There are a plethora of freely-roaming foxes all over the United States. Foxes are the smallest of the wild dogs and are heavily related to wolves and canines. In some cases, these foxes may end up in your yard where your cat often hangs around. The result-a confrontation.
If you specifically own a big cat breed such as a Norwegian Forest Cat, you might be wondering and at the same time worrying how things will go in case your pet and a fox meet. There have been countless stories circulating about a fox of any kind successfully ending the lives of several unfortunate household cats, but how true is it? Let’s find out.
Are Norwegian Forest Cats Prey to Foxes?
It is highly unlikely that the fox will go out on its way to kill a cat and devour it, more so if it’s a naturally good-at-hunting Norwegian cat. To put it bluntly, even though the fox has a varied diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, insects, and meat, the Norwegian Forest cat is never on top of the fox’s food chain.
Mainly, the fox is a scavenger. The chances of him intentionally trespassing against the territory of your large feline just so he could eat it is extremely low. Moreover, putting in mind that an average fox is only a fraction larger than the Norwegian Forest Cat, he surely won’t be going back to his den unharmed. This means that a calculative fox won’t take risks if he’s up against a threatening foe.
What Happens If a Norwegian Cat Encounters a Fox?
If a Norwegian cat is hanging around in his favorite spot in the yard and he happens to see a fox lurking nearby, he would not see the intruder as a great threat. This is because cats are not helpless at all and can become feisty if the situation calls for it.
However, since the fox shares the same canine genetic pool, the instinct to chase after a feline is expected to kick in. Knowing that the Norwegian cat is equipped with sharp claws and reasonably long fangs, the fox’s determination to keep taunting will dramatically subside. The wise fox knows how he could be seriously injured if he keeps on advancing against a well-prepared and healthy Norwegian feline.
In rare cases, there could be conflicts that could be unavoidable. If you are keeping more than one Norwegian cat and a fox is creeping around the yard, the cats are most likely just going to chase him away. Cats are extremely territorial and other unfamiliar presences are intolerable. It could be that your pets don’t want another competition for their food bowls too!
Additionally, there are accounts when pet cats kill fox cubs. The cubs are small, weak, and vulnerable which seems to be a perfect recipe to fuel the prey drive of a large Norwegian cat. As you would expect, anything smaller such as rodents, birds, and even insects could gain the interest of a curious kitty. If your pet gets a hold of anything tiny such as a cub, he would, no doubt, pounce at it and exhaust it until the prey could no longer bear it.
Why Did Some Foxes Kill Cats?
In research collaboratively done by Pete Wedderburn (BVM&S CertVR MRCVS) and the University of Sydney, it has been shown that other cats and speeding cars pose a much greater threat to the life of a cat such as your Norwegian feline. If ever there is an account of a fox killing a cat, it is definitely not the norm, but it remains entirely possible.
Perhaps the top reason why a fox would kill a cat is that the disadvantaged opponent is either just a kitten or is old and weak. Foxes are opportunistic beings and would seize every chance they could get to fill up their stomachs especially if they have a young to take care of.
In moments where they are met with a geriatric, disabled, or newly-born Norwegian Forest cat, it is possible that the four-legged domestic cat won’t last the day. As what the fox’s nature would typically dictate, the dead animal would be eaten.
On a different note, humans would sometimes presume that a cat on the road being scavenged by a hungry fox was killed by it. But knowing that one of the reasons for cat casualties are road accidents, it is unfair to blame the fox. It is just reasonable and instinctual for a scrounger such as a fox to live off of a dead animal’s meat.
Is My Old Norwegian Cat at More Risk Against a Fox?
There is no absolute answer if a Norwegian Forest cat is at more risk against a fox unless we determine the factors that could come into play in a certain situation. We are going to look at each one and see who has the advantage:
Healthy Norwegian Forest Cat vs Healthy Fox
The most possible scenario on this, depending on whose territory is being unwelcomingly visited, is a scampering fox or cat. The obvious and most anticipated reaction from either of the two is to threaten the intruder and the intruder will most likely flee the scene. However, if one of them gets the upper hand, the situation may escalate such as a large Norwegian cat in a fight against a smaller fox or a group of foxes greatly outnumbering the cat.
Unhealthy Norwegian Forest Cat vs Healthy Fox
When two of these meet, then it would be an unfortunate circumstance for your Norwegian pet cat. From there, you would know that anything that could prohibit the cat from doing his skills in full capacity is a huge edge for a healthy and smart fox.
