Do Foxes Eat Cats | Facts about Fox’s Diet

Foxes are primarily omnivorous but they have a flexible diet plan. These animals are solitary, opportunistic feeders and will prey on live animals especially rodents. It is known that in the period of former Soviet Union, foxes had consumed 300 plants and animal species. Do foxes eat cats? Have you stumbled one such incident in which fox actually hunt cats? Let’s find out in the later part about the foxes taking on pet cats.

Foxes typically rely on small rodents for their daily consumption such as gerbils, voles, ground squirrels, pocket gophers, deer mice, hamsters, and woodchucks. Foxes are also known to prey on several birds including galliformes, waterfowl, and Passeriformes. Other prey includes raccoons, reptiles, insects, porcupines, leporids, and other invertebrates. Red foxes primarily hunt in the early morn or late evening.

Do Foxes Eat Cats

Well, to be sure foxes do not hunt cats regularly as they are known to take on small mouse-like rodents such as voles and ground squirrels. However, when the prey is not sufficient, foxes may hunt domestic cats perhaps due to its opportunistic nature. Generally, cats do not form an essential fox’s diet.

According to some events, urban foxes have attacked pet cats because they were struggling to find ample food for their survival in British towns and cities. Referring to cat owners, they have pointed out quite a few numbers of fox attacks and according to some pest control specialists; the increasing number of attacks are primarily due to the use of wheelie bins instead of bin bags. The use of wheelie bins has rundown many foxes from an easy food source.

Read More: What Do Foxes Eat in the Wild?

why do foxes eat cats - fox eating
Fox Eating a Rabbit
Image Courtesy of Andrea olthof (Flickr)

Foxes Do Hunt Cats—Pet Owners Claim

(Do Foxes Eat Cats)

One of the pest-controller, Edinburgh holds that the fox calls have become doubled in the recent times. As the population grows, the food becomes scarce but with the wheelie bins the easy-food is no longer accessible.

Now they’re shifting towards domestic cats and other pets to fulfill their dietary needs. On number of occasions, people have found out the cat’s head in the garden. Some cat owners have also witnessed that a pack of foxes attacked on their pet cats which they come to know when their cats starts screaming, but by then it’s too late to rescue.

People see these foxes as pests and they also complaint to the local authorities about the issue but the authorities hold that they have no policy on controlling urban foxes. The veterinary surgeons also claim that the fox-related injuries of cats are increasing especially in Britain.

These foxes sometimes do not hesitate to chase down cats inside the people’s homes. Another incident took place in Britain where one of the community managers, Stamford Hill managed to save his tabby cat (Mica) from a brutal fox attack but still Mica had a large fox-bite at its back leg and as a result it had stitches and anti-biotics.

Read More: Red Fox Facts For Kids

Perhaps another reason for these attacks is that people generally do not believe that fox actually hunt pet cats apart from those who have come across. Consequently, these foxes are becoming another urban force especially against pets and if authorities do not take immediate measures, chances are that pets would suffer more. They should introduce policies that ensure a controlled population of foxes.

After cars or automobile accidents, foxes are turning out to be the second biggest threat to the pet owners in general, and cat owners in particular. Authorities should also recommend owners to keep their pets inside their homes at night in order to avoid any predatory attacks on their pets. So next time when you put a cool bowl for your cat outside your house for food and water, do make sure that there are no foxes in your neighbourhood.

Around 35,000 foxes are living in urban areas out of the total population of 240,000 individuals. It goes without saying that diseases and road accidents have killed half of the animals each year, but the urban population never deems to be declined.

do foxes eat cats - two squirrels in fox motuh
Red Fox Eating Two ground squirrels

Foxes Do Not Hunt Cats—Professor Stephen Harris

(Do Foxes Eat Cats)

Stephen Harris, a professor of environmental science at Bristol University, holds that foxes are solitary by nature and their attack on pet cats is nothing but an “urban myth”. “I have analyzed the behavior of urban foxes for more than 35 years and have yet to observe any single attack on a cat”, Stephen further added

, ,


24 responses to “Do Foxes Eat Cats | Facts about Fox’s Diet”

  1. A fox has stalked my cat for 3 days out of this past week. The fox was making this awful noise, and my cat hissed back. All three times happened in the middle of the night, and we rushed to the front door to let our cat in. The fox did not run away when I opened the door, and just lingered there watching me. It was creepy. My husband would like to shoot the fox, but we are worried about getting into legal trouble over it.

    1. Bev French

      Another reason to keep cats indoors. Helps save your feathered friends and your cat.

