When you first bring your new cat home, whether it’s a kitten or an adopted, older, cat, it can always be slightly nerve-racking when it comes to deciding whether or not you should allow your cat to venture into the outside world.
A lot of cats love the freedom they get from being able to explore their surroundings, especially as they’re naturally curious animals.
However, as an owner, it can be terrifying to think that your cat is out there and having to fend for themselves in the wide world, as you won’t be able to protect them if there’s something out there that could hurt them.
It’s important to know the potential dangers to your cat before you decide whether or not they can explore your neighbourhood. One of the risks to your cat is raccoons. And some people even say that raccoons will eat your cat!
Will a raccoon eat a cat? Are they dangerous to your pet? Read through our guide below to find out more!
Are Raccoons Dangerous To Cats?
Typically, a raccoon shouldn’t be a danger to your cat, and it’s unlikely they will actively try to hurt, attack, or eat it. But, it doesn’t depend on the situation in which your cat and the raccoon find themselves.
Raccoons are really scavengers, and will tend to survive and thrive off eating rubbish and thrown away food, and aren’t really an animal that will go out of their way to hunt, especially a difficult animal to catch like a cat.
But, a small kitten might just be seen as potential prey to a raccoon, and even to older cats, a raccoon still poses plenty of danger. If you want to know more, then find out why below.
Why Is A Raccoon A Threat To A Cat?
Raccoons and cats are similar in the way that they’re both nocturnal animals, so both of these species are much more active in the nighttime.
But, whilst your cat gets to enjoy the comfort and warmth of your home, raccoons have to survive and fend entirely for themselves, and are wild creatures, so they won’t stop looking for food if they're hungry!
When it comes to a raccoon’s senses, they’re extremely sharp, so if you’ve thrown away a load of leftovers, there’s a good chance that a raccoon will be finding its way to your home in order to try and find something to eat, so you should be careful when you place stuff into your trash cans, and should ensure that you have a way of securing them and keeping them shut overnight, just in case a raccoon happens to come sniffing!
Alternatively, pet food is another thing that can attract a raccoon to your backyard, so if you feed your cats outside of your house you should be careful you don’t leave any laying around in the nighttime!
Once a raccoon finds its way into your garden, this is where the problems will begin to arise. See, cats are naturally incredibly territorial, so if your cat likes to roam outside, it probably views the backyard of your house as its own domain, and a wild raccoon coming around looking for food will undoubtedly anger your cat!
Although it depends massively on your cat’s personality, it is likely that your cat might decide to protect its territory against the trespasser and attack the raccoon, which will then lead to a nasty fight. So whilst a raccoon might not attack your cat, your cat will probably attack the raccoon!
As everyone knows, a larger fighter is almost always going to be a smaller fighter, and it’s absolutely no different when it comes to a fight between your cat and a wild raccoon.
Although your cat will more than likely be the better fighter due to its sharper instincts and reflexes, a raccoon is much too big for your cat to take on in a fight and win successfully.
Thankfully, it is unlikely that a raccoon will go as far as killing a cat in a fight, with most fights lasting a few quick moments before one of the parties gets deterred by the premise of a full-blown fight.
But, as you’ll find out below, a raccoon doesn’t have to kill your cat in a fight for it to be considered dangerous.
If there was a fight, then there’s a good chance that both your cat and the wild racoon endured some bites and scratches, which might seem fine at first, but in reality this is where the real threat from raccoons comes from.
You see, raccoons are known to carry a varied number of diseases and parasites that could cause some serious harm to your cat, and in some circumstances, could even be fatal. Most notably, some raccoons can be found to be carrying rabies, which is an incredibly bad disease for your cat to have, and will lead to them being put down.
So, if you know that your cat has been in a fight with a raccoon at all then you should immediately make a visit to the vet, otherwise there is a high risk that you cat will contract one of the of the nasty diseases from the raccoon and their wound will become infected, and without proper care, then they’ll likely die.
Raccoons don’t do most cats as prey, and most mature cats will understand the sort of threat an animal like a raccoon poses. But, they are wild and unpredictable, and also opportunistic predators, so they might attack a kitten unprovoked.
Overall though, raccoons are simply looking for scraps, so they’ll likely just be looking to find their scrap foods, and then disappear!
Raccoons might not want to eat your cat, but they can cause a dangerous infection if they fight, so you should watch out!
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.