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Cats and foxes - is there a risk?

8 replies

JuniDD · 11/09/2014 15:22

I have two cats who go in and out via cat flap.

There's a family of three foxes that live at the end of the garden and in the last couple of weeks they seem to have become very interested in the cats. It looks like two teenagers and a mum.

The two "cubs" have been coming up very close to the house and although they run away when we open the back door, they often return very quickly.

Today I heard a fox kind of "huffing" and went out. One of the cats was on the rail of the deck and the foxes were hovering about two metres away! They ran off and the cat ran into the house.

Are the cats at risk from the foxes? Is there anything we can do to put the foxes off? I've asked my (male) partner to pee in a jar and chuck it at the entrance of where they come into the garden but he thinks I'm making it up!

TIA

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cozietoesie · 11/09/2014 15:48

Personally, I think there's a risk but that it depends on circumstances. A healthy and mature tom against a single inexperienced young fox? No contest.

However - a young, inexperienced cat/semi-kitten against a mature and hungry fox or a litter of young foxes just kicked out by the vixen? Different story. We have many foxes round us (urban environment with lots of possible hiding places) and I hear too many kills/fights outside in the night.

I'd be keeping my rubbish secured and encouraging neighbours to do the same - and also keeping the cats in at night which is when foxes are most likely to come out. (Although some are bolder.) That way, the foxes are more likely to go for rats which are a significant prey animal for them.

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thecatneuterer · 11/09/2014 17:24

I've heard stories of foxes attacking cats, but in my experience I've never had any problems. My very large foxes (which I feed) always defer to my cats, even the very tiny, old, blind ones ...

I wouldn't worry too much.

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LittlePink · 12/09/2014 20:11

I read somewhere that foxes won't go near cats as they know if they get injured by a cat they won't be able to hunt and they are a threat to foxes. My cat is a female but she always sees the foxes off in the garden and the fox sheepishly retreats back onto the railway while my cat stands on the garage roof very much in charge of the garden. My cat has more problems with the other cats that live nearby than the foxes. The fights she gets into sounds like there's a murder going on. That's just with the female cat next door!

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cozietoesie · 12/09/2014 20:20

The kills/fights I was referring to aren't cat fights, sadly - I've had too many years of the latter not to know the difference. I just tell myself it's a rat being caught.

I think if you keep your cats in at night - which you probably should anyway for many reasons - then they should be OK. There's not much to be done about it anyway. Foxes are here to stay.

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nemno · 12/09/2014 20:27

It is thought 3 cats on our road have been taken by a fox/foxes. One was seen in the headlights at night with a cat in its jaws. It is possible that they were already dead on the road and then taken I suppose. Our road is rural and people drive fast.

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JuniDD · 12/09/2014 20:27

Thanks for the replies. They are such bold foxes, they come into the garden at all times of day. I went out today to try to shoo one off and it just stared at me! One of the cats came to sit by me with tail swishing having just had a fight with a tiny kitten! It's so hard!

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cozietoesie · 12/09/2014 20:32

I think that you near the problem, nemno. A mature cat (especially one as feisty as LittlePink's sounds) isn't going to have much of a problem but should a cat be under the weather or not up to scratch for some reason, it might be a different story.

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JuniDD · 12/09/2014 20:34

That's one of my worries, cozie, plus the fact there are 2/3 foxes are cats aren't known for their teamwork! The foxes also appear to be able to skulk on fences like cats do. :-(

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