Different Sounds Raccoons Make And What They Mean

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Published on December 1, 2021
Last Updated on October 11, 2023

Raccoons are noisy animals that make hundreds of noises, including whines, screeches, and even dog-like barks. They are the loudest at night, making scratching noise as they move through your house in the attic and walls.

The main form of communication for raccoons is barking. Their type of barking sounds very similar to dogs, and it can often be mistaken for dogs. Since they have learned to use vocalities like these, they go unrecognized in suburban and city environments.

Raccoons make many sounds when they are angry, like screams, hisses, barks, and more. If you find a hissing raccoon, be wary. Hissing is a clear sign of an angry and potentially hostile or rabid raccoon. 

Are Raccoons Loud?

Raccoons are loud animals that make many loud vocalizations and noises. Many of the sounds raccoons make include screeching, screaming, and squealing.

Raccoons are active creatures who make most of their noise during the nighttime. Since they are such small mammals, they will often encounter large predators at night, like large cats and large canines.

What Sounds Do Raccoons Use For Communicating?

Whistling, barking, and screeching are the raccoon’s main forms of communication. These are some of the first ways the raccoon learns to communicate. 

Barking is the raccoon’s main form of communication. They use their loud bark to communicate their location to other raccoons. Raccoons also use barking to express anger and as a defense strategy. 

Chittering is another common form of communication for the raccoon. As newborns, raccoons use chittering and chirping to communicate with their mothers. Mother raccoons use chittering to calm their kits in stressful situations and purr to signal her location to them.

What Do Raccoons Sound Like When Fighting?

Raccoons scream and squeal when fighting. Screaming and squealing are the two most common noises raccoons make when they are trying to escape or combat a predator. They may also bark at other raccoons for assistance.

What Do Raccoons Sound Like When They Are Angry?

Raccoons will make high-pitch chirping noises when they feel threatened. These high-pitch chirping noises can occur for long durations, or they can be short and sound similar to a bird.

What Do Raccoons Sound Like When They Mate? 

Raccoons make screaming and shrieking sounds when mating. According to different sources, raccoons scream when mating. It often sounds like they are fighting.

Do Raccoons Have A Mating Call?

Male and female raccoons have the same mating call, which they use to attract each other. They make repetitive high-pitch screeching or whistling noises to attract a partner during mating season. The raccoon’s mating calls resemble a screeching owl. 

What Sounds Do Raccoons Make When They’re Scared?

Raccoons make screeching sounds and snarling sounds when they are scared. They will make these noises when under intense stress while looking for a safe place to hide.

When they are distressed, raccoons may also bark. The raccoon’s barks sound similar to the domestic canine’s bark.

What Do Raccoons Sound Like When They Feed?

Raccoons bark while foraging for food. They communicate with other raccoons when and where they find food. Chittering is a noise made by young raccoons indicating they are in need of feeding.

What Do Happy Raccoons Sound Like?

Churring and purring are the two most common ways that a raccoon vocally represents their happiness. These noises are signs of affection from the raccoon that is often shared between the mother and her kits.

When a raccoon is happy, they may also churr. Churring is another form of purring which occurs in a more choppy fashion. Purrs come and go as the raccoon waves in and out of excited states. 

What Does It Sound Like When You Have A Racoon In Your Home (Attics, Walls, Chimneys)? 

Raccoons make movement noise inside homes, such as scratching as they move through your walls, make dens, or create entryways. In general, raccoons do not use vocal communication when living inside your walls and attics. Vocally communicating can compromise their living quarters, so they may remain quiet during the day and bark quietly at night.

If you hear scratching noises in your attic or chimney, a raccoon could be trying to create an entry point into your home. In addition to digging, raccoons also use their claws to climb. So, you may also hear them scurrying in your chimney or your attic floorboards. 

Scraping, rustling, and scratching are common noises for raccoons living in walls, attics, and ceilings.

Do Raccoons Scream?

Screaming is a sound raccoons make representing several emotions. Screams can be aggressive, defensive, and used for romantic purposes.

Raccoons scream to ward off large predators and instinctively react to pain while fighting with other raccoons. Adult raccoons use screaming to defend their kits from predators like coyotes, foxes, wolves, and more.

