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Cats and foxes

(7 Posts)
Camargue Tue 01-Apr-14 11:01:48

I have two 6 month old kittens who've just started going outside (daytime only, door always left open) I can see a fox on a wall three gardens away; there's a couple of very overgrown gardens, and I see a fox pass by regularly. I don't know how danger-aware the kittens are, or indeed how dangerous foxes are to cats - can anyone give me some advice? They're rescue kittens who left their mother at 8-10 weeks, if that makes any difference.

cozietoesie Tue 01-Apr-14 11:33:00

There are huge numbers of foxes around and although I hear that they are timid, my own experience is not so - at any rate, I would be wary when we're coming up to littering time for them and you might have a gang of hungry young foxes, who have just been kicked out by their mother, acting in concert and against a young animal who is not up to the challenge.

I'd keep them in at night - actually as soon as dusk comes around. Round here, the foxes only start roaming from evening to dawn and if your neighbourhood is reasonably busy, I reckon it would be largely the same for you.

(Keeping them in at night will also reduce their chances of having an accident with a car.)

Do you have a catflap? A microchip flap that reads their chips and only allows them passage might be a very good idea if you can afford it.

cozietoesie Tue 01-Apr-14 11:35:30

PS - and make sure your rubbish is tightly sealed and that any table scrap bird food is only put out in the day so that it's gone by night. No sense in setting a dining table for them.

Camargue Tue 01-Apr-14 12:19:46

Yes, rubbish is fairly secure as it's all in clamped compost bin at the front. They are definitely around in the day, but I'll look out for cub-throwing out time - which I think is October ish. And am aiming to get cat door to go with their microchips and definitely keep them in at night. Thanks!

thecatneuterer Tue 01-Apr-14 13:30:15

There are some vicious foxes around. But the vast majority seem to be very timid and a bit scared of cats. I feed my foxes and they defer to my cats - even the oldest, frailest, tiniest, toothless ones.

Certainly once the kittens are a couple of months older I don't think you'll need to worry.

Lonecatwithkitten Tue 01-Apr-14 13:36:40

In 16 years I have never seen a fox bite on a cat, I have seen a mink bite, but that's another story.

cozietoesie Tue 01-Apr-14 13:55:12

I don't think you would see the cat, that's why. I suspect it's all a matter of size and that because foxes kill to eat, fights, if actually started, will usually be finished and the remains disposed of - as they do with road casualties.

Foxes will generally go for appropriate litter/food or the right size of prey - they're hell on rats I believe - so, for example, a single young inexperienced fox meeting a mature Bengal unexpectedly would likely run so fast they'd leave smoking rubber. At the other end of the spectrum, a young inexperienced cat meeting a gang of hungry young foxes would probably not be around for too long if they didn't run for it.

I don't think you need to be frightened of them - just properly prudent if you have young animals or outside caged pets for instance.

(And minks and their blood kin? Lordy. I've had to tackle one of those who got in to some pens one dark night and I count myself lucky to have hands left.)

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