Skip to Content

Are Foxes More Cat Or Dog? 7 Things You Need To Know (2023)

Are Foxes More Cat Or Dog

Adopting a fox sounds cool. 

But when you think about it…

They’re quite a mystery.

For one, foxes act like cats. Yet their body resembles dogs. 

But foxes got a cat’s eyes, too…

It’s so confusing… 

You’ll end up asking:

“Are foxes more of a cat or a dog?” 

Continue reading to find out: 

  • Whether cats or dogs are closer to foxes.
  • 5 fun similarities between foxes, dogs, and cats.
  • 7 surprising things you need to know about foxes, cats, and dogs.
  • And so much more…

Are foxes more cat or dog?

Foxes are more of a dog than a cat. Like canines, they come from wolves. Though, foxes also act a lot like felines. However, they’re a different subspecies from dogs. Unlike canines, foxes evolved from wolves 12 million years ago. This concludes that foxes are more of a distant cousin of dogs.

Foxes relationship with cats and dogs – 9 things you need to know

#1: Like cats, foxes hunt alone

Foxes live in groups just like dogs. 

But you know what’s interesting? 

Foxes hunt alone. Just like cats. 

And here’s what researchers say about it too: 

Foxes spend a lot of time alone. 

So when they go out to hunt, they stalk their prey. 

Now, this is similar to many felines. And not just domesticated cats.

I’m talking about the big ones in the wild. Like lions or tigers. 

Simply put, these cats work hard to outsmart their foes. Especially their prey. 

But aside from this…

Felines and foxes have 1 more thing in common.

And according to a study

Foxes enjoy toying with their victims, like cats

Have you seen a kitty play with a mouse or a roach? 

Yeah, these felines love toying with their food. 

Now, foxes do the same even after their target’s dead. 

And this is the opposite of their canine cousins. 

You see, most dogs don’t play with food. 

Instead, they only kill their prey swiftly. 

And that’s why foxes are strange. Especially when compared to their fellow canines.

#2: Foxes can be affectionate like cats or dogs

Foxes Can Be Affectionate Like Cats Or Dogs

Dogs and cats aren’t the only ones who love affection…

Fun fact: Foxes also enjoy it when you pet them. 

And scientists say they even whine for attention, too.


They can learn to be more social and outgoing. 

Now, that’s the opposite of foxes in the wild. 

You see, they’re naturally shy and aloof. 

But seeing this research from Dmitry Belyaev…

It’s clear that foxes could be domesticated too. Just like their dog relatives. 

“So, does that mean I can raise foxes?” 

Legally? Not at all. But it depends on where you live. 

According to PetMD, only 15 states in the US allow this. 

Not to mention…

They might have strict rules about it too. 

So even though foxes can be sweet like cats or dogs…

It doesn’t mean they’re the ideal furry companions. 

The fact is, many experts also report:

Foxes are terrible at homes. 

Yes, you can domesticate them. But some of their wild habits won’t go away. 

For one, you can’t housebreak a fox.

And that’s what makes them different from cats or dogs.

#3: They bark like dogs and purr like cats

What does the fox say? 

Is it woof woof… 

Or meow meow? 

The truth is…

They can do both. Well, sort of. 

As members of the canine family…

Foxes do bark. And not only that. 

But they also growl and howl like dogs

However, their tone sounds a bit different.

For example, their howl is like a high-pitched scream. 

And when they bark at strangers…

It’s also the same as canines. They do it as a warning. 

At the same time…

Foxes also purr like cats

Though, it’s not exactly the same sound. 

Instead, they just make a similar noise. 

If you listen closely…

Their purr sounds mixed with a low growl. 

And when foxes purr, they mostly do it out of joy. 

Just check out this video and listen to this cutie: 

Aside from this…

Domestication also made these Fidos change their speech.

Fun fact: Foxes learned to laugh around humans 

Like their cat and dog friends…

Their speech also evolved due to humans. 

In simpler terms, they made new sounds to better connect with us. 

And researchers add: 

Foxes laugh to get your attention. 

With this, experts concluded: 

These Fidos laugh to please people. 

And that’s also why cats meow at hoomans.

They learned that it can get your attention.

It’s the same way some dogs realized how demand barking works.

Check out also: Demand Barking: 19 Simple Tips To Stop It (How-To Guide)

#4: Domestic foxes wag their tails

It’s heartwarming when dogs wag their tails for you. 

