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The advice from many would be to leave a Fox Cub for 24 hrs

The advice from many would be to leave the Fox Cub for 24 hrs, if the scenario were ie Injured, orphaned or abandoned this advice could lead to the death of the fox cub!



A Fox Cub just a day or so old

1 - 12 days: The first aspect to consider is the approximate age of the fox cub. This is most important. Cubs below the age of roughly 10 - 12 days will have their eyes tightly shut, they can’t regulate their own heat and they rely totally on their vixen mother. They will be black in colour and may have a white tip to their tail. An orphan fox cub of this age will fit easily in the palm of your hands. As stated if the fox cub can’t regulate it’s own heat, leaving it for 24 hrs will be leaving it to perish if the vixen doesn’t return.


Secondly, cubs this size will attract the unwanted attention of cats and some birds. If you have observed the vixen dropping the cub, wait a while to see if she returns, if she doesn’t, phone us for advice, or your nearest Wildlife Centre. Vixens are usually great mothers, they very rarely abandon their cubs for no good reason. A vixen will however abandon her cub if she detects something is wrong with it, she does this to ensure the survival of the remaining litter. Another good reason not to wait the dreaded 24 hrs!



Fox cub with his eyes open

12 - 3 weeks: After about 10 -12 days the cubs eyes will open and they can hear and regulate their own heat, they still rely on the vixen for all their food requirements.


4 - 8 weeks:  At around the age of four weeks the cubs will make their first steps outside. This can lead to all sorts of trouble. During this period of time, the vixen may lay away from her cubs to wean them off her milk onto solid food. Many on observing a litter of cubs without any signs of the vixen wrongly assume the vixen must be dead and the cubs are orphaned. In some cases this may indeed be true. The vixen may have gone out to forage for food and then get knocked down by a car.



Fox Cub starting to look more foxy

8 weeks Onwards:  Beware they have sharp teeth!!! Many of our rescuers are bitten more by  fox cubs than adult foxes. Don’t be led into a false sense of security. They look gorgeous, little miniature foxes, bundles of fluff. But these miniatures come with a sharp set of teeth and they can and will use them!  



A Mini fox: ears up and showing most of the fox colours

Pets:  However gorgeous these beautiful animal are, they don’t make good pets. They belong in the wild, so don’t be tempted like many to take one on, thinking you will have the fox walking on the lead down the road in a few months. The stark truth is that all but a few who have tried, have admitted defeat when the cubs reach about 4 - 5 months of age. They are awake at night when you are asleep, they find leather shoes and electrical cables irresistible, as well as sofa’s and any furniture. Without companionship they will constantly call all night. Then when it is decided you will build them a run in the garden, not only are you condemning that poor fox cub to a life behind bars, you will be the one that has to observe the fox pace up and down all night every night out of boredom and frustration.


©2020 by NFWS National Fox Welfare Society