The Canadian marble fox, often likened to a cat due to its small size, boasts a striking coat resembling marbled patterns. This unique fox is primarily white but adorned with subtle brown, gray, or black stripes, creating a captivating interplay of colors within its fur.
Among its distinct characteristics, the most recognizable feature is the grayish-black rings encircling its eyes, often referred to as the “burglar’s mask.” This remarkable creature, also known as the Arctic Marble Fox, is not a natural species; it’s a hybrid resulting from the mating of a red fox with a silver fox.
With a red-orange tail and a white underbelly, the Canadian marble fox is unmistakable in appearance. Despite its wild nature, some individuals are drawn to the idea of keeping it as a pet, thanks to its mesmerizing attributes.
The History of the Canadian Marble Fox
In 1945, on Sverre Omber’s farm in Norway, the very first Canadian marble fox was born, and it was far from a natural occurrence. This unique fox came about due to a genetic twist resulting from the interbreeding of a red fox and an arctic fox.
They coined the term “color phase” to describe this intriguing process, highlighting the striking marble-like fur pattern that emerged as a result of this unusual fox hybrid.
Over time, savvy breeders realized the value of these distinctive foxes for the fur trade, prompting them to selectively breed Canadian marble foxes. Their distinctiveness made them a more lucrative choice compared to other foxes in the trade.
Where Does the Canadian Marble Fox Live?
They originate primarily in northern Canada’s Arctic areas. Consequently, they are referred to as Canadian marble foxes.
According to reports, several of these foxes currently reside in the wild. However, the majority are bred and kept in captivity. Around the USA and Canada, there are numerous reputable breeders.
What do Canadian Marble Foxes eat?
Like other foxes, they can eat a variety of things. They consume a wide range of foods. These include fruits, vegetables, carrion, and small rodents like rats and mice.
These keen eaters can rob other animals of their food. Therefore, keeping your pet’s feeding bowl sealed is crucial. They can eat any dry or wet dog food, as well as meat, in a domestic setting.
How do Canadian Marble Foxes behave?
Canadian Marble Foxes are wild creatures, and they exhibit characteristics of both of their red or silver fox parents.
Being solitary, inquisitive, and opportunistic animals, they live alone. They act like wild foxes because that’s what they are. Consequently, they might not get along with other pets, and any pets in the area could be in danger from them.
Usually, they don’t show any sign of affection in the first few weeks. Therefore, the more interaction they have with their breeder or owner, the better.
It’s essential to socialize them appropriately. Otherwise, they could be aggressive, rude, or distrustful.
Characteristics of Canadian Marble Foxes
The size and weight of male and female Canadian Marble Foxes differ slightly. Males range in weight from 7 to 21 pounds.
In comparison, the weight of their female counterparts ranges from 3 to 8 pounds. Additionally, males can reach a height of 27 inches, whereas females rarely grow taller than 20 inches.
A Canadian Marble Fox generally lives for eight to ten years. They can survive up to fifteen years or longer, though, with proper care. They are thought to live for about 5-6 years in wild populations.
Distinctive traits of the Canadian Marble Fox
Canadian marble foxes are small and have a distinct appearance. In addition to it, they possess a number of other unique traits and skills.
· Thick and Coveted Fur:
Marble fox coats have a stone marble feel to them. Their white coats have subtle gray, black, or tan lines. Usually, the highlight color extends over the face and down the spine.
Many of these fox species appear to be wearing traditional burglar masks. This is the marble fox’s most famous feature. Also, they feature a symmetrical black pattern above and along each brow.
Some marble foxes have black stripes down their sides. This characteristic is, however, quite unusual. The marble fox is bred to have shades of black, gray, and brown, just like marble. They are also unique in having ears that are huge and hairy.
- Highly Tolerant to Severe Weather Conditions
Due to their thick fur they can easily maintain a stable body temperature, which provides them with plenty of insulation. They also have rounded ears and tiny legs, reducing the surface area where heat can escape. The Canadian marble fox does not go into hibernation.
Seasonal fluctuations affect the color of its fur. For instance, its coat changes from white in the winter to brown in the summer. It is the only canid family member that can transform its color. This allows it to hide in the snow in the winter and rocks and plants in the summer.
