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  • From: Road's End Farm <>
  • To: North American Fruit Explorers <>
  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] off topic: foxes
  • Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 21:56:47 -0400

On May 23, 2011, at 6:34 PM, Ginda Fisher wrote:

Foxes eat rabbits, and help protect my plants, right? So foxes aren't completely off-topic. But does anyone know how likely they are to eat (or kill) house cats? We seem to have a rather bold fox in the neighborhood. I just saw him trot by, and I let in a rather nervous-looking cat. The cat is critical for controlling birds and chipmunks around my currants, (and she eats young rabbits) but she's also a pet, and I'm wondering how risky it is out there.

On the plus side, I suppose if we have a fox this year, we probably don't have coyotes this year. . .

Weird looking fox, for what it's worth. I think it's a red fox (the species, that is), but his back is mostly brown. Sort of a mottled fox. I have seen a gray fox in the area, but I think those are larger than this one.

Eastern MA, zone 6

A fox hanging around in broad daylight may have something wrong with it. Rabies is a possibility, but so is mange. Red fox are susceptible to it, and it can be a serious problem. This site

says that foxes with mange may come close to human habitations in the hope of finding food, as they're ill and having trouble hunting. (I have no idea whether their prescription for leaving ivermectin bait out is a good idea. I'd consult with both a local vet. and local wildlife control before doing anything like that.)

The site also says that such foxes aren't dangerous to cats; but the cat might know better than the site does. I keep my cats in at night -- but we have coyote. I really don't think that fox will keep coyote off; if anything, it might work the other way around.

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale

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