Welcome to The Cat Site
your cat community
Interact with our community

How to deter raccoons

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #41

gleason

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
52
Reaction score
43
Just an update. Saturday nite I left the light on and no food. Had no coons or skunks. Last nite I left the light off and no food. No coons or skunks either.
 

MoonstoneWolf

Cat Food Bowl Referee
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
1,285
Location
St. Louis MO
You're raccoons are better behaved then mine. No food, no lights raccoons came and tore things up while it was hailing and lightning. Every day I spend an hour cleaning up behind these monsters. They sure aren't as cute to me as used to be but then they chewed through all the wiring on our garage and tore up our garage roof causing 5K in damages so I'd be more then delighted if wildlife officials came and set up shop to remove each new gaze.
 
Last edited:

Talien

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
967
Reaction score
2,314
Location
Michigan
That would be a death sentence for the raccoons.

Trapping Raccoons - Toronto Wildlife Centre
That was the idea. Can't shoot them if you're living in suburbs, so how else are you going to get rid of them?

You just have to accept that we share the planet with other life forms. If the cats are outdoors the best we can do for them is make sure they are TNR'd, vaccinated, fed and provided with shelter.

Raccoons can live peacefully alongside cats as long as they are not in competition for resources. The only way to make sure cats don't come into conflict with other animals is to bring them indoors or keep them in an enclosure, and even that may not be 100% safe.
Yes it's possible for them to leave other animals alone, but Raccoons are also perfectly capable of killing other animals for no apparent reason. Plenty of food, plenty of space, but they will sometimes invade an area and chase off or kill whatever they can and then not even move into that area. Why do they do this? Who knows.
 

Norachan

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
20,385
Reaction score
16,103
Location
Mount Fuji, Japan
That was the idea. Can't shoot them if you're living in suburbs, so how else are you going to get rid of them?
They're a wild animal, a native species. They've got just as much right to be there as anyone else. It's pretty inhumane to shoot them or dump them in a place they won't survive just because their presence is inconvenient to you, don't you think?

If you look at the link I posted above it will explain why trapping and relocating raccoons doesn't work. Similar reasons to why trapping and relocating or trapping and shooting feral cats doesn't work.

they will sometimes invade an area and chase off or kill whatever they can and then not even move into that area. Why do they do this? Who knows.
I guess humans are pretty confusing to them too. They way they invade an area, chop down all the trees, kill all the wildlife, start fires, pollute the water and the air, drive other species to extinction, destroy the planet to the point that even human beings have to struggle to survive on it.......

;)
 

MoonstoneWolf

Cat Food Bowl Referee
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
1,285
Location
St. Louis MO
Not to be contrary but we just had to have a gaze of 30 plus raccoons put down due to attacks on human beings, children and pets. One woman had her pit bull torn apart by the raccoons. They all had zombie disease. They also carry rabies and other fatal diseases to humans even though they themselves may never suffer rabies. I know this from volunteering at the wildlife rescue center. Where do we draw the line? We can't have raccoons running around attacking people or we'll have an epidemic like the plague in the dark ages. And I personally cannot afford to pay 5K in damages every week by them. It's sad that we have taken over their habitat but we can't just pack up and move into tree houses. I'm not saying sit outside with a shotgun and shoot them but something has to be done. Which is where wildlife officials and rescue centers come in. I'm sorry if I sound contrary but when I was surrounded by 6 raccoons the other day while taking out the trash I realized that we have a problem that needs to be dealt with. And it turned out that they all had zombie disease. Yes sadly another gaze moves in and the cycle of viciousness and destruction continues.
 

Norachan

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
20,385
Reaction score
16,103
Location
Mount Fuji, Japan
we just had to have a gaze of 30 plus raccoons put down due to attacks on human beings, children and pets. One woman had her pit bull torn apart by the raccoons. They all had zombie disease.
I'm sure if any of that were true it would have been reported in the media.
 

MoonstoneWolf

Cat Food Bowl Referee
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
1,285
Location
St. Louis MO
It was reported in the media. St Louis doesn't always share our news nationally since we have a bad rep after the Ferguson Riots.
 

mani

fervent feline fan
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
30,286
Reaction score
6,026
Location
Australia
It was reported in the media. St Louis doesn't always share our news nationally since we have a bad rep after the Ferguson Riots.
What you are saying sounds extreme. If it is hearsay, it is best not to repeat it. If there is a news item about it, it's best to share it.
From my reading about this, canine distemper (which is what they have) is not transmutable to humans, but easily passed on to dogs and other animals. The disease is not making them attack people.
Time Magazine wrote an article that finished with: It’s worth noting distemper symptoms do not include a hunger for human brains.
I doubt they would make light of it if they were very dangerous.

