Yes, raccoons do sometimes kill domestic and feral cats. What I mean is that they sometimes kill small cat species which in this instance might mean an outside domestic cat. It doesn’t take long to realise this fact when doing research on the internet.
However, my research also indicates that raccoons can also mind their own business when in the vicinity of outside domestic and feral cats. It appears to depend upon the situation and circumstances.
If a domestic cat is interrupting a raccoon in a nesting area then perhaps a raccoon may attack the cat. There is a disturbing story on the internet in which a gang of raccoons marauded around a neighbourhood attacking cats. They killed 10 domestic cats in one area apparently.
Another story told a gruesome tale of the killing of a Siamese cat who defended his ground. He was attacked by two raccoons and dragged away. He has not been seen since. An attempt by the cat’s owner to scare the raccoons away failed.
Another report recounts the death of a 14-year-old cat whose name was Avro. The raccoons were hanging around and neighbours chased them away but they returned. The cat’s owners ran out to protect their cat but it was too late. Why did they let their cat outside at this time?
They say the attack was horrifying. A pack of raccoons simultaneously attacked their cat. The cat had no chance at all of surviving. They attacked him and ate him on the hoof. They backed away when the cat’s owners approached them with part of their cat in their mouths. A few tufts of fur were left behind and that’s about it.
Apparently, Avro had been attacked and injured. He tried to make it home but was unable to jump up onto the fence surrounding their backyard.
However, wildlife experts say that it is rare for raccoons to hunt down a large animal to eat. That said, raccoons can be considerably larger than domestic cats. They are, incidentally, omnivores.
During the breeding season there are many more raccoon nests which makes the animal more territorial than they would normally be at other times of the year. If a cat is outside and finds the nest he may be attacked.
Clearly, a potential attack on a cat by a raccoon, although rare on my understanding of these conflicts, is a good reason to keep a domestic cat indoors. It is one reason quite clearly why Americans will frequently keep their cats indoors full-time. There are no raccoon is in the UK and there are far fewer predators in the UK which might attack a domestic cat. In fact, at the moment, I cannot think of one except the human!
It would seem that suburban raccoons are becoming bolder in America which make them more of a hazard to the domestic cat. I would very much like to hear from cat owners as to whether they have had to deal with a potential attack by a raccoon on their cat.
P.S. It appears, though, that it is not all one-way traffic. Sometimes a domestic cat will kill a raccoon while defending himself. Raccoons can also attack people under certain rare circumstances. Coyotes are another real danger to outside cats.