Can Raccoons Jump High

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.

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. . .

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.

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?

See also:  What Can You Use To Get Rid Of Raccoons

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 and jumping

Can raccoons jump? If so, how high?

Deschutes County Oregon

1 Response

Hi there and thank you for your question.
Raccoons are better known for climbing just about anything, but they can jump or leap relatively short distances, especially horizontally. (You can even find 1 or more YouTube nightvision videos of them hopping between two tables.) I honestly do not know what their maximum vertical hop might be. If you need to keep something such as a bird feeder out of a raccoon’s reach, either mount it on a smooth pole with a baffle or hang it from something that the raccoon cannot reach. For example, if you’re hanging a bird feeder from a hook on your roof eaves, make sure there are no overhanging branches from which a raccoon could jump to reach the roof, then the eaves, then the food.
I hope this information is helpful,

how far can a Raccoon jump?

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Carols Clucks


We have a pair of raccoons that visit moms place. My thought is that they live in the neighbors garage (very old horse and carriage barn), they jump the fence, find their way around moms house and over a corner in the picket fence heading down the street. Thankfully, our coop has been secure, best they have managed is a dirty paw on some trim way over their heads.

BUT, moms tenant things they are getting on the roof of the house-I think he hears them scratching on the pipes and hears that instead because there is no evidence of them touching the roof. I have cut and trimmed all the trees/branches back from the house a while ago. But he is convinced, so I am going to cut the trees some more.

So, how far do you think a fat raccoon can jump from a tree to a house (not down put over)?

Bear Foot Farm


So, how far do you think a fat raccoon can jump from a tree to a house (not down put over)?

If they are on top of the house, they climbed.

They wouldn’t jump far, and they COULDN’T jump back up, so they must be climbng both up and down, IF they are on top of the house at all​


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  • #4

Carols Clucks


I can not see any place they can climb, it has been raining so we have mud and we would know. We can see their feet on the picket fence.

The tenant thinks they are climbing a tree in the front yard, leaping 4-6 feet forward and landing about 8 feet below on the roof. I think that he is hearing them scratching on water lines on under the house. It sounds like they are in the walls or on the roof when they are working under the house (plumbers)

As far as the coop, never say never, but I have 1×2 welded wire, with a layer of vintage heavy aviary wire lining it, and roosts too far up and in from any wire, a steep tin roof with nice over hangs on the open ends and it is almost 4 feet off the ground on the side we saw a paw print-and hard to open for people clips on hasps for all doors

See also:  How To Get Rid Of Racoons On Roof

Bear Foot Farm


What’s on the outside of the house?

Any vent pipes or gutters?



The Yakima Kid

Cirque des Poulets
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  • #8

Carols Clucks


Hmm well as of today, we do not have downspouts, but by next week. (putting in vinyl gutters so hopefully those are slicker and they can’t climb as well)

The chimney they could climb, but I do not see any muddy foot prints on it. So far we are lucky we can see where they are going muddy footprints) so I might just make sure we keep it damp to see. The tenant saw them up the tree on the street. The house is white lap siding that was recently painted and most roof over hangs are at least 2′ wide, in my efforts to remove rats we are very careful to keep vines and trees off the walls and roof and any shrubs are kept lower and away from the building. I also do not see any evidence of them reaching the roof, we just blew all the leaves off of it and it is a light color as well-since I am adding gutters I have spent a bit of time looking at the roof lately. lol

My dad was a «pack rat» so the property had TONS of rat hiding places, but not any more!

Can raccoons jump onto houses or over fences?

Racoons are very mischievous animals. If you live out in the woods somewhere you have probably come across one of these animals before. If you have left a door open to your home or cabin then you may know them all too well. These animals know how to get into things and it is likely that if they have been able to get into your kitchen or other area of your home that they were able to make quite a mess as they did so. Truly, if you give a raccoon a small window of opportunity they will make you pay for it.

There are likely many instances where you have seen a raccoon get him or herself into some rather peculiar places. Many have watched these little critters walk their way across fence lines or tree branches to gain access to somebody’s house. This may make you wonder can raccoons jump onto houses or over fences?

Dealing with the second part first, the fact is that raccoons are not really jumping animals. While part of the same family of animals as squirrels, they do not have the hind legs that a squirrel does and so their ability to jump is fairly limited. This means that they are not going to be leaping over your fence to gain access into your yard.

How a raccoon most often gets over a fence and on to somebody’s property occurs in one of three ways. First, if the fence is just to ground-level and not buried underneath the ground, that it is likely that the raccoon will simply dig his or her way underneath the fence. Also, if the fence is quite short, less than 2 feet for example, then the raccoon will simply pull him or herself over the fence. This is how they are able to get onto your property.

