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Will foxes kill my cat?

A BBC article refers to a survey in northwest Bristol, where foxes were particularly common. The survey showed this to be a very rare occurrence, and even then it was predominantly young kittens which were taken.

This means your cat is far more likely to be run over, stray, or die from a variety of other causes.

Foxes are equipped with a set of sharp teeth. Cats have an equally sharp set of teeth, plus some pretty unpleasant sharp claws.

If a fox tackles a cat, it risks severe injuries and that is the last thing it wants. Every night a single fox will meet many, perhaps dozens of cats and most encounters are either indifferent or amicable.

Cats and foxes will usually ignore each other. However, some cats are aggressive animals and will go for a fox, sometimes to drive it away from their garden or food bowl. Usually a fox will flee but if this is not practical and particularly if it is cornered, it may defend itself against the cat. Then both animals may be injured.

Finally, although foxes live in family groups and meet up periodically to play or socialise, they hunt alone. So stories of "packs of foxes" roaming the streets killing pet cats are totally fictitious.

Do foxes attack people?

No. There is no confirmed case of this ever happening. They will not attack children or babies left in a pram in a garden.

It is true, however, that foxes seem to be less wary of children and young foxes may actually try to play with children but they will not attack them.

However, if a fox is cornered, it may bite in self-defence. So if you find a fox trapped in an outbuilding or similar situation, do not approach it or try to pick it up. Leave it an escape route and it will be away as soon as it feels safe.