Are Raccoons Friendly to Humans? (Or Nice to Each Other?)

In this article, we’ll answer the question:

“Are raccoons friendly?”

First, you’ll find a short summary about the friendliness of raccoons in general, then get specific answers about these mammals like are raccoons nice to humans, can they be petted, are they friendly to each other, etc.

Raccoons are medium-sized mammals in the family Procyonidae under the order Carnivora. These omnivores are native to North America but are also distributed across mainland Europe, the Caucasus, and Japan.

Are raccoons friendly
What Do Baby Raccoons Eat?
What Do Baby Raccoons Eat?

Are Raccoons Friendly?

Raccoons are friendly to humans and are known to be curious about people. However, some raccoons are skittish and flee when they sense humans while others can become aggressive as young as six months old.

Overall, raccoons are quite friendly animals and not a threat to humans unless they carry rabies. Raccoons are a rabies vector species, meaning they are a primary carrier of the rabies virus in the United States. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Raccoons with rabies have [only] been found in the South and Eastern states.”

If you spot a raccoon in the wild, and it is overly friendly, then you should be cautious. Trying to pet or feed a wild raccoon that has a disease could infect you and cause a serious illness, or even death.

Do Raccoons Like Humans?

Raccoons do like humans and will bond with people if they are raised in captivity from a young age. A raccoon is also known to become cuddly and playful with its human owners; however, raccoons are also quick to bite if they feel fear.

Do Raccoons Like Being Petted?

Raccoons do like being petted and will often seek out human interaction when kept as pets. However, in the wild, raccoons do not like human touch and will become skittish if you try to pet it.

According to Fetch by WebMD, “Domesticated raccoons can be housetrained and become affectionate.” But even tame raccoons can be unpredictable and mischievous. One thing to remember is that raccoons require a lot of attention and care, so owning this mammal is a big commitment.

But owning a raccoon is not legal in every state. Only the following states allow you to own and raise a raccoon: Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Can You Train A Raccoon to Be Friendly?

You can train a raccoon to be friendly and domesticated raccoons can become quite affectionate to people. Raccoons are highly intelligent animals that can understand human commands and some raccoons can even be trained to use a litter box. 

Because of their high intelligence, raccoons are able to learn their name and several commands, like “sit”, “shake”, “no”, and “stop”. If you plan to train a raccoon, it is recommended to get a baby because it learns faster through rewarding good behavior.

Are Raccoons Friendly With Each Other?

Raccoons are friendly with each other and often live in groups of 4-5 raccoons to protect themselves against predators. Raccoons and cats also get along fine and sometimes eat out of the same dishes.

According to wildlife experts, raccoons communicate with each other using over 200 different sounds and 12-15 different calls. Examples include purring, chittering, growling, snarling, hissing, whimpering, and screeching, where each noise is used to communicate a different emotion or word.

Do Raccoons Have Feelings?

Raccoons do have feelings and can experience emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, and love. Raccoons are highly intelligent and sensitive animals that can bond strongly with their caretakers and other raccoons in their families.

Research shows that raccoons have evolving intelligence and methods of thinking. They can also learn from past experiences, engage in problem-solving, and display affection. Raccoons express their emotions through body language and vocalizations. 

How Do Raccoons Show Affection?

Raccoons show affection by cuddling with each other and using sounds like purring, cooing, and whimpering to show that they are happy with another raccoon or human pet owner. Raccoons also enjoy being petted and will often seek out human interaction to get affection.

Are Raccoons Dangerous?

You can visit our other guide about are raccoons dangerous to find out how harmful these mammals are to people.

Are raccoons nice

Are Raccoons Nice Summary

You now know the answer to the question about are raccoons friendly to humans and each other.

As you discovered in this guide, raccoons do like human beings and prefer to be petted when they are housetrained. These mammals are also friendly to one another in the wild and in a zoo. However, raccoons can also be unpredictable and aggressive against people and other animals if they feel threatened or scared. Therefore, are raccoons nice or not depends on the species they’re interacting with in nature and captivity.