Are cats at risk from urban foxes? If so, how do they avoid them?

The threat is actually very small - cats are generally in much greater danger from being run over by a passing vehicle after dark. Young kittens and old or handicapped cats which may not be strong enough to fight off a fox are at greatest risk.

Bear in mind that cats are formidable fighting machines if aroused, and even a tame moggie can become a ferocious spitting monster if sufficiently alarmed. Many ordinarily placid cats can be roused to this state simply by a trip in the car to the vet’s surgery.

cat out at nightUrban foxes tend to be scavengers by nature, rather than active hunters - and a cat will be able to outrun a fox, seeking sanctuary up a tree or on top of a fence, from where it will be able to head to safer surroundings. Foxes cannot climb effectively, and so are at a serious disadvantage when seeking to pursue a cat, whose vision at night is acute, enabling it to detect the threat while the fox is still some way away.

If it is unfortunate enough to be cornered, a cat will lash out unhesitatingly with its claws, to slow down the fox, while looking for the opportunity to dart off. The balance in any encounter is therefore very much in favour of the cat, although always try to encourage your pet to come indoors at night. Then you should have no worries about his well-being.