It would also help if you fed your cats earlier at night to decrease their likelihood of loitering or staying extended hours in the outdoors.
2. Secure the perimeters of your area.
If the perimeters of your area are accessible to foxes, there is an increased likelihood of danger to your pets and to the members of your family. To prevent their entry, it is advisable to put up a sturdy fence with a reasonable height. It must be made from strong and durable materials that can withstand a fox’s physical force. Also, it must be high enough that they will not be able to jump and leap over it. Establishing a fence made from delicate materials and at a short height can elevate the fox’s chance of invading your area.
3. Place your pet cats in a cat enclosure.
If it is impossible to keep your cats indoors at all times, you can build an enclosure and place them inside it. This is to ensure that foxes would not be able to get close or cause injuries to them. To keep them busy and entertained while inside their temporary habitat, you can place cat furniture, toys, and puzzles. Also, make sure to put enough food, water, and other necessary provisions.
4. Clean your yard regularly.
Your yard may have numerous fox attractants that can entice and tempt foxes to visit your place frequently. This may include the presence of prey that can be a possible food source, such as birds, small reptiles, house pets, rodents, insects, and carrion or flesh of dead animals. Other than that, your outdoor space may have numerous objects and spots where foxes can put up their dens. It is best to regularly clean your yard and remove any waste or unnecessary items to prevent these occurrences.
What Do Urban Foxes Eat?
Urban foxes have diverse dietary preferences, although they focus more on meat. They love to feed on animals like rodents, pigeons, voles, domestic and wild birds, small mammals, and even insects such as beetles and adult craneflies. Also, they eat earthworms, cutworms, peanuts, and certain types of fruits and vegetables. Other than that, you can also feed them with commercial food products, such as pet food, bread soaked in fatty substances, cheese, and other canned products. Lastly, they will not hesitate to eat carrion or flesh of dead animals, food leftovers, or cooked meat.
Do Foxes Eat Cat Food?
Foxes eat cat food. There have been several spottings of foxes trying to take away and steal excess cat food from backyards and outdoor pet stations. These creatures are opportunistic in nature, so once they see anything that can be eaten, they will not waste the opportunity to grab it. This is especially true when a fox is extremely hungry and has no other food option.
Foxes Are Scavengers
Foxes can be considered scavengers. When put in a hungry situation, they will feed on anything they can find in streets, garbage piles, compost areas, and trash bins. This includes chicken droppings, animal manure, carcasses, the meat of dead animals, and any garbage material that they think is edible and appetizing.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the diet preferences of foxes:
Does Fox Eat Human?
It is unusual for foxes to eat humans, although they like to feed on meat. Foxes tend to shy and stay away from people as they are somewhat intimidated by them and are more focused on seeking food to eat. However, suppose they are put in a dangerous situation, afflicted by rabies, come across with excessive hunger, and can’t find any available food; they might attack and cause injuries to humans.
Other than that, foxes can consume food leftovers from humans, which they can find in garbage bins and waste receptacles.
Do Foxes Eat Dogs?
Foxes are not notorious for eating dogs. However, feeding on canids can still happen once in a while when their circumstances warrant the need to eat them. These include intense starvation, the absence of preferred food choices, and being threatened or jeopardized by dogs.
Why Do Foxes Scream at Cats?
Foxes communicate with other animals through short barks, screams, yelps, and growls. They make a diverse range of distinct and weird noises to give a message, heed a warning or provide a precaution. This may be one of the reasons why foxes scream at cats.
What Animal Do Foxes Eat?
The following are the animals that foxes eat:
- Rodents such as mice, voles, chipmunks, squirrels, and rats.
- Birds like starlings, robins, and blackbirds.
- Mammals such as rabbits and raccoons.
- Small reptiles like lizards and snakes.
- Worms such as earthworms and cutworms.
- Sea creatures like fish, crabs, and mollusks.
- Insects such as beetles, moths, grasshoppers, craneflies, wasps, ants, caterpillars, and insect larvae.
- Dead animal meat or flesh.
Due to their opportunistic trait, foxes may eat various animals, including pet animals such as cats. So if you want to protect these creatures from the wrath of foxes, it would be better to keep them indoors, especially at night, and secure your premises, so that they cannot gain entry. In this way, your family members, pets, and properties will be spared from their possible attack and invasion.
List of Sources
Learn About Foxes. Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Foxes: Wildlife Note. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Foxes (2021). NSW Government.