- Monogamous and Solitary Animals
Marble Foxes in Canada are primarily a solitary species. They transport ice while residing on the Arctic tundra. Monogamous marble foxes live in Canada. As a result, they mate for life.
The spring season is when Canadian marble foxes give birth. In the summer, they can raise their pups alongside their males. A female Canadian marble fox can deliver 5 to 8 kits.
The Canadian marble fox’s gestation period lasts two months or so. They give birth to between 4 and 6 kits who are blind. If they are breastfed, they are often completely weaned by ten weeks. After about six months, you should treat them like an adult fox.
- Possess a Unique Hunting Approach
The Canadian marble fox is a predator and carnivore. They pursue fish, birds, and rodents. As food is generally limited in the winter, it imitates the polar bear and consumes its leftover scraps.
These foxes typically reside in deep tunnels and dens, and they dig holes in the snow to hide throughout the winter.
Is owning Canadian Marble Foxes as pets legal?
Keeping marble foxes as pets is legal in some states in the US. But foxes are categorized as wild or exotic pets. Therefore, it is against the law to keep a fox as a pet in many parts of Canada. For instance, the Wildlife Act in British Columbia protects foxes.
They are regarded as a type of local wild animal. Similar legislation to protect animals is present in other Canadian provinces. Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Ontario are among them. You need a license to keep them as a pet even in the allowed legal states.
Are They Dangerous?
Marble foxes are not very dangerous and are incredibly intelligent. Keeping them as pets is not a good idea, even though they may be domesticated.
They are quite different from typical pets like a dog or a cat. Regardless of how deeply owners bond with them, they will escape as soon as they have the opportunity.
The breed is a hybrid of the arctic fox and the original red fox, which both are exotic creatures and exhibit wild character. Foxes are notably sly and unpredictable members of the canine family of animals.
Would They Make a Good Pet?
A marble fox is a challenging pet to keep. Foxes must establish attachment over their first six months. To keep one as a pet, it is advisable to choose one when it is still a kitten.
It is best to get in touch with breeders in March because foxes typically give birth in April. It’s also crucial to remember that fox kits require bottle feeding, especially seeing as it is an essential part of the bonding procedure.
Litter training is possible. However, they would need more time than cats. Therefore, be ready to work with marble foxes patiently for the first few months.
Nevertheless, these kits are fearless until they are six months old. This is the ideal time to get close to them and build a strong connection.
How to Keep a Canadian Marble Fox as a Pet?
As attractive as the Canadian Marble Foxes are, keeping them as a pet requires a lot of effort. Additionally, there is always a risk of harm, and foxes in the wild are susceptible to rabies.
Therefore, only get a captive-bred fox from a reputable breeder. Once you get the fox, you must vaccinate it like any other pet. Here is an overview of the things you need to consider for keeping them as pets:
- Cage Size:
For one fox, you’ll need a cage that is at least 100 square feet big. A five-by-five-foot pen that is at least four feet tall is a good way to start. But a bigger one is always preferable.
Your new pet will be more content if you give it more space. Moreover, it will also be less likely to try to run or turn aggressive against you.
Put the cage in an area where people won’t notice it. You’re sure to attract curious guests who have never seen a Canadian Marble Fox. Your fox can become tense and combative as a result.
Also, there shouldn’t be any standing water or wet ground. However, foxes enjoy digging in sloping terrain. This can therefore make it challenging to set up the cage.
Shelter from the wind and rain is also necessary for your Canadian Marble Fox. As a result, many owners choose to put a box like this within the cage.
It will also benefit from a lot of vegetation, wood, and tree branches. It can use them as toys, hide behind them, and climb on them.
If you wish to take your fox for a walk, use a harness. Use the harness from an early age. However, the public’s natural curiosity can be a problem. Your fox may become upset as a result. To avoid this, walk the fox on your own land.
Exercise & Training of Canadian Marble Fox:
These furry animals have a lot of energy, so they must exercise frequently. The foxes need thorough training, so specialists advise you to walk them for at least two hours to satisfy them.
