F. A. Q for
Red Fox Family and Arctic FOXES
1. DO YOU SELL FOXES? WHERE CAN I
BUY A FOX KIT?
SELL FOXES? WHERE CAN I BUY A FOX KIT?
NO, I personally do not sell foxes or any other type
of animal. The purpose of this website and
message board is to help others learn more about
foxes and other animals, based on my experience with
The following are reputable fox breeders that I
highly recommend. Some will ship, but please make
sure a fox is legal in your
state/county/city/township and make sure you are
fully aware of what to expect.
ARE FOXES LEGAL WHERE I LIVE?
|The best way to find out for sure is to call your state DNR and
ask for permits department.
Also, keep in mind, you will need to follow city, county,
In other words: if your state allows a fox, your
city/county/township might not. so please check there also.
All States and
other countries have different laws.
Further reference, check here
I AM UNDER 18 STILL IN SCHOOL OR LIVE IN
APARTMENT OR RENTAL PROPERTY, SHOULD I BUY A FOX?
UNDER 18/STILL IN SCHOOL/LIVE IN APARTMENT OR RENTAL
PROPERTY, SHOULD I BUY A FOX?
If you are under 18 years of age, most states will
not give you a permit. It is unfair for the fox,
because not only will you not be the legal owner of
the animal in case something happens, you also do
not know what your future holds beyond school. Where
will you be in 5 years? 10 years? Before purchasing
any animal, you should at least have a rough idea of
this, because it is extremely likely that your
animal will be alive for that period of time. And
you will still be responsible for it, no matter what
What happens if you go off to college? What are you
going to do with your fox? Re-homing is not an
option. Most foxes do not re-home easily and the
process is extremely stressful. If you really and
truly want a fox, wait until you know for sure you
have the knowledge, and your own house.
It is not recommended to attempt to keep a fox in an
apartment. It is unfair to the fox, and chances are
that any potential landlord will not allow it.
Anyone living near you will not be happy either.
Foxes can be quite loud and you can expect to hear
complaints about it.
When foxes are bored or unhappy, they can be very
destructive. Their marking (especially on carpets)
will stink up your apartment, ruin your carpet,
furniture and walls. Some people have had foxes dig
holes in the walls.
We recommend that Foxes should NOT be kept on rental
properties of any sort, but should a person decide
to try this, it should not be an apartment, they
should be able to have an outdoor enclosure. If the
fox is not on the lease, the landlord can later
claim they didn't agree to the fox and have it
forced out or evict the tenant. Also charge you for
any damages they feel the fox did. Again, it is
unfair for the fox to live in these conditions.
I do not recommend owning a fox in a city
where houses are very close. Chances are good, you
will eventually have problems with neighbors. Keep
in mind, many people seem to think that foxes belong
in the wild and some neighbors can give you hard
time owning a fox. Also, keeping an adult fox
in the house 24/7 stands a good chance of the fox
escaping (not to mention the odor). Once a fox
escapes, they are extremely difficult to get back.
4. I WANT A FOX, BECAUSE
THEY'RE COOL. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THAT?
the wrong reason to buy a fox. Looks are a poor
reason to want any pet. They are pretty, but there
is a lot of work and understanding in raising a fox.
They are nothing like dogs or cats. They need
If you want to see a fox in person, check out zoos
or wildlife refuges. Some have foxes. Quiet
observation is often enough to satisfy the want to
see an exotic animal. You may also be able to
volunteer at a wildlife refuge that allows interns.
This way you could interact with all kinds of exotic
animals, without the stress and pressing
responsibility of owning one full-time. Some states
will actually require you do this in order to obtain
5 WHEN ARE KITS
in the spring (March-April); they are generally
ready to re-home in May.
They have kits once a year.
6. WHAT IS THE BEST AGE TO
BUY A FOX?
age would be 4-6 weeks. At this age, it is easier to
work and bond with your fox. They don't generally
develop fear until 3-5 months of age. 4 weeks is
more ideal for getting a fox.
