Do Raccoons Make Good Pets?

There are many videos and photos of raccoons being cared for and treated like pets. However, raccoons are wild animals. They may be cute and very smart, but they are not good pets for most families. In many areas, it is illegal to capture a wild animal and force it live in confinement for the rest of its life. It is also unethical to take in a life animal that could life a healthy life in the wild. Here are a few of the reasons why you should not have a raccoon as a pet.

1. They are Wild Animals

Even raccoons that are ‘tamed’ are still wild animals and they need specialized care. Raccoons also keep many of their wild instincts when they are bred in captivity, so there is the risk that they will attack humans or other animals if they are not feed or cared for. Also, most veterinarians will not provide services to wild animals because of the risk of attacks and diseases they carry.

2. It May Be Illegal

In some countries and states, it is illegal to have a raccoon as a pet. If you are found with a pet raccoon, you could be fined, and the animal could be taken away from you. Some places will release the raccoon back into the wild, whereas other areas will kill the raccoon because they are seen as vermin.

3. They Are Not Easy to House Train

House training a raccoon takes a lot of work, but they can be taught to go in a litter box or wait until they are outside. However, raccoons have an unpredictable bathroom schedule, so taking them outside when they have to go to the bathroom can be a chore. Even after litter training, some raccoons will still go to the bathroom on the floor.

4. They are Destructive

Raccoons are known to do a lot of damage to a home, and that is when they are not a pet. Allowing a raccoon to wander around your home regularly means that you are risking a lot of damage, especially to your furniture and moldings. At the same time, raccoons will become bored and even depressed if they are in a confined space with nothing new to do.

5. They like to Bite and Scratch

Raccoons have very sharp teeth and claws that they use when they hunt. They are known to bite people and other pets, even if they have been around these people and animals for years. They can also easily scratch furniture, pets, and people, especially if their claws are not trimmed regularly. They are still wild animals, so they are going to bite or scratch if they feel threatened.

6. They Steal Things

Raccoons are masters at taking things that are not theirs. This means they can break into areas that you have locked or latched, which makes it hard to keep them out of your stuff.

Many times, people have a good reason to have a raccoon as a pet, such as the raccoon could not survive on its own in the wild. However, most raccoons can live on their own in the wild and should be left there.

Read the How to get rid of raccoons page for helpful information and to learn more about Do Raccoons Make Good Pets?

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