Fox as a pet

Does anyone have experience with either domesticated foxes or those raised from young kits?

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9 Responses to Fox as a pet

  1. falnfenix says:

    i don’t know a lot, since they’re not allowed as pets in Maryland, but i’ve talked to owners of Fennec foxes…they say do not lose sight of the fact that these are wild animals and will act like it. also check local laws regarding foxes as pets.

  2. Work with foxes at Wolf Park, and while I have had someone tell me they are the best dog that will ever own you, here’s why they are not good pets:
    1. They have more than 40 scent glands, including a big one much like a skunk. Unlike a skunk, it can’t be safely removed, so there can be a huge scent issue.
    2. Nocturnal, and while can be active in the day they are primed to be most active at night.
    3. Vocalizations: wide range including one that sounds like a woman being eviscerated. Accept that they don’t understand “inside voice” or have a volume control.
    4. Climbers. Very good climbers. Enclosure at Wolf Park has roof for a reason.
    5. Being canids, they cache food. Unlike other canids, they don’t sniff it out, they remember where they put things, and if you move the stinking stuff, they will come back later and dig through sofa, floor, etc. looking for it.
    6. Diggers. They can and will dig through almost anything, and their lairs can be amazingly extensive (helped fill one in one time and it took more than 15 large wheelbarrowloads of dirt). At Wolf Park, that enclosure has more anti-dig features than the wolf enclosures.
    They are amazing and wonderful creatures, but unless you can handle all of the above, no, they do not make a good pet and are not recommended by any expert I know of for the reasons given above.

    • Kristophr says:

      I think Oleg was referring to the ones that were domesticated in Siberia via breeding puppy-like features into adult animals.

      Which was how wild Canids were domesticated into dogs.

      Yea, I agree, that all looks like a damned good reason to not make a pet out of a wild fox kit(?).

  3. jimbob86 says:

    I do know that “fox urine” is used as a cover scent …… for good reason. It will cover about anything, except skunk spray …. or maybe a dead rotting skunk.

  4. Nick says:

    Очень умные, самостоятельные звери с извращенным чувством юмора. Открывают замки в клетках. Оставляют пахучие метки в стратегических углах – кухня, обеденный стол, обувная стойка… Лиса может убить и сожрать взрослого кота. Расплескать аквариум и играть с рыбками на полу. Сделать подкоп под компостную яму. Закопать дохлую крысу в диван… Не рекомендую.

  5. Zhytamyr says:

    My father and mother had a wild red fox kit taken from a den when the mother was killed when I was a kid. It was so vicious that they released it within a few months. I once saw my father get stomped and gored by a bull, get up bleeding with cracked ribs, punch the bull in the nose breaking both the bulls nose and his hand, pull out the bull’s nose ring, and get away shaking it off like nothing had happened. I was 6, it left a heck of an impression. But the fox was too much to handle.

  6. Will says:

    Had a Red Fox kit in the 60’s. Caught it running through the woods near my dad’s hunting cabin in NE PA. Couldn’t catch the others. We had just left on our way home. Stopped and told the Ranger about them, neglecting to mention that I had one hidden inside my jacket. Stayed there all the way home, maybe 5 hrs? Ranger stated way too young to be out on their own, and that the mom had probably been killed.
    About the size of a 6 week old cat, maybe. Pick it up with one hand. Was able to grab it when it tried to climb up the embankment on the side of the road, in front of the Jeep. It was nighttime, and difficult to chase the others through the trees, even though it was winter.

    Kept it for a few months, I think. Very quiet and calm animal. Dad started taking it to work with him every day in his tow truck. It was still small enough to walk on top of the dashboard (’65 GMC?) Dad said it slipped off into the steering wheel and hurt a leg. He took it to a buddy who ran a veterinary teaching hospital in Philly. Doc told him the city raised students all thought it was a dog! I thought it looked more like a Siamese cat, myself. They didn’t even recognize the signature “yip” of a fox. I recall taking it to visit a girl from school, in a wicker basket, with a towel for a nest. Might have been an Easter basket. It seemed to like hiding under things, or being covered.
    My sister recently mentioned to me that it had decided that the unused fireplace was the appropriate place for it’s waste. No memory of that. Can’t recall if male or female. I’m thinking probably female.
    After the leg healed, it was given to some people who had a small farm, or some acreage of sorts. I was told they had it for years.

  7. Tama Paine says:

    Oleg, contact Anna Kukekova, formerly at Cornell, now I think at UIUC. She has done a lot of work with foxes, including foxes as pets (in line with the Russian breeding-for-domestication programs, offshoots of Belyaev’s work), and also with the molecular/genomic grounding of social, tame, and wild behavior. You may have seen her on the NOVA program, “Dogs Decoded,” in late 2011. That was around the time that /National Geographic/ ran a piece on Lyudmila Trut’s extension of the domestication research.

    Experientially, I know that while I like foxes, my hyperdrive olfactory sense would never allow me to have one nearby. Just the urine from the ones in our wooded neighborhood from time to time is enough to knock me out.

    Mary Webb, the quirky and brilliant writer of novels about Shropshire around the turn of the 20th century, had one of her books revolve around a feral girl and her pet fox: /Gone to Earth/. That one isn’t much in the literary sense–surely lacking the quality of her extraordinary /Precious Bane/ of 1924–but the fox’s character is very well drawn. ;D

  8. Frank W. James says:

    Many, many years ago when farmers were paid bounty to kill red foxes, I was with a group that dug out a den of young kits. One of the men, a school teacher, kept one of them and raised it. This was in the early Spring and he had it through the Fall. He fed it dry dog food mixed with whole milk and the animal thrived. It was kept in a chicken coop like affair in his back yard during the day in a small town in northwest Indiana. (Back then no one needed permission from anyone to keep these things.) He would let it out every evening and it would run and play in the area behind his home. It responded to commands when it got close to leaving the yard and was generally a family pet, although it did ‘stink’. (about as bad as a skunk) This guy made the mistake when it was almost full grown of giving it some chicken bones one evening and in an instance it turned vicious, growling and snapping and immediately bit his young son who was used to petting it. The man killed it then and there with a 1911 .45.

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