This is why it is very important to spend as much
time as possible with your fox at a young age. Foxes
are generally weaned by 4 weeks. At that age, you
don't need to worry about bottle feeding a kit. Some
breeders pull their kits around the age of 2-3 weeks
of age. Some might not pull them at all. Either way,
it is important that the kit has a lot of human
contact from at least the breeder. Otherwise, you
may have problems with the kit.
SHOULD I BUY ONE OR TWO FOXES?
one if it is your first time owning one. This way,
you can focus on bonding with your fox, especially
if you've never had a fox before. If you decide you
want a second, wait until the next year to get one.
8. I WANT A FOX,
BUT I HAVE A DOG, CAT OR OTHER ANIMAL(S). HOW CAN I DEAL WITH
first bring your fox kit home, give him/her a little
time to adjust to its new environment first.
Once he/she feels comfortable, put the fox in a
carrier/cage and let your dogs sniff the fox through
This could take anywhere from an hour to a couple of
days. Do not let the fox get stressed.
Depending on your dogs' disposition, your dog should
get used to the idea of having a fox in the family,
assuming your dog is good natured, the fox will be
happy to play with the dog.
Cats, for the most part, don't really care about
foxes. However, with an adult fox, I do not
recommend keeping a cat together with your fox. Your
fox can kill your cat. Definitely never let a kitten
near your fox, or even in view of it. That could
mean instant death for the kitten.
Basically, anything else smaller than a fox is prey
to them. It is a must that you keep any other type
of animal away from your fox (rabbits, birds,
I NEED A VET FOR MY FOX?
Hopefully one that has some experience with foxes. A
fox will need shots and checked for worms.
Having the fox spayed or neutered will help a little
with the urine odor, though don't expect this to
eliminate marking or urine odor. It only lessens a
little. It also might help any behavior change
throughout the year. A good age would be about 6
months to have your fox fixed.
Prior to buying your fox, you must find a vet first
who will treat your fox. It won't hurt to find as
many vets as you can that will treat a fox.
Here is a list of some vets:
10. IS IT OK TO PLAY BITE WITH MY
will only encourage him/her to bite you. Use a toy
to play bite with your fox, not your hand.
11. ARE FOXES EASY TO CARE FOR?
|No. It is
a MUST that you understand a fox's needs and their
behavior. Do as much research as possible.
Feel free to join my message board here:
There are many fox owners here that can give you
more information based on their experience. It is a
very open community and questions are quite welcome.
We strive to educate people about exotics and
provide our knowledge to any curious potential
12. DO FOXES STINK?
is their urine that smells. Foxes will mark (which
means they will randomly urinate at spots). Keep in
mind spaying or neutering will not stop a fox from
marking. Having a fox fixed will help very little as
far as the urine odor.
Their fur is not the issue, it is their urine.
Keeping an adult fox in your house 24/7 will ruin
your carpets over time. The odor is extremely
difficult to remove. The whole room will, in time,
13. SHOULD I HAVE MY FOX DE-SCENTED,
DE-FANGED OR DE-CLAWED?
De-SCENTING (removal of the
This will NOT eliminate the urine odor.
De-scenting is a very dangerous procedure on foxes
and serves no purpose. You could stand a chance of
losing the fox if something goes wrong. If you are
even thinking about de-scenting, a fox is not for
you. This procedure is not at all the same as
de-scenting a skunk. It is a totally different
procedure. If anyone tells you differently they are,
quite frankly, incorrect.
This is a very dangerous procedure, and
could break the fox's jaw. There is NO need to have
If you think this procedure will help, you are
wrong. If a fox is raised properly, it won't bite,
like some would think.
There is no need to declaw a fox, or any
other animal. Fox claws are not retractable, and not
having them will cause problems for the fox. Foxes
don't scratch people; their claws are NOT dangerous
and there is no need to have this done.
It is cruel and serves no purpose. When you declaw
an animal, the surgery removes everything up to the
first “finger” bone. It's like cutting the ends of
your fingers and toes off to keep your fingernails
from growing. Absolutely no practical use
whatsoever, and in doing so you are crippling your
If you feel the need for any of the above,
then it is apparent that you need to do more
research on foxes, and have a better
understanding before buying one. All of
these practices are very much looked down
upon in the exotic pet community. Breeders
may refuse to sell to you if you mention
doing any of these things to their babies.
