Raccoon

Ring-tailed Raccoon, Racoon

Family: Procyonidae Raccoon Picture: quot;Rufus"Raccoon "Rufus"Procyon lotor
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Jasmine my coon was found when she was about 8 weeks old. Her mom and one of her siblings had been killed by my aunt's neighbors dog. Lol that's a mouthful. She was... (more)  Crystal

   Here is a raccoon up past his bedtime! This younster couldn't keep still, climbed all over everybody and was constantly "checking things out"!

   Racoons are a pet that requires a lot of attention (to keep them out of trouble?), but if given the right environment are lots of fun to keep. They are extremely smart, active, and curious animals. Please read some of the reader comments to get an idea of what problems can be encountered before considering taking on a raccoon as a pet!

   Since wild raccoons have adapted to suburban and urban environments, they are considered a pest by many people. Most states have regulations concerning ownership of racoons so check to make sure you meet all the requirements before you seek one out.

For information about Small Animals and their care visit:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Small Animal


Geographic Distribution
Procyon lotor
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Procyonidae
  • Genus: Procyon
  • Species: lotor
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Scientific name:

Procyon lotor
Common North American Raccoon

Background:


   Raccoons range throughout the United States, actually they range from southern Canada to the Panama. They are fond of areas near water in piney forests and broadleaf woodlands.

Description:

   The raccoon is a medium sized mammal about the size of a small to medium sized dog. They will grow to about 30 inches long including a bushy 10 inch long tail, and will reach 25-45 lbs. as adults. They have a long pointy snout, large eyes and ears, five digits on each foot and a ringed tail.
   The name 'Ring-tailed Raccoon' describes them by one of their very distinctive markings, a ringed tail. They are also recognized by their familiar black ‘mask’, giving this wily animal an almost comical look. Their course fur is a mixture of gray, brown, and black.

Environment:

   In the wild, the the raccoon will have a den built in a hollow tree. Usually an outdoor area at least 4'x4' with a source of running water is needed. If kept in the house they are readily box trained and are similar to keeping a cat or dog except you will probably have to put childproof latches on your cupboards and drawers!

Care and feeding:

   Provide lots of water (if not running water) every day as they have a curious habit of washing their food before they eat it. Raccoons are omnivorous. In nature they eat various small animals, fish, frogs. molluscs, and fruits.
   In captivity, most people feed them a ferret diet, cat food, and table scraps (they will eat just about anything). See about foods for ferrets here. Besides offering them their natural diet they will also eat vegetables, crayfish, crabs, insects, and they love eggs.

Social Behaviors:

   In their natural habitat they do not exhibit aggressive behavior, but males will defend territories. They are generally solitary animals except during breeding season. We have found no information on keeping several raccoons together so we assume that unless you are keeping a family, it is probably best to keep individuals separate in captivity.

Dr. Jungle says...."these guys are packed full of energy!"
Raccoon Pictures of "Rufus" and "Dufus"
Photo @ Animal-World
Courtesy David Brough

"Rufus" and "Dufus"

   These two young racoons, Rufus and Dufus, are both males and are 5 months old in these photos. They are about 15 lbs. now but will reach 25-45 lbs. as adults.

   As babies they were bottle fed with a puppy feeding formula - Esbilac, and powdered goats' milk. Weaning began at 8 weeks and took 2 weeks to complete. Science diet cat food blended to a pudding-like consistency was also used.

 

Handling and Training:


   The cunning Raccoon is easily tamed, and makes a pleasant 'monkey-like' pet. It should be noted however, that though young raccoons make entertaining pets, many become surly, rough and even vicious as they approach sexual maturity.

Activities - Exercise and Play:


   Raccoons are nocturnal, but are sometimes active during the day. They are a mammal that is known for their inquisitiveness. Besides being very curious and active, they are expert climbers. They will thoroughly enjoy some excercise time where they can explore in areas that are both high and low.

   Make sure that your raccoon's designated play areas are properly "raccoon-proofed", not only to prevent damage to the area but to reduce the chances of him injuring himself during play.

Breeding/Reproduction:

   Raccoons' breeding season is from late winter through early spring. Females give birth from April to June and have an average litter of three or four babies. The pups remain in their birth den until they are about seven weeks old, at which point the mother moves them to a series of alternate dens.
   In some parts of the country, young raccoons spend their first winter with their mothers, but it is just as common for them to leave the mother in the late fall of their first year.

