Ferals And Raccoons

wannahelp

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Last year, I spayed 3 ferals and neutered one, ehich I kept. The females went to a rescue. However, I continue to feed others outside. I caught at least two on camera recently.

A few minutes ago, I heard a noise. It sounded like a dog or cat yelping. A few minutes later, I heard another noise. When I looked outside, the food was gone and there were 3 raccoons in that had apparently, either eaten the food or came looking for it and it was gone.
I am worried that the sound I heard could have been a confrontation between a cat and raccoon. If I put my camera out and see an injured car, what do I do? It’s possible that the raccoons carry rabies. However, if one of the cats has contracted it, this could set off a minor epidemic in the neighborhood, whoch could be very dangerous, as there are outdoor cats, dogs, squirrels, etc. I could walk outside and be attacked by a rabid animal.
I had seen a raccoon on camera once before and I trapped an opossum once, while trying to catch the ferals last year.
What should I do if any of the cats appear to be injured?
I don’t want the cats to starve either, for fearnof encountering raccoons.
Is there any way to get rid of the pests, or, at least deter them, short of exterminating thrm, which I’d rather not do?
 

vyger

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I was told that raccoon actually tastes good if prepared the right way.

Raccoons don't jump, they climb. I have used a short electric fence close to the ground to keep them out of the garden, where they do lots of damage if allowed. They can't climb over the fence because it zaps them. Cats and other animals will just jump over it.
 

shadowsrescue

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The best way to get rid of raccoons is to never leave food out after dark. I picked up food each night just after dusk. Once the raccoons find a food source they will continue to come back. Right now many have babies and they are protective of their babies.

If you fine an injured cat, the only thing to do would be to try and trap it.
 

di and bob

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I would venture to say taht if a cat is neutered it should have had it's shots too, so should be ok. Rabies vaccines last years longer than what they say. Distemper is another disease that is almost always fatal and can be prevented by vaccination. I have had a cat killed by a raccoon so it can happen. Raccoons have enormous appetites. Putting food up on a five foot high table with one center post under it prevents the coon from reaching it. A small two and a half foot table near the big one makes it easier for the cats to jump on. As said above they can't jump but can climb anything. Make sure the table is wide enough they can't reach it from underneath after climbing the post. I have had luck with those big plastic 4 foot high drums that hold fertilizer, etc. The cats can jump on top, but they seem too slick for the raccoons to climb. VERY few animals carry rabies, so you are most likely safe, I would be more afraid of rabid bats or skunks, they seem more common as carriers. if a cat got injured badly you would have seen blood. Most recover from bites. It's more likely you heard the raccoons fighting each other, it sounds like a cat/dog fight!
 

msaimee

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When you trap the cats for spay/neuter, you should always request that they receive the rabies shot that lasts for 3 years. In reality, the shot likely last several years longer, but it is patented for 3 years. Some vets only give the one-year shot, at least initially, but again, research has shown it is effective for much longer. In the state where I live, it's mandatory for owners to get their cats vaccinated for rabies. This will give you peace of mind in the future should you suspect any of your cats encountering a raccoon. In my experience, cats and raccoons don't fight, they learn to coexist and avoid confrontation. However, if the raccoon is very hungry, it might scare the cat away from a food bowl.

That said, many people incorrectly assume that a lot of raccoons have rabies. Rabies is a relatively rare disease. If a raccoon were to have it, it would be acting very bizarrely and you would have a clear idea it was sick. It would be out during the daytime, staggering around. Occasionally a mother raccoon and her babies may venture out during the day if there is a known food source, but in general, raccoons don't come out during the day. Another sign is that the raccoon would be very bold in approaching people. It might also be aggressive towards people. Raccoons are usually afraid of people and run away to avoid conflict. If any of these bizarre behaviors occur, you need to contact Animal Control. They will trap and likely euthanize the sick raccoon. But the incidence of this happening is very rare.

I never leave food out during the night. As others have said, get your cats on a feeding schedule. Give any canned food during morning or evening prior to dusk, and you can leave the dry food out during the day. If the mama raccoon has found the daytime source of food, then you may have to not leave the food out during the day for a while. Once the babies are grown after about 6 months, it won't be an issue anymore.

It's wonderful that you are caring for these feral cats. Most of us have had to deal with the raccoon issue at one time or another, and I understand how stressful it can be. In a few months it will be winter, and they will mostly hibernate, so things will get better.
 
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wannahelp

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The problem is, I have never seen the cata during the day. When I see them on the camera, it’s usually not until 11pm. So, I do leave food out at night and because of that, only feed dry and water.

Birds and squirrels also eat the food suring the day. The cats thare outside now have not been fixed or vaccinated. I haven’t trapped these yet. I’m also not 100% certain they’re feral because there are neighbors withoutdoor cats. The cats that I trapped before definitely were feral but I was able to see them early enough, usually by 730pm, to try to interact and detemine if they were feral.
 

msaimee

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Cats are very smart. If you stop leaving food out at night and only leave it out during the day, they will figure it out. If the raccoons start coming to eat the food each night, the cats are not going to get fed anyway. Perhaps consider moving the feeding station to some place where they feel safe coming out during the day, perhaps the current feeding station is located someplace that is too out in the open for them? As someone who has had to deal with a raccoon problem in the past, I can tell you that raccoons have very long memories and are very good at problem solving. Once they locate a food source, they are not going to go away, and more may come. The only solution I found was to limit the food being put out to daylight hours. There are ways to bird proof the feeding station, I've had those issues as well. You might want to ask your neighbors if any of those cats belong to them. If all of the cats belong to someone and have a feeding source already, then problem solved for you. Or at least you would know which ones really are feral and need your assistance.
 
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wannahelp

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Unless I can get th cats to ocme during the day, I cannot ask the nietgbors if the cats are theirs. At night, th camera shoots in black and white. I feed the cats in the front yard. There really aren’t any better spots to make the cats feel less vulnerable. My parents don’t want the cats in the back yard because they’re afraid of rodents going back there to get to the food and we have had skunks, raccoons, opossums, and probably other undesirables.
 

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