Many of my clients keep their cats indoors at night. I see many free roaming cats at night in my area and I also see loads of foxes. A fox is a predator, yes. A typical urban fox home range can be also occupied by upwards of 100 cats, and most of these are out at night. Another reason I wanted to do some research was because of my own fears connected to a fox den that’s presently at the end of one of my clients’ gardens. They come in from the allotments at the back of the garden. 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. 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. Here’s a lovely little video of one of my clients cats meeting  a fox: I’d like to thank the following people and organisations for taking part with this study or supplying useful information (in no particular order): Sharon Williams, Biggin Hill Vets, Village Vets – Maida Vale, Notting Hill Vets, John Hankinson Vets SE14, Amwell Vets Waterloo, David Cuffe And Associates – Clapham, Paxton Vet Clinics, Cotswolds Vet, Billericay Vets, Penmarin House Vets – Cornwall, Trevor Williams, The Fox Project, Kensington and Chelsea Council, Pete Wedderburn BVM&S CertVR MRCVS, Fiona Nolan, BBC Wildlife, The Royal Veterinary College, University Of Sidney, VetCompass, Martin Hemmington founder of The National Fox Welfare Society, John Bryant, RSPCA, Penny Little of The Little Foxes Wildlife Rescue. VetCompass’ aim was to investigate the range and frequency of small animal health problems seen by veterinary surgeons working in general practice in the United Kingdom and to highlight the major risk factors for these conditions. Kittens and very small (less than five pounds) adult cats, however, could be prey for a fox. can cats eat rice krispies treats. Remove this litter daily. A fox could attack a cat, but it’s very unlikely. [toggle title=”3: Do you see foxes on a regular basis in any of your clients’ gardens when you are there with the cat?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. Cats sometimes do kill juvenile foxes, after all. You use your voice and body language to warn off the fox. Foxes can enter gaps as small as 10cm x 10cm. Cats are far more likely to be in a fight with another cat or hurt in a road traffic accident. Foxes pose little danger to cats.   On the rare occasion that a fox does injure a cat, this may be because the cat is vulnerable in some way. Also, cats are much better climbers than foxes. Foxes are also scavengers. However, the act of a fox physically stalking and killing a cat is rare. Foxes also eat rats and other rodents and can thus help to keep those pests down. Martin Hemmington, who is the founder of The National Fox Welfare Society confirms that the majority of foxes do not want contact with humans… He goes on to say: It takes quite a lot of effort to catch them. That’s just 0.14% of all vet visits. You could install a cat enclosure or Cattio in your yard. Most of the birds they eat are feral pigeons and small garden birds, and the most frequently eaten mammals are generally field voles, abundant on allotments, railway lines and other grassy areas. However, foxes will scavenge the remains of dead cats, but actual evidence of them killing cats is extremely rare. By Claire Ellicott for the Daily Mail Updated: 03:34 EST, 8 December 2010 But it is highly unlikely for a fox to kill a cat or be a threat to a cat. We have a regular couple, I think male and female, who come. I think this study concludes that it is rare for foxes to attack cats and that both species manage to co-exist and share space. His own cat of 17 years was recently killed by a fox in Central London. A cat has no chance against a coyote, but cats and foxes are both similarly sized predators, most of the time they're not going to attempt to predate each other. Foxes pose little danger to cats. Accredited Cat Behaviour Expert in London, UK. I've been told that a fox can kill a cat. https://vethelpdirect.com/vetblog/2013/02/14/urban-foxes-attacks-on-cat 6 Reasons why dry food does not clean your cat’s teeth, Review of Eatwell™ 5 Meal Pet Feeder from PetSafe® Brand, seeing firework night from a cats perspective. It is perhaps more likely to occur during the breeding season which ends around June. You should call your cat inside 1 hour before twilight. If your yard is long and thin, put a table and chairs down the end of the yard. As ever, prevention is the best way to stop groundhog attacks, so stay vigilant while your kitty is outside. I can only imagine the fox has found itself in a situation and it has become distressed and panicked. [toggle title=”1: How many cats do you look after on a weekly basis and what percentage are free roaming?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. Foxes and cats meet many times every night, and invariably ignore each other. Foxes are roughly the size of an adult cat - between 9 and 19 pounds. If you have fruit trees, remove any fallen fruit. To keep foxes out of your yard, install a fence that runs the full perimeter of your property. 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. Foxes have many human enemies! are housed outside, a good quality pen is vital, because these are all natural prey to a fox. Interestingly, scores of proud cat owners (all of whom think their cats unique) have sent us photos over the years of cats chasing foxes. If your cat is declawed, lame or weighs less than 5 lbs, you should still take this risk seriously. 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. Foxes are generally timid and reclusive. They can weigh as little as 1.5 lbs. Foxes tend to leave cats alone in my experience and cats will look after themselves generally. In fact, these animals exist. She explains further: Most reports of foxes attacking cats are either a result of misunderstanding, or are malicious. 3 0. They now have health data on over 400,000 companion animals from over 200 practices across the UK. It’s possible to spot a fox during the day, but most of their activity is at nighttime, especially urban foxes. If you don’t have this option, tie up the bags with a double knot and place them in a bin with a secure lid. Foxes are omnivores (like dogs) therefore a balanced diet for a pet fox includes vitamins, minerals, meat, vegetables, and other foods. I don't think there is anything to be concerned aboout though. Other species can grow to 34 inches (86 cm) from their head to their flanks. If a cat eats too quickly, it risks regurgitating undigested food. The other reality is that domesticated cats are an introduced species. 