Can Raccoons Jump As High As Cats

Can raccoons jump ?

Wiki User
September 12, 2011 3:52PM

«Nope and they cannot run»

Actually they can jump, much higher than I would have

thought too. This morning there was a large raccoon in the bottom

of our building’s dumpster, which stands about 5′ high at the

front. He was having a snooze and woke when I tossed a garbage bag

in. I let him be (we have lots of critters around here) and as I

was walking away I heard his claws hit the top of the dumpster and

turned to see him pulling himself over the top. Given that there

was only one or two bags in there, near the back, he either jumped

from one of the bags to the front edge (a good four feet at least)

or stood on his hind legs and jumped to reach the front lip (again

at least 3 or 4 feet to reach the top edge with his claws). So yup,

raccoons sure as heck can jump. I’ve seen them run too, not so fast

due to their short legs but they still run all the same.

Can raccoons jump as high as cats?

Raccoon Scaling Building New Jersey then Jumps, Ocean City Boardwalk

Yes, right at the top of your house.

Raccoons are very agile animals and can jump, only they may not jump as high as feline animals would.

It is easier for them to jump horizontally and to jump down from heights.

They can ascend the corners of most houses, and easily climb up and down downspouts.

Daring Raccoon Lands Jump From 9th Floor Of Building Successfully

Related Questions

Why can’t dogs jump as high as cats?

Because of the way dogs are shaped, they can’t jump as high as cats, proportionally speaking. Additionally, dogs don’t have the feline ability to right themselves, the ability to twist in the air while falling in order to land on all four feet with a minimum of injury.

How high can cats jump vertically?

How high can a cat jump? A young, healthy, average-sized cat can jump about six times their length or over eight feet in a single bound thanks to powerful muscles in their back legs (see illustration).

How cats jump so high?

Most domestic cats can typically jump up to 6 times their own height. This means a healthy, agile one foot tall cat can be expected to jump up to six feet! Thanks to a flexible spine and strong leg and back muscles, cats are able to release very powerful bursts of energy all at once.

Can Raccoons Jump Onto Houses Or Over Fences

The short answer is that they don’t really jump very well, but they are amazing climbers, so they can easily get onto any part of a house, such as the roof, and they can easily climb most fences. But they don’t actually jump over.

Whether you live in the woodlands or your house is situated near a park and a flowing stream, you are likely to get visits from raccoons in the very least. The persistent creatures will also try to move in with you especially when they discover a food source in your yard. Raccoons are bold animals, though not particularly confrontational. They will visit your yard over and over again, and have been known to take up residence in hidden spots, one of which is in the attic. Yes, right at the top of your house.

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Raccoons are very agile animals and can jump, only they may not jump as high as feline animals would. It is easier for them to jump horizontally and to jump down from heights. But they get by, in between their jumping range and their claws, they can pretty much scale most houses and fences. The English word “raccoon” is an adaptation of a native Powhatan word meaning – animal that scratches with its hands. They usually have a very good grip and are excellent climbers.

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How raccoons get to the roof of a house to access its attic or chimney has baffled many a homeowner. The raccoon is a very good climber and can go down a tree backwards or face first, but can they climb concrete as well?

There have been reports of raccoons scaling vertical walls and fences. They are fairly good at jumping, but it is more common for them to do this by climbing at least half way. They can ascend the corners of most houses, and easily climb up and down downspouts.

Physical adaptations that help the raccoon’s climbing ability include the shape of its limbs. The two hind legs are longer than the front legs, making it look hunched while running or climbing. And it has black paws that bear 5 toes each; the clawed toes on its front paws are very nimble and can grasp ledges or crevices in the wall quite well. Its hands bears a resemblance to that of a monkey. Its long and opposable claws also help to achieve a firm grasp on the structures as it climbs.

The most common sources of complaints about raccoons seemingly scaling fences and houses include chicken coops and poultry farms. Summarily, it is safe to believe that if there is food to be eaten on the other side of the fence, a raccoon will find a way to get over it.

