You’ve probably heard some common descriptive expressions about foxes, like “she’s sly as a fox” or “fox in the henhouse.” These critters are known to be super smart, curious, and clever. They also happen to be quite cute and charming. Do you know whether a fox is more closely related to a dog or a cat? Read on to learn this and other interesting facts and to see some awww-worthy photos of adorable foxes.
Plant A Seed, Grow A… Fox?
Please tell us where to buy the kind of seeds that grow foxes! Something tells us that you can’t just stroll into Lowe’s or your local garden center and leave with a bag of magic beans that will bloom into an adorable fox a few weeks later.
Fun fact: the Latin term for fox is “Vulpes Vulpes,” and they don’t grow from seeds. Foxes gestate in the womb for 52 days, which is about 7.5 weeks or slightly under two months.
A Baby With His Blankie!
Awwwww, look at the sweet little baby fox! Any guesses how old he might be? According to the Redditor that posted this photo, he’s only three and a half weeks here and was brought into an animal rehabilitation center. He’ll eventually be released back into the wild with some other foxes.
Young foxes are called cubs, pups, or kits. Males are known as dogs, tods, or reynards, and females are called vixens. We have a feeling this kit is in for a long and happy life.
Look at these two, getting all comfy on someone’s chaise lounge chair. The person who took the photo said, “Last year there was only one.” The first fox knew a good thing when he saw it and just had to have a friend with him next time!
For the most part, foxes mate for life. So this companion could very well be the first fox’s romantic interest, which makes the photo even sweeter.
Sniff! This curious red fox is giving a human’s outstretched hand a smell. Scent plays a very important role for foxes as they socialize with each other.
Smells are used both to identify individual foxes and also to locate territorial boundaries. Foxes have been known to use their senses of smell to find food that’s buried several inches below the ground, even with a layer of snow on the top.
If I Fits, I Sits
Are foxes closer to dogs or cats? They’re part of the “Canidae” family, so they’re closely related to jackals, wolves, and dogs. That being said, foxes sure act like cats at times!
For example, this fox seems to be illustrating the “If I fits, I sits” cat meme. It’s all curled up in a pot that looks as though it’d be much too small for the fox. Instead, the animal makes it work and looks as cozy as can be.
No Swimming For Me, Thanks
Foxes are like cats in some ways. Although they’re good swimmers, many of them try to avoid the water because they don’t like getting wet. If a fox gets wet, its fur is unable to retain warmth as well. Wet fur also makes the fox heavy and less agile.
Perhaps that’s why this beautiful red fox was basking on a warm rock instead of swimming in the river behind it when a kayaker snapped this photo.
Fox In The Henhouse
Redditor Cdftbt shared this photo and said, “A cub snuck into our chicken pen and fell asleep, without harming any of our chickens!” That’s surprising since foxes usually eat chickens. This little kit might be too young to hunt, however.
When foxes are about three months old they will start eating solid food that their parents provide, and it’s around this age that they also begin to hunt with their parents.
Totally Content In The Snow
This photo was taken at the Quebec City Aquarium and shared by Reddit user brandond67, who was excited that the Arctic fox had “smiled” at him. If the fox looks happy here, it’s probably not just your imagination.
Arctic foxes have the warmest pelt of any other animal found in the Arctic. They can survive in temperatures as low as -94 degrees Fahrenheit. Their fur is white so they can blend into the snowy environment.
She Just Wants To Play!
A Reddit user shared that he was startled when his outdoor security light went off at 1:00 in the morning. When he went to investigate, this is the scene he found. A kit had found one of his dog’s toys and was playing with it!
Based on this photo, it should come as no surprise that foxes are indeed very playful critters. They play with their littermates and other animals, similar to how dogs and cats do. They also love toys and are fond of retrieving them from peoples’ backyards.
Let A Sleeping Fox Lie
Imagine coming out of the grocery store and getting back to your car to find this situation on your windshield! This cutie patootie looks like he was so tuckered out that he just had to take a nap right there on someone’s car.