I understand that they can cause problems, but they're a creature, like any other. I think it's very sad they're suffering like this.
 

MoonstoneWolf

Cat Food Bowl Referee
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
1,687
Reaction score
1,285
Location
St. Louis MO
Well to be honest, I do realize that the media exaggerates a lot but healthy raccoons do not surround and corner a human. I'm sorry I did not contact the news when they did that to me and again I do not have the money to weekly repair the wiring to the garage that they chewed through or the roof they ruined. I didn't think of taking photos of it before it was fixed as some of you know the Mom situation. I'll have to respectfully disagree on this point with you as I was very frightened when surrounded by those raccoons.
 

AbbysMom

At Abby's beck and call
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
May 18, 2005
Messages
65,655
Reaction score
6,477
Location
Massachusetts
It was reported in the media. St Louis doesn't always share our news nationally since we have a bad rep after the Ferguson Riots.
Yes, but local newspapers are on the internet. It doesn't need to be picked up by CNN, Fox or the AP.
 

mani

fervent feline fan
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
Messages
30,286
Reaction score
6,026
Location
Australia
Well to be honest, I do realize that the media exaggerates a lot but healthy raccoons do not surround and corner a human. I'm sorry I did not contact the news when they did that to me and again I do not have the money to weekly repair the wiring to the garage that they chewed through or the roof they ruined. I didn't think of taking photos of it before it was fixed as some of you know the Mom situation. I'll have to respectfully disagree on this point with you as I was very frightened when surrounded by those raccoons.
I was refering to this comment you made, and not your personal situation:

Not to be contrary but we just had to have a gaze of 30 plus raccoons put down due to attacks on human beings, children and pets. One woman had her pit bull torn apart by the raccoons. They all had zombie disease.
 

jcat

Mo(w)gli's can opener
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2003
Messages
69,598
Reaction score
6,983
Location
Mo(w)gli Monster's Lair
I've personally taken trapped raccoons (and a marten) suffering from canine distemper to the vet's office to be put out of their misery, as it's a big problem in our area. Are they aggressive when cornered? Of course, if they still have the physical strength to resist. Do they go marauding through neighborhoods, attacking anything that moves? They move slowly, tremble, suffer from nasal and eye discharge, and are very weak from diarrhea and vomiting, so they're in no shape to do so.
 

Talien

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
967
Reaction score
2,314
Location
Michigan
They're a wild animal, a native species. They've got just as much right to be there as anyone else. It's pretty inhumane to shoot them or dump them in a place they won't survive just because their presence is inconvenient to you, don't you think?
Inconvenient would be knocking over trash cans and ripping the bags open while they scavenge for something to eat. In my area Raccoons have proven themselves to be aggressive toward domestic animals and sometimes even dangerous to humans, that is beyond merely inconvenient.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jcatbird

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
4,380
Reaction score
22,032
Location
Southern U.S.
I thought I might add a bit since I live in an area bordered by swamp and all kinds of wild creatures in great numbers. I had a creature at my back door just minutes ago and it didn’t care to leave in spite of me making noise. I have run into fox, Raccoons, opossums, cotton
Mouth snakes, Copperhead snakes etc. etc. They aren’t going away and, as mentioned, the supply is endless. Even the buzzards can be fairly assertive at times. The only solution I could find was to put a bit of food very far from my house and to buy me time to bring the cats into safe areas. I also designated an area as a wildlife habitat. It will not be disturbed by me, other humans or the cats.
The problem really is that natural habitat is vanishing. If you can plant out one remote spot in your area to dedicate to the wildlife, your chances of them avoiding you and your home are much better. I planted a form of Bamboo next to some trees and the animals do use that area if they are on my land. It is well sheltered and they prefer that over my workshed. They just need a better place to go. Any chance you could set up a habitat away from your house? It’s a lot less expensive than replacing wiring. We can hope that this might help.
 

Norachan

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
20,385
Reaction score
16,103
Location
Mount Fuji, Japan
If you have animals that are vulnerable to raccoons or other predators it's your responsibility to keep them indoors or in a safe enclosure. Shooting every wild animal that comes onto your "property" isn't the answer. If you live in an area where there are wild animals you have to take measure that ensure your pets don't come into contact with them. Killing a wild animal for any reason other that euthanizing one that is too sick or injured to survive is inhumane.

