Do Raccoons Make Good Pets? (Your Questions Answered)

Raccoons can make good pets because of their loving temperament and sweet attitude. However, raising a pet raccoon can be very difficult. Many restrictions on caring for raccoons make it a bad idea to own them, such as their special diet, need for excessive attention, and nocturnal habits.

Taming raccoons is possible, so is changing their diet and sleep schedule, but making these changes can be dangerous to the health of the raccoon.

Owning a raccoon is a bad idea because they are difficult to manage. Someone with little wildlife experience may have difficulty raising or taming a raccoon because of these wild animals’ need for constant attention.

Do Raccoons Make Good Pets?

Raccoons can make good pets, but people do not recommend owning them as pets because of their varying temperaments and potential difficulty while caring for them. Taming raccoons can be difficult if you do not adopt them as a baby. Adopting a raccoon as an adult can make forming relationships difficult.

A Few Reasons Why Getting A Pet Raccoon Can Be A Good Idea

Getting a pet raccoon can be a good idea because of their affectionate personalities and intelligence. The raccoon’s great memory and problem-solving skills make it easy for them to learn tricks. 

Raccoons Are Affectionate

Raccoons are highly affectionate animals who love to cuddle, snuggle, and play with their owners. If you have plenty of available time to spend with your raccoon, adopting a raccoon can be great for you.

Forming an affectionate relationship with your raccoon is important. It is easier to connect with your raccoon if you adopt or purchase your raccoon from a young age.

Raccoons Can Learn Cool Tricks (They Have Good Memory)

This ability to learn new things makes it exciting to own a pet raccoon. They have wonderful memory and fantastic problem-solving skills. It is easy for the raccoon to learn quickly. The entertainment factor has many people adopting pet raccoons to teach them unique tricks.

Why Pet Raccoons Make Bad Pets

Conversely, raccoons can make bad pets too. Many of the raccoon’s behaviors and mannerisms showcase why raccoons make poor pets. For instance, poorly tamed raccoons can behave badly around other pets and cannot be left alone for long periods.

Problematic behaviors make the raccoon a bad pet for people who have a tough time with slight inconveniences like training animals or going out of their way to accommodate their pet’s special diet.

Owning Raccoons Is Illegal In Most States

There are many reasons why raccoons do not make good pets, but there is no important reason like how these pets are illegal in most states.

Owning a pet raccoon is only legal in sixteen states. Most legal states require exotic pet licenses and are limited in the number of veterinarians who offer exotic pet services, jeopardizing your pet’s health.

Raccoons Require Excessive Attention

In addition to managing the health of your raccoon, general maintenance of your pet raccoon is also difficult. Raccoons require excessive attention from their owners. Without excessive attention, your pet raccoon can grow frustrated with you. Your pet raccoon will show frustration through aggression and anger toward you or your other pets.

These reasons why raccoons make poor pets include:

  • Raccoons are nocturnal
  • Raccoons can get aggressive
  • You cannot potty train a raccoon
  • Raccoons require excessive attention from owners
  • The raccoon has a special diet

Many other reasons make owning a raccoon as a pet difficult or impossible.

Caring For Pet Raccoons

Caring for a raccoon requires more attention and care than domestic animals. Raccoons need special accommodations like specific housing requirements and dietary needs. 

Feeding Raccoons

Feeding raccoons can be difficult because of the oddly specific foods in their diet. They eat everything from berries to eggs to fresh fish to adult birds. This oddly specific diet can be problematic if you do not cater to your raccoon’s needs. After all, you should try to keep the raccoon’s diet as close to its original diet as possible. 

Housing Raccoons

It is a good idea to cage your raccoon in an enclosure rather than let it roam freely in your home. A raccoon put in an enclosure can change nesting areas and establish their latrine area in a place of their choosing.

If you allow your raccoon to roam your house freely, you must litter box train them, so they do not establish a latrine area within your home. It is also important to create dens throughout your house using blankets, papers, and other items.

Acquiring A Raccoon

Acquiring a raccoon is not legal in every state. In most states where it is legal, you must have an exotic animal license. An exotic animal license ensures you can take care of an exotic animal. Other licenses exist, such as scientific research and rehabilitation licenses too.

Adopting Raccoons From Rehab Centers and Zoos

The easiest way to adopt a pet raccoon is from a zoo or a rehabilitation center. You should always adopt a raccoon from a professional because it guarantees the raccoon does not have a disease or illness transmittable to humans or domestic animals.

Purchasing From Breeders

Reputable breeders are great sources for purchasing raccoons. They care deeply about the health and safety of the raccoons as they breed them, so you can rest assured they do not have diseases. Breeders also tame raccoons and ensure they are friendly and affectionate. 

Taking Raccoons From The Wild

Capturing a raccoon from the wild and taming it to make it a pet is illegal in most of the sixteen states where pets are legal. Taking raccoons from the wild may result in a fine or other serious infractions like jail time, depending on the severity.

Alternatives to A Pet Raccoon

If you desire a raccoon but cannot get one for some reason (they are illegal in your state or country, you cannot properly care for one, etc.), then there are plenty of other similar animals that you may adopt instead.

Alternatives to pet raccoons include:

  • Ferrets
  • Bunny
  • Dog
  • Bird
  • Guinea pig