5 Interesting Facts About Raccoons


We all know raccoons – those cute critters with the “bandit” mask around their eyes. Well, cute until they’re turning your garbage can inside out, or causing serious damage up in your attic, anyway. 

We find it’s important to educate yourself on the potential wildlife infestations in your area, as this will help you navigate the situation more calmly. So, in the interest of prevention, but also because so many people have asked us “do raccoons make a good pet?, we’re gonna tell you our favorite facts about them.

  1. The mask.

First things first, we want to discuss the raccoon’s infamous bandit mask. Many people are surprised to learn that the distinctive black marks around a raccoon’s eyes aren’t accidental or random, in the slightest. 

Do you know the way an athlete will paint their eyes to improve clarity? Well, that’s essentially what the raccoon’s mask does. The black markings increase contrast and allow the raccoon to move and see more clearly. Especially since the animal is nocturnal, it needs to be able to distinguish shapes and predators in the dark, and that’s what the mask does.

2. They have remarkably human-like “hands”.

Because with raccoons, we think it’s fair to talk about hands and not simply paws. As some of you may know, raccoons have five dexterous fingers on either hand that allow them to easily grab things. This is how they’re able to lift the lids off of trash cans, something that makes them a force to be reckoned with, even for the most diligent homeowners.

Not only that, but a raccoon’s hands are also deeply sensitive, with clusters of nerves in their palms sending signals to the brain. This is how raccoons are able to easily examine things underwater or in the dark.

3. They’re pretty smart.

Raccoons rank below monkeys, in terms of mammal IQs, with monkeys ranking under humans. This means raccoons have a pretty high IQ (which makes them even more of a concern for homeowners – find some of our favorite prevention tips at raccoontips.com). Raccoons are resourceful and exhibit clear problem-solving and critical thinking skills, in dire situations.

Not only that, but raccoons also have quite a complex vocabulary. They can emit over 50 distinct noises, most of them being used to communicate with one another, share the location of predators, and other important knowledge. Raccoons will hiss, purr, growl, chirp, or squeal. 

4. They’re not big on family.

While some animals will mate with one partner for life, raccoons aren’t monogamous, in the sense that they will mate with as many females as they can, per mating season. Males will, anyway, while females will typically only mate with one. Male raccoons are also uninterested when it comes to protecting and raising a family. Their role begins and ends during mating season, with the female raccoon being left to raise her young on her own.

Raccoons are solitary creatures by nature and do not even hang around in clusters, tending to avoid the company of other raccoons, outside of brief periods.

5. They’re fast and resourceful.

Raccoons are among the most resilient creatures in the animal kingdom, known for their ability to adapt to pretty much any habitat (mountains, tropics, crowded cities – they can live anywhere).

On top of that, raccoons can move at up to 15 miles per hour, making them a force to be reckoned with. This is why, if you’re dealing with a raccoon infestation, we suggest that you contact Complete Wildlife Removal, rather than attempt to deal with it yourself.

To answer the question, no, raccoons do not make good pets, but they are a lot more intelligent and interesting than at first meets the eye.