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.