You may also hear screams during mating season from male and female raccoons.

Do Raccoons Purr?

According to Critter Control, raccoons can purr. It is a common noise made by adult raccoons and raccoon kits for several reasons. Mothers use this noise to communicate with their kits and notify them of their presence without giving away their location to large predators.

In general, raccoons generally make a purring noise when they are happy. However, they can also use a deep purr to express deep anger. An angry purr is often accompanied by a hiss or a bark when a raccoon feels like its life is in danger.

Raccoon Hissing Sounds?

Hissing is a defensive noise made by raccoons when they are fearful or in distress. Raccoons make this noise in their youth and as adults. 

Trapped raccoons will hiss at humans who try to approach them. 

Do Raccoons Bark? 

According to North American Nature, raccoons can bark. Barking is one of the most common ways for the raccoon to communicate. The raccoon’s bark sounds like a dog. Depending on the raccoon’s size, the breed or size of the dog that the raccoon sounds like may vary. Since every raccoon is different, they all have unique voices too.

Since barking is their main form of communication, there are many types are reasons why raccoons bark. Raccoons may bark when they are looking for food, engaging in fights, or are trying to find their cubs. They also bark to signal their location, warn other raccoons of nearby predators, and much more.

Will Raccoons Growl?

Growling is a common defensive noise that raccoons make when they feel threatened. They feel the most threatened when they undergo stress. Stressful situations include being trapped, hearing loud noises, or being approached while they are eating. 

There are many other ways raccoons will become stressed and defensive. Out of everything, raccoons become the most defensive of their young. If you decide to approach a raccoon who has young, you must hire a professional who can trap them without aggravating the adult raccoon.

Do Raccoons Grunt?

Raccoons often grunt when they feel stressed. It is a loud and frustrated noise that is often one of the ways many homeowners learn about their presence. Raccoons often make grunting noises when they are stuck somewhere and cannot move. 

Do Raccoons Make Crying Baby Sounds?

Young raccoons will make crying baby sounds when they are upset or trying to communicate with their mothers. 

Do Raccoons Sound Like Other Animals (Pigs, Owls, Cats, and Birds)?

Raccoons can sound similar to many other animals because of their large vocal range. For instance, the raccoon has a bark that is very similar to the domestic dog. They also have a very similar squeal to the pig. 

The vocal range and the delivery of the raccoon contribute to the wide variety of sounds that they can make.

Do Male And Female Raccoons Make The Same Sounds?

Male and female raccoons use the same vocalizations to communicate with each other. They even use the same vocalizations during mating season to find a partner. However, every raccoon has a different voice which is distinguishable by its mother. That means that no two raccoons sound the same for any reason.

Do Juvenile And Baby Raccoons Make Different Sounds Than Adults?

Baby raccoons may sometimes make different noises than juvenile and adult raccoons. Whining and crying is the baby raccoon’s most common form of vocalization.

The reason juvenile and baby raccoons make different sounds is that they have not developed strong vocal cords yet. As they develop stronger vocal cords, they begin to make newer noises.

Do Sick Or Rabid Raccoons Make Different Sounds?

Sick and rabid raccoons make different sounds than healthy raccoons. Oftentimes, rabid raccoons will hiss, squeal, scream, or bark without any reason. The raccoon is a friendly animal that does not normally attack humans. So, any raccoon that immediately hisses or instigates a fight shows signs that it might be infected with a disease. 

What Sounds Don’t Raccoons Like?

Several sounds will deter raccoons. Raccoons do not like loud high-pitch noises. They are also fearful of natural sounds like large felines and canines. Emulating these sounds can scare away raccoons. 

Raccoon deterring sounds include: 

  • High-pitch noises
  • Loud banging
  • Large predator calls


  • Tommy

    Hi, I'm Tommy! I'm the founder of Floofmania.com. I am an animal enthusiast and self-proclaimed wildlife expert as well as a dog trainer and breeder of the breed Löwchen. Since I was a kid, I’ve been wildly fascinated by animals, both from growing up in a rural area where there were always animals around, but especially from seeing them in the wild.

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