Some Crouch End residents are reporting that they’ve noticed numerous “missing cat” notices recently. So what’s going on in our leafy back gardens?
Mayfield Road resident Justine Cordell emailed us to say, “This morning, I was roused by a fox in pursuit of a tortoiseshell tabby cat. I live on the first floor and do not have access to the garden. There was little I could do to stop the fox.”
As a result of witnessing this disturbing encounter, Justine suggests that Crouchenders should keep their cats safely indoors. “The Crouch End foxes are looking particularly healthy,” she told us, “I fear this might be taking it’s toll on our feline population.”
Meanwhile, certified cat behaviourist Anita Kelsey has done a fair bit of research on this subject, speaking with numerous vets, wildlife sanctuaries, cat guardians with free roaming cats and animal hospitals.
Kelsey writes, “There are 33,000 urban foxes in Britain eating mainly earthworms, insects, fruit and vegetables and a wide variety of both domestic wild birds and mammals. The most frequently eaten mammals are generally field voles, abundant on allotments, railway lines and other grassy areas. So urban foxes really do have a good varied diet.”
“It’s possible but very unlikely that a fox will kill a cat. A typical urban fox range can be occupied by upwards of 100 cats, and most of these are out at night. Foxes and cats meet many times every night, and invariably ignore each other. When a fight does break out, it’s often the fox that comes off worse in the encounter.”
Whether or not you decide to keep your pussy in the house tonight, it’s always good to be reminded of the myriad of dangers our pets face when we allow them to roam free. However, the cars that hurtle at 50 mph down Ferme Park Road surely pose a far greater threat to our beloved felines than much maligned Mr Fox.