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 are among the most amenable, least aggressive mammals you could share your environment with. Fox is the kind of animal that under no hard weather conditions will not be left without food. We don’t have any data to corroborate any statement. They are rarely a threat to cats or dogs. Many fox deterrents contain citronella, which also affects cats. Foxes come out at twilight (i.e. Seeing as my borough is Kensington and Chelsea I shall finish this study on a report the council did on foxes after recent media coverage of an alleged fox attack on a young child. 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%. Over the 23 years we’ve been in existence we’ve paid for around 15 post-mortems on cats suspected of being killed by foxes. But it is highly unlikely for a fox to kill a cat or be a threat to a cat. Of course, some cat combinations just don't get along…, Onychectomy is the process of removing a cat’s claws. The natural prey of a fox is not a cat and in most cases a fox would not attempt to kill a healthy cat especially one that could defend itself. I am absolutely convinced that foxes do not represent a threat to cats. Then a person finding their cat would blame the fox for killing it. Pete Wedderburn (BVM&S CertVR MRCVS) who works at Brayvet decided, luckily for me, to do his own in-depth research on the subject and in Feb 2013 published his findings. Territorial aggression in cats is commonly caused by not neutering or spaying, or a lack of socialization when cats are young. YYZ. Diseases They May Carry Newspapers give ludicrous coverage to fox scare stories and so the myths build up. Cats sometimes do kill juvenile foxes, after all. In our local area I’ve come across two rabid foxes in the last decade or so. The foxes in the garden were adult foxes but I could often hear the cubs playing. For example, a lady rang me concerned that the family of foxes in the garden would hurt her cats. 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. [toggle title=”5: Are they adult foxes or with cubs?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. to put fox attacks into context, other cats (x40 times) and cars (x14 times) appear to present much greater dangers to cats than foxes. 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. Fences with strong foundations are recommended as these stop foxes from burrowing underneath the fence. I've known foxes to attack cats, but have not known of one which succeeded. Daryl, never bothered the cat, just ignored her, even through adult. This is particularly important for senior felines, kittens, and declawed cats. According to Dr. Wedderburn, between 2010 and 2013, just 14 vet visits out of 10,000 were due to a fox attack. For example, you may: Foxes are usually very scared of humans so they’ll run away. Even so, most experts agree that foxes aren’t a significant threat. So in most cases, a fox won’t bother with a cat. Unfortunately, rabies is endemic in much of North America. Caution. I put the following questions to her: [toggle title=”1: How many cats do you have and are they all free roaming?” state=”off” style=”solid”], [toggle title=” 2: Have any of your cats had any issues with foxes?” state=”off” style=”solid”], [toggle title=”3: Do you see foxes on a regular basis in your garden?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. Since foxes are smaller mammals, they are also quite light. If foxes were a serious threat to cats, we’d see many more injuries and deaths. Do not collect oil, cooked food, or meat as this will attract foxes. They are capable of it. 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. most of the serious injuries we see on cats are due to territorial fighting between neighbouring cats. Even then, I think a vixen would be relying on threat rather than attack. The reality is that yes, that kitten was intended to be a snack. 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. Not only will this reduce the risk of infection, but it will also discourage the fox from returning to your yard. Every vet replied the same. 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. NONE, except one veterinary surgeon who works for Amwell Vets in Waterloo. Foxes don’t attack cats – or humans – and they don’t spread disease Adult male Londoners were the least fox-sympathetic of all respondents. 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. In the past few years there have been some reports of attacks on children. But, like any other dog, foxes will chase cats. But anytime you keep your cats outdoors, the cat is taking his chances. 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 can also…, Cats are instinctual hunters and may bring home small prey, such as rodents (mice and rats) and birds. But I hear so many stories from people, and sometimes it is obvious to me how the misunderstanding arises. © 2020 Studio Pro by Seo Themes. Foxes are also scavengers. 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. A fox’s natural tendency is to flee rather than fight, when faced with sharp … It helps the animal survive in any critical situation and find a way out of it. Scratching is a very common feline behavior that can do serious damage…, Dinner is the highlight of the day for many cats. A fox is a predator, yes. This is not based upon their mythical cunning, but rather their ability to adapt to a range of changing conditions. 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. 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. Fox is a cunning animal. In urban areas, litter can blow into yards. (1 to 1.5 kilograms), according to National Geographic. (This had been mentioned by another vet – author’s note). ! When I question why these cats are kept in at night, 100% of the human guardians reply that it is because of foxes. It a genuine concern of owners to harbor the fear of having their cat attacked by a fox. I asked him what his thoughts were on foxes attacking cats and why he felt this could happen on occasions? 