Fun Gray Fox Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Sakshi Kashyap
Gray fox facts are fun to read
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.6 Min

Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), the nocturnal and friendly relatives from the family of our loving dogs are one of the most fascinating animals. Gray foxes can be seen around Northwestern United States, Southern Canada, East coasts of Central America, and in parts of South America. Even though their habitat is in danger at times, adapting to their surroundings is pretty easy for the fox. The gray fox is abundant in some places but they might not be seen by many people as they are nocturnal in nature. But if you want to see them, recognize them by their fur color which is a combination of gray, black, white, dark brown, and reddish-brown. One of their most distinctive features is their sharp and semi-retractable claws by which they climb up a tree. If you're looking for them sometimes around winter or spring, chances are you might meet the males of the species as they go hunting for food at this time while the females search for a proper home for the new kits coming into their family. When they are hunting for food, they are mainly looking for fruits, nuts, small mammals, and more. Don't worry about them attacking you as they are not at all dangerous to humans.

If your interest is piqued then read on to know more about the gray fox. Animal facts like this are abundant here. So, check out the fennec fox and the fox.

Gray Fox Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Gray fox?

Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) is a species of fox. It is a carnivorous animal belonging to the Canidae family.

What class of animal does a Gray fox belong to?

Gray fox belongs to the Mammalia class of animals.

How many Gray foxes are there in the world?

The exact number of the gray fox population is unknown but it's a relatively common animal. They can be seen abundantly but are restricted to a dense habitat living along with coyotes or bobcats.

Where does a Gray fox live?

The gray fox can be seen around the Northwestern region of Neotropics and around the lower half region of the Nearctic. To be more specific, the geographical range of the gray fox is the Northwestern United States, Eastern coasts of Central America. They can be found from Southern Canada to Columbia and Venezuela as well, except parts of the Great Plains.

What is a Gray fox's habitat?

The gray fox has the ability to climb trees, so they can be seen up in a tree resting. They mostly like to stay in deciduous forests, or brushy woodland and prefer places where they can get water supply easily. These foxes make their den mostly under or between large-sized rocks or in a hollow tree. Other than in trees or around rocks, they also might make burrows underground to live in.

Who do Gray foxes live with?

Gray foxes are solitary creatures. They like to stay alone except when it's the breeding season or they are taking care of their young ones. They are also a friendly breed. So, the gray fox interacting with humans can also be seen.

How long does a Gray fox live?

A gray fox lives for about six to eight years, whether in the wild or in captivity. The oldest gray fox at the time of their capture was 10 years old and the oldest ever gray fox in captivity was 12 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for the gray fox varies according to its habitat, location, and in more situations but it mostly comes in the winter. They are monogamous in nature except for a few among gray foxes. Both the males and the females of the gray fox mature sexually when they are about ten months of age. The courtship rituals during the mating season involve the male foxes competing for and defending their female mates. Sometimes they secrete a kind of scent to attract mates. The gestation period is about two months. After the gestation period, the pups weigh about 0.19 lb (86 g) at the time of being born. Before the pups are born, the males take care of hunting and the females take care of searching for a proper den. After the birth, both foxes take care of the pups. The pups start eating solid food at about three weeks and start learning to hunt with their fathers when they are about four months old.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the conservation status of the gray fox is of Least Concern. Other than falling prey to canine-related diseases that cause death, the prevalent threat to them is habitat loss. This occurs due to humans changing their habitat into urban areas or using their habitat for agricultural purposes. However, foxes are pretty good at adapting to urban environments as they can be seen around the areas quite frequently.

Gray Fox Fun Facts

What do Gray foxes look like?

(Gray foxes can climb up trees.)

Gray foxes are medium in size compared to all the other canines. Some of them who live at a slightly higher altitude are slightly larger than the ones living at a lower altitude. These foxes have elongated bodies with short legs. Their tails comprise approximately one-third of their body length. Their fur is a beautiful combination of gray, red, black, dark brown, and white. Their back, part of their tail, top of the head and sides are gray. Their chest, belly, sides of the face, and legs are reddish-brown. Their muzzle, throat, and cheeks are white and mainly a thin black stripe runs along the dorsal side of the tail with a little black tip. They have oval-shaped eyes and additional black stripes run from the outside corner of the eye to the side of their heads and from the inside corner of the eye to the muzzle to their mouth.

How cute are they?

Canines can be very cute in general and the gray fox is no exception to that. They have fur, which is a combination of some beautiful colors along with a beautiful tail that has a black tip, which makes them look ever so elegant. Not just the looks, but their behavior also adds to their cuteness. They are much friendlier than other foxes.

How do they communicate?

When gray foxes are young, they fight playfully. Adult gray foxes, whether male or female, secrete a distinctive scent to mark their territory and attract mates. Male gray foxes also raise their hind legs to attract females. The other ways they communicate is by growling or barking.

How big is a Gray fox?

Gray foxes are medium in size compared to others among the canines. Their length is about 31.5 in - 44.3 in (80 cm - 112.5 cm) including the tail and their height is about 12 in - 16 in (30.5 cm - 40.6 cm) when they are standing. The male is maybe a little larger than the female foxes. Whether male or female, they are a lot similar in size to the red foxes, the largest among the true foxes.

How fast can a Gray fox run?

As gray foxes have sharp and semi-retractable claws, they can climb up a tree, rocks, or sometimes rooftops too. Their top speed reaches about 42.2 mph (68 kph).

How much does a Gray fox weigh?

Gray foxes are medium-sized animals with lean bodies. They weigh about 4.4 lb - 19.8 lb (2 kg - 9 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The males of the species have a few names, such as tods, reynards, or dogs. The females of the species are called vixens.

What would you call a baby Gray fox?

The young foxes are called kits, cubs, or pups. There is also a species of a fox named kit foxes but they are a specific species and should not be confused with the young ones being called kits.

What do they eat?

Gray foxes are omnivorous animals who eat fruits, grains, nuts and also prey on smaller animals. Their diet starts including solid food from the age of three weeks. In the case of adults, in the winter they eat mice, cotton rats, wood rats, cottontails, and more. In winter, in the Sonoran Desert, they eat fruits of the California palm tree, and come spring, their consumption of fruit increases, sometimes reaching up to 70% of their diet. They also feed on invertebrates, grains, and nuts during spring. Sometimes the gray foxes pile up food and bury them inside holes they dig themselves. They then proceed to mark the spot by urinating above it or by secreting their scent.

Are they friendly?

All kinds of foxes tend to be friendly and gray foxes are no exception. They are playful and the young ones play among themselves and they are also friendly with other animals. These animals might not be too friendly with humans like dogs are, but gray foxes can still be seen around urban areas.

Would they make a good pet?

Gray foxes are one of the friendliest and calmest of all foxes. A lot of foxes are wary of humans but the gray foxes are definitely an affectionate bunch. They can be seen in abundance around the urbanized areas too. But they are wild animals and they can't be kept as pets completely. They might not smell as bad but they might wreck your home unknowingly because of their wild nature.

Did you know...

Here are a few interesting facts about gray foxes.

Gray foxes are primarily nocturnal in nature and so are rarely seen by humans.

Gray foxes sometimes climb up trees to avoid predators.

Sometimes gray foxes take their young ones and make a den in a hollow tree way above the ground.

When gray foxes try to climb down the trees, they back down and climb down the tree vertically.

People mistake the gray fox with the red fox due to part of the fur of gray foxes being reddish in color like that of a red fox.

It has been proven by the fauna remains from two caves in Northern California that the gray fox was present in the late ice age.

What does a Gray fox sound like?

Gray fox sounds are barking or growling sounds. They do have a distinct bark that is exclusive to them. That is their repetitive bark which they do about four or five times. They sometimes bark or yip a few times sharply to attract mates. They also make snarling, screeching, squealing, and chuckling sounds.

Can gray foxes climb trees?

Gray foxes can climb trees pretty well. They sometimes climb up a tree and rest above. Sometimes they make homes way above the ground in a hollow tree too.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the bat-eared fox and the tundra wolf.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Gray fox coloring pages.

Gray fox Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Mice, squirrel, chipmunk, small mammals

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

3 - 4

How Much Did They Weigh?

4.4 lb - 19.8 lb (2 kg - 9 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

deciduous forests

Where Do They Live?

lower parts of north america, parts of south america

How Long Were They?

31.5 in - 44.3 in (80 cm - 112.5 cm) [including the tail]

How Tall Were They?

12 in - 16 in (30.5 cm - 40.6 cm)







Scientific Name

Urocyon cinereoargenteus

What Do They Look Like?

Gray, white, black, and red

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?

humans and diseases

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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