What do Raccoons eat?

What do raccoons eat? Raccoons eat reptiles, amphibians, and fish. They also eat fruits, nuts, vegetables, insects, and bird eggs. Raccoons are omnivores and basically eat everything they can digest, but they are crafty animals and have a wild taste. They often search for authentic diets and are famously known as scavengers.

Types of Raccoons

Before we talk about the eating habits of raccoons we must know the types and kinds of raccoons. Raccoons have many subspecies but some of them are listed below:

Species Specification
1. Eastern raccoon Long and soft fur with dark and small subspecies
2. Florida raccoon Dark-colored subspecies with rusty patch generally normal sized
3. Key Vaca raccoon pale-furred and very small in size
4. Texas raccoon dark grey in color and big in size
5. California raccoon broad skull and pale furred
6. Torch key raccoon palest in Florida and small in size
7. Bahamian raccoon small in size and slightly dark in color
8. Guadeloupe raccoon Dark grey and ochre tint colored with small and delicate skull
9. Vancouver island raccoon dark-furred and smaller in size
10. Pacific northwest raccoon broad and flat skull with dark furs

:small_blue_diamond:Eating Habits of Raccoons

In The wild, they have a wide variety of food to eat including fruits and berries that are easily available from trees and branches and bushes, however, raccoons prefer citrus fruits and some specific berries. which tells us that they are not simple creatures. Raccoons also eat nuts that are high in fats and those who consume more nuts and living areas where nuts are more available will be chunkier than the average raccoon.

What do raccoon eat

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:small_blue_diamond:Animal Proteins

So being omnivore is they also consume animal proteins and sometimes also hunt if it’s easier for them. They are very less likely to hunt for their prey but living things that are easy to prey on are eaten by raccoons. Some raccoons tend to eat dead animals also and those animals can be bigger but it doesn’t matter as they are dead.

:small_blue_diamond:Vegetables and fruits

Raccoons are very efficient and good climbers so it’s easy for them to eat fruits from trees and vegetables. they can also dig out the vegetables that grow inside the soil. the vegetarian diet for raccoons is easy and approachable and also gives them a good and nutritious diet.

:small_blue_diamond:Nuts and berries

Raccoons like to eat different types of nuts as it gives them enough fat to store for winters and also high in nutrients which makes them healthy and they also like to eat berries. There are some poisonous berries that they can be allergic to but mostly they’re okay with eating different berries.

:small_blue_diamond:Insects and bird eggs

Raccoons can eat little insects and prey on birds’ eggs giving animal protein. They can easily hunt little insects as they have sharp claws and are most likely to steal eggs from birds.

:small_blue_diamond:Small-sized animals

Raccoons can hunt and prey on little animals like rabbits, mice, frogs, and turtles. Mostly bigger-sized raccoons prey on animals as it is quite a hustle to hunt animals. Some raccoons mostly prefer to eat flesh. fish and other water creatures It is said that raccoons are fond of eating fish or any other animals that live inside or near water. There is a whole subspecies of crab-eating raccoons they love it so much that they’re named after one.

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:small_blue_diamond:Raccoons are known as food Stealers

Raccoons have a very bad reputation as they’re always known for stealing food either it’s from a trash can or breaking into houses and searching for food while damaging the house. You’ll often see on the Internet has videos of raccoons stealing food from a trash can. Raccoons are very destructive scavengers. If they find something they want they will do anything to get it. This means they can cause damage and are not so house-friendly animals although some people do keep them as exotic pets it requires a lot of knowledge about their kind. Raccoons are not suitable as pets for average households. which is not a surprise as they are known for stealing food. That’s enough bad reputation to not consider them as pets. They do be looking adorable but maybe just from afar.

What do raccoons eat

:small_blue_diamond:Omnivores on another level

Raccoons take the term omnivorous to another level they’re not just ordinary animals who eat everything. They have a wide variety of food that they can eat that can sometimes be endless just like us humans. They can eat fruits, berries, nuts, and even animal protein. Raccoons eat fish mostly as they don’t have to fight to hunt it and is easier for those who live near ponds or any type of water. Their favorite food is basically seafood including frogs, mussels, crayfish, and even turtles which is little suspicious knowing turtles are not so easy to eat but as we know that raccoons are very intelligent crafty animals they have very sharp fore paws which help them in consuming difficult food.

