Foxes are nocturnal, but you can sometimes see a family unit outdoors with their babies. A female fox is called a vixen, whereas the male fox is referred to as a tod, reynard, or dog fox.
How about the fox babies? If you’re curious about these adorable creatures, you’re in the right place as this article is filled with interesting things about them.
Are fox babies called kits? Fox babies are called kits or cubs. The season of kits begins in March and lasts until May. A litter can have one to thirteen kits. They grow faster than humans as they become adults in just less than a year.
Kits are born blind, and they begin to have eyesight when they’re 9 to 14 days old. They leave the den when they’re 4 or 5-week old. By 8 to 10 weeks, they’re completely weaned. Apart from this timeline, there are more fascinating things to learn about kits.
Table of Contents
When Are Foxes’ Babies Born?
The gestation period of foxes is around 51 to 53 days. It can be shortened to 46 days or extended to 56 days. The birth of the kits can occur from March until the end of May.
The month varies since it’s based on the starting time of the breeding process. The difference in the time of birth is also based on fox breed and its location.
For example, the kit season is around March in the USA. As per breed, the babies of gray foxes in North America are born in April.
The fennec foxes from Africa give birth from March to April. In the case of Arctic foxes, their cubs are born in August.
What Do Baby Foxes Look Like?
Baby foxes are born naked leaving their dark gray skin bare. Most baby foxes have brown, tan, charcoal-colored fur. They are furry, and they look way different from their parents.
When they’re in their second week, their senses begin to develop, and the black fuzz also grows.
A newly born kit can weigh from 2.5 oz to 4 oz. Its size tripled in only one week so it’s right to say that they grow so quickly. The baby foxes turn into juveniles in a matter of three or four months.
In this period, they gain their permanent fur color. You’ll see them with blue eyes, but they will change into other colors as they become an adult.
Foxes are born toothless, just like any other mammals. Their milk teeth come out a few weeks after they were born. The rest of the baby teeth grow after another few weeks, and the total number of teeth is 28. These baby teeth shed to be replaced by 42 permanent teeth.
What Sound Does a Baby Fox Make?
A baby fox can make different kinds of sounds. When it’s cold and hungry, it makes a whimpering sound to let their parents know how they feel. This is their way of grabbing attention. When baby foxes play fight, they make a sound like ‘ack-ack-ack’. They also bark like dogs.
When Do Foxes Mate?
As mentioned, the breeding season varies based on breed and location. Foxes that live in the south mate from December to January. The mating season occurs from January to February in the central region.
In the northern area, foxes mate in February up to April. Male foxes fight during this period and they have a cycle of fecundity.
Female foxes stay with one partner, but they’re open to mate with other males. When foxes mate for 15 to 20 minutes, they make a guttural sound that comes from the back of their throats.
This sound is termed ‘clicketing’. So, you don’t have to wonder why you would hear howling foxes at night during the mating season.
How Often Do Foxes Have Babies?
Foxes tend to mate once per year. Due to the short gestation period, some breeds like Arctic and Fennec foxes have two litters each year. This can happen in the pet fox industry to gain more profit out of more babies.
Do Foxes Mate With Their Siblings?
Foxes mate with their siblings because there’s a study regarding the genetic rescue of the inbred Arctic fox population. In terms of multiple breeding strategies among swift foxes, they’re not consistent and instead highly diverse. Even the structure of social groups is indefinite.
Trio groups that can either be composed of two males and a female or two females and a male are common among swift foxes. At least a member from a trip is related to one member of another group.
Foxes are socially monogamous, but they can mate with others besides their partner. Due to this fact, they switch mates from time to time without the exclusion of their siblings.
How Long Do Fox Cubs Stay With Their Mother?
Fox cubs are born in a maternal den where their mother nurses and takes care of them. They are given milk for four weeks before the parents regurgitate food for them.
During this period, the mother can take a break from nursing and join the father to hunt for fresh meat.
