What does fox poop look like: identification & pictures

fox standing in the brush
Wild animal poop is also called scat. Knowing what fox scat looks like will help you identify if the feces you see is from a fox or a different wild animal. Common red fox scat looks like cat poop. It is brown and black in color and about the length and width of a human thumb.

Along with animal tracks, animal droppings are one of the most helpful ways of knowing what animal you’re dealing with, whether you’re on a walk in the forest or think you have a critter in your garden.

It is wise to be cautious when handling or even avoid handling wildlife poop. 

What does foxes poop look like?

Fox scat can appear dry and stringy and usually has a pointy end. However, if the fox has just pooped, it will appear wet. Sometimes there will only be one piece of poop, or there may be two or three. The amount of poop from a fox usually will not surpass three strings. 

A fox’s diet affects the appearance of its waste. Since foxes feed on small mammals, their feces tends to consist of pieces of their prey, including feathers, hair, and bones.

Foxes also eat berries and nuts, so their feces may contain bits of nuts and seeds. These are the undigested pieces of the food the fox has eaten and are visible in the poop.

fox in the snow

Fox poop found in rural areas tends to be darker than fox poop found in urban areas. This is because foxes in urban areas eat leftover human food in trash cans and invade properties to eat pet food. 

As time passes, fox droppings on the ground will begin to decompose and turn white. Another reason the fox’s scat may appear white is because of the color of fur or feathers from the animal the fox ate.

Is it fox poo or cat poo?

Even though fox and cat poop are similar, you can identify the difference upon close analysis. Fox poop will be smaller and stinkier. Fox poop is usually darker in color than cat poop.

While the contents of the fox poop are visible, such as bones and seeds, cat poop is consistent throughout. Because of this, fox poop is lumpier while cat poop is more smooth.

Is it dog poo or fox poo?

Fox poo is often shaped the same as dog poo, but the fox poo has twisty and pointy ends. People often say that fox scat smells musky.

Fox poop will have pieces of previous meals visible, while dog poop is solid. Fox poop will typically be darker than dog poop. A dog’s poop will be found in random spots, while a fox’s poop will be strategically placed to mark its territory, either directly on objects or around the area’s perimeter.

lurking fox

Is fox poo harmful to humans or pets?

Fox feces is toxic due to the diseases it may carry. Roundworms and tapeworms are often found in fox scat.


Toxocariasis, also known as roundworm, is a disease that humans and pets can catch from interacting with the scat of foxes or other wildlife. Humans won’t get ill from the roundworm unless it spreads throughout their bodies. Humans and pets with this disease will have small worms in their waste. 


Lungworm is a disease that dogs can get from fox scat or from eating a creature, such as a slug, that has previously eaten fox scat. This disease affects the heart and can therefore be fatal to dogs.

Even if your dog only rolled in fox poop, they can still catch diseases by licking themselves after playing in the contaminated poop or even the soil the poop was on.  


Mange, also known as scabies, is another common disease dogs and humans can get from fox poop. This disease causes itching and hair loss. This disease is treatable for dogs and humans and is rare. Cats can also get mange, but it is even rarer for a cat to catch it than a dog. 

fox at rest

Do foxes mark their territory with poop?

Foxes mark their territory with poop and urine. Foxes will repetitively mark their territory this way to ensure the land is claimed as theirs. Their scent will communicate with other foxes and other wildlife: “this area is occupied.”

The smell of a fox will often scare off small animals. A fox will also smell its own excrement and is reassured that the area is theirs. This provides a feeling of both safety and security to the fox, knowing that no other wild animal is trying to take it from them.

Foxes are territorial and will leave their droppings on almost any object, such as rocks, tree logs, and in the middle and perimeters of a lawn or field. Marking territory is more important to male foxes than female foxes.

Foxes will not poop close to their dens because they don’t want predators to know their location. Foxes do not bury their poop; they like to leave it above ground, so the scent is more prominent. 

fox in the heather

What to do if you identify fox poop in your yard or garden?

If you identify fox poop in your area, you can remove it the same way people dispose of dog waste. Wear gloves, so you don’t risk catching any diseases. Put the feces in a plastic or non-porous bag and dispose of it in a sealed outdoor trash can.

To take extra precautions, you can make a mixture of bleach and water to sanitize the ground. Diseases from the fox scat can be found in the soil, so treating the soil is a smart step for extra safety, especially if you have children or pets. 

After disposing of the poop, you should take steps to deter foxes from your home. You can create homemade fox deterrents out of water, chili pepper, or garlic.

Another option is to install sprinklers, motion detector lights, and ultrasonic animal repellers. Make sure to remove food sources, cover any holes, and trim your vegetation.


Whitney is a graduate of Georgetown College and a current graduate student at the University of the Cumberlands. She resides in the beautiful state of Kentucky, which she has always appreciated and endeavors to maintain the land's well-being. A lover of animals and the earth, Whitney strives to communicate accurate information that will help readers learn new information, ideas, and become informed stewards of the natural world.

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