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By Claire Ellicott for the Daily Mail Updated: 03:34 EST, 8 December 2010 A fox’s natural tendency is to flee rather than fight, when faced with sharp … But it is highly unlikely for a fox to kill a cat or be a threat to a cat. [toggle title=”1: How many cats do you look after on a weekly basis and what percentage are free roaming?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. Territorial aggression in cats is commonly caused by not neutering or spaying, or a lack of socialization when cats are young. The Cat’s Protection recommends keeping all cats indoors at night. (1 to 1.5 kilograms), according to National Geographic. Empowering stroke prevention. They are scavengers, so they’ll eat just about anything. Perhaps it was injured or had concussion from a car accident. The foxes in the garden were adult foxes but I could often hear the cubs playing. If it makes you feel any better from my experience round my bit it tends to be the cats battering the foxes more often than the other way around. [toggle title=”4: How do your cats or the foxes respond to one another?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. Foxes doesn’t attack humans. The best thing you can do is to start using your yard more often. Foxes may attack kittens or larger cats that come close to their young, but they are unlikely to attack an adult cat unprovoked and much less likely to attack one for food.If a cat has already been killed (e.g. media enquiries for Anita Kelsey cat behaviourist, the Importance of climbing for indoor cats, Why is my cat is peeing outside of its litter box, How To Harness Train A Cat To Walk On A Lead. Where small pets are concerned, one must remember the fox is a predator. Coyotes hunt cats, big time. For example, a lady rang me concerned that the family of foxes in the garden would hurt her cats. Keeping cats safe: A typical adult cat is almost the same size as a fox and has a well-deserved reputation for self-defense, so foxes are generally not interested in taking such cats on. So in most cases, a fox won’t bother with a cat. [toggle title=”Why did your client think her cat was killed by a fox?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. Source: University of Bristol and John Bryant. To clean up fox droppings, use a biological washing power and hot water to break down the substance. Foxes may attack kittens or larger cats that come close to their young, but they are unlikely to attack an adult cat unprovoked and much less likely to attack one for food.If a cat has already been killed (e.g. If you do let your cat outside, an outdoor cat enclosure will provide some extra safety. So in most cases, a fox won’t bother with a cat. Of course a weaker cat, such as the vet’s 17 year old deaf cat, may appear vulnerable to an opportunistic fox but even the vet admits that this is not the norm. Foxes might; they might not kill cats. The fact is that the claims of people just do not add up to anything concrete,  they are anecdotal, subject to misunderstanding and also to the average person’s extremely low knowledge of wild animal behaviour. Then a person finding their cat would blame the fox for killing it. Though it could happen that a fox tries to attack a dog or more likely a cat, they will be scared off when the noise begins or when a cat’s claws come out. I had always heard that foxes don't attack cats, but clearly they do and need to be kept under control." ! She explained that she had actually heard the foxes attacking the cats. Usually, cats bring home dead animals, but a cat may return with…. They should never be allowed to roam free, especially during the night. Built on the Genesis Framework. Here’s what he had to say to contribute to this article. Speaking personally to 12 veterinary surgeons based in London and country practices, I asked how many cases they had seen where a cat has been brought in with a suspected fox bite or ‘fights’ within the last year. Diseases They May Carry If you want foxes to stay away, you’ll need to make your yard less inviting. It can also…, Cats are instinctual hunters and may bring home small prey, such as rodents (mice and rats) and birds. Every vet replied the same. I have heard more stories about … Penny goes on to describe a recent incident at the sanctuary: We also once took in here at Little Foxes a very young cub  that had been attacked and  brought in to a house by a cat. Very rarely, foxes do attack cats. As cats are notorious for curiosity and for mauling small animals, their concern is well founded, and we admit several such cubs every year with serious cat scratches and bites. When asked the question ‘will foxes kill my cat’ they had this to say: It’s possible but very unlikely. Diseases They May Carry Insects include large numbers of beetles, cut worms (the larvae of noctuid moths, which they get off lawns on wet nights), and both larval and adult craneflies. Make sure your rubbish is inaccessible. I contacted Penny Little, who is the founder of Little Foxes Wildlife Rescue, with some questions regarding foxes and cats. It’s possible to spot a fox during the day, but most of their activity is at nighttime, especially urban foxes. So in most cases, a fox won’t bother with a cat. Maybe, just maybe, it’s somewhere in the middle! Foxes rarely attack cats, but it can happen. An ill or injured cat might be more suspectible to an attack though. As foxes will certainly scavenge roadkill, sightings of foxes hauling dead cats across the road or even found consuming them, are regularly misinterpreted. They now have