The other way that a raccoon can have success like this is by using something like a tree branch to get over the fence. While raccoons are not real climbing kinds of animals, if they gain access to a tree through other means then it is likely that they can then use the tree branch as a form of transportation to get over your fence or the fence of another person.

How a raccoon frequently is able to get onto a fence or climb onto another property is when it already has gain access to a location which gives it some elevation. Frequently, raccoons will get into people’s attics and if they have pushed out a piece of the siding or loosened a portion of it, they can then use that as a pathway out of the attic and onto a branch or wire that allows them to get to other locations.

From there, they can then get onto the roof of other homes or simply drop down to a deck or other location where they can continue to forage and look for food. These are the most agile animals but they are quite clever. Read more: Raccoon Control, how to get rid of raccoons, Raccoon Feces, How to get raccoons out of the ceiling.

See also:  What Sound Does A Racoon Make

Facts About Raccoons

Raccoons are round, fuzzy creatures with bushy tails and a black mask of fur that covers their eye area. These animals may look like cute, cuddly bandits, but they can be quite fearsome when approached.

Raccoons are about as big as small dogs. They grow to about 23 to 37 inches (60 to 95 centimeters) and weigh 4 to 23 lbs. (1.8 to 10.4 kilograms), according to National Geographic.


Raccoons are found in North and Central America, Europe and Japan. They are very adaptable, so they live in a wide range of climates and habitats. They typically make homes, called dens, in trees or caves, though they will also make homes in barns, abandoned vehicles and other man-made locations, according to New Hampshire Public Television.

Though raccoons are more than happy to make human areas their homes, they can be vicious when approached by humans. Humans should be particuarlly cautious of approaching raccoons because they are common carriers of rabies, roundworms and leptospirosis, according to The Human Society. Most experts do not recommend having a raccoon as a pet.


Raccoons are not very social creatures. They are nocturnal and sleep during the day. During the winter, they tend to sleep more, but they do not hibernate in the traditional sense. They simply sleep while their bodies live off stored fat. They lose around 50 percent of their body weight during the winter, according to the University of Michigan’s Animal Diversity Web(ADW).

Though these animals look like the outlaws of the outdoors, raccoons are very clean creatures. They are known to wash their food in streams and even dig latrines in areas they frequent regularly.

As omnivores, raccoons eat vegetation and meat. The vegetation in their diet consists of cherries, apples, acorns, persimmons, berries, peaches, citrus fruits, plums, wild grapes, figs, watermelons, beech nuts, corn and walnuts. When it comes to meat, raccoons consume more invertebrates than vertebrates, according to the ADW. Some of the raccoon’s favorite animal treats are frogs, fish, crayfish, insects, rodents and bird eggs. When food is scarce, raccoons aren’t above scavenging human trash or eating roadkill.

Raccoons are more than happy to make human areas their homes. (Image credit: K. Schneider)


Baby raccoons are called kits or cubs and are usually born in the early summer. Females have one to seven offspring after a gestation period of 60 to 73 days. As a group, a mother and her baby raccoons are called a nursery.

For the first two months of their lives, babies live in their den and are weened at 7 to 16 weeks. At 12 weeks, they will start to roam away from their mothers for whole nights at a time, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. They become completely independent at 8 to 12 months of age. Raccoons live around 2 to 3 years in the wild.


Here is the taxonomy of the raccoon, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Subkingdom: Bilateria
  • Infrakingdom: Deuterostomia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
  • Superclass: Tetrapoda
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Subclass: Theria
  • Infraclass: Eutheria
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Suborder: Caniformia
  • Family: Procyonidae
  • Genus: Procyon
  • Species: Procyoncancrivorous (crab-eating raccoon), with four subspecies; Procyon lotor (common raccoon), with 22 subspecies; and Procyon pygmaeus (Cozumel raccoon or pygmy raccoon).

Conservation status

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the pygmy raccoon is critically endangered. The pygmy raccoon may have fewer than 250 mature individuals left in the wild, and the IUCN estimates that the total population size, including juveniles, is only 323 to 955. Other raccoon populations are not currently endangered.

Other facts

Raccoons can run up to 15 mph (24 km/h) and can fall 35 to 40 feet (11 to 12 meters) without injury, according to the ADW.

Raccoons are considered one of the primary carriers of the rabies virus in the United States, though only one person has ever died from a raccoon to human transmission of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One theory is that the black mask around a raccoon’s eyes helps deflect glare and helps with night vision, according to PBS Nature.

Raccoons have five toes on their front paws that act much like human hands.

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