Do cats fight raccoons?
Do Raccoons & Cats Get Along?
When your precious kitty encounters a night-roaming raccoon, they’ll usually get along just fine — whether they simply nod to each other and go their separate ways, or become good pals and eat out of the same bowl. But there are good reasons to keep them apart anyway.
Friend vs. Foe
There’s an information war — fueled by urban legends and misunderstandings — over whether kitties and coons are friends or foes.
Raccoons are mainly scavengers. They do kill some small prey, but they find most of the meat they eat. They might occasionally kill kittens or very small cats, but for the ones caught eating dead cats, the evidence is circumstantial.
In almost all cases, raccoons and cats get along fine. They not only tolerate each other, they sometimes eat out of the same dishes, which is why animal control offices around the country condemn feeding cats outside. Outdoor feeding is even illegal in some cities.
Unfortunately for these star-crossed animal buddies, raccoons and cats can share diseases as easily as they share food. Raccoons can carry feline distemper (feline panleukopenia). They also can catch it from your unvaccinated cat and spread it to other raccoons or other cats.
Scariest of all, raccoons are a rabies vector. So it’s really important to make sure your cat is vaccinated; keeping your kitty disease-free protects local wildlife and other cats. Raccoons can also carry seriously yucky and potentially dangerous roundworms.
Your Cat’s Food
Most cat-raccoon meetings happen over food. Your outdoor cat’s food is just downright irresistible to these omnivorous scavengers. If you feed your kitty outside and it attracts raccoons, they’ll keep coming back for more tasty treats.
As cute as this is to watch, allowing raccoons to eat your cat’s food is ill-advised. Not only is it strongly frowned upon by animal control departments and probably by your neighbors, it can harm the raccoons. Wild animals that become dependent on handouts are less capable of surviving on their own. Food by your house encourages them to hang around and sample the contents of garbage cans, gardens and compost bins, and to check out your chimney and attic.
These nocturnal visits can also put your new buddies in the paths of dogs, cars and human beings who aren’t as friendly to nighttime marauders as you are.
Your Cat’s Door
A raccoon is not a pet and should never be brought into your home. Yet even if you don’t invite them in, you might wake up one morning to find you’ve been burglarized by a 20-pound criminal, or you might confront an aggressive, frightened wild animal inside your home. A cat door is a raccoon entry point.
If you have raccoons around your home, the safest bet for all concerned is to bring your kitty’s food inside, and rig that cat door closed until your wild pals find a better place to hang out at night.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Cat Vs Raccoon: Who Would Win in a Fight?
Cats are common pets throughout the world, and they have a habit of being rather territorial. Unfortunately, their status as a pet means they live near humans with abundant food and many wild animals that want a taste of it, even if it is from the trash. Raccoons are famous scavengers that can be found in backyards across the Americas and Europe, trying to get a bite to eat. That brings them into contact with cats, and it often ends in confrontations. So, what happens if your cat stumbles upon this nocturnal mammal? We’re going to show you which animal wins a cat vs raccoon fight!
Comparing a Cat and a Raccoon
|Size||Weight: 7lbs-10lbs |
Length 30in including tail
|Weight: 7lbs-20lbs |
Length: 16in-28in, up to 40in with tail
|Speed and Movement Type||– 30 mph |
– Very agile
|– 15 mph|
|Senses||– High vision in settings with low light |
– Among the best hearing in small mammals
– A sense of smell that is 10 times better than a human’s
|– Very strong hearing |
– High intelligence
– Powerful sense of smell
– Good night vision but poor long-distance vision and bad color vision
|Defenses||– Highly attuned senses makes it hard to sneak up on them |
|– Ability to climb trees with ease |
– Threat display of bluff charging
|Offensive Capabilities||– Bites and scratches with claws |
– Will seek to bite at the back of the head to instantly kill their prey
|– Claws sensitive areas like the eyes |
– Bites several times with long incisors that can deliver deep puncture wounds
– They mangle foes instead of going for a single killing blow.
|Predatory Behavior||– Ambush predator and opportunistic predator as wild animals||– Opportunistic predators that find food in their environment and then strike|
What Are Key Differences Between a Cat and a Raccoon?
The key differences between a cat and a raccoon are their size, senses, and predatory behaviors. Raccoons are bigger than cats. Most house cats only weigh between 7lbs and 10lbs, grow 10 inches tall, and measure 30 inches in length. However, raccoons can weigh upwards of 20lbs, stand 12 inches tall, and grow 40 inches in total length.
