Baby foxes are undoubtedly furry and one of the cutest forest animals in the world. They are incredibly smart and have a keen sense of sight, hearing, and smell. Did you know that they also share some traits with cats?
Keep reading to learn five awesome facts about baby foxes and to see some seriously cute pictures!
#1: A Baby Fox has Many Names!
A baby fox is called a kit or kitten. A group of baby foxes is called a litter. These tiny mammals are part of the canine family and are not the only animals called kits. Beavers, ferrets, muskrats, skunks, and even squirrels are also called kits when they’re babies. Sometimes, fox babies are even called cubs, which they share with baby bears!
#2: Baby Fox Kits Have Tiny Tummies
Did you know that baby foxes have seriously tiny stomachs? It’s true! Their little tummies are so small that they must eat several small meals throughout the day to stay full. When they’re babies, foxes can eat up to four times a day!
Since they are mammals, fox cubs survive completely on their mother’s milk while they are newborns. As babies, they must drink about 500 mL of milk a day to grow and thrive. They drink only milk until they are around a month old when they start trying solids.
Their diet at this age is a mix of breastmilk and solid foods for another two weeks. At six weeks old, they start consuming some of their favorite foods, such as mice, small birds, and some vegetation. Foxes are omnivorous animals.
#3: Fox Babies Have Incredible Sight, Hearing, and Smell
As adults, foxes are apex predators in the UK. An apex predator is an animal that sits at the top of the food chain. When an animal is at the top of the food chain, it means they prey on many animals, but no predators prey on them. In other countries, foxes aren’t apex predators, but they’re still a threat to many other animals in their environment.
So, what does this mean for the baby fox?
One of the biggest advantages that a fox has over other animals is its senses. While many animals have sharp hearing and smell to make up for their lack of sight, foxes don’t. In fact, baby foxes have sharp eyesight, astounding hearing, and an amazing sense of smell. This means that they are well-equipped to handle themselves in the wild.
A baby fox has such great hearing that they can hear a tiny mouse squeak from 100 meters away. Their eyes have a slit pupil, similar to a cat, which allows them to see very well in the dark. Since foxes are nocturnal animals that spend their waking hours at night, this is essential to their survival. They use their acute sense of smell to communicate with eachother, find food, and detect threats.
#4: Fox Kits are Smelly
You might be surprised to learn that fox kits have a smelly odor comparable to a skunk. Even though they can’t spray an oily substance to ward off predators, they have similar glands that produce a bad odor. However, unlike skunks, they don’t use the odor to protect themselves.
Instead, a fox’s odor is a way to identify itself. You can think of this odor as nature’s cologne. The odor of a fox can be used to determine the animal’s status. It is also used to mark the animal’s territory, which tells other foxes to move along when they enter their space. Fox kits also use their urine, which also has a bad smell, to mark their territory, as well.
When fox kits grow up, they’ll use their scent and sense of smell to find a partner to mate with. That means even more fox babies – how adorable!
#5: Fox Kits are Canines but Have Cat-Like Traits
A baby fox is part of the canine family, which means they are closely related to dogs. They are even distant relatives of wolves! However, they share many of their traits with cats. And no, that doesn’t mean they meow!
One of the major traits that foxes share with cats is their claws. Like cats, fox kits can retract their claws when they’re not in use. Incredibly, baby foxes are the only members of the canine family that can do this.
Another similarity that foxes have with cats lies in their eyes. Their pupils are elongated, which makes them look identical to cat eyes. This pupil shape gives them the sharp vision and keen sense of seeing in the dark that allows them to thrive as nocturnal animals.
Lastly, a fully grown fox is about the same size as a house cat. They also have fluffy tails that resemble a long-haired domestic cat, too.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What is a baby fox called?
A baby fox is called a kit or a cub. A group of baby foxes is called a litter. Baby foxes share the name kit with skunks, muskrats, and even beavers. Baby raccoons and pandas are also called cubs.
How much does a baby fox weigh?
Newborn baby foxes are astoundingly tiny. At birth, they weigh a measly ¼ pound and only measure about four inches long.
What do baby foxes eat?
Once they are weaned from their mother’s milk, a baby fox will eat almost anything. Some of their favorite foods are small rodents and birds, but they also enjoy vegetation like berries and grass.
Where do baby foxes live?
Foxes primarily live in deeply wooded areas. During the day, they sleep in a den to protect themselves from predators while they sleep.
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