View Full Version : Raccoon hurt my cats?
Mar 19, 2008, 04:40 AM
My family and I feed stray cats in the neighborhood along with three of our own cats (one an adopted stray). We keep the food inside during the day because of birds, but put it out at night so a passing by stray can eat. Every morning around four my cats wake me up because they want to go outside. When I go down to put them out I always make sure there isn't a stray eating. If there is, I wait until it leaves before I put the cats out so I don't scare it away. This morning when I looked out, there wasn't a cat but a raccoon. I have never seen one here before. I tapped on the window (partly because I was so shocked) and he stood on his hind legs and stared at the door for a moment, then went back to eating. A few minutes later he left. Now I am afraid to put my cats out. Especially at night. Will the raccoon hurt them? Should I stop leaving food outside? We have a lot of cats in the neighborhood, and most of them aren't strays. Could this start a problem? Any advice/info would help! Thanks!
Mar 19, 2008, 05:33 AM
As far as I can see, raccoons and cats seem to tolerate each other quite nicely. I don't think there is any danger to your cats, but stop leaving food out. That's one lesson we have all learned over the years, not to leave any kind of food laying around outside at night
Mar 19, 2008, 09:16 PM
Coons carry rabies and parasites,and there is one particular worm that will kill a human but not the animal.I used to work at a wildlife rescue and we were told to always wear gloves when handling anything that the racoons and foxes used.I had a fox give rabies to one of my cats,and he died within a day of being bitten.I do not know exactly what a racoon may do if a cat challenged it,but I do know they are quite capable of biting a head of a 10 pound chicken completey off.I had several roosters that were found headless,and we found the racoon in the pens trying to take out the rest he left behind.I don't think you should kill them,but I would refrain from leaving food out at night,and keep an eye on the bowl during the day.I have cats ,and I live on a farm,and the creatures that run in the night are their worst enemies.Coyotes are my newest problem,and cat meat is their cavier.Good luck,and try to get the strays a rabies vaccine if you can ,just in case they are bitten.
Mar 20, 2008, 04:02 AM
Around here we have more trouble from the coyotes going after dogs and foxes after cats. Raccoons are the least fun for us.
Mar 23, 2008, 01:27 PM
Racoons, as cute as they look, are mean creatures. I have no idea how well they do or don't get along with cats in particular as I've never seen them together, and there aren't a lot of racoons around here. However, I wouldn't want to encourage them to come around the house, not just cause of the cats, but because of the people too. And they'll get into chimneys cause I've seen them do that.
I've been known to feed a few strays that come around also, but I wouldn't do it if it was inviting unwanted animals around. In my old neighborhood it was mostly just the cats so I didn't care. And I don't let mine out, so there was no problem there.
Mar 23, 2008, 03:09 PM
My raccoons tolerate the stray cats eating the food I leave out for them. It's only when the cats get pushy do the raccoons fight back. I have seen the raccoons eat side by side with the stray cats with no problems on many occasions. It was only when a mommy cat had her 3 kittens up on my porch hogging the food that a raccoon got upset at the fact of others eating and not her and her brood (she had 3 babies as well). The raccoon actually waited until the cats were finished eating and then they went and ate. Cats are usually the aggressor though I've found. I did witness one good cat/raccoon fight last year. A big cat insisted on nudging out a raccoon baby and daddy raccoon came up and clean the cat's clock. The cat limped away.
If you want to feed the stray cats in your neighborhood do so during the daytime. Raccoons will only come out at night to eat. So keep the food in during the nighttime and you'll only be feeding the cats during the daytime.
I've recently had several skunks come and eat lately at my raccoon feeding station on my back porch. There was a young skunk up there last night and the night before. He just loved whatever was on the menu and made a pig out of himself. I thought for sure that when the regular raccoons would come up he would spray them. Nope. No spray. They all just happily ate together and cleaned me out as usual of food. I have fed the regulars for over 5 years now every night with no incidents. They are actually timid creatures and will run away when I turn on the porch light if they are newbies and not used to the light. I've had mommies bring their little ones to eat. They were so small they could barely get up or down the stairs. They would play in the water bowl I leave out for them so they have fresh water. You can see the health in their eyes and face. Mine are not rabid or diseased.
Mar 23, 2008, 03:34 PM
I have lived in a rural community for a number of years and on a fairly isolated farm and I have never seen raccoons and cats eating side by side. I don't encourage raccoons if at all possible because they are wild creatures and we should not be feeding them. It discourages them from foraging on their own, which they should be doing, and training their young to do. Unfortunately we are infringing on their territory year after year and they have gotten used to raiding garbage cans.
Raccoons and cats tolerate each other FROM A DISTANCE and if you have ever seen a cat fight then you know cats can be justs feral as any other animal that has to fend for itself. And just for the record, if you ever want to break up a cat fight, use a water hose or a bucket of water. It works wonders!
Mar 23, 2008, 04:19 PM
Hi bushy, nice to see you on here again. Yes, but you know that they fight to the death that's how they settle it. I have never seen anything as nasty as a cat fight. My little pickle has notches in her ears defending her property against invaders, which are many and she is only 3 years old and very small. So it is quite amazing that she is still alive even with the coyotes and foxes roaming here close by. I know she is in trouble when she opens the patio door by herself (yes by herself) and rushes in to her friend Taffy, the hound. Peace be with you friend.
Mar 25, 2008, 02:04 PM
Please stop leaving food out at night. I have a feral cat population that was decimated by racoons last year. The racoons dismembered their bodies, and left them all over our property. Droughts make racoons especially dangerous. We no longer leave food out when we leave the business, so the cats do not have to tangle with them for food. We had a rather dry summer, so I think that was the problem. They were killing the cats using their blood to sustain themselves. Apparently racoons get water from their food. Later in the summer months is the worst, because there is less food for them that contains water. For example berries and such. Also, racoons can not jump, so if you build a special eating area with a metal skirt, they can't climb up or jump up to get the food and only the cats can get to it. (If I can relocate the web site, I'll post a link) The racoon will make your back yard a regular stop if you keep leaving food out for it. The birds around here don't eat the cat food anymore, because we keep it hidden under a shelter. They can't see it from the air, so that might help during day feeding. As long as the racoon is not provoked, sick, has babies, or is in a drought situation they really are not a problem. We trapped and released the racoon mother and her two babies that were responsible for the killings, but if you plan on doing this, do the research. Racoons are mean, smart, and rather vicious creatures. If you do not trap and release properly you could get mauled, and they are dirty and diseased.
Mar 25, 2008, 02:06 PM
Raccoons can (http://www.thewildones.net/raccoons.htm)
Above is the link for a raccoon proof feeding station. Ugly, but effective.