Why Do Foxes Scream? Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know

The foxes have several vocalisations, they usually do scream at night time. If you ever heard a fox screaming, you may wonder why they do that. You might think they do this if injured, but that’s not it. They have many more reasons to do so. If you want to know why do foxes scream at night, let’s jump into it.

why do foxes scream

Basics About the Foxes

Let’s learn the basics about foxes before jumping into why do foxes scream.

Foxes are the predatory creatures of the Canidae family. They are medium-sized animals and have 12 recognized species. They have a triangular face shape, long snouts, and pointed ears. Foxes tend to hunt alone and they usually hunt small mammals like rats, rodents, and rabbits. They only hunt in groups when there is a lack of food and they have to hunt a big animal like deer.

Foxes live in burrows, this place provides them a safe shelter and a place to preserve their food for later. They use their different vocalisation systems to communicate with each other. Screaming is one of their verbalizations. Now it’s time to learn why do foxes scream.

Why Do Foxes Scream?

why do foxes scream

Foxes use their scream as an alert for the other foxes in their territory if they feel or see a threat. The foxes also scream to attract a male in the mating season. The male foxes usually scream to attract a female fox. Most foxes do this in winter, so this is the reason why you hear them screaming mostly in winter. Other than that if a fox is injured, it could scream to draw help. 

If you are unfamiliar with the scream of a fox, it can sound like a woman in distress. Also, the screaming could be frightening at first. Foxes are nocturnal, so they are mostly active at night time. Their screaming can be a very disturbing and unsettling night. But this is their communication method and they are not fighting when they scream, so just ignore it. 

Sometimes, people mistake their yelps and barks for the barking of a dog. Because the sound of the bark of a fox can be familiar to the dogs. Some people hear foxes screaming but they don’t realize it and they think that a dog is barking.

Why Do Foxes Scream At Each Other?

During the mating season, the foxes scream to attract a mate. Mostly the male foxes scream to attract a female. The female foxes sometimes scream to attract a male. Sometimes foxes scream at other foxes if they enter their territory. They use the scream to warn them about their territory. They can also scream at each other as an alert if they feel a threat or intruder in their territory.  

Why Do Foxes Scream At People?

Have you ever wondered if a fox can scream at humans? There is a possibility that a fox can scream at people. Foxes scream if you get too close to their territory or out of fear if you appear out of the blue. They can also scream at you if you try to capture them or make an attempt to give them an injury.

But this is a 1 in 100 possibility that a fox will scream at you. Most of the time foxes flee away as they see a human. They have a fear of humans and they don’t do anything to humans if they encounter them besides running away. If you are attempting to capture them, prepare yourself to be screamed at by a fox.

Why Do Foxes Scream At People?

What Other Noises Do Foxes Make?

Screaming is not the only sound foxes produce. Foxes use several methods of communication. Short or low screams and throaty growls are used by them to alert other male foxes to stay away.

The female foxes use yelping or snarling to tell the male that she isn’t ready to breed. Once she gets ready to breed, she screams the entire time they both are together and this behavior is normal.

Foxes are very territorial, both male and female foxes use short screams to warn the others that this is their territory. 

Gray Foxes and Red Foxes

The red foxes are most likely to scream at night times. It’s a red fox’s scream that can be familiar with the woman’s scream. A gray fox’s scream can sound like a dog’s bark. Still, grey foxes and red foxes have lots of differences between them. Many people assume that the colour is the only difference between them but that’s not true. 

The red foxes are not always red, they can be grey or black. Red foxes have black legs, black-tipped ears, and white tips on their tail. The face of the red fox looks more like a dog while the face of the grey fox looks more like a cat. 

The grey fox is typically grey. But the brown and even red-coloured grey foxes are also discovered. It has a black tip on its tail with a black stripe running along its spine.

Where do Red Foxes Live?

Red foxes are mostly found in the Northern Hemisphere including Europe, Asia, North America, and North Africa. Red foxes like open areas in rural and suburban neighbourhoods, wetlands, and grassy fields. The foxes can be found in cities, they tend to live hiding in urban areas. This is the reason why you hear foxes screaming in your city.

Other Animals That Scream At Night

Other Animals That Scream At Night


Coyotes have become more common in suburban areas. They also use several methods of communication and screaming is one of them. Their bark can sound like a dog’s bark. If they are in groups, they use yips and howls to communicate with each other and it can be very unsettling. When they are finding the members of their pack, they tend to howl.

Mountain Lions

The mountain lions are also known as puma. These lions also use the scream to communicate. Their scream is very loud but it’s not a sign of aggression. Their scream sound can be easily mistaken by the frightened human female.


Bobcats are the members of the cat family. They are smaller than the mountain lions but the sound of the scream is not less noisy. If you ever hear the scream of two mating bobcats, you would think someone is being killed. If you know that they are wild animals, then you might assume they are fighting. Bobcats usually mate in late winter through the spring, this is the period you hear most of the screams of bobcats.  

Coyotes, red foxes, and grey foxes have become common in suburban areas. They become accustomed to humans. However, they don’t hurt gums , they prefer to just run off. But all of them can hurt you if you are trying to injure or capture them. The red foxes and grey foxes don’t pose any threat to the pets. But coyotes can sometimes hurt or even eat your pet if it’s a small one like cats. They also can be dangerous for farm animals like chickens. 

Mountain lions and bobcats are more elusive. They are shy by nature. They try to avoid the human inherited areas wherever it’s possible.


Is It Normal For Foxes to Scream?

It is normal for foxes to scream as they scream for the attraction of others to mate. If you ever hear a scream of foxes it doesn’t mean they are fighting or they are injured. 

Why Do Most of the Foxes Scream At Night?

Foxes are nocturnal, they are mostly active at night times. So, they tend to scream most in this period. They become inactive in the daytime so you don’t hear the screaming.

Can a Fox Attack Me If It’s Screaming At Me?

If you try to injure or capture a fox, it can scream at you and attack you as well. Generally, they flee away when they encounter a human but they only attack if they feel threat by you.

Why Do Foxes Scream Sound Like Dog’s?

Foxes and dogs are both members of the Canidae family. They share a lot of similarities between them. This can be the reason why their voices are sometimes mistaken by the people.

Is Screaming the Sign of Aggression?

The fox’s scream is not a sign of aggression at all. It’s an indication for other foxes to mate or it can be a communication method. 

Can Foxes Become a Threat to the Pets?

If you have a small pet and you ever encounter a fox in your town. You should get worried. Foxes usually eat the smaller animals. Chicken is the favorite meal of the foxes. So, don’t take any risk if you have one.

Do Foxes Become Active At Daytime?

This is very rare as they are nocturnal. They become active in the daytime if they don’t find food at night or if they have a specific reason. Other than that they are only active at nighttime.