Raccoons also eat mice and rabbits just kind of scary as rabbits are not too small and still, raccoons can hunt them which makes them having a survival characteristic. Raccoons can prey on animals almost their size and they also feed on insects And bird eggs that are easier to hunt. Eating insects animals and also fruits and vegetables gives them a sufficient and nutritious diet which they require to live a healthy life that’s why they are naturally Designed as scavengers.

:small_blue_diamond: What do raccoons specifically prefer to eat?

Raccoons like to eat food that is near water which means they eat amphibians, reptiles, and fish. Animals that live inside water or near the water are the favorite food of raccoons. As they are omnivorous creatures they can eat flesh which makes turtles fishes and especially crayfish, muscles, and invertebrates their favorite food to eat.

The reason why raccoons are bound to eat flesh and animals is that they require animal protein To live a healthy life in the wild. Not to forget the raccoons are wild creatures and they are designed that way to survive in the wilderness and shouldn’t be held captivated as their needs will not be fulfilled in a human household. most people who have raccoons as their pets feed them dog food that is not sufficient nutrition. If they don’t get enough proteins and required nutrition they will die before their average lifespan.

What do Raccoons eat

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:small_blue_diamond:Diet for pet raccoons

As I’ve said before raccoons are not really a good idea for a pet. but if you are into exotic animals and you know how to take care of them there is nothing wrong with keeping a raccoon in your house if you know how to take care of it. Having a basic diet for raccoons is the most important thing to keep them healthy. Them being omnivores makes it difficult for pet owners to maintain their diet. It’s not that they can eat anything and survive it’s more like they need every source of nutrition to stay healthy. A raccoon should be provided with fruits vegetables and animal protein as well. They are fond of fish and seafood so there might be a reason why they are because they might need the nutrition from seafood.

Only dog food will not do their health justice. Older raccoons tend to get very aggressive after a while because it’s natural to them and you will see older raccoons are always surviving alone in the wild as they are not capable of maintaining their behavior around other raccoons so it can be a problem for you if you own one as a pet.

:small_blue_diamond:Raccoon’s Sharp Hunting Structure

Raccoons hunt invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians raccoons have very sharp nails on their paws and have very detailed paw structures which makes it easier to hunt invertebrates and some reptiles and turtles and frogs. so they can consume all types of nutrients and are capable of hunting prey that can swim or have shells, it does not matter because they have very skilled paws. Raccoons have very Sensitive developed nerves in their forepaw pads, making it easier for them to prey on different sizes of animals and insects. Raccoons have excellent night vision, which helps hunt animals in the night, inside the water, or in hidings. That includes insects under rocks, frogs in ponds at night, and fish in deep water.

What do raccoon eat

:small_blue_diamond:Feeding raccoons can be a mistake

It can be exciting and fun to have a raccoon at your doorstep tempting to give them some food and watch them eat it’s a kind gesture but beware because they will only come back for more with more raccoons beside them. It’s always good to feed wild animals when they show up at your doorstep but raccoons and deer can make it a problem by showing up with more animals beside them and they will make a habit of coming back for more food.
We know the raccoons are very destructive animals and if accidentally they get inside your house they will destroy and damage a lot of stuff. they have a natural habit of finding food And once they get inside a household it won’t be easy to get them out as they are sometimes very Aggressive and can scratch or bite you which is clearly not a good sign so try not to feed raccoons and if you see them finding food in your trash can try to put the trash away as they will make a habit of scavenging inside your trash cans.

:small_blue_diamond: ‘Clean eaters Raccoons’ truth or myth?

Raccoons are famous for washing their food they are always seen wetting their food before they eat even if they live in the wild they use pond water streams. Even as pets they require a bowl of water whenever they are given food so some people say they are clean eaters and they like their food to be washed before they eat. But it’s not true scientists say that they wet their food just so that their paws can feel more of what they’re holding as they have highly developed nerves in their forepaw pads which make them more sensitive when they are wet so it helps them to figure out what food they are holding.