The most probable result out of this is that you either end up opening doors for a severely injured Norwegian cat or worse is you’re not going to see your beloved pet anymore. Foxes, especially mothers, tend to bring home anything of value. What they would usually do is bury the meat and let their cubs dig up for their prize.
Healthy Norwegian Forest Cat vs Unhealthy Fox
As obvious as it sounds, the fox is going to end up in a bad situation if put up against a large and healthy Norwegian cat. However, there is also a chance that the fox can get away depending on how tolerable and social your cat is. If the unhealthy fox quickly runs away from the territory or exhibits unthreatening moves, then the observant cat will likely just let the unfamiliar face go.
Unhealthy Norwegian Forest cat vs Unhealthy fox
The probability of these two meeting each other is very low, but if ever they do, depending on how threatened they are with each other, testing their strengths until the last bite is possible. There is also a great chance that they will simply tolerate each one’s existence but would still resort to keeping their distance away from each other. Things will only get worse if they have companions with them who can spark an intense fight.
9 Tips to Keep Your Cat From Foxes
Even though your Norwegian Forest cat can greatly outmatch a witty fox of any kind, a cat owner should never compromise when it comes to safety. We never know what will happen if we leave our furry companion outside as many circumstances could occur. Also, even if we just let our pets roam in the yard, other stray animals could easily get in and cause havoc.
To avoid any worst-case scenarios from happening, here are a few simple tips you could do to protect your Norwegian Forest kittens and adults:
- If your cat is weak and sick, keep him indoors. This could be a challenging thing to do as cats are, by nature, inquisitive. They have extreme levels of wanderlust and could get anywhere. However, as long as you give alternative ways for him to keep practicing his prey drive as well as keep him well-fed, the cat might simply rest indoors until he’s capable of dealing with the outside environment.
- Kittens should be let outside only if they pass a certain age. Norwegian kittens mostly rely on their mother for protection. Although a Mother cat can defend her kittens, there are still chances that a wandering fox could spot a kitty who’s been separated from the group and take advantage of his isolation.
- Scare off a fox on sight by making loud noises. If the fox is already inside your property where your Norwegian cats are, you can create alarming sounds as a way to tell him to get off the area.
- Never let your Norwegian cat out at night. Some owners might think that they are doing their pets a favor by letting them roam around at night. However, you have to be aware that this is the time where other predators are lurking and hunting for possible prey. As much as you can, secure all windows and doors your cat could use to get out of the house.
- Use a cat repellent. Installing cat deterrents can scare off any of the bravest animals that will end up in your garden. Usually, what this does is that any intruder that sneaks in will automatically get blasted with surprisingly cold and strong water squirted directly at him. This works well with a stray cat and it will also be a guaranteed method that will discourage foxes nearby.
- Avoid leaving any food source that could attract scavengers. If you feed your cat outside and there are leftovers, be sure to clean them off right away. If there are food scraps scattered anywhere, the scent the food makes will enable foxes to locate the source which is your garden.
- Use garden barriers. Fences or any dense hedgings can put a stop to a fox’s route to your garden. Make sure that they are well-built, have no gaps, and can’t be easily jumped over by animals.
- Keep your yard tidy. Foxes love to hide underneath long and thick grasses. To spot them easily, mawn the lawn and leave no spots uncut.
- Make use of your yard. Other owners would usually stop using their yards if a skulk of foxes resided in the area. This behavior will encourage the trespassers to stay. Instead, use your space and shoo off uninvited guests.
The chances of your cat getting attacked by a fox or vice versa are extremely low. This doesn’t mean, however, that this is never going to happen. For you as a cat owner, determining your pet’s health is crucial. If your Wedgie cat is healthy, strong, and well-built, if ever conflicts arise between him and a fox, he’ll surely be able to defend himself.
At other times, cats and foxes will just ignore each other unless your feline discovers and takes interest in the fox’s burrow. If you are worried about your cat’s well-being, help him enjoy the luxury of an indoor environment.
Foxes have been painted badly for a long time, but most of the stories about them are often misinterpreted. They are a threat to your cat, but they are the least dangerous animal to be concerned about. Overall, a fox attacking a cat is highly unlikely.
I hope this article helps you get out a sigh of relief if ever you’re living in a fox-filled neighborhood.