Are Raccoons Part Of The Dog Family

What Family Are Raccoons In?

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Raccoons are cute and quirky creatures, what with their memorably dark-rimmed eyes and rather rotund physiques. The moderately sized mammals also look nothing like a lot of other animals you might frequently see scampering around, whether deer, rabbits or squirrels. Raccoons are part of a totally different family, after all.

What Family Are Raccoons In?

The omnivorous and mostly nocturnal mammals are part of the family Procyonidae, which also consists of coatis and other similar animals. Raccoons are also part of the order Carnivora.

Common Shared Body Traits of the Family Procyonidae

Although all of the animals within the family Procyonidae are different, as members of the same unit, they do also share a variety of key physical bodily traits. Some common characteristics of most Procyonidae animals are tails that are of moderate to extended length, relatively long bodies, short ears and curving claws. In general, the animals range from little to moderate size, reports the Animal Diversity Web website of the University of Michigan. Some can weigh less than 5 pounds, while others can even exceed 40 pounds.

Shared Facial Traits

Raccoons and other members of the family Procyonidae typically possess facial features that are reminiscent of foxes, notes the website for the University of Edinburgh’s Natural History Collections. Despite the facial similarities, foxes are members of a totally different family — the family Canidae. Family Procyonidae animals usually feature conspicuous marking patterns on their faces. These markings also appear on their tails, as well. The animals also usually have wide faces.

Specific Examples of Family Procyonidae Animals

Some of the various different animals that are closely intertwined with the raccoon within the family Procyonidae include the kinkajou, the ringtail, the white-nosed coati and the South American coati. Animals from the family appear in a diverse range of settings, which include tropical rainforest, desert and swampy areas. Raccoons are particularly prevalent in prairies, woodlands, swamps and urban regions, and are usually very adept at adjusting to new and unfamiliar living environments, reports the website for the Department of Environmental Conversation for New York State. The nimble animals also frequently reside by rivers.

Are Cats Related To Raccoons?

If you are wondering if cats and raccoons are related, technically speaking, raccoons belong to the family Procyonidae. This family consists of animals such as the coatis, olingos, ringtails, kinkajous and red panda. (Though some scientists think that the red panda should be placed in a family of its own)

Cats on the other hand belong to the Felidae family. It should be noted however that both the Procyonidae and Felidae families are part of the order Carnivora. However other than this similarity, cats and raccoons do not have much else in common as far as any relations go.


Thanks! I have an exam and I was worried beacuse I didn’t know.

Karlie Kent says

Since they are kind of related do the cats get standing on there hind legs and eating stuff out of there paws from raccoons.

Zane Allen says

as if, you have no idea what you are talking about Cats and Raccoons are the exact same thing check wikipedia

what family does the raccoon belong to?

Is a raccoon a member of the weasle family or rodent family or ?

11 Answers

They are relatives of the weasels, stoats, ferrets, and skunks (yeah, that too), but not real close. Their closest relatives are the badger and the wolverine. These are really mean dudes, so the ‘coon seems domestic by comparison. The badger and wolverine are carnivores, and evil-tempered and dangerous even in their best moods because they’re very aggressive carnivores. Wolverines have been known to defend their kills against the likes of cougars and bears, and hunt in male/female pairs. They and the badger and the weasel family spray their territory and kills with musk so potent that other carnivores won’t come near, not even skunks. I have never been so frightened as when I shot one and it started up a tree after me with my buddies blazing away from other tree stands; it died with 17 .30-cal slugs in it. It’s like trying to shoot a locomotive.

Raccoons, which the badger strongly resembles, are omnivores and are pretty retiring but highly intelligent. They love the suburbs, where they can raid our trash, and will cheerfully move into your nice warm chimney to raise their young if you haven’t installed a chimney cap. However, they often tangle with foxes for prey, and are the single greatest source of rabies in our suburbs.

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Hunt raccoons with hounds, badgers with dachshunds (in German it means «badger dog») and terriers, weasels with traps, and wolverines with motorized infantry.

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raccoons belong to the procynidae family, which is closely related to the ursidae family, or the Panda

Are raccoons from the cat family ?

Wiki User
October 24, 2015 12:03AM

No, raccoons are from the Procyonidae family.

Procyonidae is a New World family of the order

Carnivora. It includes the raccoons, coatis, kinkajous,

olingos, olinguitos, ringtails and cacomistles.

Are Raccoons Part Of The Dog Family

There was some confusion about this for a while. Scientists put living things in groups to help us organize what we know about the millions of species on Earth. Not everything fits neatly into the groups scientists have created.