Also, cats are hunters that have excellent hearing, sight, and smell, but raccoons only have very good senses of smell and hearing. Their sense of sight is good at night, but it’s only useful over short distances and when they don’t need to discern colors.
Cats are ambush predators that strike out at their foes and try to end their fights with a single blow. However, raccoons are opportunistic predators that find prey in their habitats and kill them. Not only are these differences important in differentiating between the two animals, but it’s crucial to understanding how a fight between them would occur.
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What Are the Key Factors in a Fight Between a Cat and a Raccoon?
The key factors in a fight between a cat and raccoon are a mixture of physical traits and their ability to fight. That’s why we’re going to consider several important physical elements along with how these creatures defend themselves. By the time we’re done, we’ll have all the information needed to determine which animal is going to win a fight.
Cat vs Raccoon: Size
Raccoons are larger than cats in most cases. Size is a very important factor in any fight between animals, and raccoons are quite large. Raccoons can weigh up to 20lbs, stand one foot tall, and grow over three feet long. Cats weigh about 10lbs, grow 10 inches high, and measure 30 inches long including their tails.
Now, some cats, like the Maine coon, are larger breeds than average. The largest Maine coon measured about 4 feet long, but over a quarter of that was just its tail. They are more of a match for raccoons in terms of weight, too. Still, the average cat is smaller than a raccoon by a large margin.
Raccoons have the size advantage.
Cat vs Raccoon: Speed and Movement
Cats are much faster than raccoons. The average house cat can run at speeds of 30 mph over short distances, but raccoons only run at 15 mph. This difference in speed would allow the cat to catch the raccoon and overwhelm it with speed.
Cats have the speed advantage.
Cat vs Raccoon: Senses
Cats have very potent senses including vision, smell, and hearing. They are especially good at seeing at night and smelling objects in their environment. Raccoons are highly intelligent, have powerful hearing, and smell very well. Unfortunately, they are basically color-blind and cannot see well over long distances.
Cats have a sensory advantage over raccoons.
Cat vs Raccoon: Physical Defenses
Cats are capable of using their speed and agility to escape from most fights that they won’t win. They also have great senses, so it’s hard for something on the ground to get the drop on them. Raccoons are not as swift, but they can climb trees and use their bluff attacks as defenses to ward off foes.
Cats have better physical defenses than raccoons.
Cat vs Raccoon: Combat Skills
Cats are ambush predators, so they stalk prey and wait for the opportune moment before they strike. Yet, raccoons are merely opportunistic predators, so they find food in their living areas and go after it. Cats prefer to kill with a single bite to the back of an animal’s head, but raccoons maul their foes by clawing and biting vital areas.
Raccoons have superior combat skills in a fight that doesn’t start with an ambush.
Who Would Win in a Fight Between a Cat and a Raccoon?
A raccoon would win a fight against a cat. Raccoons are bigger than most cats, and it’s nearly impossible for the smaller animal to launch an attack that would kill the raccoon immediately. As such, the fight would break down into a desperate scramble, and the raccoon would win in that scenario.
Raccoons are better equipped to take and deal out damage. They use their claws to attack their prey’s eyes while biting deep into their prey’s body, puncturing organs and causing serious damage. All in all, it doesn’t seem possible that any cat would be able to mount a defense against such terrible odds.
What Animal Can Take Down a Raccoon?
There’s no doubt that habit of fighting dirty along with those sharp claws and fangs would stand the raccoon in good stead against a domestic feline. However, there is yet another opportunistic predator against which even such trump cards have their limits.
Enter the wily fox, with reflexes as sharp as the raccoon’s and senses just as keen too.
And should they eventually get to fangs, which would be most likely under the circumstances, the raccoon will find itself outclassed in this regard. The fox has a bit force of 307 psi which although less than half of the coyote’s 727 psi, is still pretty impressive compared to its dual-toned adversary whose jaws are only capable of inflicting 100 psi.
There is also the issue of speed with the fox being considerably faster compared to the raccoon with a speed of 30 mph, compared to the latter which only is only capable of reaching a top speed of 11 mph. The weight of the combatants would also be another deciding factor in the outcome of the confrontation and once again the fox comes out tops with a maximum weight potential of 38 lbs.
Add to that its natural athleticism rendering it capable of leaping over heights of more than 6 feet, and strong swimming skills and it becomes pretty clear that the raccoon would do well to avoid taking on the red-furred predator.
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