A fox with fluffy fur and a large tail.Foxes have been familiar to humans for a long time, and in Japan case they are listed as one of the animals with various legends.
However, except in some areas, you don’t see real foxes very often. So, on this page, let’s take a sneak peek at what kind of ecology foxes are and what secrets they have.



~ Basic information. ~


Length:24〜110cm weight:0.68〜9.4kg.

Foxes are several genera of the canine subfamily, including the genus Fox.

Length:24〜110cm weight:0.68〜9.4kg.

Foxes have different habitats depending on the species and can be found throughout the northern hemisphere. They are adaptable to various environments such as snow-covered areas, grasslands, and urban areas. They do not form groups very often and seem to form small family communities.


After raising their young, both males and females move on to solitary behavior and their offspring become independent.

Foxes are omnivorous and eat a variety of foods, with few things they don’t like. They prefer small animals such as mice and squirrels, and sometimes catch birds in flight with their impressive jumping ability.

On the other hand, they also like plants such as nuts and have been known to come down to human settlements and damage crops.


Wild foxes are said to have a lifespan of about 10 years, but in reality they can only live for 2-3 years due to natural predators and accidents. In captivity, they can live up to 15 years, which is not much different from dogs and cats.


In Japan, Hokkaido foxes are found in Hokkaido and Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku foxes are subspecies of red foxes.



Fox’s Q&A.

Can foxes be kept as pets?

When breeding rare animals at home, it is necessary to follow the established laws in some countries. In this article, we will introduce whether it is possible to raise foxes in Japan.

To put it simply, it is legally allowed to keep foxes as pets in Japan.


Among them, fennec foxes are famous and many people already have them. Of course, you can also keep red foxes which are common in Japan as pets.

They are not commonly sold in pet shops so you have to look for them patiently. Even if you manage to find one, it is said that the price is over 600,000 yen.

Of course, depending on the store or breeder and the type of fox, the price can be even higher and sometimes exceed 1 million yen.

Unlike dogs and cats, they are said to be less friendly towards humans and if you treat them like dogs or cats, it will be very difficult.

It seems that they do not remember where their toilet is located and it will be a big challenge to deal with their excrement.

The smell is also quite strong so it’s better to be careful not to let it stick to your clothes or furniture.

If you decide to keep one as a pet, you need to be prepared to take care of it until the end.

Is inari-san a fox god?

In the case of Japan, when it comes to foxes, the image of “inari-san” at shrines is strong, but in fact, inari-san is not a fox.

The official name of inari-san is “Ukanomitama No OKami”, which means that inari-san is the god of five grains and the god of agriculture.


Foxes come down from the mountains in the spring when agriculture begins and return to the mountains when harvesting ends in the fall.

People who thought that this behavior was “watching over agriculture” began to consider foxes as messengers of inari-san . Since then, it seems that a custom of sanctifying foxes has been established (※There are various opinions).


By the way, there are also examples of foxes being treated specially overseas.

In Finland, it was believed that foxes were responsible for creating the aurora borealis in the Arctic. The aurora borealis is called “Revontulet” and means “fox fire”.

It is a fantastic legend that says that when a fox’s tail rubs against the ground, sparks fly and become an aurora borealis.

Is it true that foxes deceive humans?

In fact, in Japan, it has long been said that foxes and raccoon dogs deceive people.

Of course, we don’t hear much about people being deceived in modern times. So where did the origin of foxes deceiving people come from?


There are various opinions, but it is said to have originated from an ancient Chinese episode. The nine-tailed fox, a monster, ate and killed the queen and then disguised itself as the queen and committed many evil deeds.

The term “vixen” may also have originated from this episode.

In Japan as well, foxes and raccoon dogs are not friendly to humans, and raccoon dogs sometimes pretend to sleep, so the image of “deceiving people” seems to have taken root.

How do foxes croak?

Dogs meow “bowwow” and cats meow, but you may be wondering how foxes meow!


To put it simply, it is difficult to express in writing, but foxes have a high-pitched and baby-like cry.

Foxes are animals with a wide range of vocalizations, from low to high-pitched sounds.

They are nocturnal and often cry at night, sometimes being mistaken for a human woman’s voice.

Are foxes bad at hunting?

When foxes hunt small animals, they sneak up quietly and jump on them with force.


They can catch prey that are hidden under snow or in long vegetation. It was thought that foxes relied on their hearing and sense of smell to catch invisible prey.


They can catch prey that are hidden under snow or in long vegetation. It was thought that foxes relied on their hearing and sense of smell to catch invisible prey.

However, recent research has shown that foxes use the Earth’s magnetic field for hunting.When jumping northeast, the success rate of hunting is about 70%, while jumping in other directions results in less than 20% success rate.

Although the organ that foxes use to sense magnetic fields has not been discovered yet, it is a very interesting result.

Are foxes close to dogs? Close to cats?

Foxes are part of the dog family but interestingly enough, they are also called “dogs that evolved into cats” because they share many characteristics with cats.


Foxes have vertically elongated pupils like cats, which makes them nocturnal and able to see well in the dark.

They also have many features that are similar to cats such as whiskers for balance and a rough tongue.They are good at climbing trees and like cats, they run up trees when they feel threatened.

However, in past experiments where friendly individuals were crossbred, very dog-like behavior was observed.


When they saw humans, their tails wagged and their ears drooped a little.It’s hard to tell whether foxes are dogs or cats, but that’s what makes them so charming.



Type of fox.

  • Red Fox
  • Blanford’s Fox
  • Pale Fox
  • Rueppel’s Fox
  • Capa Fox
  • Corsac Fox
  • Swift Fox
  • Tibetan Fox
  • Kit Fox
  • Bengal Fox
  • Fennec
  • Arctic Fox
  • Bat-Eared Fox
  • Crab-Eating Fox
  • Culpeo
  • Hoary Fox
  • Sechuran Fox
  • South American Gray Fox
  • Pampas Fox
  • Falkland Island Fox
  • Gray Fox
  • Island Fox






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