The fox cubs can move around just outside of their den to get the food that’s left for them. By 8 to 10 weeks, these cubs are fully weaned.
Do Mom and Dad Foxes Stay Together?
Mom and dad foxes can stay together as they’re classified as ‘obligate monogamists’. It’s because the dad hunts for prey that feeds the lactating mom and the kits.
However, this action is depreciable because of the bigamy that exists among foxes. It’s a situation that occurs when there are plenty of food sources.
The practice of bigamy among foxes proceeds to cases of polygyny. Both male and female foxes participate in this activity since they gain benefits from it. In the part of bigamous female foxes, they have better reproduction accomplishments than those that are monogamous.
Male foxes that are into sexual dimorphism and polygyny have higher mortality than those that are not.
The sexual relationship among foxes is complex. They can have a partner that they can work with during a certain breeding season, but they still engage in bigamy or polygyny.
Because of the benefits and success that they can gain from having a relationship with others, they take a break from monogamy.
Do Both Parents Both Raise Fox Kits?
Both parents both raise fox kits. As mentioned, the mom fox nurses the baby, and the dad fox goes hunting for food. They also both teach the kits how to hunt and socialize.
Thus, foxes are seen to partner for life since both parents raise their cubs. But the dad fox doesn’t enter the maternal den.
How Many Months Is Fox Pregnant For?
A fox is pregnant for less than two months. It seems like a short period, but successful implantation of a fertilized egg can be done after 10 to 14 days.
Do Fox Cubs Stay Together?
The fox cubs stay together in the first four months of their lives in the same den. They gradually learn how to wander outside and hunt.
Once they familiarize themselves with these things, they can be on their own. They leave the den and set out to discover new things within their home range.
Of course, they practice hunting. When they’re 7 to 10 months, foxes are independent, so they leave their parents and find a partner.
Does a Baby Fox Make a Good Pet?
Selective breeding of foxes took place in a farm fox experiment in Russia. The result is domesticated foxes that have some qualities similar to dogs.
This process creates foxes that bark when humans are around, wag their tails, and whine to seek attention. They can also be trained to know their names and follow commands.
These foxes from a Russian farm can cost a total of $8,900 each. Apart from the cost, you need to consider the regulations on owning pets in your area.
It may not be allowed like in the state of Washington where foxes are under rabies law. The prohibition is based on the possibility of infecting people with rabies.
After you approve of the domesticated baby fox price and the confirmation of its legal status, you have to evaluate the ups and downs of having it as a pet. The domesticated fox is the right candidate for a pet but not the wild one.
Despite the thousands of years that dogs were domesticated, there are 4.5 million people who got bitten by them in the US. So, it’s something to watch out for from foxes.
When you have a baby fox at home, you have to know that they have high energy. Therefore, it can be active and destroy some things inside your house.
A fox’s pee has a strong smell that stinks. This animal may use it to mark its territory like what it does in the wild. So, it can pee in every corner of your house.
You also need to bear the loud noise that they create, especially when they become an adult. Foxes howl at night during mating season.
Apart from confirming that fox babies are kits, this article has shown you other things about these adorable creatures. Just like other animals, they’re dependable to their parents for a few months.
They claim their independence and leave their dens in 7 to 10 months. The once fluffy look is gone as the real color of their eyes and fur emerges. They have a faster growth rate than humans, so it doesn’t take a year for them to be in their adult form.
List of Sources
Hasselgren M., et al. (2018). Genetic rescue in an inbred Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) population. Proceedings Biological Sciences.
Kitchen, A. M., et al. (2006). Multiple breeding strategies in the swift fox, Vulpes velox. University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
What is Wildlife Doing in the Springtime? Weston, MA.
Zabel, C. J. (1986). Reproductive Behavior of the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes): A Longitudinal Study of an Island Population. University of California.
Foxes in New Jersey. New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.