The Redditor who shared this photo wrote, “ssh, don’t want to wake him up.” Nope, we don’t want to wake him up. Let him get his beauty rest. Foxes are nocturnal so it’s not weird at all that he’s sleeping in the middle of the day. It’s just his choice of bedding that’s a little iffy.
Bus Stop Buddy
Redditor Bowlerhatbear shared this unexpected photo of a fox tugging on their pant leg and said this is what they woke up to after “passing out” at the bus stop.
Perhaps this person was about to get on the wrong bus and the fox was trying to warn them; foxes have an excellent sense of direction. They actually use the Earth’s magnetic field and their navigational skills to hunt their prey.
All Curled Up On A Tree Stump
In the wild, foxes don’t usually sleep in dens unless they are females that are giving birth to or raising their cubs. Instead, they tend to curl up into a ball out in the open when they sleep. Twitter user Sara Ryan got to learn this firsthand when she saw this curled-up specimen in an unexpected place.
“Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the sweetest lil fox sleeping on a tree stump in my parent’s backyard,” she wrote.
Foxes are pretty common household visitors in many parts of the world. Silver foxes, like this pretty one, can be found all over much of North America and even in Australia. That doesn’t make it any less exciting when one decides to show up at your house and investigate your yard or even your patio.
The silver fox is a color variant of the red fox and comprises about 10% of the red fox population. A silver fox’s coloration can be black, bluish-gray, or silver, with a tail that has a white tip.
Having A Laugh
One lucky Redditor got to have a chance encounter with this fella, who looks like he’s smiling after hearing a good joke. They wrote, “this fox came up to my brother and I while I was walking my dog. Wasn’t hostile at all!”
Smiling this way might be a sign of submission, according to some fox behavior experts. Either way, it’s best not to touch any wild animal, even one that looks as friendly as this fox.
Foxy’s First Christmas
When Redditor cyyclist shared these photos they wrote, “I think someone has a crush on my Christmas light decoration.” Do you think? It looks like the young fox is totally smitten with the red fox-shaped light that’s dressed as Santa Claus.
Interestingly, foxes have dichromatic (two-color) vision so they might not be able to see red very well. Even if this little guy can’t, something about the decoration sure has him fascinated. Guess he just has good instincts!
Don’t Mind The Mud
Instagram user elainestocks shared this irresistible photo of two muddy fox kits who came to investigate. She wrote, “Woke up early to find these feisty little fox cubs scrabbling at the back door! Think they must be confused by seeing their reflection in the glass.”
You wouldn’t be able to see it through the mud, but foxes have whiskers on their legs. The whiskers help the animals orient themselves, especially in the dark. Pretty neat!
Yes, This Is A Fox.
Although this beautiful creature might look like an exotic cat or some other species (maybe even a skunk), it is actually an Arctic Marble Fox. Instead of the usual reddish or tawny color we’re more used to seeing, these foxes are white with black or tan streaks.
These guys are members of the red fox family but their coloring doesn’t happen naturally. It’s the result of genetic mutations. Many people think the first one was born at a silver fox ranch in Norway in the 1940s.
As we’ve seen, foxes are quite sly and playful. An Imgur user shared this photo with the world, writing “I’ve got a family of foxes living in the bush at the end of our garden. The mum is particularly sneaky…”
You can barely see the red fox’s face as she watches from deep behind a shrub. That’s very sneaky indeed! She knows that the bushes are an excellent hiding spot because foxes are very good at blending in with their surroundings when they hunt.
Here I Am!
Well, this is just about the cutest thing you could ever hope to see when you look out your back door first thing in the morning. Redditor Vechrotex was at their grandmother’s house when this kit showed up, seemingly to say hello.
It’s also taking a good taste of the window, probably because it’s a new surface to investigate. As we know, foxes are curious creatures that like to explore their surroundings.
Could He Be Any More Excited?
“Christmas came early at the zoo my girlfriend works at, and one fox couldn’t be happier!” That’s the caption that Imgur user Daytman provided with these delightful pictures of an Arctic fox that appears to be in disbelief at the fact that it has a Christmas present to open.
