Q: Does a raccoon make a good pet?
A: Yes, the best, but...read on.
Q: Do 'coons bite?
A: Yes, all the time. It's a natural reaction
when we are afraid or angry. Then we'll bite hard.
'Coons also nip in play or in warning that we are getting angry.
Q: Should a raccoon be punished for biting?
A: Be careful how you do it! If you hit me, I'll
assume it's an unprovoked attack and act accordingly. The best thing to
do is to say "NO" sternly, and hope I want to be in your good
Q: Can 'coons be housebroken?
A: Yes, but it's not easy. We can be taught that
you want us to use a litter box, and we'll agree to do so most of the time.
The exceptions are 'marking' during mating season and as an expression
of anger over some slight (i.e., not being fed on time).
To Potty Page
Q: Are pet raccoons destructive?
A: Yes, but we are willing to negotiate the issue.
If you give us our own belongings from the time we are tiny and frequently
replace them when we annihilate them, we'll generally agree to leave your
Q: What belongings should a raccoon be given?
- 1. My own room in the house that I can retreat
to when I want to.
- 2. Stuffed animal toys, some with bells inside.
- 3. My own bed, complete with bedding; sheets,
blankets, pillows and bedspread
- 4. Other 'toys' suitable for infants to toddlers.
To Posessions Page
Q: Should a raccoon live in the house?
A: Yes, if I don't, I won't be a pet. All you
have otherwise is a caged, wild animal.
Q: Will a raccoon be happy living in a house?
A: Ecstatic! Would you want to sleep in a tree
and eat garbage and grubs?
Q: What do raccoons eat?
A: Everything, after all, we're omnivores.
To Outdoors page
Q: What should raccoons eat?
A: A well balanced diet of fresh fruits, vegetables,
lean chicken and fish, but very little red meat. A high grade, low ash
dog food can be substituted for the chicken/fish component.
To Diet Page
Q: How long will a pet 'coon live?
A: If you take good care of me, I'll live 10
- 15 years. The record for a captive coon is 22 years. The average wild
'coon lives fewer than 6 years.
Q: Are raccoons affectionate?
A: Yes, I become very attached to my people and
am not afraid to show my feelings.
Q: Will a raccoon get along with other family pets?
A: Yes, we've been known to actually become friends
with dogs or cats. Usually, we just ignore them and pretend they don't
Q: Do raccoons revert to the wild and become mean?
A: No, do you?
Q: Why, then, are there so many tales of raccoons 'turning' ?
A: Humans misinterpret the signs of sexual maturation
during mating season. For differing reasons, both sexes are prone to aggression
during mating season. Once it is over, we return to being your loving pet
until next year.
To Mating Season Page
Q: Must extreme measures be taken to protect a house from a raccoon?
A: Not really. If your house can withstand the
onslaught of an active two year old that can climb sheer walls, it's probably
safe from me.
To Safety Page
Q: Should there be multiple raccoons in a house?
A: Probably not. As an adult, I'm inclined to
be a solitary animal, and I don't like to share.
Q: Do 'coons get fleas?
A: Yes. We get both cat and dog fleas, which
are different. Use pyrethrins in a good program of life-cycle control just
as for dogs or cats. Treat the house in preference to putting potentially
dangerous chemicals directly on me!
Q: Do raccoons have any serious health problems?
A: In general, no, but we do tend to become obese
if we are allowed. And those that are obese tend to have heart conditions
that significantly shorten their lives.
To Health Page
Q: Do raccoons shed?
A: Not like a dog or a cat. Once a year in early
spring the 'coon's coat "cracks". The dead hair of the winter
coat comes out in clumps. In the wild, the den is lined with it to keep
the newborns warm.
Q: Does a 'coon have to be washed like a dog?
A: No, I'll groom my own coat, thank you - like
a cat. Some of us may enjoy joining you in the bath, but most don't like
getting water on their backs.
Q: Does a raccoon know it's name?
A: I'm insulted, of course I know my name
and as many other words as you teach me.
Q: Does a raccoon come when called?
A: Usually, at least until I find out what
Q: What is the ideal age to acquire a pet raccoon?
A: Mine or yours? The raccoon should be 6
to 8 weeks old and not yet weaned. If you do the weaning, it seems
to create a firmer fond between the two.
Q:. Can an adult raccoon be turned into a pet?
A: Yes, but it's difficult. In the
instances where I've known it to happen, the raccoon is more
independent and less affectionate than one who 's been bottle
fed from a baby.
Q: Should children and raccoons be raised together?
A: This is a personal decision.
I've known of a family that raised 2 children and 3 raccoons, a
squirrel, a cat and two dogs together successfully.
You have to assume that at some point the children will be bitten
by the pet raccoon. This probably precludes the children from
entertaining friends in the home.
Q: How can I get a pet raccoon?
A: The first thing to do is to find out if it is legal in
your state to have a pet raccoon. See
my page about this.
If the answer is
yes, get a list of breeders from your state wildlife commission. Visit the breeders
and pick the kit of your choice. Usually, the gentler, quieter babies make the
best pets. Not all raccoons will make good pets! Avoid the fractious ones. Some
states allow the importation of raccoons if your state does not have local breeders.
Florida breeders may have raccoon kits year round; most other states only have kits
in early spring. People usually put in their orders for a baby months in advance.