:small_blue_diamond: What do raccoons eat when they are in their survival mode

Raccoons being omnivorous creatures they have a variety of options to eat and they have good surviving skills. What do raccoons eat when they are in their survival mode? well, it’s pretty easy because wherever they live either it’s a vegetarian place or it’s a place where small insects or animals live they can easily manage their survival through eating insects or a place where there is only vegetation, they can eat berries even leaves, nuts, and other small insects. Raccoons also eat the eggs of birds so it’s easy for them to find anything to eat to survive. Raccoons that live near people’s houses get their food through trash cans and garbage, explaining how their food chain ranges from high to low-quality food. Raccoons are made this way with their scavenger lifestyle. they can even hunt small animals or prey on dead animals. Raccoons are more likely to eat animals that live inside or near water Like frogs, small turtles, small fish, mussels, snail, and lizards.

What do raccoon eat

:small_blue_diamond:What do raccoons eat in winter?

Usually, some animals go to sleep in extreme winter it is called hibernating but in the case of raccoons they are the nocturnal mammals that are active at night and they don’t have to hibernate as their diet contains fats which keep them warm in winters so if they don’t get enough food in extreme cold they can survive by getting warmth and energy from the fat that was stored in their body. Although they do sleep when they have to but hibernation is not for raccoons.

Their diet and their survival skills are so creative that they sometimes outlive other predators which are 20 plus years. Their high scavenging skills help them survive more than predators who only survive on animal flesh, so raccoons have more chances to live by eating different kinds of food. A kid’s entertainment movie called “over the hedge” Is one of my favorite movies as a kid. It clearly shows as, through the character Rj, he is fond of different and unique foods. Going through such dangerous situations to get his favorite foods. They showed the scavenging skills of raccoons in this movie which is true in real life as they can be very intelligent and witty animals when it comes to hunting and finding food.

:small_blue_diamond:Can raccoons eat pet food?

Yes, raccoons can eat pet food dog food or cat food but the only problem is that it’s not enough for their body. if you give your pet raccoon dog food or cat food every single meal they won’t survive for a long time. Because they are wild creatures and they are supposed to eat different nutritious foods even if they are in survival mode the forest can give them more options than just pet food. Usually, raccoons are not kept as pets because in most countries it is illegal to keep exotic animals in your houses but if some people do keep them as pets they need to have a properly nutritious diet. Which includes some kind of fats, animal protein, and green vegetables, and fresh fruits.

Keeping raccoons as pets is an alarmingly bad idea because they are very aggressive in nature. They live in the wild and they are programmed to hunt and scavenge for food without any help and fighting for food is a part of their life so if we take that away and keep them in our houses, give them food by ourselves is going to make them Feel unnatural and depressed. They’re going to start acting aggressive and most probably will destroy your furniture and household equipment as they have sharp nails on their paws and they like to sense things by touching. So one should think more than twice to keep raccoons as pets.

:small_blue_diamond: Subspecies of raccoons and what they eat

There are many subspecies of raccoons ranging from different sizes. Raccoons can potentially weigh from 5 kilograms to 20 kilograms. The size and species of a raccoon is the reason why their food preference can be different. Medium-sized raccoons are commonly found but some rare species have bigger sizes than normal. Raccoons can be categorized into almost 22 subspecies categorized as Cozumel raccoons, Bahaman raccoons, island raccoons, Procyon minor raccoons, Crab-eating Raccoons, Nasuella raccoons, eastern lowland olingo, Nasuella olivacea raccoons, northern olingo raccoons, Cozumel coati, Bassariscus raccoons, bassaricyon raccoons, cacomistle raccoons, Procyonidae raccoons, olinguito raccoons, raccoon dog, white-nosed coati, ring-tailed cat, and nasua raccoons. But the most found common ones are Barbados raccoons, Guadeloupe raccoons, and tres Maria’s raccoons.
These three subspecies are the most knowledgeable. All three of these are found in different areas of the world and their diet is categorized and differentiated according to their habitat and surroundings. Barbados raccoons this subspecies of raccoons are almost extinct or one can say
they are extinct. Barbados raccoons can look very different from typical raccoons with masks on their faces and common grey fur. Barbados raccoons don’t have dark fur on their face they almost look like little bears and almost have died just as same as bears do. they are carnivorous and are from the procyonid mammal family. These procyonid nocturnal mammals hunt little animals and specifically, they like to eat fish and any animal that lives inside or near ponds and streams. They have unique colored fur and are now extinct which is why they’re not seen anymore. It’s sad to say that the little bears are not a part of this world anymore.