  2. 2am in the morning and once again I am startled wide awake leaping from my bed as I was just woken up by the screeching of a fox pacing back and forth in the front of my deceased husband’s red pickup truck. My smallish all black female cat is REALLY taunting the young fox by confidently or what do I know , I am barely awake to even write this the cat may of been nervous and no taunt at all, but my cats tail is waving back and forth as she is covered by the truck for protection….once again another night of disturbed sleep as I go out my door with the flash light to temporarily blind the fox as my cat …now tonight going slowly with the attitude of a cat without concern of being eaten once her owner came to her rescue…where just recently the nights before she had been humble acting grateful to be rescued she appropriately was running for her life with her tail all puffed out…now determined to show the fox up…aha but now after nights of doing the same dance the fox is now bolder and dared to charge it’s escaping meal or playmate.
    The cat made it to the door and for the next 10 minutes the fox paced the front yard screaming shrilling deafening disappointment…then abruptly the noise stopped and for a split second I thought perhaps the fox had gotten eaten (sad but honestly I had some relief that the horrifying noise had stopped perhaps permanently) NO,The fox was sitting quietly on the neighbors lawn and then occasionally stalking the grass…back to prey it could handle so minus the territorial screams. So until tomorrow night at 2am…or 3am or 5 am the fox returns somewhere in New Jersey

    1. Oh my goodness!! So that is the noise I heard. It was horrifying. It was about 1 am and there were these horrid screeching noises that went on for about 10 minutes. I checked the side of the house where the cats hang out and two of them were out there. One under the car looking scarred and the other sleeping on top of the ATV. I know we have foxes in the back pasture (there’s about 3 acres) with a grove of woods and tall grass. I heard the noise once before at about 9:30 pm. I used to have several cats and suspect they’ve been cleaning out my cats. I have 3 cats Ieft and really want to get rid of these foxes. I have a cage with bait but so far they have not entered the cage (wary animals). My husband shot one we saw stalking one of our cats. It is legal in Idaho to shoot an animal going after your livestock or pets. It was an instant kill, so the fox didn’t suffer. I suppose the one good thing the foxes have done is clean out the Rock chuck population. But a good cow dog will do that without killing the cats…..If your wondering, a rock chuck is the same as a Ground Hog. The female of the Rock Chuck is about the same weight as a cat and they have some nasty teeth in the front of their mouth. So that Professor that commented above is full of the old brown stuff.

      1. Bev French

        My aunt’s chow did take the cats too. Must of gotten the hang of killing. I always wondered about people who want to live in the country setting but then sterilize everything around them. humans are a degrace to this earth. That is the fox’s home so after your pets are all gone, DON’T get anymore. Unless you have it safely guarded from any predator I would suggest you leave it be and sit back to enjoy nature’s show. I watched a family of foxes on a rock pile and they played for hours. Mum came back and gave them hell for some reason or other.. every entertaining and yes, my cats are indoors and the dog run is covered. Everything is NOT put here for humans.

  3. One time I heard a noise like a large animal running out of the woods and into my yard – it turned out to be my tom cat followed by a fox! the fox looked at the cat then looked at me back to the cat then turned around and went back into the woods. I know they hunt cats!

  4. steven kennedy

    i was woke up by my neighbor who said she saw a fox chase my cat my cat escaped up a tree. last week one of my cats went missing witch leads me to believe it was took by the same fox as my cats dont venture far so foxes do take cats.

  5. Patootsie

    Why don’t you keep your cats inside? I keep my dogs and cats inside during the day and night. If I am outside then so are my dogs, if I am inside so are my dogs, my cats have a catio,that they have access to which is completely enclosed. We all sleep very well thru the noc!

    1. Exactly. We have two cats and they are indoor cats. We love them too much, to expose them to outside
      dangers. We live in the south and there are many animals who roam around both day and night. They
      love watching animals and birds from the windows…..and they are safe.

  6. I live in a suburban area, and tonight I witnessed a fox hunting a cat. There were terrible screeching noises when first heard the commotion. I couldn’t tell what it was, so we went outside, and I can see is a cat running in front of apartment buildings and the fox about to follow but then it went around the back to cut the cat off. We ran to try and stop what was going on, but we couldn’t find anything.

  7. I know the professor said he believes it is an urban myth. However I have to imagine that if a fox was hungry enough it would prey on anything it felt it could, in which I believe a cat would be one of its last resorts, because of the energy expense needed to successfully kill a cat (includes injuries the cat may inflict on the fox during hunt), so even though the chances are slim to none that a fox would prey on a cat there is still a very small possibility, but it is so rare that it goes unnoticed. In addition, I believe possibly what many of you may be witnessing and I believe which someone already suggested, is simply the territorial nature of a fox. Not certain of this, but I suppose seems reasonable.

  8. I have a 9 lb. dog who loves scaring away deer, squirrels, and foxes from our yard. There are two foxes (male/female) living under my next door neighbors deck and lounging in their back yard watching my dog. They always run when my little guy starts after them, although they’re twice his size. My neighbor continues to warn me that he might be attacked. I just don’t feel that the fox would be brave/disparate enough to do that. Nevertheless, I always accompany my dog when he goes out, but he does venture over to the neighbors back yard when I’m distracted.