14. DO I NEED A
PEN/ENCLOSURE FOR MY FOX?
should have a pen for your fox. Most foxes love to
be outdoors. However, they do like to be with their
owners too. It is okay to let them in your house,
though not 24/7. You could also take him/her for
walks, but I still recommend a pen. Some states
require that you build one before acquiring a permit
for a fox. They may also need to be inspected on a
15. SHOULD I TAKE MY FOX FOR A
WALK IN PUBLIC PLACES?
|No. It is
okay to walk your fox on your property. The less
people who see him/her the better. Keep in mind,
there are many people out there that think
domestic-bred foxes are “wild animals”, and they
seem to think they belong in wild, even though they
have no natural instinct to hunt and would most
likely die. Therefore, you should expect someone to
report you, even if your fox is legal. Do you want
the hassle, just to walk your fox in public? The
less people know you have a fox - even though you
know he/she is completely legal to own and not
“wild” - the better. Some people can be vindictive.
They may try to poison or kill your fox. So it is
best to play it safe.
If there are frequent complaints, you stand the
chance of losing your fox by the state. Also, if your
fox nips or bites someone, and the person reports
you, you lose your fox. Exotics who bite are
confiscated and then tested for rabies, which
involves euthanization to examine brain tissue. Your
pet will be killed if it ever bites someone. This is
an unfortunate fact.
This is the other reason is most states and/or
townships or cities do not allow/condone a fox to be
in public. By doing so, you stand a good chance of
having the fox confiscated, possibly killed and
fined. It is best to be safe than sorry.
16. WHAT TYPE AND SIZE PEN DOES A FOX
bigger you make it, the better. “Chicken wire” alone
will not work.
Chain link or similar is the best type of fencing to
use. You can put chicken wire on the outside of the
chain link. This is more of a safely issue. If the
fox is small, it could fit is head through chain
link, and possibly get it stuck. I have personally
heard of this happening. However, if the fox is full
grown, it should not be an issue. But chicken wire
will help prevent anything small getting into the
pen, like kittens, chickens, etc.
It is a must to have fencing on the bottom and top
of your pen. Without a bottom, the fox will dig its
way out. Without the top, you stand a chance of the
fox climbing. If possible, dig a foot or two down,
then lay the fence and connect the sides. Then put
dirt over the bottom fence to make a dirt “floor”.
You can also put straw or wood chips over the
bottom fence. Wood chips seem to work the best, but
is more expensive.
The bare minimum size pen would be 10Lx10Wx6H. This
is assuming you can set it up with lots of shelves,
hiding places and a lot of enrichment. I personally
would suggest at least a 10x20 or larger. Never plan
on leaving an adult fox in a dog cage in lieu of a
pen. This is asking for problems.
However, keep in mind that as a kit, you kept the
kit in a large dog crate indoors, and let loose when
supervised. Living indoors, of course, allows the
person to bond closely with their fox (which is
crucial) while it is still young. Also, a kit will
escape from chain link. A fox kit generally won't
mark when a kit. They might start marking around 4-6
months. You can put him/her in the outdoor pen when
it is almost full grown.
When keeping a fox kit in a dog crate, keep their litter pan,
food and water in it. Make sure the kit always has
access to their litter pan. Also, you should include
a small cardboard box with a little blanket in it
for them to sleep in. Put a blanket or sheet over a
little less than half the cage mostly where their
sleep box is to make they are more comfortable and
feel secure. When you
have the kit lose in your house, make sure you have
litter boxes where the kit is.
17. WHAT SHOULD I PUT IN
A FOX'S PEN?
and hiding places for them. Foxes like to sit high
up sometimes. Also, some states require shelves in a
Some ideas would be a toddler playground equipment.
You can find used ones on Craigslist, eBay or at
yard sales. Durable dog toys also make good
You can hide some treats
throughout their pen and/or put some in a wide mouth
jug or brown lunch bags for them to work at getting. This provides
enrichment for your fox.
18. CAN FOXES BE LITTER TRAINED?
some may take longer than others. It is not
necessary to put a lot of litter in the litter box.