You should socialize your baby fox with people if he is under six months old. They can quickly overcome their fear of people in this way.
Interact with your fox so they become comfortable with your voice. Additionally, they can pick up verbal orders.
Spend extra time with your adult fox if you have one; lay or sit next to them so they can be aware of your presence. You can train them using treats just like any other pet.
Cleaning and Grooming of Canadian Marble Fox
These foxes are generally clean, so you don’t need to bathe them daily. However, you can notice a bad odor because of their scent gland and pee. You can’t change this because it’s a natural occurrence. However, you may do a few things to get rid of the smell.
Spray the entire area of their cage with a solution of water and vinegar. In the mixture, you can also add a little dish soap to eliminate the smell. Place a newspaper and a thin litter layer when the cage has dried. Consider cleaning your fox’s cage twice per week.
A bored fox will cause trouble, so you need to make an effort to keep them entertained. Foxes adore toys that squeak. By nature, they are mysterious and will conceal things.
Therefore, the more toys available, the better it is. Additionally, you should “fox-proof” your house to stop things from vanishing.
Foxes enjoy playing with other animals and with one another. You can occasionally rearrange its pen. Small changes can have a big impact. Include hiding places and climbing areas for them. A place to explore will keep your fox occupied and mentally sound.
The lifespan of a captive Canadian marble fox is easily 10 years. This is a pretty long time compared to their life span in the wild. In the “real world,” they supposedly only live up to 5 years.
It is not advisable to keep them as pets despite their longer lifespans in captivity as it might be challenging. There are numerous things to consider. Even for an expert pet owner, it is a big responsibility.
- Young Fox Kits:
Young fox kits should have a spacious cage. A kennel for dogs will also work. Put the fox’s hiding place within a box.
Cover one-fourth of the enclosure’s floor with something cozy. Place the cage on top of a table or something of equal height. The fox will feel less exposed this way.
Put a litter pan close to the cage’s door. You only need a tiny cardboard box, and it will be excellent if the fox uses it immediately. Give it some time to make adjustments.
Place the water and food bowls as close to the door as possible. Once your fox appears relaxed, give it a snack from your hand.
- Adult Foxes:
Engage your fox in conversation so they can come to trust you. Place a large cage, a litter box, and food right outside the cage door. Keep your fox company as much as possible by conversing with them.
Constant petting irritates foxes. So, offer your fox the option but let it make the decision. You could also add some toys. They enjoy using rope or noisy toys for play.
A simple play involves tapping your fox on the nose and seeing if it tries to bite you. In this approach, timing is important. If you are too late, the fox won’t connect the offense, and the essence of the lesson will be lost.
How to Control Their Aggressive Behavior?
Keep the fox in a spacious cage for a while. The fox feels secure as he has a safe space to call home. There should be ample space to move around. The fox kit should not be picked up. It requires its own space.
It will eventually reach you, but only when it is ready. Allow them to see you while speaking softly. They are more likely to open up to your love when they fully adapt to your voice. Give your fox a treat from your hand to make them comfortable.
Disadvantages of Keeping a Canadian Marble Fox as a Pet:
These animals don’t remain domesticated for very long. They always want to get away no matter how carefully you handle it. It can bite or scratch you as it tries to escape.
Sometimes it can lead to serious injury. Foxes are noisy, another reason you might not like having one as a pet. They frequently scream, both day and night.
These animals move so swiftly and with such exuberant energy. Even a cage twice the size than required will not give enough area for them to burn off surplus energy. Platforms and ramps can be useful here. However, they can only partially provide a natural environment.
Summary of Canadian marble fox
The marble fox is not a separate species despite its distinctive look. It’s actually just a typical wild fox with a striking black and white coat of fur. They do not occur naturally, but rather originate from a red fox and a silver fox crossbreed.
Some reports state that it also has Arctic fox ancestry. Their unique color morph is the result of a random genetic mutation. They are often bred and raised in a domestic environment because of their high commercial value.
Thank you for reading this article! The Canadian Marble Fox is not the only animal covered in a beautiful white fur coat, read our article about The Cutest White Animals to discover more of them!