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LC_Beta's avatar

Any tips on keeping a raccoon away from the cat food?

Asked by LC_Beta (1873 points ) June 2nd, 2009

I stepped outside this evening (when it was still light out) and saw a sizable raccoon loitering around while my cat was eating. I’m not sure if my cat knew the raccoon was there or not. I chased the raccoon off and Judah (my cat) followed and didn’t seem to be freaked out by the incident. Actually, he seemed pretty pleased with me (for the record, my cat actually is practically human).

I left and came home just now, and the raccoon was munching on Judah’s dinner. He left without putting up a fight, but I’m worried he’ll be back. He doesn’t seem to be as aggressive as some of the other raccoons I’ve encountered, but I’ve heard horror stories about cats being maimed by these things. I don’t want to hurt or kill it, but I don’t want it hanging around, either.

Should I be worried about my cat’s safety? Is there anything I can do?

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18 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

A raccoon will kill a cat very easily. Seriously.
Put the food inside.

Now that the raccoon knows it can get food from your cat’s bowl, it will get territorial. Cats are also very territorial. This all leads up to a fight between a cat and a raccoon.
This is a fight your cat will not win.

DarkScribe's avatar

Arm the cat! Teach it Karate!

There is little that you can do other than feed the cat indoors or somewhere where local fauna can’t get access.

LC_Beta's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic – yes, I’ve taken the food inside now. I can’t have Judah inside, though. (I think I’m allergic to something he likes to roll around in – my eyes get all swollen if his hair gets anywhere near my face. It wasn’t a problem when he was an exclusively indoor cat, but he hates staying inside now, so he has to be 100% outdoor.) When is it safe to put his food back out?

buster's avatar

Get one of these cuties.

DarkScribe's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic What you describe sounds like a normal cat allergy. I have a cat that gave no problems for years, but now several family members are allergic to it.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@LC_Beta Your cat will come inside for food
I’ve had the same issue except with skunks. Your area has raccoons. This will not change anytime soon. If you put out food raccoons will come and eat it.

I don’t know what to say about the allergies. It’s a catch 22 for sure.

LC_Beta's avatar

@busterThere was an old lady who swallowed a dog.
What a hog, to swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat.
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider
that wiggled and wiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she’ll die.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Feed the cat indoors, in the garage, anyplace that the raccoon can not go. I’m glad you caught this before it turned ugly.

LC_Beta's avatar

I live in San Francisco, so I’m not sure what this raccoon is thinking. Does animal control deal with these pests?

jonsblond's avatar

There is nothing that you can do other than put the food indoors. We are surrounded by woods and raccoon are sneaky bastards. They will get into anything! I can’t put my garbage out until the morning of pickup, otherwise there will be garbage all over our yard.

ru2bz46's avatar

Feed the raccoon…to the cat.

Lupin's avatar

Now that the grass smalls like cat food and Rocky has memories of the delicious all night buffet he will keep coming back unless there is a disruptive disturbance in the Force. Buy a cheap Daisy BB gun like a Model 105 for about $18. It will only sting and not penetrate skin. Just a couple of times will do it. (Maybe you can borrow one from your neighbor. If the guy is over 40 he still has his childhood one somewhere in his basement.)
Your cat will be the loser when (not if) they decide to mix it up.
We had a raccoon come into our barn and regularly tear the pull tops off our canned cat food. I ran a piece of 14 ga wire to a piece of aluminum foil put between two layers of cans. The other end went to our electric fence controller. It worked

Darwin's avatar

As others have said, feed the cat in the garage. Eventually the raccoon will quit coming around. But in the meantime, should the raccoon want the food at the same time the cat does, there will be blood, and it will be mostly feline.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

There are a couple of raccoons that come into my backyard that always eat cat food. None of the cats that hang out back there, including my own (6 cats total), have ever been hurt by the raccoons. None of the cats have ever displayed hostility toward the raccoons, either. Cats seem to instinctively know not to mess with the raccoons.

That said, I know you care about your cat and you should. If you have an extremely brave cat that is abnormally territorial, I would definitely move the food, because your cat will not win the fight, if it should come down to that. But I doubt it would.

Another reason you should move the cat food is because it’s really bad for raccoons. A lot of them die very early due to some of the ingredients in the food that they should not be consuming. And it’s not a fast, painless death. It takes a while and I heard it’s pretty agonizing.

Kraken's avatar

Wipe it with ultra-concentrate catnip powder, therefore the cat will guard it very vigilantly.

Make sure to dampen a cloth first before you add the protective powder.

easeout's avatar

Absolutely feed your cat indoors where the raccoons cant get to it. They will come out at night so give your cat food indoors in the am

Lela

baracuda1971's avatar

I Succeeded in keep my cat food outside, all night with a cat feeder from Robotshop.com . Althought I installed the cat feeder inside a compartement of the cats house, I had to add a compartment to hide and protect the cat feeder, exposing just the base where the cat eats. The racoon managed by getting the food by sliding his hand underneat the partition. I installed 2 electric prongs that if he passes his hands again, it will get a electric shock – nothing to injure.. just so he won’t slide his hands again !!

Osmo52's avatar

Hi everybody.I’ve got a dilemma here.I had to convert my 4 cats from indoor/outdoor cats to only outdoor cats.Reason: My little dog Dixie is allergic to them and they make her sick and cause her fur to fall out. I made the cats a nice cat house on the back porch and things were okay.But tonight I stepped outside and was startled to find two raccoons were gorging on the cat’s food. The cats weren’t hungry and were lying around indifferently watching the raccoons dine within just a few feet of them. If I bring the cat food in before late afternoon, will the raccoons not come back? If the raccoons get hungry enough will they kill my cats to eat them? I know the coons must be hungry, this is a suburban area. What should I do? Please help with an answer. Blublabla52@yahoo.com

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