Raccoons And Cats

Web surfers want to know whether cats and raccoons can coexist peaceably. Also they want to know whether a raccoon can kill a cat or vice versa.

Not having the benefit of seeing raccoons and cats together, I embarked on some research. The conclusion is that raccoons and cats normally coexist fairly peaceably. I suspect that they both respect each other to a certain extent because if they get into a fight one or both will be injured which may impair survival. One is not totally dominant over the other which helps to create a neutrality in their relationship.

They are a similar weight but the raccoon is generally heavier. The raccoon ways from 3.5 to 9 kg which is about 8 to 20 pounds. This is not dissimilar to the weight of a domestic or feral cat but in general the raccoon is bigger and heavier across that spectrum of weights. Also raccoons are nearly always wild animals and domestic cats are just that: domestic cats. Domestication has some impact upon the mentality and personality of the animal with respect to levels of aggression and with respect to strength.

The raccoon has claws which it can use effectively in a fight. The raccoon is a good climber as well, less good than a cat but still pretty effective.

The raccoon is a durable animal and, when needs must, is fearless. Also, when juveniles are at an age when they become independent they can form packs which are dangerous to humans and cats.

Another issue important worth noting is that raccoons can be carriers of rabies. This automatically makes them more dangerous and to be avoided both by cat and human. I am sure many people would say that they should keep cats away from raccoons for this reason alone.

However, there are clearly many encounters between cats, humans and raccoons. Most of these seem to be benign and without any aggression. Encounters between cats and raccoon normally take place over food left out for the cat. There is a video of a cat chastising a raccoon for taking his food. The cat is considerably smaller than the raccoon. The raccoon ignored the cat’s swot and simply carried on eating the cat’s food without fighting back.

It would seem, however, that the raccoon does not want to waste time or effort getting into a fight. This is not a sensible thing to do in terms of survival.

Some people more knowledgeable than me say that if a large feral tomcat got involved in a fight with a raccoon then the tomcat may come off best. However, in general a raccoon will win in a fight versus a cat either domestic or feral and there is no doubt that there are examples of raccoons killing cats.

To an outsider like myself, raccoon’s look quite cute. They do not make pets however. As an aside, at one time some people thought that the well-known Maine Coon was a hybrid between a raccoon and a cat!

When raised together or socialised towards each other, cat and raccoon can be very friendly as the picture on this page shows.

Please search using the search box at the top of the site. You are bound to find what you are looking for.

6 thoughts on “Raccoons And Cats”

    • Thanks. We know that raccoons kill cats but they don’t automatically attack cats. There is a degree of acceptance until something occurs which might lead a raccoon attacking a cat.

      • Wherever the balance tips between the survival of the raccoon and its offspring and a cat, the cat dies. Should the raccoon in your article photo feel hungry and doesn’t find any other food source, goodbye cuddled-cat. It’s just being “protected” by the raccoon as a backup food plan. The same as happens in any photo presented where a cat is nestling with any bird. Should the cat be hungry enough, or any movement of the bird trigger the cat’s kill instinct at the right time, the bird, no matter how long a lifetime companion of the cat, will be killed by the cat.

        And yes, some raccoons automatically hunt down and kill all cats. (Use that google search string to find instances where dozens of cats were purposely hunted-down by raccoons.) If their previous generations have perceived cats as a competition to their own food-sources and the survival of their own offspring, then any roaming cat is perceived as a threat to the survival of their lineage. Raccoons are far more intelligent than any cat (and most any other native animal, including human-created dogs) and pass-on knowledge to their offspring from generations ago.

        Should there be some global disaster and all humans are wiped from the face of the earth, I strongly believe that raccoons could become the next evolutionary intellectually-superior mammalian life-form in the Americas. I’ve witnessed them figuring-out things that would even puzzle most humans.

        • I disagree with one or two points that you make. If different species of animal are very well socialised with each other and if one of them is a predator of the other then I believe that the predator will never attack the other animal. We’ve seen this many times before. Also, the evidence shows that raccoons pretty much ignore cats a lot of the time and are not out to hunt down cats all the time as you suggest.

  1. I’ve encountered raccoons in my yard (usually at night) as it is connected to a green belt. They usually roam about in groups, and I don’t know whether they’re related but probably are. I’m on the west coast in Calif. and they tend to be big – around 30 lbs I’d say. They can be quite vicious and have gotten into horrific fights with local dogs, one of whom developed sepsis. The other was a pit bull. I had to split those two off by firing a hand gun and the raccoon ran right at and past me. Another time two ‘coons were fighting in a tree, and when I went out to take pictures, one fell from the tree and chased me! I snapped this shot as I ran backwards (that was close!). I’ve never seen them attack a cat, but have seen them share a bowl of milk (lactose- free).

    • Wow, they are indeed vicious. Let’s say they can ne vicious because I don’t think they’re vicious all the time. And 30 lbs is big. A step up from the average domestic cat.


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