Do raccoons eat cats

Do raccoons eat cats

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Do raccoons eat cats?


I don't know what the statistics are, but I know anecdotally that raccoons rarely eat cats. A friend of mine had a raccoon try to get to his cat, but he and I and other people were pretty sure that it didn't get him.

I did once see a raccoon grab a cat (by the tail) in the middle of the road, on a street, and drag the cat across the road to a park (the cat's claws and teeth were drawn in one gash). People came over and saw it and scared the cat off the road. The raccoon left (with one paw in the air, I swear!) and never came back.


The article below was sourced to the USDA.

"Raccoons may sometimes take refuge in the attic and under a chimney or in attics, but they are rarely observed in attics. The raccoon will not attempt to cross open spaces between buildings but may seek to enter under a shingle roof, a wooden roof, or, in some cases, chimney flue, so it can enter under the roof."


When a cat is seen as prey (or in its path), a natural response is to flee. A cat is a swift, agile runner, whereas a raccoon is not. A raccoon may be faster than a cat on level ground, but it's not a race, and it's not level ground.

The chances are pretty good that a raccoon will only go after a cat when the cat is trapped, or when it is in a position in which it is unable to flee. Otherwise, it will go to ground to escape the cat.

If a raccoon can take its prey by surprise, a cat's defensive reflexes may be slow to react. Cats can retreat inside the house, however, and if a cat can retreat into an area where the raccoon can't go, the cat may have a good chance at escape. A raccoon can enter the chimney, but the space is so small that cats have a much better chance of escape.


In general, cats will typically avoid raccoons and other large (non-domesticated) mammals due to a fear of being eaten. However, they don't often go out of their way to try to kill them.

It's not necessarily true that cats will avoid them either. However, when raccoons are on the loose (even in town), it's typically people who are at risk, and if the raccoon is hungry or wants something from the house, it's often a cat that gets attacked.


While a raccoon is technically a carnivorous animal, it doesn't always kill its prey. A lot of the time the raccoon will instead catch it, eat it, and then let it go or drag it to some sort of den site. A cat will probably get run over pretty much as soon as it is attacked by a raccoon.


I can speak only from personal experience as a very timid animal lover, but in my experience cats are usually more fearless than dogs (if there is any truth in that stereotype). Also, while not in my area (I live in a forest), I was on a camping trip and a raccoon ran by me, and all the kids who were with me ran over to where it was, but my dog did not want to get anywhere near it. That doesn't mean that she wasn't afraid of the raccoon, but she just didn't seem to care that the raccoon was there. She is normally much more afraid of people than she is of dogs or wildlife. I do think that she was more afraid of the raccoon because it was so much larger than she was and she doesn't normally encounter large mammals in the wild. I'm not surprised that that would make her run away, and more surprised that the kids didn't try to scare it off. It's not much different with a dog.


We've been working on this subject with our dog and two raccoons. Our dog is older and in much better shape than your dog. We had him checked out by a vet, and his weight was fine, his heart was fine, and his blood and kidney function were fine. I've included a link to our vet's recommendation because I'm happy to answer questions, even questions about whether he's overweight, and also about how to get the dog under control when a raccoon is around.

Our recommendations were:

Keep the dog on a lead, preferably a stout cord that is at least four inches in diameter.

Make sure the door to the house is closed, and that the dog has been taken out before letting your friend in.

Keep the dog on the leash if you're playing fetch, especially if there are lots of other people around, and especially if the dog's attention might be distracted by some other activity.

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