To learn more about Can Raccoons Jump Onto Houses Or Over Fences visit the Raccoons in the Attic home page.

Raccoons CAN Jump

Backyard Feral Feeding Station

Content not Quality

At least raccoons can learn to jump if particularly motivated. And abundant food is great motivation. My feral cat feeder had been left alone by ‘coons for so many months, but that all came to an end earlier this summer. Some determined raccoon figured out how to reach the deck. I reinforced the flashing and attached additional flashing encircling the 5-foot-tall stump. Not enough. So I took away the jumping stump. Still not enough. Apparently Mr. (or Ms.?) Raccoon can jump five feet from standing on the ground. So, I created doors on all four openings. The openings for the felines are 4×6 inches. I’ve heard a raccoon working hard rattling the bolts after dark, but so far he or she has not figured out how to work them. . . that’ll be coming eventually with the intelligence of the ‘coons here, I suspect. Then I had to caulk the roof because it weathered and allowed water to leak into the dry food dispenser. . . sigh. All the while for every bit of it, the state «bird» feasted on me. Even taking these few photos, I fed numerous skeeters. Maybe after the first frost I’ll get out and take some better photos. . .


I care for feral cats and am building them a winter wooden shelter. Can you tell me how high I would have to make it so that raccoons or other small wildlife could not jump up into it?

Allegheny County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Unfortunately raccoons can go about anywhere a cat can. They can climb just about anything. They do have the ability to jump, but the way their weight is distributed they are not good jumpers (typically). I could not find anywhere what the vertical height is that a raccoon can jump. They don’t have the ability to leap or jump as high as a healthy cat.

You may be able to hang the shelter from something that the cats can jump into, but that is hard for raccoons to do so. If a raccoon has something it can climb onto to jump into the cat shelter, it will try to jump. So, if the shelter is supported on some type of pole with a base that a healthy cat can jump into, hopefully a raccoon will fall if it tries to jump. They don’t like falling downward so after a couple miscues they typically will quit, especially if they don’t smell food.

See also:  How To Get Rid Of Raccoons Around Your House

The raccoons will mainly be attracted to food, but if cold they may be looking for shelter too. Raccoons are primarily nocturnal so feed the feral cats during the day and don’t leave any food in the shelter late at night to discourage the raccoons.

Raccoon Proof Cat Doors That Really Work

This post may have affiliate links, please check the full disclosure on this post.

I personally find raccoons to be very cute and intelligent animals. But I surely would NOT want one roaming my home and spreading germs all over the place with their little hand-paws.

Being very smart and tricky it can be hard to keep raccoons off one’s property. And especially if you have a cat so there is food around to attract them. This can become a big problem if your cat is allowed to go outside so there is an opening for it to go in and out. Pretty much anything a cat can pass so will a persistent raccoon be able to.

You can try various things like raccoon repellents, traps (but please don’t kill them) or install a raccoon proof cat door.

But a truly good raccoon proof cat door is not so easy to find. The best ones I have found so far work by electronically opening of a door or flap by scanning a microchip embedded inside the cat’s body.

Here is a great tip to keep on mind when installing a cat door that is a raccoon proof:

I have read somewhere that raccoons can’t jump more than 6 inches high. After a few unsuccessful trials, they will probably leave: nobody likes falling downwards and raccoons are no exception to this rule.

This just by itself can prove to be enough to stop a raccoon from getting inside of your house but I personally would prefer a cat door microchip activated. Just to be on the safe side.

As you can see you can install a cat door higher than the ground with some platform for the cat to jump on and off. You can install it on a door but an alternative option is to install it on your windows (there are cat doors that can be installed on glass, check the rest of this post).

The only drawback with the raccoon proof platform is that it will not work for older cats so keep that in mind.

Why Should You Install A Raccoon Proof Cat Door?