By doing so it will only encourage the fox to bury
their food there. You should also have a litter box
or two in their pen. If you don't have a roof on
their pen, the litter pan should be covered to
prevent it from getting wet.
19. HOW DO I LITTER TRAIN A FOX?
very helpful if you start from day one. Assuming
your fox is a young kit, you can start out with a
small box with litter. Keep a litter box or two
wherever you have your fox. Every hour or two, place
the fox in the litter box. If the fox kit defecates
or urinates outside the box, pick up the stool and
place it in the box. If they urinate, soak a little on
a paper towel and place in the litter box. You must
be consistent. Only with consistency will the fox
learn that their waste should go in the box.
When my foxes were kits, I kept them in a very large
dog crate at night. I kept a small litter pan,
water, food and toys. Also had a small box for the
kit to sleep in. I kept a blanket over half the cage
to help them feel secure. During the day
and/or when I was home, they did not stay in cage,
but did have access to it.
As the kit gets older, and you find the fox is not
going all the way in the litter box, then try a
bigger litter box. I use black cement mixing
pans for litter boxes. You can also try a very large
hooded cat litter box, but the cement pans are
cheaper. Line the litter box with newspaper first,
then put the litter over the newspaper for easy
cleanup. You can also get some 4x4 cardboard sheets
to place under the litter box. Sometimes foxes will
go outside the box. You can get the cardboard sheets
at many stores for free; just ask if they have any.
You can sprinkle a little cat deodorizer or baking
soda on top of the litter. Never spray the litter
with any other cleaning products or air fresheners.
However, when you clean the pans, you can spray the
bottom of the pan with a mix of odor destroyer,
vinegar and dish soap. Let it dry, then line the pan
with newspaper and apply your litter. A mix of
vinegar, water and dish soap helps deter flies.
20. HOW OFTEN SHOULD I
CLEAN A FOX'S LITTER BOX, AND WHAT TYPE OF LITTER SHOULD I USE?
use almost any type of litter. I personally use "Paws
& Claws kitty litter" from Tractor Supply"
brand, which I found to be the cheapest. It is $2.99
for a 30lb bag.
Sometimes I use "Tidy Cats". Remember, you don't
need to fill the box with a lot of litter. Also line
the litter pan with newspaper for a little easier
cleaning. Once the new litter is changed, I sprinkle
a little bit of "Arm & Hammer Cat Litter
The litter box should be cleaned once a day. You can
scoop in between. If scooping keeps the litter box
clean, then you can change every other day. I
personally have to clean their litter pans everyday.
Keep in mind, I have 3 foxes and 3 raccoons. (I have
7 big litter pans). If the litter pan is too dirty,
the fox might be more inclined not to use it.
21. MY FOXES URINATES OR DEFECATES
IN HIS/HER FOOD AND WATER DISH. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
will mark in their food, water dish or any thing
they want to claim. This includes your possessions
Place the food and water dish in a box, where they
can reach their head in but not their whole body.
I personally use a stainless small bucket for their
water. They can reach the water, but is harder for
them to mark in. Other options would be to use a
five gallon bucket with small holes cut in the side
(just large enough for the fox to comfortably fit
its head into).
22. ARE FOXES THIEVES?
will steal certain things like shoes, gloves or
anything leather. Especially leather. They will
destroy anything that is leather.
23. DO FOXES BITE?
However, if raised properly and understand the
proper training, then the answer is no. They
generally don't bite.
On another note, a fox can sometimes attempt to bite
for reasons we might not understand, just like a dog
or cat. This is another reason to never play bite
with a kit or adult fox. You can use a stuffed
animal or other toy, but never your hand or other
24 IS IT OK TO LET MY FRIENDS PLAY WITH
|No. It is
best to not let friends play with your fox. One
reason is that your friend may not understand foxes.
The fox will then be more inclined to bite them. If
someone gets bitten, even if you are close friends,
you stand the chance of losing your fox. Never force
your fox to be around a lot of people. Most foxes do
not adapt with a lot of new people.