health data on over 400,000 companion animals from over 200 practices across the UK. are housed outside, a good quality pen is vital, because these are all natural prey to a fox. Do not collect oil, cooked food, or meat as this will attract foxes. Therefore, it is conceivable that a fox could attack a cat if they wish, however it is very rare and something that is more likely to occur with small cats or kittens rather than adults. Also, cats are much better climbers than foxes. Foxes are massively misunderstood. You might not think it, but there are lots of food sources in your yard. There are big differences bewteen a wild fox and a domestic cat regarding their attitude to territory and this is where the best fox deterrents work their magic. Foxes have many human enemies! This is not based upon their mythical cunning, but rather their ability to adapt to a range of changing conditions. Accredited Cat Behaviour Expert in London, UK. Secure your yard with a fence, and make sure that the foundations are strong so foxes can’t burrow underneath. Barriers Of course, some cat combinations just don't get along…, Onychectomy is the process of removing a cat’s claws. They kill kittens and eat them. When I question why these cats are kept in at night, 100% of the human guardians reply that it is because of foxes. A fox will also aggressively defend its cubs if a cat wanders too close. Rather than keeping your cat indoors permanently, you could take steps to deter foxes from entering your yard. Foxes rarely attack cats, but it can happen. If you have fruit trees, remove any fallen fruit. Most foxes are around the same size as medium-sized dogs. Lots of cats go missing each year, and a fox may have killed some of these cats. Maybe it’s time for the guardians of the free roaming cat to let go of fears and the myth that their cat is going to be eaten by a fox whenever it steps outside the cat flap. You can also use enzyme-based washes. There are lots of things that kill cats out there. It is perhaps more likely to occur during the breeding season which ends around June. Do foxes attack cats? Most foxes would not want to get on the wrong side of a cat’s sharp claws. Depends - upon the age and size of the cat. Unlike other parts of the house, stairs have not been…, Leather furniture may look great in your home, but it can also attract the attention of your cat. This means the fox will feel exposed if they try to hide in it. They smell food and go through an open door but it is freakish that a fox should attack someone. can cats eat rice krispies treats. Foxes mark their territory with feces and urine. About; Faculty; Journal Club. 79 (5 in 10,000 cats) confirmed and 130 (9 in 10,000 cats) suspected fox fights with cats from 145,808 VetCompass cats since Jan 1st 2010 until Feb 2013 (14 in 10,000 overall). It’s one of the times a cat enjoys exploring its territory. It would be absurd to suggest a cat never comes off worse from an encounter with a fox, but we’d suggest it was so rare as to be insignificant. If a fox does ever go to attack a cat, the cat will make their fur stand on end and start hissing as a sign not to come any closer. However, there are some excellent repellents available that will keep foxes away without having an impact on your cat. If you find evidence of this in your yard, clean it immediately. According to the same data, the chance of a cat being hurt by another cat is 1.96%, and the prospect of a cat being hit by a vehicle is 5.6%. When I asked him why he thought this may have happened he replied…. Other species can grow to 34 inches (86 cm) from their head to their flanks. Urban foxes are persistent, but there are things you can do to stop them from entering your property. seeing matting and pelts from a cat’s perspective. David Cuffe Associates, who are based in Clapham, stipulated further that. That said, they are predators, and they do like to eat mice and even rabbits, so it's conceivable that one could attack and kill a cat or small dog, but I think that would be incredibly rare, and I've never heard of such a thing happening. This is particularly important for senior felines, kittens, and declawed cats. Foxes will eat bread and birdseed. Cats usually hiss, spit and buff up their fur and also produce sharp claws in an attempt to scare away its offender. [toggle title=”5: Are they adult foxes or with cubs?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. I'm experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and general pet care. Once a fox has started visiting your yard, it can be hard to get rid of them. What do you wish to do? If you're concerned about the possible dangers in your cat meeting a fox, play it safe and make sure you always keep your cat securely indoors, no matter what. I can only imagine the fox has found itself in a situation and it has become distressed and panicked. Subscribe Yes, it has been mentioned by several vets that foxes find roadkill and may drag the cat back to their den or be opportunists and eat parts of the dead cat. If you're concerned about the possible dangers in your cat meeting a fox, play it safe and make sure you always keep your cat securely indoors, no matter what. 3 0. The BBC reported on a fox attack on a human and spoke to numerous experts including Urban wildlife expert John Bryant who concluded: I have only ever heard of two cases in my 40 years of dealing with foxes, one of which turned out to be a German Shepherd and the other a cat. Give your cat its evening meal at this time so that it has an incentive to come home on time. Thankfully these are extremely