Are Foxes Cats or Dogs?

A debate rages on – are foxes cats or dogs? We take a look at the evidence to see if we can finally put this question to bed.

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The question of whether foxes are more closely related to dogs or cats is a longstanding debate among biologists. The two main camps are those who believe that foxes are more closely related to dogs, and those who believe that they are more closely related to cats. There is evidence to support both points of view, but the most recent research seems to indicate that foxes are in fact more closely related to dogs.

The debate

The debate over whether foxes are classified as dogs or cats has been going on for years, with no clear consensus. Each side has its own arguments, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear winner. So, what’s the verdict?

On the one hand, foxes are members of the canine family, which includes dogs, wolves, and jackals. They share many characteristics with dogs, including a similar morphology (shape and form) and behavior. For example, foxes are often considered to be very intelligent animals, and they are known for their cunning ability to outwit their enemies.

On the other hand, some people argue that foxes should be classified as cats because they are members of the felidae family, which includes cats, lions, and tigers. Like cats, foxes have retractable claws and They also tend to be independent and aloof animals that prefer to live alone.

So, ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which side of the debate you agree with. Do you think foxes are more like dogs or more like cats?

The evidence

The debate over whether foxes are more closely related to cats or dogs has been ongoing for many years, with each side presenting evidence to support their case.

On the one hand, foxes share some characteristics with dogs, such as their muzzle shape and the fact that they are both members of the Canidae family.

On the other hand, foxes also share some characteristics with cats, such as their vertical pupils and sharp claws.

So, what is the evidence that supports each side of the argument? Let’s take a closer look.

The conclusion

The conclusion is that foxes are neither cats nor dogs, but are in fact members of their own unique family, the canidae family.

What do experts say?

It’s a common question: are foxes considered cats or dogs? Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, as there is no scientific consensus on the matter. Some experts believe that foxes are more closely related to dogs, while others believe they are more closely related to cats. Ultimately, it depends on how you define “cat” and “dog.”

If you take a broad definition of both terms, then it’s likely that foxes fall somewhere in the middle, as they share characteristics with both cats and dogs. For example, like cats, foxes are typically solitary animals that hunt small prey. But like dogs, they also have a strong sense of smell and can be trained to follow commands.

So what do experts say? Well, it depends on who you ask!

What does the research say?

There are a few scientific studies that have looked at the question of whether foxes are more closely related to dogs or cats. The verdict is still out, but the most likely answer is that foxes are more closely related to dogs than they are to cats.

What does history tell us?

Taxonomy is the science of classifying living things. In 1758, Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus put foxes in the cat family, Felidae. This remained unchanged for more than two centuries. Inlier taxonomists placed greater emphasis on similarities in behavior. In 1945, American zoologist Ernst Mayr moved the foxes into a new category, Canidae, which already included dogs, wolves, and jackals. Other authorities have since reverted to Linnaeus’s arrangement.

What does science tell us?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding foxes, especially when it comes to whether they are more closely related to cats or dogs.

The scientific community is still debating this issue, but here’s what we know so far: Foxes belong to the Canidae family, which contains all species of dog. However, foxes are considered to be more closely related to coyotes, jackals, and wolves than they are to Labrador retrievers and poodles.

Interestingly, foxes have some physical characteristics that are more similar to cats than dogs. For example, foxes can rotate their ears independently like cats can. They also have vertical pupils (most dogs have horizontal pupils) and bushy tails.

So, what does this all mean? Science tells us that foxes are more closely related to dogs than they are to cats, but they share some characteristics with both animals.

The final word

The final word on whether foxes are cats or dogs is that they are neither. Foxes are their own unique species, and while they may share some characteristics with both cats and dogs, they are definitely not either one of those. So, the next time you see a fox, don’t think of it as a mini-dog or a mini-cat – think of it as its own special animal.


One of the most common questions we get asked here at the National Wildlife Federation is: “Is a fox a cat or a dog?” Well, the answer depends on what kind of fox you’re talking about.

There are two main types of foxes: the red fox and the gray fox. The red fox is actually considered a member of the dog family, while the gray fox is considered a member of the cat family.

The easiest way to tell the difference between these two types of foxes is by their physical appearance. Red foxes have orange-red fur, while gray foxes have grayish-brown fur. Red foxes also have white-tipped tails, whereas gray foxes have black-tipped tails.

So, now that you know the answer to this FAQ, you can impress your friends and family with your vast knowledge of animal taxonomy!

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