How Fast Can a Fox Run?

James Warwick/Stone/Getty Images

Foxes are able to run between 30 and 40 miles per hour at their fastest depending on the breed. For example, the common red fox has a top running speed of approximately 48 kilometers per hour, which is around 30 miles per hour. Another example is the gray fox that runs at around 42 miles per hour at its fastest speed.

According to the University of Michigan, the red fox not only runs at 30 miles per hour but also has the ability to jump over obstacles that are two meters high. They have claws on both their front and hind feet for getting good traction in the earth. Their front feet have five claws, and their back have four.

The high running speed of foxes is necessary for them to both catch prey and avoid larger predators. Their jumping ability also helps them use obstacles as a means of escape when they are being chased. The red fox lives just three years on average in the wild, but they are able to live as long as 15 years in captivity. Fox mothers and fathers take care of children in dens for several weeks, and siblings help out as well.