Does the Father or Mother Take Care of a Newborn Fox?


Also known as kits, cubs or pups, infant foxes are cared for by both of their parents, though the specific division of parental labor in caring for a new litter of pups may vary in different fox species. For example, after giving birth to a new litter, a female arctic fox will nurse and guard her young while the male responsible for impregnating her will hunt and bring food back to the nest. However, arctic foxes are typically solitary animals, unlike other types of foxes, which live in packs and share infant care duties amongst the entire family, including both parents and any siblings that may be present.

Red fox mothers will nurse their young, while the male fox will care for both his mate and the young. Older siblings may hunt for food and bring it back to the family’s den to allow parents to eat while also caring for the young. Fox pup vocalizations, such as whining, have been observed to stimulate care instincts in not only the mother fox but also the male fox.

The fox’s gestation period is about 53 days long, even across different species. However, different fox species may have different litter sizes depending on their habitat. For example, the arctic fox has large litters of 10 or more pups.