Do Foxes Eat Rabbits? How to keep your Rabbits Safe

Published: July 16th, 2023
Last Updated: July 23rd, 2023
Written By: Bradly Spicer
Do Foxes Eat Rabbits

In this comprehensive article, we will delve into the fascinating world of foxes and explore their dietary habits, the reasons behind their preference for rabbits, and their impact on the rabbit population. By gaining insights into these aspects, we can better appreciate the intricate balance of the ecosystem and learn how to protect our beloved rabbits from fox predation.

Yes, Foxes will eat Rabbits. Foxes are omnivorous creatures with a diverse diet that includes small mammals, birds, insects, fruits, and vegetables. While their dietary preferences may vary depending on habitat and food availability, rabbits are a common part of a fox’s diet.

Foxes possess remarkable hunting skills, and their ability to catch rabbits showcases their agility and adaptability as predators.

Rabbits are significant in a fox’s diet due to their abundance and nutritional value in many regions. Rabbits are a source of protein and other essential nutrients, which contribute to the overall well-being of foxes. This dietary preference is deeply ingrained in the instincts of foxes, honed over generations of evolution.

How Do Foxes Hunt Rabbits?

Understanding how a Fox hunts helps us secure our rabbit(s) by reverse planning to beat their techniques. Foxes employ various hunting techniques to catch rabbits effectively. They are known for their stealth and cunning, which allows them to surprise their prey. Some common hunting methods foxes use include stalking, pouncing, and ambushing.

When hunting rabbits, foxes rely on their keen senses, particularly their exceptional hearing and vision. They can detect even the slightest movements and sounds their unsuspecting prey makes. Once they identify a rabbit, they stealthily approach, using their agility and speed to close the distance swiftly. With a sudden burst of energy, they pounce on their target, aiming to deliver a swift and fatal bite.

Wild Fox Hunting in Forest

How do I protect my outdoor rabbit?

If you are a rabbit owner, you should take measures to protect them from foxes, foxes are incredibly cunning creatures and have been hunting inside cities and forests for a long time. It’s important to note that Foxes will attack during all hours of the day although more often at night. Here are some effective strategies to keep foxes away from your rabbits:

  1. Secure enclosures: Ensure that rabbit enclosures have sturdy fences buried at least a foot underground to prevent foxes from digging underneath. Use wire mesh with small openings to keep foxes from squeezing through.
  2. Predator deterrents: Install motion-activated lights or sprinklers around rabbit enclosures to startle and discourage foxes from approaching. The sudden light or burst of water can deter them from attempting to prey on your rabbits.
  3. Secure shelter: Provide your rabbits with secure housing that offers protection from predators. A well-built hutch or cage with strong locks will minimize the risk of foxes gaining access to your rabbits.
  4. Remove attractants: Keep the area around the rabbit enclosures clean and free from food scraps or other potential food sources that may attract foxes. Removing attractants reduces the likelihood of foxes being drawn to your rabbits.
  5. Human presence: Regularly visit and inspect your rabbit enclosures to ensure their safety. The presence of humans and regular activity can deter foxes from approaching the area.
  6. Keep Rabbits Inside at Night: Foxes are nocturnal, so they’re more likely to try to get to your rabbit during the night. If your rabbit has an outdoor play area, ensure they’re safely inside before dusk.
  7. Hutch Design: Choose a hutch design that is raised off the ground, secure around the roof and door, utilizes thick mesh or wiring, and has hiding places for your rabbits. This will provide an additional layer of protection against foxes.
  8. Fox-Proof Wire and Locks: Ensure the cage has fox-proof wire and bolt locks. Foxes can break weak locks with their sharp teeth, so it’s better to use metallic locks.
  9. Hutch Placement: You could always keep the rabbit in a shed, which you lock at night. This adds an extra barrier between the foxes and your rabbits.
  10. Perimeter Fence: Adding a perimeter fence around the rabbit area can help to keep out foxes and other predators.
  11. Predator-Proof Gate: Install a predator-proof gate. A well-designed gate will keep out animals like foxes while allowing your rabbits to come and go as they please.
  12. Hutch on Paving Slabs or Wire Skirting: Putting your hutch on paving slabs or adding a wire skirting around the perimeter of the hutch can prevent rabbits from burrowing out and predators from burrowing in.

Protecting pets and farm rabbits requires human intervention and proactive measures to minimize the risks posed by foxes.

Why Do Foxes Eat Rabbits?

The nutritional value of rabbits makes them an attractive food source for foxes. Rabbits are rich in protein, which is crucial for developing, developing, and maintaining a fox’s body. Additionally, rabbits provide essential vitamins and minerals that support overall health. The consumption of rabbits allows foxes to meet their dietary requirements and thrive in their natural habitat.

Furthermore, the role of rabbits in the ecosystem cannot be overlooked. As herbivores, rabbits are vital in regulating plant populations and shaping the vegetation in their habitats. By preying on rabbits, foxes help maintain a balanced ecosystem by controlling the rabbit population and preventing excessive herbivory.

Fox in a field looking for food

Foxes Urban vs Rural Foxes Habitats

The feeding patterns of foxes are intriguingly diverse, largely influenced by their habitat – urban or rural. In city landscapes, foxes have adapted to capitalize on the food opportunities presented by human cohabitation. They have become adept at hunting urban-dwelling rodents such as rats and mice, which thrive in city environments.

Urban foxes have developed a knack for scavenging, often feeding on the unfortunate victims of road accidents, making roadkill a surprisingly significant part of their diet. Pigeons, abundant in cityscapes, also form a substantial portion of their meals. Additionally, foxes have learned to exploit human behavior, feeding on leftovers discarded by residents or even foraging through gardens and trash bins for edible scraps. This opportunistic behavior showcases the fox’s adaptability to urban life.

In the wilderness or rural areas, foxes exhibit a more traditional hunting behavior. Their meals are primarily dictated by the availability of prey in their natural habitat. They are omnivorous, consuming a wide variety of food sources. Small mammals and birds often form the core of their diet, but their menu doesn’t stop there. They are also known to eat reptiles, amphibians, and even aquatic life forms like crustaceans and fish when the opportunity arises.

Wild foxes also supplement their diet with plant matter, feeding on wild berries, fruits, and other vegetation. This diverse diet, almost as varied as that of humans, underscores the fox’s survival skills and their ability to adapt to different environments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What type of rabbits do red foxes eat?

Red foxes can prey on various rabbit species, including cottontail rabbits and European rabbits, depending on their geographical location.

How do I keep foxes away from my rabbits?

To keep foxes away from your rabbits, ensure secure enclosures, use predator deterrents, provide secure shelter, remove attractants, and maintain a human presence around the rabbit area.


In conclusion, foxes do eat rabbits as part of their diverse diet. The nutritional value of rabbits, coupled with their population-regulating role in the ecosystem, makes them an attractive prey for foxes. While fox predation can impact the rabbit population, it also contributes to maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

As rabbit enthusiasts, it is our responsibility to protect our furry friends from foxes by implementing preventive measures. By understanding the dynamics of the relationship between foxes and rabbits, we can coexist harmoniously with these fascinating creatures while ensuring the safety and well-being of our beloved rabbits.

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