How to Protect Cats from Raccoons

"Where is that cat food?"
"Where is that cat food?" (Image: cullenphotos/iStock/Getty Images)

Raccoons sport cute little black masks, but they also carry rabies and an intestinal parasite that can transmit to humans and cats. Removing food sources and securing your home and your cat at night prevent raccoons from hurting your feline friend and causing damage to your property.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost bin
  • Pet door locks
  • Bungee cord or wire
  • Chimney cap
  • Pruning shears
  • Chainsaw

Pick up cat food and water dishes that are outside before dark and take them inside your home. Raccoons, being nocturnal, like to eat at night and love cat food.

Keep your cat indoors at night. If your cat has a pet door, place a lock on it to keep raccoons from entering your home through it. You can install an electronic pet door that will open for your cat when it receives a signal from his collar. A raccoon can easily figure out how to open a pet door. If one gets inside and is discovered by your cat inside the house, a risk of serious injuries, and possibly rabies, exists. Also, install a chimney cap on top of your chimney to prevent access to your home through the fireplace.

Remove your cat from harm if a raccoon does gain entrance. Place your cat in a room with a closed door, close all other interior doors and open an exterior door. You can be sure that the raccoon will want out -- but he might not be able to find his way. The Humane Society of the United States advises persuading a raccoon to go out the way it came by corralling it and using a vacuum cleaner or a broom to encourage it to go -- don't hit the animal with the broom; just bang it on the floor in the animal's direction. If a raccoon can't find his way out, place a trail of cheese or marshmallows leading to the open door, spread flour on the floor and leave the room. When the raccoon exits, he will leave footprints in the flour, so you know the coast is clear to close the door and release your cat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep rabies vaccinations up to date to protect your feline friend in the event that a raccoon does hurt him.

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