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kheredia's avatar

Would a raccoon attack a domestic cat?

Asked by kheredia (5543 points ) January 3rd, 2011

My mom’s cat has been missing since last night and my mom is really worried. Apparently, she says there’s been a raccoon lurking around the house and she’s afraid that the raccoon hurt her cat. Is this possible? Do raccoons eat cats? My mom and my sister have looked everywhere for the cat. They went around the neighborhood calling his name but had no luck. They also went online to check the lost and found section of our local shelter.

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24 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I don’t think it would eat the cat, but it is not unrealistic to believe that a cat would lose in a fight to a raccoon. And, it isn’t unreasonable to think that they would fight. Raccoons may be “cute” but they are vicious.
I would be more concerned about the cat being trapped in someone’s garage or having been hit by a car. (Sorry, I know that’s a terrible thing to even think about.) Could you talk to neighbors, see if anyone has had their garage open recently?

WestRiverrat's avatar

In a heartbeat. Raccoons view housecats as rivals for their food supply. They will attack and kill cats and dogs to secure their food sources.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

We lost a lot of ducks and chickens to raccoons. And they ate them. I had a lot of mornings were I had to leave a note saying, “KEEP THE KIDS OUT OF THE BACKYARD.Duck and Chicken parts everywhere.”

But our cats were ok. Cats are just a hell of a lot faster and better at climbing.

deni's avatar

I think so, but the cat could also just be off somewhere. If it has claws and can defend itself, I think it could put up a good fight, if there was a fight in the first place. My mom’s indoor/outdoor cat has disappeared for days before….we found out that at one point it was going into my neighbors house and being fed and sleeping where it pleased until they made it go out, then he came back home. lol.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Is the cat neutered? How old is he?

MissAnthrope's avatar

Cats and raccoons will fight, but I have never heard of a raccoon eating a cat. Usually it’s a territory fight or over food. Cats usually lose and get quite beaten up in the process sometimes. Raccoons are vicious and have claws like Edward Scissorhands. You have to watch the rabies, too.

Now, I’m not trying to scare you, honest. I do hope the cat is okay!

kheredia's avatar

Well I guess we’re just hoping he took a little detour and will come back home soon. He is neutered and he’s only about a year old. My mom has two other older female cats but they have never gone too far from home. I guess we were thinking this one wouldn’t either. Hopefully he’s okay.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Well male cats, altered or otherwise, are more likely to stray far from home. There really is a good chance that he’s just exploring.

AstroChuck's avatar

Absolutely. And if it’s rabid it’ll attack you too.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It is possible, but I think it’s unlikely. We have raccoons here, and we also have cats. Frequently, I see the cats and raccoons on my back patio together, and I’ve never witnessed any of the raccoons even attempt to go after the cats. It’s actually been the other way around, but even that didn’t happen frequently, and the raccoons never even flinched or took a protective stance. My neighbor also has chickens, and none of them have ever been attacked by anything.

Like @TheOnlyNeffie said, it’s more likely another reason he’s missing. Both of our cats disappeared for a much longer period than normal one time, independently of each other, but only a couple months apart. It turned out that each of them got trapped in a house that was being remodeled. Our older cat – the mother of our younger one – was first to disappear. She fell inside from a weak part of the roof. A neighbor one day noticed that the blinds on the inside of the house were all bent up, but had no idea why at the time. So when we went to her door, she let us know. And we found our cat. She had been clawing at the windows to get out. Her daughter ended up following her, and the same thing happened.

So that said, I would look for alternative reasons. Hopefully someone just picked him up and took him, and hopefully he’ll get out and find his way home again.

Pandora's avatar

Cats love to wander. More than likely he found a female friend to hang with for a while. Yes a racoon can attack a cat but if it seems very violent he would probably run away. I hope your cat has had his rabies shots. Racoons often carry rabies.
Cats also do pretty well in finding their way back home. You can try going to vet hospitals and leaving a picture and phone number in case someone may have spotted your cat. Also leave pictures at the shelter.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes,they will.A friend found their cat one morning,cornered in their yard by a raccoon.It was scared and never wanted to go outside after that again.Coyotes,owls and fox will kill them too and is one reason my two are indoor cats.I hope your mom finds her cat.

Coloma's avatar

I don’t know about ‘eating’ the cat, but, it is possible they could have an altercation, especially over food.

I have many raccoons in my area and they come throguh the cat door at night if I forget to lock it.

But..while I have known of a few incidents of fighting, most of the time, cats and raccoons, skunks, possums, do not have altercations.

If the cat is missing I’d say it is more likely that a coyote caught it, if coyotes are in your area.

Foxes, in general do not go after cats either.

it COULD happen, but, unlikely.

Randy's avatar

Raccoons are some of the meanest, most vindictive and evil animals on the planet. I had a friend that had a “pet” raccoon and my dad is a big coon hunter so I’ve been around them more than my fair share.