Leaving animal corpses outside to rot is only going to attract other scavengers. It won't just be the vultures that come to eat them. You'll attract coyotes, more raccoons and foxes too.

What's more it must be very unpleasant to live with the smell of rotting animal corpses. Don't the neighbours complain?

The thing is Talien Talien even after you've trapped and killed every raccoon and fox, and shot all the coyotes and possums, and poisoned the owls and the buzzards and the neighbourhood dogs, your outdoor cats are still going to be vulnerable. They're vulnerable to other cats, to cars, to disease, to people of a similar mindset to you. Those who think the only way to save the songbirds is to kill every cat they see.

Rather that killing wild animals we should be trying to protect our natural environment, as Jcatbird Jcatbird said, and keep our domestic animals safely indoors.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Norachan

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
May 27, 2013
Messages
20,385
Reaction score
16,103
Location
Mount Fuji, Japan
Well to be honest, I do realize that the media exaggerates a lot
But that's not the case here, is it? The story about zombie raccoons killing a pit bull and attacking a child wasn't reported or exaggerated by the media. It was something you heard and repeated, or made up yourself.

You need to think of the consequences of saying things like that. If people believe that raccoons are going to attack and kill them they will use that as an excuse to harm them. There are animal haters in this world, those who justify their actions by using stories like yours.

If one of your cats was abused by people and had to be PTS, as you claim, you should think about what makes people do that. Maybe they believe that cats are evil, or spread diseases, or kill too many birds. There are those of us on TCS who have had the feral cats we care for harmed or killed by people who see them as vermin. Spreading silly rumours only makes the situation worse.
 

moxiewild

Seniors, Special Needs, and Ferals
Adult Cat
Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
292
Reaction score
261
Hi! I work at a wildlife rehab and sanctuary and head the mammal division. I also live in a mostly rural area and take care of quite a few colonies. I’ve even been having very intense battles to deter wildlife from my ferals food this year!

So here is my two cents, I didn’t read the whole thread so I apologize for any repeats -

First I’d like to address an earlier comment that mentioned relocating.

Please do not do this!!! Relocating wildlife has the same impact as haphazardly relocating ferals and leaving them to fend for themselves in an entirely new territory and environment. This is detrimental even to transient species like opossums. Please do not do this!

Second, microchip door is definitely one of your best bets, as someone mentioned - but it doesn’t keep your kittens safe, unfortunately.

Loud lights, music, etc will only initially deter a raccoon. They will almost immediately get over it. We started using huge super soakers on our raccoon invaders, and by the end of the week they were walking into our gun streams as casually as an action movie star walks away from explosions.

The bad news is that the raccoon associates your home with food now. This means that even if you pick up food at night, it won’t guarantee he won’t keep coming back. Why? Because surely there is other food in your home that he can smell and easily access.

Raccoons are nonviolent as far as the animal world goes. Most are far more likely to submit to a cat than fight. Kittens are another story, however, and that is cause for alarm. At the end of the day, raccoons are opportunistic feeders - they will kill when they need to eat or in order to diminish perceived food competition so long as doing so would be an easy and low risk feat.

They are also playful... and sometimes in ways that seem more sinister to us. It is a mistake to assign morality to this. Keep in mind, cats are far more notorious for this behavior, yet we don’t assign them some scarlet letter for malicious intent.

There’s a lot I could say about these stubborn, marvelous creatures, but I’ve rambled enough so I’ll cut to the chase - after months and months and months of battling raccoons this year (we’d get 6 on the porch at a time, we were under seige!!!), I finally found what worked -

Trap them, give them a fright, and release.

Our raccoons had learned they’ll be let go when they walked into our traps during TNR missions, and they had no fear of them. The same raccoons would trap themselves over and over multiple times A NIGHT.

Once, out of desperation, two of our little ones we referred to as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for how often they trapped themselves, each wandered our traps set right next to one another.

I came out, they paid me no mind. I bent over to release, not a care.

So I decided this needed to be scarier for them.

I stood up tall. I made big movements and big, loud, aggressive noises. I very, very gently tapped and kicked and rocked the trap (with the appropriate protective gear).

Then I let them go. And for the first night in well over six months, they didn’t show up. Nor the next day or the next.