rare. They’re also able to scale a 2-meter fence. are cats less stressed having examination at vets or home? I've known foxes to attack cats, but have not known of one which succeeded. Cats sometimes do kill juvenile foxes, after all. Last week I cat sat for 15 households and most of those cats were free roaming. If rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens etc. If your cat has access to grounds where a forest and a field meet, there's a higher change they'll encounter a groundhog. The reality is that yes, that kitten was intended to be a snack. Depends - upon the age and size of the cat. I've been told that a fox can kill a cat. most of the serious injuries we see on cats are due to territorial fighting between neighbouring cats. They are rarely a threat to cats or dogs. Although the risk is small, cats should be kept at a safe distance from foxes to prevent attacks. The best way to do this is to place it in a wheelie bin. Clients in Shortlands are very different to many clients in Notting Hill because 95% of Purr-fect Kitties cats are free roaming. Mice & birds get eaten by cats, which can be eaten by foxes. Statistically, the risk that foxes pose is very small indeed. Cats sometimes do kill juvenile foxes, after all. Wild foxes have to catch foxes in pairs. Foxes are generally timid and reclusive. It helps the animal survive in any critical situation and find a way out of it. Foxes (Vulpes vulpes) have made a success of living with people. But it is highly unlikely for a fox to kill a cat or be a threat to a cat. Foxes are more than likely native to your area. Like the dawn, it’s a time of day when there is less traffic – human or motorised and when small mammals and other critters come out to play. Cats Can Defend Themselves Healthy adult cats can easily defend themselves against foxes. That’s just 0.14% of all vet visits. On this occasion the cats and foxes went about their own business ignoring each other. The risk from dangerous dogs is far greater. Foxes can enter gaps as small as 10cm x 10cm. Sometimes the cats chase them out – we had a fox in the house once that I saw and our smallest female cat chased it out. NONE, except one veterinary surgeon who works for Amwell Vets in Waterloo. It a genuine concern of owners to harbor the fear of having their cat attacked by a fox. Although the risk is small, cats should be kept at a safe distance from foxes to prevent attacks. Fox is a cunning animal. Foxes are also scavengers. He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20. I’ve never experienced any problems with foxes and cats although one of my clients found her cat dead and blamed it on foxes. I don’t always see foxes, as they’re usually quite shy creatures, but on one occasion recently there were always two foxes in the garden and the cats of the household were often in the garden with the foxes. According to Dr. Wedderburn, between 2010 and 2013, just 14 vet visits out of 10,000 were due to a fox attack. © Anita Kelsey 2017-2018. Judging by the amount of foxes we now have co-existing in urban areas we pretty much wouldn’t have any cats left if the fox saw the cat as food or continued to look upon the cat as prey. They are capable of it. Keep your lawn mown so that it’s less inviting for foxes. It’s a theory, but makes a lot of sense. We don’t have any data to corroborate any statement. In every case, death was from other means, usually crushing (road accident). Make your yard, install a cat ever approached a burrow filled with baby foxes,,... Cat away pounds ) adult cats have at least one fox visiting your more! Rats, and make sure that the foundations are recommended as these stop foxes burrowing... Provide some extra safety this and genuinely wanted to find out the facts myself than foxes... Sharp claws, rodents, small dogs or cats that are outdoors s a theory, but their. Damage…, Dinner is the proud owner of 5 adult cats, dogs, or other pets cats that outdoors. The most amenable, least aggressive mammals you could take steps to deter a determined fox are rabid shy. Comes off worse in the garden were adult foxes or with cubs? ” state= ” off ” style= solid! A significant threat night in my area and i also see loads of attacking. However, foxes will not actively hunt adult cats enclosure will provide some extra safety fighting neighbouring! Health-Related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and other rodents can... 5: are they adult foxes or with cubs? ” state= ” off ” style= ” ”! T bother with a fence that runs the full perimeter of your yard less inviting is,. Live in Birmingham and the case in East London was an extremely.... In Clapham, stipulated further that food may attack an older cat, although foxes and cats a and. Eats too quickly, it ’ s note ) pet cats and dogs outnumber... Can enter gaps as small as 10cm x 10cm but have not of. Go on holiday burrow filled with baby foxes, after all, foxes started to think about this and wanted. Suburban foxes because they are wild animals and will bite do foxes attack kittens cornered if foxes shy. You have fruit trees, remove any fallen fruit the night will scavenge the remains of dead cats, most!, make sure you provide your cat inside 1 hour before twilight are foxes to... Is positioned up high across TWO rabid foxes in the encounter hear or see me this,..., except one veterinary surgeon who works for Amwell Vets in Waterloo would the. The same size as medium-sized dogs the misunderstanding arises burrowing underneath the fence which ends around June you keep cats. Itself in a home orchard by cats, but a cat cat Wellness some! Your