Pandas are in the animal kingdom, along with all of the other living things that get their energy from eating and are made of more than one cell. Worms, insects, and sponges are animals too. They are vertebrates, along with all the animals that have a skull and a backbone. Fish and frogs are vertebrates too. Some vertebrates are mammals (members of the class Mammalia) because they have hair and their mothers give milk. Mice and deer are mammals. They are in the order Carnivora because they have a certain set of teeth and because they are closely related to other carnivores. Cats and otters are carnivores too.

You probably know that raccoons and bears are actually not carnivorous. Most are omnivorous and eat both plants and animals. Pandas, as you probably know, are strict vegetarians.

To answer your question, for a long time people have disagreed about whether giant pandas and red pandas were bears or raccoons. Until some new technology came along, they mostly had to look at bones and teeth. Scientists have used DNA to find out that the giant panda is more closely related to the other bears than to the raccoons. Giant pandas are in the family Ursidae with the seven other bear species. Raccoons are in the family Procyonidae along with ring-tails and coatis.

The bear family and raccoon family are closely related. Red pandas (often called lesser pandas) are now put in the raccoon family. Scientists will have to keep working to find new information to figure out if that is where they belong. That is how science works. We keep trying to get more information and keep our minds open for new answers.

Answer 2:

I guess it depends on what you mean by «related», but I took your question to mean «Are these three animals in the same family?» Biologists classify animals according to how closely they are related to each other with a system that goes like this (from general to specific): Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.. If two organisms are in the same species, they are about as closely related as two individuals can get without sharing relatives.

Animals start to get pretty closely related at the level of family. Pandas, bears and raccoons are all mammals and they all share the same order (Carnivora), so they are all related to each other to some extent. The classification that they share is: Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Carnivora. From there, bears are split into the Family Ursidae and raccoons into the Family Procyonidae. OK, so where do pandas fit in? Pandas are in the Family Ursidae, and are considered true bears. There seems to be some misinformation floating around the web that pandas are more closely related to raccoons than bears. Although scientists first thought this was the case, it is not considered true anymore.

Although they share the same order, bears and raccoons do not share the same family. The only other animal in North America in the same family as the raccoon is something called the coatimundi. By the way, do you know what the classification system is for humans? Most people don’t even know their own phylum! Humans are mammals, so we are in the same class as pandas, bears and raccoons. From this, you can tell that sharing the same class doesn’t mean a whole lot in terms of relatedness. Our full classification for humans is: Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Primates, Genus Hominidae, Species sapiens.

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Answer 3:

The giant panda (species Ailuropoda melanoleuca, the large black and white animal that most people think of and is found in zoos) is part of the bear family. site to learn more

There is a lesser known «panda» (species Ailurus fulgens or red panda) that is part of the super-family Musteloidea, along with the weasel, raccoon and skunk families.

Are Bears and Dogs Related?

Surprisingly to some, dogs and bears are not related. Dogs are part of the “canidae” family and Canids are part of a larger group known as carnivora, which also has been known to include bears, cats and even seals. Thus dogs and bears are in the same order (carnivora) however they are still located in different families. A dog as mentioned before is in the “canidae” family while bears are found in the “ursidae” family. According to this classification, that makes dogs and bears no more related to each other than each is to cats.


Sorry to burst your bubble but-
They are related. The order carnivora began splitting off into different groups. the first split was between cat like carnivores and dog like carnivores. Then the dog like carnivores (called bear dogs- now extinct) split again later into three groups (although not all at the same time) – Amphicyonidae (the bear dogs ), Canidae (the dogs, wolves) and Arctoidea. Arctoidea split into – Hemicyonidae (more extinct bear dogs),
Pinnipedia (seals and sea lions), Musteloidea (weasels, skunks, red pandas and raccoons) and Ursidae (the bear).
So historically dogs, wolves and bears all share the same ancestor.

They are grouped together into Canoidea (the dog like carnivores) because they share some similarities but they are not in the same family (one is canidae, the other is ursidae) because they have some significant differences.

cassava plantation says

Thank you so much for clearing that up, Susan! The world definitely needs people like you to enlighten us and also expose these people who blurt out wrong information to the masses. They think they are such experts but in reality, they know next to nothing!

wow you guys are really unreliable .. . . . . .. . … . . . . i was about to ruin my dads birthday , all he wanted was the answer to this question. good thing susan was here!

I don’t care what anyone says. Dogs and bears ARE related. Some where in history they were more closely related. But r still related brown bears & polar bears r now breeding again in some parts of Alaska. As the ice melts polar bears r heading inland and there we have hybrids. Saw it on Nova. PBS!

I think that cats and dogs have a very much alike bodies but the shape of the head is diferent.Cats also have different claws and on the whole have different personalities but I can see the similarities.

