Have always suspected something with big teeth lives nearby as twice roadkill has disappeared in less than 2 hours. We also lost all but 1 of a litter of kittens 3 years back and I always wondered.
In my garden with cats enjoying the light evening. Through a light screen of young trees I have just seen quite a big fox - like a big white and ginger dog with big pointy ears and an extremely luxuriant tail - emerge onto the main lawn. The cats alerted me as they crept forward to look. It stood and sniffed for a while then seemed to ‘point’ with its tail fully expanded and stretching out straight back. Luckily not ‘pointing’ at me or the cats.
I called the cats and then showed myself and shouted for it to go away. It didn’t want to go and stood its ground. Eventually it went when I threw a stone near it.
We’ve had the odd cat disappear in the past few years but neighbours have said the rate of road accidents with cats is high (there are a number of wild ones). Could this fox be attacking cats?
How does one make a fox go away and is there anything to beware of? Is there a rabies danger? I’ve seen a lot of foxes in London that were 20% of the size of this one, not as healthy-looking and those ones ran away from humans.
The foxes I have seen here are the same size as London or Sussex ones. The country ones generally look a lot healthier.
There was one fox I saw in Dalston a couple of years ago that did a beautiful sit in front of me. Someone had definitely been feeding it!
I’m certainly no expert but I don’t think they eat cats. Having said that apparently someone close to where I live installed CCTV as they had a litter of piglets and their numbers kept on going down. As they were in a field next to the road they thought people might be taking them. It turned out to be a pair of foxes working together. One fox would distract the sow and then the other would make off with a piglet
What a good idea @Stella. Wouldn’t that make them want to come and spray bullets around though? There are such terrible stories of hunters out of control and accidental shootings in hunting season in France.
I must admit this is a bit scary as I often come out at night and look at the stars. I will wait unril the chasse opens and decide.
They visited a neighbour who nearly lost a chicken to a thieving fox… checked out her fences etc and advised her to lock her chickens up well before dusk… (and to lock them up if she leaves the premises…)
Not a single shot was fired…
Hopefully, the fox will choose an easier place to go marauding in future… this is the first one she has had in many, many years…
Alas it is a kind of standing joke in the family for chasse season. How long until we hear of someone accidentally shooting someone else. Me thinks there’s a fair amount of eau de vie involved. I can add that if out with dog and horse and seeing any chasseurs we make all efforts to ensure we’re noticed or retreat. No foxes in suburbia everything gets run over.
Foxes are fine, as long as you are not a hen, rabbit or a cat. But most cats have the brains to avoid them, and cars are more of a danger to them. Foxes will eat carrion, but if road kills disappears during the day it is usually a raptor.
We have a fox that crosses our garden most nights (also a badger) and my only annoyance is that it can pee all over the place which doesn’t smell nice and drives our dog crazy. However, they eat voles which I hate as they damage so much in our garden and leave ticks around for the dog, so very happy for the fox to pop in for a nightly snack.
Since I wear gloves and/or wash my hands after gardening they don’t worry me. I never eat raw fruit that is below fox height either. And one should avoid raw stuff from the wild and wash hands for so many other reasons after being in the garden anyway…
I am so jealous of you @KarenLot , I have never seen a fox in my more than 30 years of living in or visiting this place which is right next to forest and field. I certainly wouldn’t shout or throw something to scare one away, quite the opposite. But I think the presence of my howling dog would now be enough of a deterrent.
He chases running cats (but amazingly ignored a stationary kitten only 2 metres away from him) but I have no fear for them, his war cry is as effective as a police siren which gives advance warning to burglars.
We have fox’s but never had a problem with our cats and we have five adults and four kittens, they just ignore each other and the chickens are in a large foxproof enclosure at night.
What we have problems with are the Stone Martens which have caused the death of my 16 year old cat and we almost lost another one of our 2 year old male cats who went to defend him, their bites are very bad for infections and even though they went to the vets that morning, sepsis set in with both of them and we lost our beloved Eric and the younger cat was in for a week.
Now if the cats spot a Marten they attack on mass and they have moved on because it is too much hassle for them around the farm.
This is why provided it’s not a rabies danger (me or cats) and provided it’s not going to attack and eat me, I’m a bit worried about telling the chasse it’s there.
Thinking informing the chasse might actually encourage some individuals to make a point of killing it. Getting the feeling chasse is shooting other things they shouldn’t here similar to the problems you hear about in Italy where things are shot just because they exist.
Still a bit worried though…at least I know where the set of large droppings I found on the lawn 2 days ago came from.
At least I’m glad it’s not a wolf
If it does anything specific that worries me I will contact the chasse. Luckily I was planning to leave it a few years before having hens
Only seen one fox in rural France, a live fox, in 30 years, and that was back in 2016 sniffing by my front gate at night, caught briefly on video with my garden cam.
But I believe one of my cats, BigBoy, had a couple of encounters. He spends days away from home, hunting. He wears a radio collar and came home one day without it, but with 2 bright red vertical gashes on the front of his forehead. I traced his collar to some woods about a kilometre away and found it lying just by the edge of the trees – the hard plastic collar buckle was well and truly crushed.
The second time he came back without his collar, and with another bright red vertical gash on his forehead, I traced the collar to a neighbour’s garden and found it underneath a wheeled wooden buggy.
I believe foxes are capable of killing a cat by launching their very wide jaws like lightning to crush a cat’s skull, face on. But I believe this would be a very rare occasion. A fox would be extremely wary of a cat’s claws gouging their eyes. I think cats are generally safe from fox attacks unless they are kittens, are small or sick.
As a 10-year-old, walking along Chapel Street Market in Islington, centuries ago, I remember seeing a black cat sitting comfortably on a wooden orange box just inside the open door of a grocery shop, and a large black dog on the pavement cautiously approaching the cat. When the dog got too close the cat suddenly launched itself with great deliberation and determination at the dog’s face with both front legs, paws and claws fully outstretched. The dog jumped backwards just in time.
That little event is forever etched in my memory banks.
I don’t think I need forensic evidence to reasonably conclude that my mild mannered BigBoy had been a lucky pussycat with his two rare fox encounters.
They could possibly also be badger? Or even deer, depending on what they look like! Fox droppings don’t half pong Perhaps you could get a wildlife camera and see what you have around there. I bought one a little while back but have only caught cats raiding the compost heap so far