Is It Possible to Keep Raccoons as Pets?

Raccoons are adorable, they’re clever, and they remind us of little masked bandits. But as cute and innocent as they seem, they do not make ideal pets.

A raccoon is an exotic animal, and it is illegal to take one directly from the wild. They must come from a licensed raccoon breeder who has gone through the necessary steps to domesticate the animal. However, even a raccoon bred in a home presents several challenges as a pet:

  1. Raccoons are naturally destructive and require a lot of supervision. If left unattended, they can quickly destroy a home’s furnishings, steal food and other objects of interest, open closed doors with their deft paws and bore holes in walls, causing further destruction. They are also prone to hiding in attics, which requires calling a raccoon removal service.
  2. They bite. Upon reaching sexual maturation at six months, even the most affectionate raccoons become aggressive and can attack family members, visitors and other pets at will. Many carry parasites and other infectious diseases, like rabies, which pose a definite health risk.
  3. It can take several months to litter train a raccoon. Regardless of how well they are trained, they can still act out by purposely having accidents if irritated or hormonal.
  4. Because of their reputation, raccoons are not taken in at any known boarding facilities while the animal’s owner is away. In addition, there are very few veterinarians who want to deal with this exotic creature.

With these in mind, it’s best to leave raccoons in their natural habitat. If you happen to discover one on your property, contact your local animal control. A raccoon removal service such as Animal Capture Wildlife Control (310-551-0901) provides a safe and ethical raccoon removal service.