But did you know that foxes can do it too? 

And according to wildlife experts

Tail wagging is a sign of affection in foxes. 

So if you’ve met other domesticated foxes…

Some of them would wag their tails to welcome their fur parents. 

Or if they’re happy to receive some treats or praises. 

Sounds a lot like dogs, don’t they? 

You might also like: 11 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Never Wags His Tail + 3 Tips

#5: Tree climbing is common for cats and foxes

Cats and foxes have the same type of claws. 

But how do they make use of it, you asked? 

Well, these Fidos like climbing trees. 

In fact, some foxes may even sleep on the branches. And they might do it to keep away from their enemies. 

Now, you must’ve seen cats take a nap on trees as well.

Though, they might do it for other reasons too, like: 

  • Chasing after birds.
  • Escaping enemies like dogs. 
  • Playing with their fellow cats.

That aside…

It’s said that foxes are the only canines that can climb trees.

But that’s not actually true because…

Some dogs could climb trees too

Now, that makes dogs a lot like their fox cousins. 

But to be specific…

I’m referring to certain dog breeds, such as:

  • Pit Bulls.
  • Catahoulas.
  • Jack Russels.
  • Border Collies.
  • Belgian Malinois.
  • Treeing Coonhounds.
  • New Guinea Singing Dog.

As you can tell, these 7 Fidos have 1 thing in common.

And they’re all physically strong. 

Thus, it’s no wonder they can easily climb trees. 

Just like their fox and cat friends.

Learn more: Can Dogs Climb Trees? The Truth (7 Reasons + 7 Videos)

#6: Digging is fun for dogs and foxes

So far…

It seems that foxes are the black sheep of their dog family. 

After all, they act so much like cats. 

But here’s something that keeps them tied to canines. 


Foxes love digging. Just like many dogs do. 

And foxes also dig for the same reasons as your pooch. 

For example…

The AKC says foxes dig when they’re:

  • Bored.
  • Making a den.
  • Trimming their nails.
  • Burying their food for later.
  • Trying to find a warm spot.
  • Looking for food like worms.

And since I mentioned dens… 

It means that wild dogs or foxes make them for their babies. 

But did you know? 

Baby foxes are often called kittens 

Though, they’re also referred to as: 

  • Pups.
  • Cubs.

Now, isn’t that an amusing wordplay? 

Their babies have the same term as cats. But they can also be called puppies. 

#7: Foxes see well in the dark like cats

It’s clear that foxes have the body and face of a dog. 

But you’ll also notice how cute their sharp, slit eyes are.

And it looks just like a cat’s. 

Moreover, foxes see well in the dark. 

That’s thanks to their night vision eyes. Just like what cats have. And unlike dogs who can’t see well in the dark. 

But canines don’t need to. As they rely more on their sense of smell. 

That said… 

Foxes are crepuscular animals. 

This means they hunt more when the lights are low. Specifically, during dusk or dawn. 

Though they can be active during the day and night too. 

#BONUS: They can’t interbreed 

Lastly, let me address something interesting…

And this might’ve crossed your mind a couple of times: 

“Can foxes mate with cats or dogs?” 

Or you could also wonder…

What if foxes are the babies of cats and dogs?

I know it sounds crazy. 

But these theories are definitely common. 

So to answer your question: 

Foxes can’t breed with cats or dogs 

And the reason is simple. 

Their DNAs are far too different. 

And that means you won’t see a fox-dog or cat hybrid. 

Reading tip: Can Dogs and Foxes Breed? 9 Things You Need to Know

Can a dog mate with a fox?

A dog can’t mate with a fox. That’s due to their genetic differences. 

And even if they do end up mating with each other…

It doesn’t mean the female animal would get pregnant. 

Since their DNAs are incompatible… 

The male’s sperm won’t be able to fertilize the egg at all. 

But let’s say the female got pregnant. 

What would happen?

Well, the puppies will most likely die at birth. 

Can a cat mate with a fox?

A cat can’t mate with a fox. The two animals are from different families. 

For one, cats are from the Felidae group. Meanwhile, foxes belong to Canidaes

With this, their genes just won’t work with each other at all.

So even if they end up mating…

The female won’t get pregnant. Or their baby would simply die at birth.