25. ARE THERE ANY
FOXES THAT DON'T SMELL AS BAD AS REDS AND ARCTIC'S, OR BE KEPT
have heard Swifts, Grays or Corsac foxes are easier
to handle and that their urine doesn't smell as
strong. However, Corsacs can be pretty vocal, and at
this time they are not available in the United
Fennec foxes can be kept indoors. Though what I have
learned from Fennec fox owners is they make a very
loud screeching noise when they are excited. Fennec
foxes generally do not litter train. They also will
urinate in their bed and anywhere in the house.
26. WHAT SHOULD I
FEED MY FOX?
has their own methods and recipes. Some feed raw
meat. If you have an interest in complete raw meat
then check on the
message board for some fox owners that do feed
raw. However, my preference is cooked
chicken/turkey. Once in a while I will give them a
piece of raw chicken/turkey or a wing, leg or a
sometimes a small whole raw chicken. When available,
I will feed a little bit of raw deer meat with the
Like cats and ferrets, foxes also need taurine in
their diet. Chicken or turkey giblets usually have
this. I feed mine raw giblets (hearts, liver). This
is not meant to be their main diet, though. Canned
cat food has taurine. I also feed mine a small
amount of canned cat food. They don't get this every
day. It depends on what I feed them that day.
For an example, for my 3 raccoons and 3 foxes, I use
one can of can cat food for all 6 animals, then mix
it in their grain-free dog food . I then add their
chicken or turkey along with a little bit of chicken
My foxes' diet:
A mix of boiled chicken or turkey and veggies (not
Small kibble grain-free dog food and/or cat food
(not recommend for as a main source).
I mix this together and add a little olive oil along
with small amount of chicken/turkey giblets.
Beef liver (when available), Deer meat (when
I personally don't recommend beef. A little once in
while should not hurt, but I don't think it is good
as a daily diet.
For treats, they get raw eggs, which they love.
Dehydrated chicken as well (which they also love).
a little bit of marshmallows. Sometimes they will
eat them, sometimes just cache (save them for
You could try giving them some fruit and veggies;
mine won't eat any of it without being mixed in
their food (described above). However, some foxes do
eat fruits and veggies.
I just recently bought a meat grinder. I have found
this to be very helpful. I cook the chicken or
turkey first, which helps soften the bones to grind.
I will grind the meat and small bones in the
grinder, then add carrots in the grinder. I
try and make large batches of this, and freeze or
refrigerate (depends on the amount I make). I then
just mix this together with the rest of their food,
PLEASE NOTE: The above is what I feed my
foxes. There are other diets from other fox owners.
Some raw, some not. Every one has their own recipes.
The most important is the foxes get the proper diet.
I DO NOT recommend feeding dry cat or dog food as
their only source of food.
If you prefer to feed a raw diet, here is a great
site that pertains to feeding raw meat.
SHOULD I DO TO FOX-PROOF MY HOUSE?
all, it is important the fox doesn't get bored. Most
foxes should not be kept in a house 24/7. By doing
so, they will become bored which will encourage
destruction. However, keep in mind that as a kit,
he/she should be kept in your house.
When an adult fox is in your house, you should try
and keep the fox out of the kitchen. This would
depend on what you have in your kitchen. If you have
dog or cat bowls (water or food), even empty, they
will be more apt to mark in those bowls. If there
are any bags or anything on the counter, they might
mark those too.
For the other rooms, make sure you have anything
leather, clothing or shoes inaccessible to the fox.
All foxes are different, and some might be worse
My first fox would mark and steal everything. She
would mark lamps and anything else on a table or
counter. She would steal shoes, gloves, clothes and
destroy them. The three I have now are not near as
bad as my first one. I have learned more since the
first one. The first fox had access to the whole
house. She had a pen, but it was not as big as the
one I now have.
Some fox owners say their foxes have put holes in
their wall. If this happens, it is obvious that the
fox is bored. Foxes are very high energy animals,
therefore they need a lot of room to roam and a lot
of activity. However, the older they get, the calmer
they get (don't expect miracles though). A lot
depends on their activity.
If you have carpets, you can put the 4x4 cardboard
sheets down. You still need to worry about your
furniture. Keep covers on them. Clean anytime you
see where the fox marks. Otherwise they will be
encouraged to mark more often.