1 year ago. …because the fox is an opportunist and would have preyed on something they considered weaker (his cat, as well as being old, was completely deaf). Hailing is an effective tactic, but it must be done consistently. However, when there are problems, it’s usually during the cub season, when foxes – like all species – will take on anyone and anything to protect their young. seeing matting and pelts from a cat’s perspective. Lots of cats go missing each year, and a fox may have killed some of these cats. A white fox animal is not a mythical being. As such, foxes will not actively hunt adult cats. Foxes might; they might not kill cats. 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. Coyotes hunt cats, big time. OK, so maybe the norm is not the photo below either. This compares with 541 per 10,000 for cats presented with cat bite injuries and 196 in 10,000 cats being presented following a road traffic accident. It’s a theory, but makes a lot of sense. They are rarely a threat to cats or dogs. Make sure your rubbish is inaccessible. There are lots of things that kill cats out there. I thought it only fitting to speak to a cat grooming client of mine who has a huge variety of rescue cats  living with her and all as free roaming ones. I contacted Penny Little, who is the founder of Little Foxes Wildlife Rescue, with some questions regarding foxes and cats. According to BBC Wildlife, an urban fox travels through 100+ cats’ territories each night. If you don’t build a Cattio and keep your pet indoors, make sure you provide your cat with indoor activities. No-one has ever sent us one of a fox chasing a cat and we’ve never observed such ourselves. The cats watch the foxes when they’re in the garden. 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. However, there are some excellent repellents available that will keep foxes away without having an impact on your cat. Foxes are roughly the size of an adult cat - between 9 and 19 pounds. One distracts, the other creeps up and suddenly attacks. Wherever you live in Birmingham and the Black Country, you probably have at least one fox visiting your garden. However, such concerns need not be felt for cats and dogs, most of which out-weigh the average 5kg adult fox (despite nonsensical scare stories involving foxes weighing 17kg), and where rare aggression is more often caused by a fox’s defence of young cubs rather than from other motivation. Foxes are more than likely native to your area. Very rarely, foxes do attack cats. Depends - upon the age and size of the cat. When someone asked me this question, my instinctive answer was that fox attacks on cats are exceptionally rare. Not saying a fox would never attack a cat in retaliation or just attack it anyway without reason but think it's a rarity. Cats and dogs vastly outnumber foxes and they usually co-exist without any serious problems. The risk from dangerous dogs is far greater. there is this big garden behind mine and the owners blocked off their doors so they cant get in to it (i guess they werent bothered cleaning up the mess). Built on the Genesis Framework. They are scavengers, so they’ll eat just about anything. Header photo by Patrick Boyd for Yours Magazine. Most wire pens are not robust enough to deter a determined fox. The best way to do this is to place it in a wheelie bin. The subject of foxes and cats sharing urban space really fascinates me, so I decided to gather some facts from the internet, as well as speak to as many people as possible involved with foxes or cats, including vets, wildlife sanctuaries, cat guardians with free roaming cats and animal hospitals. Although the risk is small, cats should be kept at a safe distance from foxes to prevent attacks. It is perhaps more likely to occur during the breeding season which ends around June. Thankfully these are extremely rare. Thus it is understandable if vixens with young cubs act defensively if a cat comes too near the nursery earth, as the cat clearly can represent a lethal threat to tiny cubs. Unsubscribe. The cub died minutes after arrival. Foxes will eat just about anything. Kittens and very small (less than five pounds) adult cats, however, could be prey for a fox. However, our experience both in the UK and in Scandinavia, where we were stationed for many years prior to the UK, does not confirm foxes attacking cats as normal or frequent behavior. 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 makes cats unsuitable prey. Foxes doesn’t attack humans. A fox will also aggressively defend its cubs if a cat wanders too close. I’ve observed that every time the cat or a human enters the garden, the foxes run out of sight within seconds. On the contrary, even in farms where attacks on chicken were common, casualties among cats remained nil or extremely low, only counting as exceptions. The same cannot be said for small kittens. The number of cat sits I do a week varies on the time of year. This is the worst thing that you can do because it will encourage the fox to stay. As foxes will certainly scavenge roadkill, sightings of foxes hauling dead cats across the road or even found consuming them, are regularly misinterpreted. To clean up fox droppings, use a biological washing power and hot water to break down the substance. I started to think about this and genuinely wanted to find out the facts myself. Avoid bone meal fertilizers, chicken manure, or fertilizer containing animal blood. [toggle title=” 5: Are they adult foxes or with cubs?” state=”off” style=”solid”]. But if you are not careful, it can attract foxes, rats, and other small scavenger animals. They’re also able to scale a 2-meter fence. It a genuine concern of owners to harbor the fear of having their cat attacked by a fox. When asked the question ‘will foxes kill my cat’ they had this to say: It’s possible but very unlikely. what is best for your cat when you go on holiday? The reason they do not attack dogs, cats or humans is because they are not something that a fox sees as prey. 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