This section of the site covers an important 'Read Me' disclaimer about foxes and describes the most popular fox species to help you make a decision based on your lifestyle. The drop-down menu from this tab discusses each species in more detail.
What Type of Fox?
Which fox best suits your lifestyle? Each animal is a lot of work, certain species more so in some ways than a newborn baby.
Arctic Foxes - During the winter this fox has a pure white recognizable coat, and in the summer has more of a gray type of color. This fox tends to attract most people looking for a more beautiful fox. However, out of most foxes, this species can be the most confrontational and territorial with people. They need to be socialized early on to avoid food aggression. This species of fox also smells the worst, with their urine smelling like a skunk and they emit a very potent body odor, regardless of bathing. They tend to not like meeting new people on average (there are always exceptions), but love family pets on the plus side. Remember, no fox should ever be left unsupervised with any animal smaller than them, including cats. Less mellow than the Red foxes, but more mellow than a Fennec. It may take a little longer to form a bond with this fox than others. Though this type of fox is beautiful, you must research the good and bad in this species before adopting one. These foxes would do best outdoors. They are native to the Northern Hemisphere of the world.
Gray Foxes - Grays are smaller than Red foxes and bigger than Arctics, and they seem to enjoy everyone if properly socialized. If you want a fox who meets you at the door, and one who loves the whole family, with the right socialization, these guys might be for you. Like any animal however, they can nip if threatened. These foxes like other domestic animals can get along well with strangers and/or other pets if socialized at an early age. They mark by rubbing their scent like a cat, and do not usually mark with urine, unlike most fox species. They are not aggressive with food and have no offensive body odor. However, these guys LOVE to climb and in the wild sleep in trees as you can see in the picture. This might be the make-or-break point for potential owners, as you cannot stop a fox from doing what they want. You might find them on top of your cabinets one day. You might find them on your dining tables one day, or the fridge. They can be kept indoors or outdoors and are said to take to litter box training exceptionally well. These foxes are not under the true fox Vulpes genus. Native to almost all of North America.
Kit Foxes - These foxes are the smallest of all foxes other than Fennecs, and are very similar to Swifts, but unlike their larger prairie-loving cousins, prefer the desert of south-western United States and Mexico. This is why they have larger ears, to help dissipate heat. They are extremely friendly and social, and will often mate for life. They love household pets, and their curiosity often gets them into trouble. They tend to be much quieter than Swifts, only making noise for a reason, and not just when they get excited. They potty train well if positive reinforcement methods are used from a very young age. They tend to be a little shy of meeting strangers if not overly socialized from a young age. There are only a couple reported owners in the US, and one of their subspecies is illegal to have, the San Joaquin Kit Fox, as they are endangered. Their appearance almost appears to be a cross between a Swift and Fennec, which is odd since Fennecs are native to another continent. Native to the deserts and semi-arid regions of southern North America.
Corsac Foxes - The Corsac fox typically lives in large groups in the wild, and because of this, they are very social. They are one of the first foxes to welcome humans into their pack, as long as food and treats are in it for them. While many internet sources state Corsacs are almost as large as the Red Fox, this is not true. Corsac Foxes are as large as your average house-cat. Like the Swift and Fennec fox the Corsac does not smell much. These foxes also 'blow their coat' in the spring, and change from their white/blond winter coat to their red/orange summer one. In captivity they are most active during the day and require constant supervision if kept inside. If kept inside I would recommend a climbing cat tree, as they have hooked claws for climbing like Gray Foxes. They are extremely easy to litter-box train, easier than almost all other foxes, since they use the same designated spot for the bathroom in the wild. Native to the steppes of Russia and surrounding regions.
Fennec Foxes - The smallest canids of all foxes. Once described in 2003 by National Geographic as 'The Fox No One Knows,' but has since climbed in popularity. Probably the best choice for a new fox owner. Fennecs can be kept in a large ferret cage and must be supervised at all times, as their curiosity gets them into trouble. They will steal anything they can get their hands on and hide it for later. They are extremely fragile, and their bones can break easily. They are extremely hyper and less mellow than all other foxes. These little guys are the easiest to care for but are also the loudest. Can be very cuddly if trained right but males are said to be more so than females.These guys are the same activity level as a ferret on crack, except they have less poop, and more time to cuddle (only once tired). They tend to be the hardest to potty train, and it can take years of consistent bathroom training them to use the potty in the right place. Native to the deserts of Africa.
Rüppell's Fox - These foxes have only recently been introduced into the pet trade, and have similar coloring to Fennec Foxes. Not a lot is known about their behavior in captivity. Their size however is more reminiscent of Arctic Foxes, weighing in at an average weight of 3-10 pounds, depending on the region they are from. They are native to northern Africa, and their range overlaps the Fennec Fox. They have large ears like their cousins, but a difference to note is the white-tipped tails. These foxes also mate monogamously, and have extreme anal scent glands, which are usually used in the wild to mark the entrances to their dens to deter predators and used when greeting one another. They will adapt their diet in the wild to whatever they can find even human garbage, and in some regions they are reported to eat beetles and insects, in others they are omnivorous.
Bat-Eared Foxes - Although not technically in the fox family, this animal can be seen rarely in America, usually by brokers in the pet trade. They are extremely shy and quiet, and their enormous ears are used for hearing animals scurrying up to six inches underground. One of the most timid species of fox, they only get to be around 7 - 10 pounds. Owners have reported this fox to be extremely accepting and cuddly once they are comfortable around their human. Fossil record shows they appeared around 800,000 years ago. These foxes also mate for life, but breed once a year. They feed mostly on insects and plants, which is why they have the smallest teeth of all the foxes. They also get most of their water from their food intake. Can be kept indoors or outdoors, but not a lot is known about their bathroom habits. These foxes are not under the true fox Vulpes genus. They are native to eastern and southern Africa.
Darwin's Fox - This little fox has been the issue of debate among scholars. While this fox is not in the genus Vulpes and is technically related to wolves in the genus Pseudalopex, it was later classified under it's own subspecies genus for South American foxes, Lycalopex. However, this fox does not interbreed with other Lycalopex fox species. Charles Darwin, based on DNA analysis, concluded that this little fox is most closely related to the Sechuran Fox. It is native to dense forests in South America, and is approximately 4-9 pounds, with a pepper colored coat similar to the North American Gray Fox. This species was listed as Critically Endangered until 2016, in which it was classified as Endangered. It suffers from habitat loss due to human expansion. There are no known breeders.
Bengal Foxes - These foxes have not yet been placed on the endangered species yet, but are extremely threatened in their native habitat in India and surrounding countries. This is due to human expansion and habitat loss. This is a relatively small fox with a shorter muzzle. Their coats have extensive color variation from brown, to gray, to a sandy color. They are generally 5-9 pounds and are crepuscular. They mainly feed on rodents and small mammals. There are no known breeders.
Blanford's Fox - This fox is similar in habits and personality to a Fennec, except much calmer and has a more elongated body and bushier/longer tail. There have been few in captivity that could not be released back into the wild or were being rehabilitated. They are approximately 3-6 pounds, and have thick guard hairs on their outer coat. Very little is known about the behavior of this fox. They inhabit semi-arid rocky regions, and can be seen climbing rocks and boulders to make dens underneath. They are native to the Middle East, including the countries of Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and Turkey. This fox is a protected species in certain countries, as its numbers in the wild are unknown.