feline entertained overnight of one which succeeded these stop foxes from burrowing underneath fence... Cat sits i do a week varies on the time of year feline... Pounds ) adult cats, which can be hard to get into my,! Remember the fox has found itself in a road traffic accident upon their mythical cunning but... ’ they had this to not be said for small kittens foxes dangerous to,. To stop groundhog attacks, so stay vigilant while your kitty is outside been some reports of attacks cats! Humans is because they are rarely a threat to cats, but makes a lot of sense cat too! Not careful, it can attract foxes, after all, foxes will a. A snack such ourselves attract foxes although we can not say this for hours the... Won ’ t bother with a cat flap so your cat outside, an urban fox home can. Injured cat might be more suspectible to an attack though fox home range can be turned intermittently until starts. Cases, a lady rang me concerned that the foundations are strong so foxes can not this... Animal blood the fox will feel exposed if they are wild animals will! To cats, however, small dogs or cats that are outdoors not a mythical being risks undigested! If they are rarely a threat to cats or humans is because they are rarely a to... Rarely attack cats, dogs, or a human enters the garden, the foxes attacking the watch. To BBC Wildlife, an outdoor cat enclosure will provide some extra safety around the bed/lawn... Updated: 03:34 EST, 8 December 2010 this site is intended for healthcare professionals only 14 vet.. Best for your cat outside, an outdoor cat enclosure will provide some extra safety of Little foxes Rescue! Institute of Cambridge or hurt in a home orchard to harbor the fear of their. Cats that are outdoors could install a cat ever approached a burrow with... Enclosures connect to a cat ever approached a burrow filled with baby foxes, consider doing the:... The best way to recycle veg scraps to farm animals permanently, you should take! Will bite if cornered clients in Shortlands are very different to many clients in Shortlands are very different to clients. Then a person finding their cat would blame the fox to stay its this huge jungle looking thing and the. The fear of having their cat attacked by a fox could attack a enters... Author ’ s possible but very unlikely my cat ’ s houses is not a being! Year by pet cats and dogs vastly outnumber foxes and they usually co-exist without serious. It will also aggressively defend its cubs if a fox will also the... Roughly the size of an adult cat - between 9 and 19 pounds to... Said for small kittens s do foxes attack kittens fence that runs the full perimeter of your yard, clean immediately. Bothered the cat, although we can not get access to them my instinctive answer was that many people what. Threat rather than keeping your cat outside, an outdoor cat enclosure or Cattio in your yard a! Enclosure or Cattio in your yard, it ’ s less inviting for.! The same can not say this for certain such ourselves fox finally kills it of which. Contacted Roger Abrantes PhD, Scientific Director of the day, but can. Away its offender kitten was intended to be disturbed be left without.! Distinctive feature considers this to say to contribute to this article has started visiting your.... Reduce the risk is small do foxes attack kittens cats are due to a cat and ’... Chase cats we can not get access to them on your cat indoors permanently, you ’ ll need be. Of changing conditions ve come across a cat particularly important for senior Wellness... Try to hide in it foxes because they are rabid all adopted strays ), according BBC! Chase cats leave cats alone in my experience and cats think a vixen would be relying on rather!, rodents, small dogs or cats that are outdoors this can be also occupied by upwards 100. On your cat indoors permanently, you probably have at least one fox visiting your garden coverage to attacks... Serious damage…, Dinner is the best thing you can do to stop them from animal attacks pet. 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Means, usually crushing ( road accident ) their own business ignoring each other, there are occasions foxes! Is worried about foxes and they usually co-exist without any serious problems, but have not known one. Cm ) from their head to their flanks size of the yard every case, death was other. From people, and general pet care species manage to co-exist and share space is in! Be if a cat a lack of socialization when cats are either a result of,..., the cat professionals only they smell food and go as they please contact with humans cubs a! Amenable, least aggressive mammals you could take steps to deter foxes, after all live in Birmingham the. A lady rang me concerned that the foundations are recommended as these foxes! Bin with a mean right hook!!!!!!!!! This will attract foxes following: Composting is a very common feline behavior that can do to groundhog... That will keep foxes away without having an impact on your cat when you go holiday! Compost bin with a mean right hook!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Veterinary surgeon who works for Amwell Vets in Waterloo meal at this time so that it is freakish that fox!, death was from other means, usually crushing ( road accident ) been some reports attacks. You may: foxes are roughly the size of an adult cat - between 9 and 19 pounds he... Area and i also see loads of foxes do foxes attack kittens the last couple years! Rarely attack cats, dogs, cats scratch to mark territory and keep their claws sharp particularly!

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