As they get older, some seem to lessen a little with
marking. When I have my foxes in the house, I try
and watch them. As soon as I see them attempting to
mark, I tell them "no" in a stern voice. They seem
to understand. But of course there are times when I
do not always see it. I don't have carpet, so it is
easier to keep control of the odor.
Please keep in mind, when your fox is in your house,
you must be very cautious when you or a member of
the family open an outside door. Foxes are
quick and can easily escape.
28. WILL A
FOX SLEEP IN A BED LIKE A CAT OR DOG?
not like a cat or dog. However, a fox will sleep in
your bed, but don't expect it to cuddle with you
like a cat or dog would. Foxes are not really
affectionate animals. Keep in mind, if you have your
fox sleeping with you at night, chances are good the
fox might get up during the night and get into
trouble. It may also mark you and your bed if you
allow him/her to sleep there.
29. DOES A
FOX LIKE TO CUDDLE OR BE HELD?
generally do not like cuddle or be held. Some foxes
will let you hold, assuming this was started as a
kit. They generally don't like to be held for very
long. Don't force the fox to be held for a long
period of time.
THERE ANYTHING THAT IS TOXIC TO FOXES?
|Yes, do not feed the
||*Anything with caffeine
||* products that contains
cocoa beans or hulls
31. WHAT SHOTS SHOULD A FOX GET?
Rabies (killed virus)
Parvovirus (could depend on your area, or if you
walk your fox)
Lyme Disease (depends on your area, or if you walk
Keep in mind, if a fox is penned up, there is less
chance of rabies. Usually, rabies only occurs when
the animal is bitten by a rabid animal or feeds from
the carcass of a dead animal who was infected. Other
diseases may be contracted if taking your fox for a
Contrary to popular belief, foxes/raccoons/skunks
are not “born” with the rabies virus nor do captive
bred specimens rarely ever come into contact with
any of these.
However, keep in mind if
your fox has a rabies shot (which is great if you
do) but, unfortunately rabbie shots is not
really approved. In other words, if your fox was to
bite someone, and is reported or needs to medical
attention, the fox still will most likely put down.
WANT TO BREED AND SELL FOXES. WHAT IS REQUIRED?
you must have a lot of experience with foxes to
breed them. Most states require a special permit for
this, along with a USDA permit. These can be very
hard to obtain and take years of experience to get.
If you want to breed foxes or any other pet animal
for the money, forget it. You certainly will not
come far ahead on breeding foxes. Keep in mind,
there is a good chance you might not sell all the
kits. Then what would you do with the kits you don't
33. ARE FOXES NOCTURNAL?
no. In the wild, they are mostly nocturnal. In
captivity, not as much. A lot has to do with when
and how long the owner spends time with the fox.
Foxes will take "cat naps" during the day. Mine do.
They love laying in the sun on their shelf or in
their tower. However, mine seem to be more active in
the late afternoon to the early or mid evening.
SHOULD I BATHE OR GROOM MY FOX?
|It is not
necessary to bathe a fox. Foxes generally take care
of their own grooming. Though, in the early spring
most foxes will begin to shed. If you start brushing
your fox as a kit, he/she will get used to it as an
adult. However, the adult fox might not want to stay
still long enough for you to brush it out. I
personally use a stainless steel dog comb on mine.
They seem to really enjoy the comb. The new
coat should be grown in by early fall.
Some foxes will shed and end up with large mats.
Foxes usually can pull them out on their own. My one
fox sheds in this manner. I don't use a brush. I
watched my female fox groom the foxes and even dogs.
She takes her teeth to the skin and zigzags up. I
tried this on the fox that sheds in clumps, and he
will sit for a lot longer than he would with a
brush. Of course I used my finger nails to do this.
If the mats are really bad, you can cut some of them
with scissors. I have seen a fox owner shave her fox
down to rid it of the mats. But most foxes will not
allow noisy clippers near them.
35. WHAT SHOULD
I USE TO PREVENT/RID MY FOX OF FLEAS AND TICKS?
have a problem with fleas or ticks, you can use
Frontline Plus or Revolution. Usually the dose for
puppies works best.
Do not use flea collars or any generic flea