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Will a Fox Eat a Cat? Maybe? Let’s See!

Will a Fox Eat a Cat? Maybe? Let’s See!

With the destruction of their habitat, foxes have been forced to live in suburban areas and even cities. This means they come in contact with household pets like cats.

Since adult cats are about the same size as a fox, they are too big for most foxes to even dream about hunting.

Kittens are small enough to be hunted. Animals that do hunt and eat cats include coyotes and wolves.


Will a Fox Eat a Cat?

Foxes usually do not try to hunt and kill adult cats, since adult cats are formidable fighters unless they have been declawed. Small kittens, however, do make for easy prey. More often, foxes will eat cat corpses and any animal they come across. Cats are more in danger of dying from the bite of a rabid fox rather than from a fox trying to hunt the cat.


What Foxes Do Eat

Foxes eat just about anything they can find. They eat various array of foods, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, and garbage.

They also eat carrion or the corpses of dead animals. They often cruise streets looking for roadkill.

Foxes may have gotten a reputation for killing cats because they were seen eating cats killed by cars.

Foxes do hunt. They go after insects, small birds, chicks, amphibians like frogs, small reptiles, and if they live near water, crabs, and fish.

Mostly they hunt rabbits and rodents for their dinner. They have also learned how to hunt and kill poultry and newborn lambs.

They are more a danger to any pets like rabbits or guinea pigs kept in outdoor hutches than they are to cats.

Foxes are also smart enough to store food for later. They know that fortune is fickle. Food can be plentiful one day and completely gone the next.

To get through the bad times, foxes bury food, a behavior called caching. Captive foxes and foxes as young as six weeks old start burying some of their food.

Foxes bury a small supply of food in many different places. This way, if one cache is discovered and eaten by another animal, like another fox, there still are more caches to feed on.


Foxes Eating Small Pets Like Kittens

Since kittens are very small and can’t fend off the attack of a fox, they can be killed and eaten by foxes. Data was collated by VetCompass, a non-profit to help find better ways of keeping pets healthy and safe.

It looked at 145, 808 cats that died from 2010 to 2013. Only 79 had been killed by suspected fox attacks.

These are suspected and not always confirmed attacks. Of those attacks, most of those were kittens.

Foxes generally go after any prey that is smaller than five pounds, including kittens and puppies. It’s vitally important that all cats and kittens be kept indoors whenever possible.

This is the best way to protect beloved pets from getting killed by foxes or any other animal. If the pet is let outside, it must be accompanied by a human, since foxes are, for the most part, frightened of people.

Foxes are famous for eating baby foxes, called kits. This is rare since foxes prefer other prey.

However, a starving fox is not going to be a picky eater. It will eat whatever food it comes across, including fox kits.


Animals That Eat Cats

There are animals that will hunt and kill a cat for food. Perhaps the deadliest is the coyote.

Some coyotes look very foxlike, which may be where the idea of foxes attacking cats often came from. 

A study done by the National Park Service on California coyote diets by analyzing their poop found that, although they mostly eat human garbage, cats make up about twenty percent of their diet.

Another wild animal that kills and eats cats often is the raccoon. Like foxes, raccoons target kittens far more than adult cats.

Raccoons can attack in groups large enough to overpower a cat or even a small dog. Many attacks often happen when a raccoon becomes rabid and will bite just about anything.

If the cat does not die from the attack, it will die from the rabies if it has not been vaccinated.

Other animals that kill cats and kittens include birds of prey, alligators, wolves, mountain lions, bobcats, and snakes.

Cats can not only be killed by the bite of a venomous snake but can be caught by large pythons like boa constrictors.

Many constrictors are originally pets that were freed into the wild as soon as they grew too large.


Protecting Your Cat from Rabies or from Other Animals

It is possible for cats to be bitten by a rabid animal, including a rabid fox. Rabies is found in most species, including people.

Although treatable in people, rabies is not treatable in cats. Any cat with rabies will die.

Make sure the cat is vaccinated for rabies as this is the only way to save it from the disease. Give booster shots once every 1-3 years.

Even cats that live their whole lives indoors need rabies vaccines. It is possible for cats to escape or get infected by any rabid animal that gets into the house.

Foxes rarely go into homes, but it’s been known to happen. If a door or window is left open, they will take advantage of this to dart inside and steal food.

In the process, they could bite the cat.

The best way to protect any cat from wildlife like coyotes is to keep the cat indoors. There is just no other way.

Cats quickly adjust to living indoors. Getting them spayed or neutered makes cats want to roam less.

Cats in outdoor enclosures like playpens need to be closely monitored by people.


Frequently Asked Questions about a Fox Eating a Cat


Will a Cat Attack a Fox?

Adult cats have been known to attack foxes. Cats tend to come out of the battle surprisingly well. Mostly, a cat will just chase a fox rather than slay it.


Will a Rabid Fox Attack a Cat?

Rabid foxes will attack just about anything, including cats. It’s important to keep your cats up to date with rabies vaccinations, especially if they are allowed outside. Foxes have been known to enter homes looking for food.


Will Foxes Play with Cats?

Foxes will sometimes play with a cat, although much of their idea of play is chasing the cat. A fox could highly stress a cat or chase the cat into a road or other dangerous situation. Sometimes, the cat chases back.


The Least You Need to Know

Foxes rarely hunt cats but may hunt kittens. They will eat dead cats.

Cats are in danger of getting bit by a rabid fox more often than getting attacked and eaten by one. Other animals that kill cats include coyotes and raccoons.

Keep your cats safe by keeping them indoors and vaccinated against rabies.