  9. I saw with my own eyes this morning a fox kill a small cat and carry it of in it’s mouth

  10. alison walton

    For the last few months weve had a fox at the front of our suburban home. the noise it makes is chilling. I then realised it was pacing back and forth and our cat was under the car. Despite me shooing it away and firing a water pistol at it , it comes back night after night. It has even come into our back garden and sat on the patio! I do bring the cat straight in. I cant keep the cat in at night as he keeps crying until he goes out. Weve gad many sleepless nights with no answer how to stop the fox stalking our cat!

    1. A real gun does the trick!

  11. Susan Yund

    My cat has been missing for over 2 weeks. I saw a red fox just today, and I fear my sweet Booker may have been his prey. I’m still hoping for the best, and will continue to search for him. I did see a fox a few years ago, eating a dead cat that had been killed by a vehicle.

  12. My cat was killed by a fox this week i know it was a fox that killed her i found her fure right by a fox den, Its not like it needed the food there are 1000s of rabits in the same place it seems to like hunting and killing cats ! And now my other cat is hurning the fox i have to keep going into the woods to bring him home its was his mum the fox killed. I hope you find your cat Susan

  13. I’ve had three cats disappear from my fenced in seven acres over the last two weeks. one of my favorite cats just disappeared the other night. the next night I set a trap with roasted chicken in it and caught the Fox. I have 3 big dogs, but the Fox is so sneaky and quiet he would get the cat and run out the fenced area. I am quite certain this fox has been eating my cats, and I’m sure he would have kept coming back until they were all gone.

  14. I have seen a couple of fox around my house. Back in March, I had my young cats (sisters) out in the garden with the gate closed, so they could play. I looked up two different days and there was a fox watching us. In April one went across our yard, across the road and met up with another one, and they went in the woods. July 1st, I was grilling, both of my cats were with me, they follow me everywhere. I finished the food and called them to come in, they didn’t come right away, I got busy with a pot on the stove. In 20 minutes my wife went out to bring them in, and a fox had killed one, and bit the other in the stomach, which required staples. My cats were supposed to be 1 yr old, the next day. found a muddy fox print on the top of my grill, that I had laid on the ground. Me and my wife are heart broken. I now have a permit to hunt, or trap fox, and I’m going to get them!

  15. Catherine

    I have watched a fox chase my cat as she ran full speed for the safety of our front door. I flung the door open, the cat ran in, and the fox come to a screeching halt, then stood there watching, as if trying to find another way to get the cat. Foxes DO hunt cats. This was during the daylight, in the summer, when there was apparently no shortage of other food sources.

  16. Cordelia meyer

    My cat escaped out last night and we have had foxes in our nieghborhood,and he has not come home and I am so scared that they got him.While looking for my cat I saw a fox roaming the neighborhood,should I get a trap ? These foxes are not scared of us,and I thought they were gone as had not seen any for a few weeks, this morning I saw one in front yard with a little one,I am still praying that my cat is hiding out somewhere ,but I deep down feel they got him.where would they den in a suberbon neighborhood with no woods?please if anyone has answers please post.

  17. I rescued a pet fox. I did my research..Foxy had a huge outdoor enclosure that she lived in. One thing when reading about foxes, wild or domesticated they hate cats. So , even though foxy couldn’t get to my cats, if they came close to her pen, she changed and would have killed it in a heart beat. She loved all my dogs, except my terrior, why ??? She would have ate him to I am sure. Foxes are awesome as pets, if you are mature and prepared to care for one. Wild foxes are just that, they are wild. Food is food….survival of the fittest. So if you have a fox problem around your home, keep your cats and small doggies inside and safe. Or that’s life.

  18. Melissa Severance

    We saw a fox chase down and corner my cat last night. The fox was making a threatening bark like noise and it woke us up only to find that it had my cat cornered against the door, who we quickly let in. The fox just stood there, like “what punk!”
    The night before, my cat came in with lots of scratches and bite marks on his head. He was bleeding quite a bit from his ears. I believe the cat and the fox had a run in prior to the night I found them together. My kitty will now stay in at night. I am afraid the fox will kill him.

  19. I have just been woken up(12.30am) by an awful racket in the back garden, fighting, and screeching and chasing all round the garden. Went out with the torch, and there were 3 foxes, 2 big, 1 small, a baby I suppose, they were chasing one of our cats all round our sheds and in the bushes, like in a pack? One cat was hiding on the garage roof, one shot through the catflap into the kitchen all fluffed up, but Tigga, they were chasing him everywhere. Good job I went down, dread to think what might of happened. Lived here 10 years, and this is the first time the foxes have gone for one of our cats.
    I put 2 bowls of cat food outside, sooner they eat that, than one of our cats.
    Got me worried now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *