What Do Foxes Eat? Do They Eat Meat or Plants? | Kidadl


What Do Foxes Eat? Do They Eat Meat or Plants?

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Did you know that foxes are nocturnal creatures that display similar behavior to cats?

Foxes are infamous worldwide for being the most cunning and deceiving animals in the animal kingdom, and all those stereotypes are true. Foxes are great opportunists, but have you ever wondered what these dog-like animals eat, and are they carnivores or herbivores?

Foxes are wild animals that are usually found in rural and urban forest areas. You’ll be surprised to know that foxes are situated almost at the bottom of the food chain as many wild animal species eat foxes. Rural foxes tend to live deep within the forests, away from human interactions and sights, while it is much more common to sight a fox in urban settings due to the scarcity of forests and enough food.

When it comes to the fox diet, most foxes are not picky eaters, and they tend to eat whatever they can find, ranging from small earthworms to rabbits and even grass. Foxes are not carnivores in nature as many people might believe and are, in fact, omnivores. You might have at some point come across an urban fox diving in a dumpster, looking for leftover food in the garbage. This is one of the differences between urban and rural foxes. Physically foxes resemble dogs, but in reality, they are more closely related to cats in behavior and other factors.

These nocturnal animals like to nap away and hide in abandoned places during the day and hunt for food during the night. They have much better vision in the dark as their eyes are not that well adjusted to the sunlight.  A wild fox gives birth to approximately six to seven baby foxes or fox cubs in one litter. At the time of birth, the baby foxes are completely deaf and have closed eyes; therefore, they are entirely dependent upon their mother for survival and only feed on their mother’s milk. After three to four weeks, the baby cubs begin to consume and look for solid food along with their mothers and are entirely independent by three months of age.

Are you wondering about what do fox eat? Can foxes eat cats? Do fox diets vary as per habitat? After you have learned about the diet of different fox species, also check is a fox a dog and fox noises?

Why do foxes eat grass?

When you think about grass-eating animals, you might picture herbivores such as cattle, elephants, and deer, but did you know that foxes too eat grass?

We’ve already established that foxes are omnivorous animals and that a fox diet consists of various items, including wild grass, berries, and small animals. It is unknown how much grass is consumed by these nocturnal animals, but their feces indicate the remains of grass quite often. Studies have shown that foxes do not enjoy eating grass, but they consume it as a medicine to help kill certain parasites that might be present in their stomach and gut.

As we are aware, foxes enjoy eating a lot of insects and sometimes can accidentally consume unwanted parasites like tapeworms. Eating grass might not be a fox’s first priority, but it is a good option in the absence of any live prey. A fox eats grass with a lot of fiber, which can help clean the gut and make the fox feel fuller for long periods of time. It can also help prevent various infections and intoxication by eating unwanted insects.

What do foxes eat in gardens?

If you live in an urban area with a lot of foxes nearby, then the chances are that you might have seen a fox lingering in your garden scavenging for some food, but what do foxes look for in a garden? And is it okay to feed the fox?

If you see a fox in your garden, then the chances are that the fox might be looking for some fruit or tiny insects and rodents that it can feast on like caterpillars, snails, grasshoppers, mice, or squirrels. It is advised to leave the fox alone and not feed it, as it can lure the fox to come back often and linger around, but we do understand that more than often, local foxes might be underfed and look malnourished, which might make you feel compelled to feed the fox then there are some things that you need to keep in mind first.

Do not try to pet the fox or feed it with your own hand; try to avoid being near a fox because wild animals should be given their space, and being too brave might get you in trouble. In some states of the U.S, feeding wild animals is illegal, and therefore you must check if your state allows this behavior.

Do not try to feed the fox processed sweets and chocolates; although foxes eat anything, processed sugar can harm them and cause long-term problems.

Please do not make it a habit to leave out food for the animal, as it might attract many more wild animals and rodents like mice and squirrels.

Only give the fox enough food that can be eaten at once; giving it more food than that can lead to it coming back more often or littering on other people’s property.

Do not try to take in a baby fox. If you feel like it has been abandoned or is lost, call your local forest officer and inform them about the cub. Wild animals are not pets, and it might be illegal in your area to feed foxes.

Here’s a list of things that you can feed the fox:

A fox’s diet is very similar to that of a dog or a cat’s, especially a dog, as they are also omnivores. You can feed the fox canned pet food or any leftovers, including raw meat and cooked vegetables.

Feeding the fox raw vegetables, cooked meals, and meats would be a good idea as foxes require protein in large quantities; foxes also love to eat fruits.

Why do foxes eat rabbits?

We have now established that these omnivorous animals feed on other small animals and vegetations. But you may wonder if foxes have an appetite for rabbit meat? Rabbits are small herbivorous animals that are both domesticated and wild. Read further to find out if rabbits are a part of a fox’s diet.

Different fox species survive on small animals and by eating carrion. While the diet of arctic foxes, mainly found in the arctic tundra, largely depends upon rabbits due to their significant bodyweight, killing and eating a fully grown rabbit is quite rare for smaller foxes like the fennec fox. Fennec foxes are small in size and mainly depend upon rodents, small birds, insects, and fruit.

Fennec Foxes are cunning opportunists, which means that they keep an eye out for the perfect opportunity to hunt their live prey. Hunting wild rabbits can be a bit difficult for foxes as wild rabbits are accustomed to escaping predators by hopping really fast and escaping. Therefore foxes are constantly on the lookout for small pets that are kept in people’s backyards. Foxes tend to kill pet rabbits and even small pets like cats, parrots, puppies, and tiny kittens. This is because small pets are relatively defenseless and make easy targets.

A fox comes through a hole in the fence.

What do foxes eat in the prairie ecosystem?

Due to their adaptability, foxes are found in various areas ranging from the coldest areas of the arctic to the hottest deserts.

The grassland of the prairie is a perfect habitat for foxes as there is ample space to run around and space where foxes play together with a wide variety of wild grasses and small prey to hunt for food. This is why the prairie is home to different types of foxes, some of which are general while others are particulars of the region.

Some of the foxes that reside in the prairie ecosystem are:

Red Fox: The red fox is one of the most commonly found foxes globally and is spotted easily in urban, rural, and grassland areas. The foxes are covered in brick-colored fur with a wide strip of white fur stretching from its mouth to its bottom. They are one of the most commonly illustrated foxes and, just like the illustrations, possess a fluffy tail that aids in maintaining the proper balance of the body. These cunning and sly red foxes eat everything as they are highly adaptable and have also been known to feed off leftover human foods over time. The opportunistic red fox feeds on small game-like tiny rodents like squirrels, mice, rats, hedgehogs, small birds like parrots, and pigeons, as well as insects and seasonal vegetation. Over the years, in urban areas, the red fox has also grown a liking for processed foods like cheese and canned vegetables and foods.

Gray Fox: The gray fox is a native of South America and is usually found in the South American grasslands. Like the red foxes, gray foxes are highly opportunistic and will feed on anything they can find, but unlike their red counterparts, these foxes have more pride and generally like to guard their areas. Their ferocious foxes like to feed on small animals that are easy to kill, and during the summer months, they like to eat berries and grass. These foxes are also very fast climbers and do not hesitate to chase their prey for long distances and even climb trees to catch birds or eat birds’ eggs.

Kit fox: Kit foxes are one of the smallest foxes in size that are found in North America, they resemble tiny cat kittens, and hence the name, these little foxes are extremely mighty for their size and can hunt animals that are larger than them. A kit fox does not adjust well to the cold, unlike larger foxes, and therefore are primarily found in the arid regions of grasslands. The kit fox is rarely ever seen wandering out of the grasslands that they’re born in. These foxes can even eat venomous animals and snakes without any problem and generally feed on animals like kangaroo rats, insects like grasshoppers, snails, birds’ eggs, various types of lizards, small birds that fly close to the ground, fishes, and even snakes. The kit fox can even survive on cherry tomatoes, berries, and wild grass during food scarcity.

Swift fox: These foxes are exclusively found in the grasslands of North America and are tiny in size, but as the name suggests, these foxes are extremely fast and sly and can detect prey from far away. These highly nocturnal creatures generally feed on seasonal vegetation, and small fruit like berries, especially blueberries, are considered the favorite fox food. During the winters, the swift fox generally feeds on hibernating rodents and insects. The primary source of meat for this fox is, however, leftover carrion.

Do foxes eat vegetables?

There is usually a scarcity of prey during the summer months, as it gets difficult for foxes to hunt fast prey, unlike in winters when they can easily track and hunt hibernating rodents. In the summer months, foxes, therefore, resort to eating seasonal vegetation along with wild fruit.

Foxes generally eat both cultivated crops and wild vegetation like wild strawberries, cherry tomatoes, barley, peas, and other ground vegetables. Foxes have a keen sense of smell and can even dig up root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and radish for consumption. Vegetables are an essential part of their diet to ensure proper health. If you have a pet fox, you must add a few tablespoons of vegetables to your pet fox’s daily meal to ensure a balanced diet. Pet foxes and wild foxes can eat a wide range of vegetables without getting sick, like cooked meals with seasoning, raw vegetables, and even frozen veggies. You may also have seen a fox diving in a dumpster, eating leftover fries and veggies. Therefore it is safe to feed veggies to your beloved cat in any form.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for what do fox eat, then why not take a look at fox teeth or fox paw print.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

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