As pet owners, it is our responsibility to keep them safe. While we want to give them the best lives possible, it can sometimes be difficult to make other animals try to understand that. Predators are one such example of potential danger. What about foxes? Do they pose a significant risk?
So, can foxes climb fences? Foxes can climb most fences. Foxes are able to jump up to 3 feet, and their claws enable them to climb even beyond 6 feet. Sometimes they will even climb neighboring objects like trees in order to get over a fence. Therefore, if you house a pet outside you will need to consider altenrative measures to keep them safe.
Even when you have a domesticated pet, it is rather common for people to let them outside (or even house them there). Although this is a perfectly responsible and healthy decision for the pets most of the time, it does add an extra element of danger.
For owners of outdoor pets, there is a cost of giving your pet that added freedom that they want. When it comes to small animals housed outside, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, you need to be aware of the potential predators lurking in the midst. If you are not careful, you may be setting your little pet out on a dinner plate for a hungry hunter prowling around your neighborhood. You may not have realized that you didn’t take as many precautions as were necessary.
In order to assure that you are keeping your pet as safe as possible, you need to consider some things when setting up a home.
Let us now explore the topic in further detail so that you can understand the risks along with some considerations to keep foxes out!
Will Foxes Eat Pets?
Foxes are natural hunters and scavengers and you need to be aware of this. Although these appear cute and may not seem like they can do a lot of damage – they will. There is a reason that they have starred as the villain in so many retro cartoons!
Foxes are predators; focusing on the weakest and most vulnerable of prey. Although they do not pose the same level of threat as a wolf or bear would, they can manage to do some damage to pets left insecurely unattended outside. To them, they don’t see a precious household pet. They see an easy meal in the wild that is up for grabs.
This means that pets including rabbits, guinea pigs, young cats, birds (like chickens) are fair game to them. Foxes will actively try to hunt and eat them if the opportunity was to arise.
The only pets that a fox will not actively pursue are those that pose a significant danger or threat. the obvious example are dogs which a fox would be sure to stay away from.
Adult cats are another pet a fox will not look to take on and instead will seek an easier win.
Foxes are also constantly on the lookout for scraps and often come into contact with wild animals during such pursuits. This is why it is so imperative that you regularly and routinely clean away any food or scents that could attract a nearby fox.
Can A Fox Climb A 6-Foot Fence?
Foxes are actually a species of dog that are adapted to tackling obstacles. They are able to simply jump almost 3 feet (900mm).
You can try to make the adventure difficult for them by adding quite a bit of height to your fence, but this may not always do the trick. Even with a 6-foot fence, they have claws that are able to climb.
In times of need, they will climb trees in order to hunt down prey. If they really want to climb your fence, they will.
How High Should A Fence Be To Keep Foxes Out?
Even if foxes are able to climb the majority of backyard fences with ease, it is a good idea to make it as difficult as you can for them. This will act as a deterrent and may make the fox look elsewhere if possible.
If you keep it at the minimum 6 feet, then that at least puts in a block that they can’t just leap over.
Instead of worrying about the height of a fence, you may want to consider the make of it and materials involved.
Some fences are specially made to keep foxes and other predators out, and there are a lot of options depending on your pet and the level of protection you are trying to offer.
Perhaps the standout winner in this category are Electric Fences.
They are made in special ways to provide a shock to any predator that attempts to climb.
If you are a chicken owner, specialized electric fences designed for chickens are considered a must. This is a good example of a fence to protect chickens that you can get for a great price on Amazon. Although they will shock anything they come into contact with, chickens are often smart enough to be aware to avoid it after a while and they do not deliver a large enough shock to impose lethal damage on the predators.
However, while the electricity will act as a proper deterrent for foxes as well as other small predators, depending on your pet, these models aren’t always effective.
Instead, it makes more sense to opt for a fence that you can setup yourself, with the boundaries and parameters that you require.
These are rather affordable, plus they offer additional protection to keep your pets in. These models are meant for larger animals like cats and dogs opposed to smaller ones like rabbits and guinea pigs that should not be out freely on the ground anyways.
Instead, if you are looking to protect your smaller animals, like guinea pigs and rabbits, specific fence precaution is often too much work, costly and may not even be necessary (not to mention they are a little extreme and visually can be a put off).
Instead you’ll want to ensure you have a secure, sturdy and predator proof hutch.
A sturdy hutch is the smarter way to keep predators out of small animal cages. Unlike the electrified fences which can potentially harm small animals, well-designed hutches will ensure predators are kept firmly out – even if they were to come near.
The best hutches are durable and cannot be ripped apart by a predator like a fox, the mesh will also be strong and thin, so even if a foxes claws would not be able to get through and penetrate your animal. Plus, you want a hutch whereby you small pet can run safely away and hide to keep them calm and feel protected.
Can Foxes Climb Into Houses?
If you have indoor pets there is no need to worry.
Although foxes are incredibly smart and cunning, they are also rather jumpy.
These opportunistic predators are aware of their small stature and rely off of their stealth rather than sheer brute strength -and they know it.
Instead of trying to go after huge prey or attack formidable opponents head-on, they don’t.
They are easily sacred and it is rather unlikely that they would approach your house unless they are domesticated or especially used to humans.
You may have seen a video or two where baby foxes hijack someone’s porch and play with the leftover dog toys left behind on the porch. This does not continue for long mind you.
While foxes may potentially make their way onto your porch, if your doors are all secured and closed you shouldn’t have to worry about a fox attempting to enter. Nor will they attempt to climb through windows!
What Can You Do To Keep Foxes Away?
A foxes innate fear is something you can keep in mind when trying to keep foxes away.
In addition to setting up electric fences around your property, and investing in secure and strong homes for your outdoor pets, you can employ other methods to deter them from coming close to your animals.
Keeping pet enclosures close to your property is one way in which you can do this. By keeping, hutches, cages, coops and playpens close to your house, they will need to be brave enough to approach your house. Although they are naturally curious, they may think it is too much risk to try to approach it. Especially if you are active and they can tell.
For one thing, motion sensor lights are an amazing deterrent as they are easily frightened. If the light goes on when they try to approach the enclosure, they may mistake that as someone coming and run off before they even make it towards your pets.
You can get motion sensor lights that you can put up in a specific place on your house, or you can get lights whereby you can place them in different locations.
Thirdly, even if the enclosure is not close enough to fasten them to the side of your house, remote ones are a great option and alternative.
Lights work particularly well, and you should absolutely consider them if you are keeping pets outside and are concerned by local foxes.
Foxes can climb fences; in fact they can do it very well.
Being able to naturally jump 3 feet, added to their claws and ability to climb makes them very difficult to keep out of your property.
If you own pets then you should do all that you can to keep them safe. Whether they are larger or smaller animals will dictate the appropriate course of action.
Nonetheless electric fences and motion sensor lights are excellent solutions that a lot of pet owners use with great success.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.