Ailments/Treatments:


   As with all animals, raccoons can become ill or hurt. You can do your best to avoid this by taking good care of your pet. Make sure he gets proper nutrition, grooming, and exercise. This will keep your raccoon in the best of conditions and reduce the chances of him getting sick.
I   f your raccoon endures serious injuries such as back injuries, severe bleeding, broken bones, or poisoning, it should be taken to a veterinarian.

Availability:

   Most states have regulations concerning ownership of raccoons so check to make sure you meet all the requirements before you seek one out, your pet store can help you with this.
   Be sure to check your state and local restrictions before acquiring a raccoon.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
Lastest Animal Stories on Pet Racoon


Crystal - 2017-10-28
Jasmine my coon was found when she was about 8 weeks old. Her mom and one of her siblings had been killed by my aunt's neighbors dog. Lol that's a mouthful. She was super sweet and always sleeping she had the cutest purr. As she grew older she got meaner as do all wild animals. I still have her and im just trying to figure out how to get her to stop being so aggressive because 99% of the time she's as sweet as pie the other 1% she's the spawn of Satan. She's about 6 months old has her own bedroom and is not spoiled whatsoever 😉😉😉 (she really is super spoiled) but any suggestions would be well appreciated.

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Jadajae512 - 2017-10-23
I had two pet Raccoon that were brother and sister from 5 weeks to 8 months they were inseparable well my Gretle was bit by a rattlesnake but lived then about a month later she went missing we finally found her and she had passed away my poor Hansle was so heartbroken so I played with him more so he wouldn't feel lonely well came home one day and he was gone he's been gone for about 2 weeks now and just now I walked out and heard something it was him eating the good I had been leaving out every day hoping he would come home but now he doesn't remember me and he's scared what do.i do

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Jacqueline Jones - 2017-10-13
I have a female raccoon that about seven to eight months old I raised her from roughly six weeks till now she was a wild rescue. She has started growling and meaning business. I put oven mitts on trying to touch her and she still tore me up like not playing she was mad during these episodes she will growl if I stand to close if I try and feed her a treat it does not matter is this normal behavior? After she sleeps she eventually calms down and she is her normal hyper distructive self

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Roman - 2017-06-20
I'm interested in purchasing a baby raccoon. I live in Chicago area. If you have any information, please reply to my email.

  • Ben Judy - 2017-09-03
    Raccoons are illegal as pets in Cook County (I live there too) and any vet that is found treating an illegal pet can have their license taken away. You probably can have one if you live outside of Cook County, but please double check the laws. If animal control finds out about an illegal pet, it will probably be euthanized and biopsied for rabies testing.
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Roman - 2017-06-20
I'm interested in purchasing a baby raccoon. I live in Chicago area. If you have any information, please reply to my email.

  • Ben Judy - 2017-09-03
    Raccoons are illegal as pets in Cook County (I live there too) and any vet that is found treating an illegal pet can have their license taken away. You probably can have one if you live outside of Cook County, but please double check the laws. If animal control finds out about an illegal pet, it will probably be euthanized and biopsied for rabies testing.
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Anonymous - 2017-09-28
Where can I buy a pet raccoon?i live in fl

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William Boudreau - 2017-08-09
Need someone to take a2 day old.

  • Lisa Ullenbruch - 2017-08-13
    Did you find someone to take your newborn raccoon?
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Nicki - 2012-11-11
I am looking for a good home for a wonderful little raccoon. She is completely tamed and loves dogs and people. My friend who has raised her has recipe toy had a special needs child and would like to re home the raccon to where she can get more attention. Any info anyone could give me would be very appreciated.

  • bell city girl - 2012-11-26
    i might be interested in your raccoon if it is still available.I have had a raccoon in the past i just love them. My old raccoon Bandit we let go last summer.please let me know if you still have him.
  • Clarice Brough - 2012-11-26
    You'll need to put some contact information in your post...
  • Melissa Immel - 2012-12-08
    I have a 5 month old male and I love him so much. He stays in the house with a cat & 3 dogs. They play all the time. The dogs go out in the daytime and he goes too when I go out with him. I would love to have a female too so he can have a companion.
  • William Boudreau - 2017-08-09
    I found a 1 day old raccoon in my garage with three momma. Live in Gainsville Georgia
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