Can I Keep A Raccoon As A Pet?
Raccoons are cute, especially when they are young. Those big eyes and that fluffy tail may remind you of a cat, but don’t be fooled. The raccoon is wild animals and should not be kept as a pet. No matter how cute and curious they may seem it is never a good idea to take a raccoon into your home.
“If I find them as babies?”
Baby raccoons, despite their adorable looks, are still wild animals. If you find baby raccoons out exploring don’t bother them. Chances are their mother is nearby and no matter how much you would love to have one it is always best for their mother to raise them. Not only will they be happier with their family, but they will also learn the skills they need to survive from their mother.
If for any reason there is no mother around or if you know the mother to be deceased it is best to call your local wildlife refuge. There they will be able to safely capture the babies and raise them to return to the wild.
“But I have plenty of room for them!”
It does not matter how much you love them or how big your house is, raccoons are still wild animals. Raccoons spend much of their time roaming, climbing, and exploring. When you compare life outside to living in a home 24/7 it is easy to see how domesticated living is not suitable for a raccoon.
As a wild animal, they will be unhappy staying in a confined space and their unpredictability makes them hazardous to live with.
“But they look so clean and friendly”
Raccoons are a reservoir for many diseases that cannot be seen and parasites that are too small to notice until it is too late. When you welcome a raccoon into your home you are welcoming in ticks, fleas, leptospirosis, and even rabies.
All of these ailments can either hurt or kill people that come into contact with them and raccoons are notorious for caring diseases. It is also important to note that they are often fast and aggressive when cornered. If a raccoon feels uncomfortable it may bite you and if a raccoon is slow or lethargic enough for you to catch it and bring it home then it is very likely that the animal is sick.
If you think raccoons are beautiful animals then it is best to appreciate them from afar. They do not make good house pets as they are dangerous to humans and are meant to be wild. If a raccoon truly seems to need human intervention to be sure to call a wildlife rehabilitation service so the animal can get the help it needs and go back to the life that it knows and loves.