Are raccoons dangerous to cats, dogs or other pets?
You got yourself a pet, whether it is cat, dog, rabbit, parrot etc, you are enthusiastic and you will do anything that is necessary to keep it safe and sound. But danger is all around us and you have to be aware of most frequent jeopardy of your neighborhood. Most of you live in suburbia and one of most common representative of wildlife is raccoon. You probably know that raccoons are alike their ancestors, dogs and bears, and they can be long from 30 to 70 centimeters. When it comes to weight they can get up to 12 kilogram.
Raccoon’s hair is mostly gray of brown to red with recognizable horizontal lines on their tails. Raccoons are active mainly at dusk but nosed raccoons can be active during the day as well. The main reason for day activity is search for food. Most common opinion is that raccoons prey mostly on small animals which lay on front or back porch of your houses. Urban lifestyle is convenient for raccoons as much as for humans because of simple access to food. There are so many accesses to food such as open trash can, food that people leave on their porches and yard when feeding their pets. As you can see, raccoons visit us only for one reason and one reason only, which is food.
So far we can tell that they are our first neighbor and just like our neighbors do they can come unannounced, especially if we left our window opened or our door cat flap is big enough for them to sneak in and use our food. Since we always leave food in our cupboards they are pretty skilful when it comes to opening stuff with their claws. Bad news is when your gold fish comes on their way. It becomes raccoon’s food in instance. Same is with birds and other rodents. When it comes to cats and dogs it all depend on both of their sizes and which animal is more aggressive. Dogs mostly attack coons while cats will ignore their presence. But it all depends on situation. Aggressive raccoons might be once infected with rabies. So in this way they can be dangerous to your pets as well. If they get into a fight, and infected raccoon scratches your pet, the bacteria will infect your pet too. They can be carriers of lot of other parasites which can harm your precious once. Finding our how to protect from them must be your next step.
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Hello David- Thank you for your excellent website. We have a family of raccoons in our neighborhood and I would like to relocate them if at all possible before someone in my neighborhood harms them. There is a wildlife center that will unofficially take them into their100 acre preserve. Could you give me an idea of how to go about this? I'm planning to buy some larger traps and we were going to try to trap them when they come into our yard at night. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance-Barbara
My response: Sure, I have some important input - your neighborhood is their home - why do you suspect someone will harm them - trapping and relocating them will be worse for their welfare then just leaving them alone.
David: I have several neighbors that have seen them walking around during the day. They said that this was abnormal behavior and that they needed to either trap or shoot them. I've tried telling them that it's normal for them to be seen during the day and that shes just trying to find food for her young. We already have one neighbor who actually shoots squirrels because they go into his birdfeeder! I've been trying to work on this issue-the problem is that these people are very ignorant and don't care about animals. I've read your website and would just like to do what's best for these animals. Thanks-Barbara
Hmm... Interesting case. Tough call.