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Stealing food and sudden aggression

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Aeroz
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Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Aeroz » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:07 am

Not so what triggered this but my 5 month old red fox is suddenly very aggressively trying to get my food. She'll jump on my lap while I'm eating, try to knock over plates, ect. While trying to get it she is also extremely aggressive. Screaming, urinating, even biting if you get close. I am just unsure how to correct this, she doesn't seem very responsive when I yell at her
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TamanduaGirl
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:10 am

What are you feeding her?
Aeroz
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Aeroz » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:30 am

her diet is pretty much dog food, with occasional treats like bits of chicken.

To note its been any food. She went after my candy, pringles, jerky, cereal. seems like anything I have regardless of what it is
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hecate
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby hecate » Tue Aug 18, 2015 10:45 am

My experience is with bobcats, not foxes, but when I first started taking care of Mukder and Scully, Scully was extremely rude around her food (Muklder just hid up in the rafters and wouldn't come down). The wildlife rehab group had provided canned adult cat food and adult dog food for them, and I refused to feed them that garbage. They were approximately ten weeks old and the canned food was unsuitable and inadequate.

I switched them immediately to a raw diet including chicken necks, gizzards, and hearts, with Mazuri Carnivore Supplement for Whole Prey (20% taurine), additional vitamin C as Ester-C powder, and frozen-thawed pup rats. I also added raw chicken liver in doses rather than portions when I could find any that didn't look like it came from an 80-year-old alcoholic.

Yes, I've worked in a morgue so I know exactly what that looks like.

I fed Mulder to refusal by using a reacher to offer food and water in place. I adjusted the amount I fed Scully so that she could eat all she wanted and always had a little left by the next time I checked.

Once they were on a raw, biologically appropriate diet and had sufficient food so they weren't hungry all the time, all inappropriate behavior around food completely disappeared. Now that Scully is an adult and gets a "clean-out" fast day once a week she still doesn't get grabby or aggressive around her food the following day.

I guess I just view animals' "misbehavior" as an attempt to communicate that something isn't quite right.

ETA: Working with abused dogs and horses, venomous reptiles, baby birds and bunnies, feral cats, other assorted weird critters, and now bobcats I've concluded there are no "wild" animals or "domestic" animals, just animals with varying levels of tolerance for human stupidity and varying abilities to remove that stupidity from their lives. Respect and realistic expectations are the keys. And they've worked pretty well in my human relationships over the years, too.
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Aug 18, 2015 1:14 pm

Thank you hecate that was my concern when I asked. The wrong diet can cause aggression issues. Specifically a diet low in taurine has been known to cause much more aggression in foxes than normal, especially when shedding and growing a new coat. If the taurine is deficient and gets used up for the fur then there's not enough left for it's other functions which is just bout everything heart, liver eyes, brain ect. More specifically taurine has a calming effect there for a lack of it can make for a more high-strung animal.

hecate's diet suggestions are good. You can also look around some of the diet threads here for more info. The jist of all of them though is you need some flesh and organs in the diet.

Foxes are prone to stealing so some of it is just instinctual and some is behavioral but the aggression should not be this high and should e less on a proper diet.
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Ash
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Ash » Tue Aug 18, 2015 11:28 pm

Foxes will steal what they want and get aggressive over it. It's simply their nature. You can curb it some when they're young, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't go away. It's typical for a fox to act that way if it's something they want. Sometimes trading will work. Give them something "better" in exchange for what you want back, lol.

I can personally testify that lack of taurine in a diet causes aggression issues. In my case with Fable, EXTREME aggression... He was not getting nearly enough taurine. He required it for fur growth (he is SO fluffy) and then didn't have enough to stabilize his mood and therefore became really aggressive. It got to the point I could not be with him longer than 10 minutes before he started to attack me. And attack is the right word here, unfortunately, not an exaggeration. I was stupid with his diet and didn't understand he wasn't getting the taurine he needed. So once I realized and switched his food (started feeding him livers) he went back to his normal happy self.

So yes, VERY important to make sure he is getting enough taurine. This is the time of year they start getting ready for their winter coats according to my breeder. So August and on is a crucial time to make sure they are getting their dietary needs.
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Alynn » Wed Aug 19, 2015 12:57 am

Just a note, yelling won't be terribly helpful. Foxes are very sensitive animals and their trust doesn't come as easily as more domesticated animals. I can accidentally step on my dog's tail or paw and she'll give me a confused and hurt look but she'll just as easily come running for affection moments later. If you slight a fox - scare them, hurt them, etc, they tend to be quicker to anger and less easy to forgive. Yelling just scares them and I learned quickly as a fox owner that it's better to give a fox space, ignore their tantrums, and reward them when they're good.

I also agree with Ash, I think a lot of fox owners have to realize that food aggression is inherent in foxes. It takes an exceptional fox and a lot of work to not be food aggressive. I wouldn't eat around her either for the time being.
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Aeroz » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:11 pm

whats the best way to get her taurine then? How much does she need? She is very fluffy
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hecate
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby hecate » Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:27 pm

I've had good results so far with Mazuri products:

http://www.mazuri.com/exoticfeline.aspx

For supplementing raw meat containing edible bone, the Whole Prey supplement is appropriate. For boneless meat you'd use the Slab Meat formula. The Whole Prey supplement is fully 20% taurine but doesn't have very much calcium. The base is powdered cooked chicken, so even my picky bobcats would eat it.

If you're supplementing a diet that's primarily commercial dog food, use the Whole Prey. The amount to feed is based on the weight of the food.
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Aeroz » Fri Aug 21, 2015 4:09 pm

if I feed her like, liver, do I cook it first?
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hecate
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby hecate » Fri Aug 21, 2015 5:21 pm

I've never cooked anything for any wildlife I've taken care of, and have fed my dogs all raw food for over 25 years now.

Liver is very high in vitamin A and as the organ that detoxifies chemicals and drugs I feed it as a supplement only.
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Whisper » Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:45 pm

I got mine some organ meat today. I browned it so it was like medium rare, just so i wasn't touching raw, but he loved it. How much do you feed?
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby dragonking » Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:12 am

If you want a good raw diet for foxes, look up gizmo's burgers. A member here on the forum, Ragtatter, created it.
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Ash
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby Ash » Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:13 pm

In my opinion, what's best to feed to give your foxes taurine is organ meats and whole prey. Whole prey contains organ meats, and that's why.

The Gizmo burgers are very well-balanced.
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Re: Stealing food and sudden aggression

Postby KaitouCat » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:49 am

hecate wrote:I've had good results so far with Mazuri products:

http://www.mazuri.com/exoticfeline.aspx

For supplementing raw meat containing edible bone, the Whole Prey supplement is appropriate. For boneless meat you'd use the Slab Meat formula. The Whole Prey supplement is fully 20% taurine but doesn't have very much calcium. The base is powdered cooked chicken, so even my picky bobcats would eat it.

If you're supplementing a diet that's primarily commercial dog food, use the Whole Prey. The amount to feed is based on the weight of the food.


Sorry to drop in unexpected but, do you feed this to them straight or is this just a powder you put on their food?
Also would the kibble there be adequate for use as well? [Maybe not the feline type specifically of course but just curious. Also not as a staple of course.
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