If you’ve never seen a raccoon fight, you don’t even have a clue. They look cute and somewhat innocent but they flip a switch and turn into crazy killers when they’re pissed off. Most coon dogs weight between 60–80lbs. A 15lb coon, which is about average size, can wound a dog over four times its size bad enough that the dog won’t survive. That’s why hunters use small packs of dogs when they hunt. A raccoons normal instinct, like most animals, is to run from bigger predators but when the raccoon doesn’t have that option, they will jump straight onto a much bigger dog without a moments hesitation. They are vicious.

Another thing about raccoons is that they’re survivors. They’re omnivores.They will eat just about anything. Raccoons have even been known to catch and eat birds at times. They are very smart creatures and can figure out how to unlock traps or turn on water faucets.

In short, yes, it’s a possibility that a raccoon would and could attack, drag off and eat a domestic cat. More than likely, a single raccoon couldn’t eat an entire grown cat but the body could be miles away at this point depending on the size of both the raccoon and the cat.

Big birds (hawks, eagles, owls) could also be to blame as well as coyotes. It’s a tough world for small, outside animals.

Coloma's avatar

@Randy

You cannot assign terms like ’ mean, vindictive and ’evil’ to an animal.

That is projecting human ego, emotion, intent that does not exist in animals.

Of course a Raccoon will be mean if it is cornered, chased, or attacked. So would YOU!

To imply vindictiveness and evil to an animals survival motives is rediculous and untrue.

Randy's avatar

@Coloma Vindictive and mean may be human ideals but if the term fits an animal’s actions then why not use it to describe them? I did use evil as a way to stage up what I was trying to say about their nature so I’ll admit calling them evil is a bit ridiculous.

Coloma's avatar

@Randy

Right, well…I think that calling them ‘mean’ is still not true.
They are ‘mean’ when threatened, but they are not walking around in a state of ‘mean’ just looking for something to be ‘mean’ to. lol

‘Vindictive’ assumes motives of revenge.

The Raccoon is not motivated by revenge, if it escapes the pack of hounds it is not plotting to come back in the middle of the night and piss in their dog food.

So, I’d just leave it as a baseline of ‘truth’...animals become vicious when threatend but they are not vindictive or evil. ;-)

Randy's avatar

@Coloma You must have never shared a couch with a raccoon. They most definitely have and keep a chip on their shoulder. Haha

Coloma's avatar

@Randy

The ones over here are bolder than shit…I once woke to 3 eating lemon cake on my dining room table at 2 a.m. via the cat door stealth entry.

They barely flinched and just continued to gorge on the cake until I yelled at them. haha

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Aw I hope you guys find your the cat.
A raccoon could attack a cat but try not to get to worried because a cat can put up a good fight, and besides you likely would have heard them.
It’s only been one night so the cat could just be taking a break.
Is the cat neutered/spayed?
The cat could have got locked in someone’s basement or car or something, in that case will likely return in a few days.
Did you accidentally lock him/her in a separate room in the house, go check?
Did he/she look sick before disappearing?
There’s a lot to consider, sit down and think for a minute of all the possibilities.
Does he/she frequently disappear?

rascalrescue's avatar

Bottom line…..Drastic dreamer and Coloma have the right idea. Raccoons would prefer to run and avoid confrontation and attack when provoked or ill. More likely a coyote or some other problem. I have dealt with hundreds of raccoons as a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in them so I understand them quite well. I will also emphasize we are talking about raccoons that have not been tamed or kept as pets here…..if there is one sitting on your couch with a serious chip on it’s shoulder then you now know why they don’t make good pets.

kheredia's avatar

It’s been two days and the cat hasn’t turned up yet. I went to the shelter yesterday to see if he was there but I had not luck. My mom has been talking to neighbors but nobody has seen him. We’ve done everything we can to find him. All we can do now is wait and hope that he comes home :-(

rascalrescue's avatar

Sorry kheredia. One other thing you may check…..I’m not sure where your from or how your local departments handle it, but the city I work for has a protocol for dead animals found in the street. It is our dpw/street dept. that responds and removes it. Some places it is the animal control officer. You might look into checking with them to see if they picked one up matching the description???( and hopefully maybe rule yours out at least?) I hope she comes home. I did have a cat disappear once and though the worst…..a month later he found his way home!

Coloma's avatar

Yes, my 10 month old kitty was missing for 5 nights and 4 and a half days in Nov.
He came home and I was sooo happy!

He may have been chased by a coyote.

I think he was stuck in a tree as a week later he got up a huge Oak and I had to have a tree service guy come rescue him before a big storm, after he was stuck for 36 hours.

He has stayed out of the big trees for awhile now, keeping fingers crossed.

Don’t give up yet!

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