Are Raccoons Related To Dogs

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

Are raccoons related to the dog or the bear ?

Wiki User
October 17, 2015 12:07AM

No, they are not closely related to either dogs or bears.

Procyonidae is a New World family of the order Carnivora. It

includes the raccoons, coatis, kinkajous, olingos, olinguitos,

What are Racoons related to?

Are raccoons related to cats,dogs,or rodents? I know all different species have different personalites like how dogs are loyal and go in packs and cats are independant but they can also lovable/curious, but what about rodents? Should I get my Racoon declawed? Racoons only think about food?

20 Answers

Raccoons belong to the family Procyonidae. This family contains coatis, olingos, ringtails, kinkajous and the red panda (though some scientists think the red panda should be placed in a family of its own). People are therefore correct when saying raccoons are related to pandas if they mean the red panda, but not if they mean the giant panda — the giant panda is a bear, belonging to the family Ursidae. It is not closely related to the red panda, though this was once thought to be the case, hence the shared common name.

The family Procyonidae is part of the order Carnivora, to which the cat and dog families also belong. Rodents are a different order altogether. There are two branches of the order Carnivora, the Feliformia (or ‘cat-like’) families, and the Caniformia (or ‘dog-like’) families. The Procyonidae family belongs to the Caniformia branch, along with the Canidae (dogs), Ursidae (bears), Mustelidae (weasels and relatives), Otariidae (eared seals) and Phocidae (true seals). The Feliformia branch contains the families Felidae (cats), Viverridae (civets and genets), Hyaenidae (hyenas) and Herpestidae (mongooses).

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Racoons can make good pets but keeping them in a cage would be wrong. There is a great true kids story called Rascal. Be sure to have your racoon get shots since they can get rabies and other diseases. Check and see if it is legal to keep a racoon as a pet in your state. They are solitary except when they have a litter. The kits stay with the mom for a long time until they can hunt and forage on their own.

Racoons are NOT mustilids. Skunks are, along with weasels mink, wolverines and otters. Racoons are omnivores.

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The red panda (Ailurus fulgens) has been traditionally included within family Procyonidae, along with racoons and coatimundis. However, a 2000 study rejected the hypotheses that the red panda is most closely related to the bears (ursids) or to the raccoons (procyonids). Some new classification schemes assign it to its own family, the Ailuridae. The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) is a member of family Ursidae, along with other bears. The evidence for inclusion of this species is overwhelming, despite its obvious specializations. So I guess the answer is No, none of the «panda» species are related to racoons.

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What are Racoons related to?

Are raccoons related to cats,dogs,or rodents? I know all different species have different personalites like how dogs are loyal and go in packs and cats are independant but they can also lovable/curious, but what about rodents? Should I get my Racoon declawed? Racoons only think about food?

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Of the species you mentioned, they are closer to the dogs. However, that relationship isn’t terribly close. They are indeed closer to pandas and bears than they are to dogs.

As someone earlier mentioned, they are in the Family Procyonidae, and their closest relatives are the other members of that family — several other species of raccoon, kinkajous, ringtails and coatis. Outside of the Procyonid family, the closest is the red or lesser panda.

As for your other questions, no you absolutely should not get your raccoon declawed. Raccoons have very dextrous paws which they rely upon both to handle their food and investigate the world. Their fingers are among their most important appendages. It’s possible to declaw cats by cutting the ligament that allows them to extend their claws, but the only way to declaw a raccoon is to chop the last joint off of each finger. This would be the equivalent of chopping your kid’s fingertips off to keep them from putting grubby fingerprints on the glass coffeetable. It would work, but is rather more drastic than the situation warrants.

Also, as others have mentioned, raccoons do not make very good pets. They are curious and destructive — rather like living with a toddler who can climb. And they do indeed become more aggressive and territorial as they get older.

Are Raccoons More Like Dogs or Cats?

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My wife and I left the city of Seattle and moved into a small suburb. Not too long ago, a family of trash pandas raccoons walked across our backyard deck, like they owned the place. (See photo.)

This got me thinking. Are raccoons more like dogs or cats? They certainly exhibit both kinds of behaviors. On the one hand, like dogs, they live in packs. But not always. Raccoons, especially males, go through a phase when they live alone, just like most cats. Other research has shown that raccoons form sex-specific groups. That’s right; raccoons have «boys only» and «girls only» clubs.

Raccoons are extremely intelligent, which (sorry cat lovers) makes them a bit more like dogs. (Dogs have twice as many neurons in their cerebral cortices than cats, the parts of the brain associated with higher level thinking.) Raccoons are omnivores, and though dogs are technically carnivores, they’ll eat just about anything you give them. Cats, on the other hand, are picky eaters.

So, that settles it. Raccoons are like dogs? Well, sort of. The term «trash panda» really is accurate; raccoons are most similar to bears.

Raccoons and Bears Share a Common Ancestor

Along with dogs and cats, raccoons are part of the order Carnivora. However, an evolutionary tree shows that they are most closely related to bears, sharing a more recent common ancestor with these burly beasts than with either of our domesticated friends.

