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Having a night-time encounter with a raccoon might be frightening, especially if you have cats. Raccoons are widely prevalent in urban areas, and even though they usually get along fine with cats, it is better to keep them apart. Whether you let your cat outside, have a cat door, or are thinking about a pet raccoon, you will want to know if cats and raccoons get along.
Raccoons and cats will sometimes get along. However, raccoons will sometimes intimidate cats to steal their food if cats get fed outside and may attack and kill cats in the outdoors. There are diseases a cat can catch from a raccoon such as Leptospirosis, Baylisascariasis, Rabies, and Distemper.
For most cat lovers, the best way to keep our cats safe is by keeping them indoors. Never leave cat food outside or near open windows as it is highly attractive for nearby raccoons and this could create big problems. Read on to learn more about cats and raccoons!
Can Raccoons Be Friends with Cats?
As mentioned before, raccoons and cats usually get along fine, but it will depend on the circumstances. Raccoons are similar to cats. They are both nocturnal and have hunting instincts. Read more about the superior hunting skills of a cat in our article about whether cats like to hunt.
Cats and raccoons can become friends depending on their emotional reactions.
Raccoons are not usually considered pets, and it is not wise for your cat to live with a raccoon. Raccoons cannot be domesticated as they exhibit hostile behavior. They are not social animals as they like to live isolated and do their thing, plus they don’t develop emotional connections with humans or other animals.
It is essential to understand that raccoons are curious, and they are usually looking for food. If the raccoon appears to befriend your cat, it is probably eating the cat’s food. Most of the time, cats and raccoons ignore each other, but if your cat eats on the porch, especially at night, it will likely attract raccoons.
Your cat’s food it is a magnet for raccoons, as they are omnivorous scavengers. It is not wise to feed your cat outside, as raccoons will keep coming back for more. This could lead to problems with animal control and your neighbors. Besides, your cat food can hurt the raccoons.
When you feed raccoons, you are preventing them from finding food on their own. This makes them easy prey for other wild animals. It also means they will likely come back to this food source, and now you have a raccoon!
Avoid encouraging raccoons to eat at your home as they will likely sample the content of garbage cans and could try entering your house, especially if you have a cat door. Besides, raccoons can suffer fatal injuries if they cross paths with dogs or other human beings that might not like them.
Please take note that it is better to feed your cat inside. Always close your pet door if wild animals are hanging out around your house at night. You don’t want them coming in and wreaking havoc!
Will Raccoons Kill Cats?
Raccoons are larger than cats and can be ferocious in a fight. It is challenging for domestic cats to beat them in a fight and you should do whatever you can to discourage these types of interactions. Raccoons can indeed eat cats, especially kittens. Large domestic cats can’t be eaten by raccoons but can be bitten, injured, or contract a serious disease.
In simple words, even if the raccoon doesn’t eat the cat, it can cause severe damage to your pet. Raccoons have sharp teeth and claws that can cause wounds on cats. If you keep your cat outside at least part of the time, there is a risk that they could have an incident with a raccoon. It may be better to keep your cat indoors, and provide your cat some cat grass for some enrichment.
How to Protect Your Cat from Raccoons?
The number one reason why raccoons are near your home is that you feed your pets outside. It is essential to reduce the chances of your cat running into a raccoon.
Here are some rules you should follow:
● Keep your cat indoors, especially at night
● Never feed your cat outside; if you do, do it only during the day and remove the food immediately. Honestly, it’s smarter to just feed your cat inside the house.
● Cover your garbage cans and keep them as clean as possible. Use warm water and white distilled vinegar to clean the garbage cans as raccoons hate the smell of vinegar and ammonia.
● Cover water sources. This will prevent raccoons from coming for an easy drink.
● Install motion lights. Raccoons are uncomfortable in bright light and will usually run away to avoid it.
● Keep your garden clean.
Can Cats Catch Diseases from Raccoons?
Since raccoons are wild animals, they are susceptible to several infectious illnesses, such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some of the most common diseases raccoons can transmit to cats are:
There is no vaccine available for cats, so it is critical to be careful.
Leptospirosis can affect many organs, especially the kidneys. Keep in mind that there are no clinical signs in cats, but there is a link between chronic kidney disease and Leptospirosis infection.
Baylisascariasis is another zoonotic disease that can be transferred from an infected animal to other animals, including humans. Raccoons commonly carry these worms since the health of the raccoon is not severely affected.
It is spread through the fecal material. If your cat has any contact with the feces of an infected raccoon, it can result in an infection.
There are two types of baylisascariasis in cats:
1. Intestinal infection
2. Visceral disease
The most common symptoms include lethargy, seizure, confusion, difficulty eating, and loss of coordination.
Good information with regard to rabies is luckily very easy to find. Warm blooded animals can carry or contract rabies, but raccoons are known to be primary carriers of rabies in North America.
If your cat gets rabies, the disease will attack your cat’s central nervous system and often becomes fatal. It is spread via saliva, which means you do not want to be bitten. The most common sign of rabies in cats is that they start to act in a furious and violent form. Your cat might appear agitated and fearless.
If you see a raccoon near your home acting weird during the day, contact animal control immediately.
Distemper is a very contagious virus that affects multiple biological systems (gastro-intestinal, respiratory, etc.) and is usually fatal. It is well-known that for raccoons, distemper is the second leading cause of death. It is highly contagious and is transmitted through inhalation.
It is best for your cat to avoid having direct contact with raccoon excrement, respiratory droplets from an infected raccoon, and fluids such as saliva. The only way I know to keep your cat away from raccoon feces is by keeping your cat indoors.
Distemper is known as Panleukopenia in cats. The most common symptoms include:
● Discharge from the eyes and nose
● Glowing green eyes
● Seizures and foaming at the mouth
Can Cats and Skunks Be Friends?
Cats and skunks can be friends, as long as the respect is mutual. It is essential to understand that skunks will not directly attack your pet. However, if the skunk is afraid and looking for food, kitties can become victims.
If you have kitties, never leave them unprotected in your yard as skunks can hurt and kill them. Even though they will not eat cats, they might attack them. They could also spray your cat and make them stink.
Can Skunks Be Pets?
Skunks can be terrific pets as long as you raise them correctly. They usually are friendly with people and other animals, including cats. But it is critical to get skunks at a young age so that they can be accustomed to other pets.
Skunks learn quickly, and you can efficiently train them. Keep in mind that skunks like to chew, so you should get them a toy to prevent your furniture damage.
If you want a skunk to become your pet, you must check the laws for the state you live in, as many have regulations. For example, it is illegal to have a skunk as a pet in California, but it is legal to have a skunk as a pet in Florida if you have a permit.
Generally, cats and raccoons get along fine, but it is wise to keep them apart.
Raccoons can kill kittens or smaller cats, plus they can spread diseases if they share food or water. It is vital to keep your cat vaccinated since raccoons are a rabies vector.
Remember, protect your cats by keeping them inside and never leaving cat food outside or near an open window!