What Is A Racoon Related To

What Animals Are Relatives of the Raccoon?

Raccoons are in the taxonomic family Procyonidae, which includes olingos, coatis, kinkajous, cacomistles and ringtails. All 18 species of procyonids are New World animals native to the Western Hemisphere in areas ranging from Canada to Argentina. While the raccoon is common in North America, its relatives are heavily concentrated in Central America. Procyonids make their homes in a variety of habitats, including forests, wetlands, deserts and rainforests.

Animals in the raccoon family are typically small tree climbers, measuring roughly 12 to 28 inches in length. Their faces are often small and wide with large eyes and short ears. A raccoon’s distinct facial markings are found in relative species, but this characteristic isn’t universal. Procyonids have varying shades of brown fur and striped bands around their flexible tails. Some species have prehensile tails useful for balancing or grasping.

Procyonids have 40 sharp teeth for eating meat and vertebrates, but their omnivorous diets also include grains and fruits. Scientists believe these furry mammals are descended from an evolutionary branch of ursids, making them close relatives of the bear family. Many procyonids are nocturnal species and live in large social groups. Kinkajous are the only species known for territorial behavior, but other resourceful procyonids create dens in trees to evade predators.


Is a raccoon related to cats ?

Wiki User
October 17, 2015 7:10PM

They are only related in that both are mammals and both are

considered carnivores. However, they are in different families.

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

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

ringtails and cacomistles. Raccoons are also not related to


What animals are related to a raccoon ?

Wiki User
December 10, 2015 7:55PM

First of all, raccoons are not related to bears or pandas as

most people think. Raccoons belong to the procyonidae family

which are all New World omnivores. Included with the raccoons are

its cousins coatis, kinkajous, olingos, olinguitos, ringtails and


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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See also:  Who To Call To Get Rid Of Raccoons

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.


What Should You Do If You Find a Dead Raccoon?

One of the most common and recognizable mammals in North America, the raccoon is found in nearly every state, parts of Mexico and portions of Canada. Raccoons live in forests, as well as in and around urban areas, which means you may come into contact with them around your property. Unfortunately, their prevalence also means you may encounter a dead raccoon near your home.

See also:  How To Get Racoon Out Of House

If you do encounter a dead raccoon, either on your property or inside your home, you should proceed with caution. Regardless of where the animal is found, do not touch it, and keep the following risks in mind:

Disease – Raccoons can carry pathogens that may cause disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, raccoons are the most commonly reported rabid animal, and rabies can be transmitted to humans, though rare. Additionally, raccoon feces can carry baylisascaris procyonis, a roundworm that can cause damage to the liver, heart, lungs, brain and eyes. Avoid touching animal waste.

Other animals – A dead raccoon found outside may attract other animals. You should use extreme caution when approaching a carcass. Contact animal control if you find a dead animal outside your home.

Regulations – Depending on your state or county, there may be regulations pertaining to wild animals. For example, a permit may be required to remove animals from a home and there may be guidelines governing where live animals can be released.

Leave it to the Wildlife Control Professionals

Raccoons are interesting creatures, but if you find them on your property, it’s best to leave removal to the professionals. A wildlife control professional knows the proper methods for removing carcasses or live nuisance wildlife animals that may pose a threat to your home.

Where You Might Find Raccoons

Raccoons are nocturnal, so they’re most active at night. Their mating season runs from January to June, and females live in dens to raise their young. Dens may also be used as places to rest throughout the day. This resourceful animal can create a den almost anywhere: hollow trees, abandoned animal burrows and even your attic or chimney.

Raccoons are likely to wander into your home during the cold winter months when they’re seeking warm shelter. If you do have a raccoon in your home, you may hear noise or notice a disturbance near the animal’s point of entry. Additionally, if the raccoon has died in your house, you may notice a foul odor.

Non-discriminatory when it comes to food, raccoons are omnivores and will eat almost anything, including other animals, insects and plants. Raccoons living in urban areas may forage for food in your garden, your yard or your garbage can. Homeowners with pets may also find a raccoon dining on dog food or cat food left outside.

Possible Causes of Death for Raccoons

While raccoons have been known to live in captivity for up to 20 years, they have a much shorter lifespan of 2-4 years in the wild. A raccoon can die from any number of causes, including:

Predators – Raccoons living in the wild may fall victim to a few natural predators, including cougars, bobcats and coyotes. Birds of prey, such as large owls and eagles, may seek out young raccoons, also known as kits.

Disease – As mentioned above, raccoons are known carriers of pathogens that can cause disease, and disease is one of the most common causes of death in the animal.

Starvation – Some raccoons may wander out of their normal territory, resulting in an inability to find food. Young raccoons, which have fewer fat reserves, may also be less likely to survive seasonal food shortages.

Encounters with vehicles – Raccoons are most active at night, and their dark coloring makes it difficult for many drivers to see them. Because of this, raccoons are frequently seen as roadkill.

As mentioned before, if you see a dead raccoon on your property, be cautious and contact a professional to remove it. The same goes for a live raccoon. Trying to DIY nuisance wildlife control can come with consequences.

See also:  How Can You Get Rid Of Raccoons In Your Yard

The Best Mouse Trap Method

Everyone has seen the cartoon mouse trap: A big wedge of cheese perched precariously on a small wooden rectangle, just waiting for an unsuspecting mouse to come along. Most modern mouse traps don’t use pieces of cheese, although they can still use food as bait. One of the most popular baits, believe it or not, is peanut butter. There are still versions of the snap trap from cartoons, but there are also other kinds like electronic traps. Because these traps usually mean dealing with dead mice, plenty of people wonder if there’s a way to help get rid of mice without classic mouse traps. Although mouse traps are the most effective in helping to get of mice, you can also try the following natural methods to see if they help remove these pesky rodents.

How to Help Remove Fruit Flies from Your Home

Fruit flies are one of the most common household pests and they can be a huge nuisance for homeowners. Not only that, but researchers have found that fruit flies can “transfer bacteria from a contaminated source, food, or waste to surfaces or ready-to-eat food.

Control Yard Invasions: Gophers, Moles, and Voles

Any homeowner with a yard runs the risk of having their lawn terrorized by burrowing animals. Gophers and moles are animals that can cause extensive damage to a yard by digging complex networks of tunnels below ground. While these pests are most likely to be active in the spring and summer when the soil is most malleable, they remain active in the winter by burrowing even further into the ground to escape the colder temperatures. Voles can also cause lawn damage with their runways. Though it may be hard to tell these pests apart, knowing what each animal looks like and how they cause damage can help you practice the best gopher, mole and vole control methods and protect your home’s yard.

How to Naturally Get Rid of Bugs on Plants

Buying houseplants can put you at risk for harboring unwanted pest infestations. Before these bugs cause damage to your new plant, know how to take care of them using natural remedies.

How to Help Prevent Mosquito Bites

Itchy bites and illness may occur after exposure to some arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks. The bites can cause discomfort and, in some cases, transmit pathogens (bacteria, viruses and protozoans) that can cause a variety of diseases. Some examples of diseases that are of concern in the United States include: (mosquito) chikungunya, dengue, La Crosse encephalitis, West Nile fever, Zika; (tick) Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. The good news? There are many precautions you can take to help avoid bites from mosquitoes and ticks.



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“Racoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/racoon. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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