There are three types (or more) of kitsune in Japanese myths and legends.
In old days people believed that kitsune (fox) and tanuki (Japanese raccoon) had a supernatural power and often tricked and confused people. They could turn into anything. When they do it they wear a leaf (in rare cases skull) on the head.
Foxes in Inari Shrines are messengers from one of Shinto gods, Ukanomitama. They are usually white and sometimes hold a key, ear of rice or scroll in their mouth.
They can transform into anything but don’t trick people.
3. Kyubi no Kitsune (Nine tailed fox)
Nine tailed fox was an evil monster (some people believed it was a god). It had been trying to destroy the world by tempting and manipulating emperors. It could turn into a beauty and had turned into Dakki in ancient China, Mrs. Kayo in ancient India and Tamamonomae in Japan. they say it was slain by Kazusanosuke Hirotsune in the early 12th century.
Kazusa no Suke Hirotsune killed the fox and it turned into a stone. It belched poisonous air and all birds and animals died that came near it. People called it Sesshoseki (killing stone) and kept away from it.
Even now one of them still belches poisonous air in Nasu (a district in Kanto area) and the area surrounding it is off limits.