How Long do Foxes Live?

Foxes tend to live near urban and rural areas. Their life duration is usually short as they die mostly because of road accidents. To seek more knowledge on their lifespan, there are several factors needed to be considered.

Animals, Aging, Facts, Nature

Belonging to the dog family Canidae, foxes are similar to dogs and coyotes. However, the well-known clever animal differentiates itself in a lot of ways because of its characteristics. Talking about its intelligence, foxes are smarter than various animals, specifically in terms of finding food, surviving in several weather conditions, protecting the younger foxes, and outwitting predators. As mostly studied, fox lifespan involves this routine. So, how long do foxes live? Let’s find it all.

1. What are 3 Interesting Facts about Foxes?

Foxes separate themselves from other creatures not only through their intelligence but also through several features they are adopted. Here are three interesting facts about foxes:

  • Mostly Night-time Predators: Other than their intelligence, foxes are specially adapted to be able to see in the dark. What makes their eyes special is an extra layer behind their light-sensitive layer known as tapetum lucidum. This layer doubles the intensity in the foxes’ eyes. This makes them extraordinary at catching prey.
  • Solitary Animals: Canines usually belong in packs. However, being canine, foxes are an excellent exception as they tend to be solitary animals. Foxes can live alone and in a family consisting of a mother fox and her six cubs.
  • Use Earth’s Magnetic Field to Hunt: According to a study, researchers have found that foxes are the world’s first animal to use the Earth’s magnetic field to measure the distance and direction of their prey. They use this quality of theirs when hunting, especially for small animals hiding in the long grasses.

2. How Long do Foxes Live?

The intelligent animals are fascinating much more because of their cuteness than being intimidating. But how long do foxes live? Well, a fox’s lifespan is around 4 years. Foxes live about 4 years in the wild and up to 14 years in captivity. But that is not the end of it. Let’s find out about a lifespan of a fox through the following points:

  • Arctic Fox: The lifespan of Arctic foxes is about 4 years when in the wild. However, when they are kept in captivity, they tend to last around 14 years, according to Veterinary Parasitology.
  • Red Foxes: Red foxes tend to live around 2–6 years in the wild and about 10–14 years old in captivity.
  • Fennec Foxes: Unlike the Arctic fox and the red fox, fennec foxes live up to 10 years in the wild and around 10–14 years in captivity.

3. Why is Fox Lifespan so Short?

JAN23 How Long do Foxes Live 1
By Getty Images from Unsplash+

As previously discussed how long do foxes live, the average fox lifespan is about 4 years. Their lifespan is usually short as they die mostly because of road accidents. Foxes tend to live near urban and rural areas. Along with those foxes, they usually explore and disperse from their breeding site from August to December.

Apart from this, there are several reasons:

  • Hunting
  • Competition for resources
  • Predation
  • Diseases

4. What is the Longest a Fox has Ever Lived?

A fox has lived as long as 12 years old. According to a study, the oldest confirmed fox is a female ear-tagged cub seen in April 1981 and lived till April 1993. Later, it was killed by a police officer. (See How Long can a Starfish Live?)

5. Do Foxes Live Longer than Dogs?

Yes, foxes live longer than dogs. A fox’s average lifespan is 2–4 years, although it can live up to 14 years in captivity. Compared with dogs, dogs live much longer than foxes, with an average lifespan of 10–13 years. 

6. How Long does a Fox Live as a Pet?

Until now, you have known how long do foxes live, which is quite short due to the frequent road accidents. But how long do foxes live when taken care of as a pet? When taken care of as a pet, foxes tend to live up to 10–14 years, unlike their wild lifespan, which is around 1–3 years. (See 11 Animals that travel in packs)

7. Do Foxes Make Good Pets?

No. It is illegal to own a fox as a pet in some countries. Though foxes are quite friendly, not that dangerous, and usually do not attack humans, they tend to attack when rabid. They usually tend to attack when captured and handled. Moreover, their usual tendency is to flee rather than fight. 

8. Are Foxes Good to Have Around?

Usually, foxes are not that dangerous to humans. They would back away rather than act toughly. Even when they see any danger, they mostly flee rather than attack. Due to this nature of theirs, even when you see foxes in your yard frequently, you would not have to worry. Continue reading to know whether foxes fight to the death. 

9. Why do Foxes Live Alone?

Unlike other canines, foxes tend to live in smaller groups or mostly alone. They aren’t inclined to form social structures. As previously said, they usually live solitary lives and live alone. At most, they have a family which involves the mother fox and six cubs. (See How Long do Alligators Live?

10. How Long do Foxes Sleep?

When it comes to sleeping, foxes have strange behaviors and habits. Wild foxes are primarily nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day. However, several foxes are not nocturnal, as they can be seen hunting in the evening. On average, foxes sleep about 10 hours a day in the wild. 

11. Do Foxes Fight to the Death?

No, foxes usually do not fight to the death. Foxes usually elope attacking and tend to run away in most cases when they face danger. However, they often fight among themselves. But it is very rare that foxes fight to the death. According to a study, it has been found that about 5% of the foxes have died in combat fights. Must read What Noise does a Coyote make?

12. Do Foxes Mate for Life?

Yes, foxes mate for life. Their mating time usually occurs at the beginning of January and February. Mostly, red foxes mate for life. Their gestation period lasts 53 days, and they give birth to around 4–5 cubs. 

We may conclude with the fact that foxes are distinct from other canine animals not only in terms of characteristics but also with inborn traits such as the eyes, their usual habitat of being nocturnal, and the way they behave when they face danger. Along with these, foxes can produce 40 different sounds when they howl, which makes them much more extraordinary than wolves. They are usually regarded as dangerous animals. On the contrary, they are cute animals who incur the quality of being friendly as a pet. We hope that this article on how long do foxes live was helpful. Please leave your comments below. (See How Long do Goats live?)

About the author
Alex Williams is a PhD student in urban studies and planning. He is broadly interested in the historical geographies of capital, the geopolitical economy of urbanization, environmental and imperial history, critical urban theory, and spatial dialectics.

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