There are several very good reasons:

  • First of all raccoons can be very dangerous animals so the safety of you and your family is compromised if you have a raccoon wandering around your property
  • Raccoons can be carriers of many diseases among which rabies
  • Raccoons have been known to kill cats

You definitely don’t want to come home and find a raccoon on your counter eating a banana or feeding its babies!

Here is the list of the best cat doors that are raccoon proof:

Best Choice To Keep Raccoons Out Of Cat Door ( SureFlap DualScan Microchip Cat Door)

This cat door uses a dual scan technology, which means it can be programmed to recognize your cat on both sides. So the scan works both on the inside part of the door as well as the outside.

The dual scanning also means that the biggest problem with cat doors and raccoons is solved: since this cat door is selective on both sides a raccoon can’t pull the cat flap in any direction. What it takes for the door to open on any side is a chip that gets scanned and recognized, whether it be your cat’s microchip or a tag it wears on its neck.

By checking the customer’s reviews on the product page what I noticed is that all those that had raccoon problem have successfully solved it with this door. Actually, it would be surprising that any outside animal could get inside given the dual scanning on both sides of the door.

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So with this cat door your home is completely protected from raccoons and other critters wandering around. This is hands down the best raccoon proof cat door I was able to find.

The only thing that may be lacking is the size of the door: it is created for cats, which means it is smaller than a pet door. If you have a large cat like a maine coon then I am not sure that it would be big enough. That is why I have included the larger SureFlap pet door below.

SureFlap Microchip Enabled Cat Door (Suitable For Large Cats)

If you have a big cat then the above cat door may be too small for it so I suggest you take a look at this bigger pet door.

Besides having a large opening this cat/pet door has a special “raccoon mode” that can be programmed. This mode will activate an additional lock which will prevent opening the door by pulling it from outside. There have been recorded cases when raccoons have been able to open a cat flap by pulling it from the outside (towards themselves) simulating a cat going outside. This lock is placed to prevent such cases.

What I would do with this door is install an additional raccoon repellent (check the predator guard described below).

If you are looking for a cat door for barn the suggested cat doors are also the perfect choice as they will keep critters out. With a barn cat door, you will need this functionality as the building is close to nature and wildlife.

Additional Things To Do To Get Rid Of Raccoons

  • Avoid leaving food in open places and near entry points. The main reason why a raccoon would end up inside your house is food (rarely they search for shelter from the cold). Since they are nocturnal animals it is best that you feed your cat during the day and clean up the remains for the night. By removing the most important factor of attracting raccoons you significantly lower the chances of having one enter your home.
  • Make sure all entry points in your home are closed at night. Raccoons go hunting for food at night. Therefore it is best to install an electronic cat door for your cat: since your house will be locked at night, by wearing the chip your cat will be able to open the electronic cat door. Since raccoons don’t have the required microchip they will be prevented from entering the same. If you get the sureflap door with raccoon mode raccoons will have a hard time opening the flap with their paws since there is an additional lock for this purpose.
  • Use other non-toxic raccoon repellents. Please remember these creatures are fighting for survival and in my opinion, it would be cruel to kill an animal just because it is merely trying to survive.

I would suggest that you install a raccoon proof cat door and place additional security like this solar powered flashing red light:

This non-toxic solar power animal repellent emits flashing red light constantly at night, simulating fire and predator eyes. Basically, it creates a sense of an unsafe area, just as if there were other predators around, which scares off wild animals. By using this little device nocturnal animals have been successfully prevented from entering yards, chicken coops or garden.

The best thing is that it charges itself during the day with solar power and it has automatic light sensitivity. Meaning it will turn on automatically at dusk and turn off at dawn.

So once you install it it’s maintenance-free and set-and-forget type of raccoon repellent.

Here are the most important features:

  • it is made of toughest industrial components and weatherproof, so you can freely install it outdoors
  • coverage area is about 1/2 mile away
  • should be installed at the eye level of the unwanted animal

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