A pair of foxes shares a home range, often with young from the previous breeding season. Mating takes place from December to February and after a few months, females - also known as vixens - give birth to between 3 and 12 cubs. The availability of food determines whether vixens breed and how many cubs they produce. During the mating season, females and occasionally males give out spine-tingling shrieks.
Red foxes mark their territories with a distinctive scent, which lingers and tells when a fox has been in the area. The scent is left with urine or feces and is produced by special glands at the base of the tail. There are further scent glands between the pads of foxes' feet and around their lips.