In zoos, activities like this are meant to provide enrichment and entertainment to the animals. In the wild, foxes live up to three years, and in captivity, that number goes up to 10.
It’d be pretty hard to get angry with a garden intruder as cute as this red fox. Since they like to curl up to sleep outdoors in the wild, this window box meant to hold flowers probably looked perfect for a nap.
Here’s a fun fox fact that might not be obvious from this particular photo: they can run very fast, at speeds up to 30 miles per hour! This is due to their slender bodies.
“Couldn’t Help But Overhear You”
This polite-looking red fox lives in Redditor n1cen1cholas’ back yard. They’ve named him Jasper. It’s possible that Jasper heard something intriguing going on inside the house and decided to come to check it out.
Foxes have amazing hearing and have been able to detect the sound of a mouse squeaking from 100 feet away and a watch ticking from more than 120 feet away! This keen sense of hearing comes in very useful when hunting.
“Found This Fox Chilling In The Backyard”
In the wild, a fox’s natural predators include wolves, bears, coyotes, and mountain lions. It does not appear that any of these enemies are around at the moment, since this fox has decided to curl up on an outdoor sofa for a snooze.
The Redditor who posted this said, “Found this fox chilling in the backyard lol.” If a predator did happen to come along, the fox would hopefully be able to outrun it and get to safety.
This is one of the gorgeous residents at Save A Fox, a non-profit wildlife sanctuary in Minnesota. We get a good look at the beautiful animal’s eyes here and you might notice something unique about them: the pupils are vertical.
This is one more trait that foxes have in common with cats and other animals that are nocturnal. The vertical pupils help foxes to see well and detect prey in dim lighting.
See My Paws?
Here’s another (adorable) example of a fox behaving in a way that seems catlike. It’s curled up into a ball in this outdoor garden chair, just like you might imagine a cat doing.
Another similarity that foxes share with cats involves their claws. Both species have retractable claws, which means they can be pulled inside the paws. Retractable claws are for hunting — they make it easier to catch and grip prey.
Back For More
This is the same kit we saw earlier, licking at a glass door. Redditor Vechrotex provided this update when it came back and brought a friend to play. “The baby fox at my grandmother’s house has a friend and they are chasing each other.”
As with most species of animals, young foxes love to play. They wrestle, they chase each other, and they even play with toys. It’s all part of learning about the world around them.
Redditor maxadrums shared this beautiful photo and said, “We’ve been getting almost daily visits from this wild fox over the course of the past couple of months. My wife shot this photo of the two of us in today’s sunset!” Stunning.
Although it’s not common to find friendships between foxes and humans these days, there has been a relationship between the species for thousands of years. In fact, researchers discovered a 16,500-year-old grave in Jordan and found the remains of a human and a pet fox together in it.
Against the backdrop of bright green grass, we really get a good look at this red fox’s coloring. It’s so vibrant! And the animal is posed in such a regal way, as if he knows how handsome he is.
Because of their intelligence, foxes are able to adapt well to many different environments, including suburban areas. That could be the reason this one appears to be in someone’s yard enjoying the soft spring grass.
Adorable Garden Raiders
“Planted foxtails on the patio this year; they’re doing well.” That’s what Redditor Llandryn posted along with this photo of a set of foxes that have taken up residence in their patio garden. One clever responder asked, “From seeds, or did you use the kits?” in a play on the word for young foxes.
Foxes are omnivores, meaning they eat a diverse diet that even includes fruits and vegetables at times. Perhaps these guys were looking for fresh veggies when they raided the garden.
The Smallest Cast You’ll See All Day
This tough little fox has a broken front leg and is wearing the tiniest cast ever to help it heal. Does this little fox remind you of anyone? As one Redditor commented, “If it had a little cap it would look just like Paddington.” So true.
Someone else asked how the fox had gotten injured but no one was sure. Baby foxes tend to get rambunctious at times, just like other species, so perhaps it was injured in a wrestling match with its littermates.