Notice that the evolutionary tree splits earliest between cat-like species («Feliformia») and dog-like species («Caniformia»). So, the dog-cat division happened early in carnivore evolution. Raccoons arose within the Caniformia suborder. So, technically, the answer to our question is that raccoons are more «like dogs.» But there’s more to the story.

As evolution progressed, the ancestors of modern-day dogs and the ancestors of modern-day raccoons went their separate ways. Then, about 40 million years ago, the tree split again, with raccoon-like animals going one way and bear-like animals going another. (Here is a tree depicting the evolution of just bears and raccoons.)

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There’s a Bear in the Woods

As it so happens, a few days after we bought our new house, a black bear wandered through our yard. (It climbed over our fence and its sizable rear end bent it.) Little did we know that the raccoon family that made an appearance a few months later were cousins. Distant cousins, but cousins nonetheless.

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.

What animals are related to raccoons?

Are raccoons closer to felines or rodents.

Or something else?

9 Answers

Raccoons are classified in the family Procyonidae. Other members of the Procyonidae include the coatis, the ringtails, kinkajous, olingos and cacomistles. Raccoons are closely related to the bears. Together the bears, seals, weasels, and canids (dogs, wolves, foxes, etc.), they are classified as dog-like carnivores. The cat-like carnivores include the cats, mongooses, hyaenas. The dog-like and catlike carnivores together are classified as the Order Carnivora. Rodents are classified as the Order Rodentia. Raccoons are members of Carnivora. Raccoons are more closely related to felines than to the rodents, but they are also more closely related to bears and dogs than to the felines.

What Are Raccoons Scared Of?

Raccoons are animals that are often considered to be cute by those who haven’t had them particularly close to their property, but people who have had to deal with raccoons will know that they can also be a real nuisance. These furry creatures are known to be very effective scavengers, and this has meant that they have thrived in urban areas, discovering food sources and finding new nesting spots in a very different habitat to their natural habitat. Understanding what will scare raccoons can make a big difference to being able to deal with them as a property owner, although there are plenty of things that can have the opposite effect on raccoons too. After this you might want to read Raccoon Prevention Tips.

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The Natural Predators Of Raccoons

One of the key natural survival instincts for any animal is to know when to flee, and one of the main fears that many raccoons will have is a fear of their natural predators, although this will often be stronger in those raccoons living in rural areas where they are more likely to encounter predators. Because raccoons are fairly large animals themselves, their predators will usually be quite large also, with animals such as coyotes and bobcats often seeing a raccoon as prey. One interesting aspect is that the Greater Horned Owl can also prey on raccoons, but due to their size will usually be more likely to kill younger animals rather than fully grown adults.

Are Raccoons Scared Of Dogs?

There are several answers to this question, and in reality it will largely depend on the size and the aggression displayed by your dog towards the raccoon, as larger dogs that show some aggression will often scare the raccoon away. On the other hand, curious smaller dogs are unlikely to scare a raccoon away, so it depends on how the raccoon behaves. You certainly shouldn’t encourage your dog to fight a raccoon though, as raccoons are certainly not shrinking violets when they are cornered, and if they are then they will attack even larger dogs, and can cause nasty injuries and even transmit diseases to your pet.

Will Floodlights Scare Raccoons Away?

This is an interesting question, as there are plenty of guides online that suggest floodlights are an effective way to keep raccoons away from your property, although it is also worth noting that having permanent floodlights around a yard or garden could get very expensive. It is true that raccoons will feel exposed if they are in an area flooded with light, so may well look to flee, unless they are so used to the light that it no longer fazes them. In terms of installing such a system, the consensus is that a motion sensor operated system works best, and one using LED floodlights that saturate the area with light will be cost effective, while also being a sufficient deterrent to raccoons.

Raccoons And Repellent

One of the things that you will see has a prominent position on the shelves in many hardware stores and garden centers are products that claim to be able to repel all kinds of different animals, including raccoons. There are all kinds of different types of products too, but in truth there are no really effective repellents that will get rid of a raccoon for you, and in the vast majority of situations these are only chemicals with a strong smell such as ammonia or mothballs. The one situation where it can work is if you have a female with babies in a confined space such as an attic, and there is evidence to suggest in this instance that predator urine can work as a repellent, but in most cases you will need to look at other ways to remove your problem raccoon.

You can also read the opposite: What Attracts Raccoons?

Go back to the Raccoon Removal page. Or, you can read about how to get raccoons out of the attic since that is where they commonly live, or you can read my general how to get rid of raccoons guide. I do not advocate killing these animals. Read why on my how to kill a raccoon page. Often the best method is trapping and removal read about raccoon trapping tips here. Many people ask about what bait to use for raccoons if catching them in a cage. Or better yet, prevention is often the best approach. I have listed several techniques for how to keep raccoons away. If you don’t know for sure that it is a raccoon, but you have fecal evidence, you might want to look at my raccoon poop photos. And remember, there is no effective raccoon repellent. So if you have a problem with these animals, you will have to do the work necessary or hire a professional.

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