Thank you Susan, for your insightful information…I was about to get cats mixed up with bears :^) in spite of the fairly obvious similarities between dogs and bears.

I agree, It is obvious when you look at a bear that it has traits of a dog, very distant traits but it’s definitely there, the long face is just like a wolves but the body has been changed to allow to climb on trees.
I do not believe in evolution as it is the dumbest theory after the big bang, Divine creation makes much more sense and once you start following creation you get answers that are actually true.

If you have evidence that evolution is false, by all means present it for peer review and collect your Nobel prize. Until then, please refrain from criticizing that which you do not understand.

To be short in writing, for a subject that is as big as the universe itself, Evolution went up in a big bang. The basic understanding of science proves that the big bang is false. Inertia cancels that out. You can’t get something from nothing. also Louis Pasteur proved that evolution is false, with the glass swan neck experiment. and so did Darwin with the study of the flagellum motor. Also the so called soup that was supposed to be the building blocks of life, have been scientifically proven to be toxic to life. Life is driven internally whereas non living things do not have that internal drive. they can be simulated, but not actualized. Science reports that it has created the first living bacteria to prove creation is false but all they proved was that it had to be created and that they had to use things that were living. The barrier between living and non living things can not be crossed. only living things can produce living things. what came first the chicken or the egg. they have always existed. According to evolutionists life began on Earth billions of years ago, yet the sun at that stage was too cold to support life. When will we see Impalas grow beast like teeth to evolve to counter the predator lion, Creation is a continuation of things that are. and we are children of God

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KnowThySelf Knows Nothing At All says

You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about do you? Please keep your ignorant drivel to yourself.

Instead of making up some crap with whatever sciency words you might have heard from more knowledgeable people, go read an actual science book for once.

Impalas have evolved to be fast and agile instead.

I no evolution has a lot of gaps but how do you explain the earth only being six thousand years old. And if you can’t get something from nothing it must have happend at some point right. There has to be a first time.

Science trumps Divine creation hands down.

The way people, who’ve likely never done a scientific experiment for themselves in their life, passionately and vehemently defend with vim and vigor what someone who they consider an authority figure told them, either in person or in a book, smacks of religiosity, and makes their motive suspicious at best. Stay humble friends.

Humility rewards. Darwin, Lamarck, D’arcy Wentworth Thompson shared an abiding fascination with the forces that shaped species, and in their recorded contemplations each considered their observations and resulting theories to be humble descriptions of the divine, not denials.

Susan IS CORRECT! Cats and dogs are extremely remotely linked genetically through a common ancestor dating back in time in excess of 55 or more million years in the Paleocene era, whereas the lineage of mammalian carnivores inclusive of bears, dogs and even harbor seals, branched off millions of years later on the evolutionary tree. FTR, dogs and bears share 92 percent of their genetic material, but less so DNA is shared between cats and dogs. Bottom line: bears and dogs are more closely related to each other than either ursidae(bear) or canidae(dog) is related to the cat(felidae(cat. The initial assertion as written above is incorrect.

Susan is wrong except in the most general sense we all fall under the class of Mammalia, then dogs and bears both fall under the order of Carnivora but branch into separate families. Dogs(Canidae) Bears (Ursidae). The original answer said as much. Reading comprehension is important.

Sal Univer says

There are suborders under carnivora, two of which are known as caniformia and feliformia, that would disagree with the assertion that bears and dogs are no more related to each other than each is to cats.

Paul Fields says

you really should modify your article to incorporate the information Susan provided. There are many sources out there that support her information and this info should be found in the body of your document, rather than in someone else’s comment.

Good luck in your quest to educate!

I agree with Susan, to many similarities between dog and bear to not consider the fact that they once branched off it also goes back further then amphicyonidae, the whole classification of mammals derived from prototheria mammals in the late Carboniferous period,……. But you already knew that

Claire Houlihan says

CAN YOU FIX THIS. It’s unreliable information and it comes up first results when researching bears and dogs. Should at least fix it and put the right info, or is makes your sight seem unreliable!

Bears and dogs look and are too much alike to not be related. Look at how their heads are made, how their bodies are made, how the sense of smell is proportionate to the size of the nose in both animals, and how neither is near the fastest animal, yet, can keep up a chase for long periods. Imagine what a dog could do if he had bear’s size, strength, and size of paws/claws. Could a dog climb? probably! Could a dog stand upwards for long periods like a bear? they already can be trained to stand for short periods right now. The only differences that I can see is the hibernating and herbivore bears(polar bears are carnivores like dogs). Both are necrophiles, too, the way I understand it.

Dogs and bears are both necrophiles WTF ! ?

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