:small_blue_diamond:Guadeloupe raccoons

These average to small size raccoons are most likely common-looking. They are mainly found in Terre island and Grande-Terre. Guadaloupe raccoons are In danger due to the destruction of mangrove forests and their other habitats. These raccoons can go extinct because they are being threatened by crab-eating raccoons. Crab-eating raccoons Are outliving Guadalupe raccoons and due to these circumstances, they are put in the category of endangered animals. Guadalupe raccoons are common omnivorous which means they are both animal and plant-eating species.

:small_blue_diamond:Dousing food

It is very famous and common for raccoons that they dip or wash their food with water before eating. Even those that are kept as pets in houses need a bowl of water where they can douse their food whatever they eat. so this dousing technique is actually because they can sense more through their paws when it’s wet. The highly sensitive nerve system in their paw pads works more efficiently when it’s wet. That is why most of the raccoon species are found in forest wetlands and along rivers. They are also found near stream corridors and are commonly found in suburbs and even busy cities. Some people say that they wash their food before they eat but studies show different results it says that they only do it because they can sense the shape and texture of their food if they wet it.

:small_blue_diamond:Frequently Asked Questions

Some related questions are answered below:

1. Do raccoons eat cats?

Raccoons occasionally prey upon small animals when they don’t have any other food to eat. They sometimes can prey on little cats and kittens. Normally they are seen eating food beside cats.

2. Where do raccoons sleep?

Raccoons are seen sleeping in the fallen hollow wooden log, large tree holes, sheds, barns, abandoned cars, etc. They change their den very frequently sometimes they change their den every night.

3. Where do raccoons go during the day?

Raccoons usually go to find a hiding spot for sleep. They usually have multiple dens so they always have a second plan if they sense any danger around them.

4. How do you know if a raccoon has rabies?

The most well-known and common symptom of rabies in raccoons is having foam from the mouth, if you see such symptoms in raccoons near you keep a distance from them. Some raccoons make uncommon noises, will have difficulty in walking, and paralyzes are seen in rabies.

5. How long will a rabid raccoon live?

Once a raccoon gets rabies it dies in four to five days because there is no cure for rabies and it’s always fatal.

6. Are raccoons dangerous?

Raccoons look cute and adorable one will love to have them as a pet but beware raccoons can be really dangerous for your household as they can destroy your house in searching for food all the time. They commonly carry rabies in them which can be converted very easily to you and your pet, so the answer is ‘yes’ they raccoons are dangerous.

7. What diseases do raccoons carry?

Raccoon parvoviral enteritis, pseudorabies, infectious canine hepatitis, canine distemper, these are the name of the disease which are carried by raccoons and top of all rabies is the most common disease which is found in raccoons.

8. Is raccoon poop toxic to humans?

Raccoon’s poop contains small eggs of roundworms which can cause illness and can damage human health if swallowed accidentally. This infection can damage your eyes, heart, or brain Although these infections are found rare but can also cause death.

9. How do you know if you have raccoon roundworm?

Symptoms like nausea, liver enlargement, tiredness are the signs of the presence of roundworms.

10. How do you get rid of raccoon roundworms?

If you are cleaning raccoon poop make sure you are wearing a mask and using bleach on cleaning tools because burning is the only way to kill the eggs of roundworms.

:small_blue_diamond: Conclusion

By answering to what do raccoons eat we know that they are the kind of only worse animals that prefer to eat flesh but can also survive on vegetables fruits and nuts and therefore need a proper diet to survive. and we also learned that raccoons are more likely to be happy and healthy in the wild than inside a human house because they are exotic animals. Raccoons have excellent night vision and their lifespan is from one to four years but can also live more than 10 years if kept in captivity or living in a very friendly habitat raccoons are intelligent and witty animals and are famously known as scavengers and have so many subspecies with different diet preferences.

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