Mind you, I had done that whole big and scary song and dance countless times before with them - but never while they were trapped and so up close.

So we started doing it to the rest of the raccoons.

We’ve not had a single raccoon in 2 months now. I have game cameras on our front and back porch, so I can truly confirm this.

Nothing has worked before. We built structures and tried everything. This did the trick.
 
Last edited:

moxiewild

Seniors, Special Needs, and Ferals
Adult Cat
Joined
Aug 4, 2014
Messages
292
Reaction score
261
Not to be contrary but we just had to have a gaze of 30 plus raccoons put down due to attacks on human beings, children and pets. One woman had her pit bull torn apart by the raccoons. They all had zombie disease. They also carry rabies and other fatal diseases to humans even though they themselves may never suffer rabies. I know this from volunteering at the wildlife rescue center. Where do we draw the line? We can't have raccoons running around attacking people or we'll have an epidemic like the plague in the dark ages. And I personally cannot afford to pay 5K in damages every week by them. It's sad that we have taken over their habitat but we can't just pack up and move into tree houses. I'm not saying sit outside with a shotgun and shoot them but something has to be done. Which is where wildlife officials and rescue centers come in. I'm sorry if I sound contrary but when I was surrounded by 6 raccoons the other day while taking out the trash I realized that we have a problem that needs to be dealt with. And it turned out that they all had zombie disease. Yes sadly another gaze moves in and the cycle of viciousness and destruction continues.
I’m a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in mammals.

You are trying to make an argument that raccoons are aggressive while pointing toward an infected gaze. Canine distemper (what you are referring to as “zombie disease”) causes neurological impairment - meaning the likelihood these raccoons were acting out of character is extremely high. And from our extensive knowledge of the species, and my own personal experience having worked with them for over 10 years, I can confidently say such behavior is atypical for the species. Dogs are also carriers of the “zombie disease” you speak of.

Your point about rabies is a bit lost on me. All mammals are rabies vectors, including you and me. And ALL animals are carriers of shared and unique zoonoses... including companion animals, vaccinated or not. Human beings are also an animal species capable of spreading disease to other humans. So where do YOU draw the line?

If you have a raccoon problem, then your community needs to mobilize in order to find out what is attracting them and what can be done to make the area less appealing and hospitable to them. Dollars to donuts, you have at least one person intentionally feeding them. So hold THEM to account, not an entire species.

You seem to acknowledge the vacuum effect at play here - you can’t cull or relocate them - so what are you proposing?
 
Last edited:

Talien

TCS Member
Super Cat
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
967
Reaction score
2,314
Location
Michigan
Leaving animal corpses outside to rot is only going to attract other scavengers. It won't just be the vultures that come to eat them. You'll attract coyotes, more raccoons and foxes too.

What's more it must be very unpleasant to live with the smell of rotting animal corpses. Don't the neighbours complain?
Why would I leave them in my yard? I take them far into the woods or an open field and drop them off. And no, the neighbors do not complain. I live in farm country and the only neighbor anywhere near close enough to be bothered by it has their own issues with Raccoons breaking into their Chicken coop and killing Chickens.

The thing is Talien Talien even after you've trapped and killed every raccoon and fox, and shot all the coyotes and possums, and poisoned the owls and the buzzards and the neighbourhood dogs, your outdoor cats are still going to be vulnerable. They're vulnerable to other cats, to cars, to disease, to people of a similar mindset to you. Those who think the only way to save the songbirds is to kill every cat they see.
Now you are just being insulting.

Rather that killing wild animals we should be trying to protect our natural environment, as Jcatbird Jcatbird said, and keep our domestic animals safely indoors.
I do keep my pets inside, why would you think I let them out when there are multitudes of predators in the area? It makes no sense.

Ignoring wild animals that start to see Humans as a source of food causes it's own problems, as the many people living near forested areas that are dealing with Bears entering their garages and houses in search of an easy meal can attest to, and then there are the ones that regularly enter populated areas to go dumpster diving. They have plenty of food available in their natural habitat, but breaking into a dumpster, pantry, fridge, or freezer is a lot easier than hunting prey or foraging for nuts and berries.

Raccoons that have grown to see Humans as a food source are also well known for breaking into houses and tearing things apart looking for an easy meal. That, to me, is completely unacceptable. Moreso given that there have been well documented cases of small children being attacked by Raccoons, some in their own homes. Just do a web search for "child attacked by raccoons" and you'll get a plethora of hits.
 

Latest Posts

Top