Should I Keep a Stray Baby Raccoon As a Pet?

Pest Control

A baby raccoon, or kit, is still a wild animal, with emphasis on “wild”. They are not meant to be domesticated like cats and dogs. It took thousands of years to achieve the healthy domestication of household pets that we commonly see today. With this said, there are still ways to domesticate a raccoon if you really want to, but it is strongly advised to consult an expert on raccoons before attempting to care for a kit on your own. Read on to learn about the serious disadvantages of attempting to domesticate a wild raccoon, or any other wild animal for that matter.

Your Home

Raccoons are feisty, intelligent creatures. Once they reach a certain age, their curiosity and destructiveness hit a high point. They must be un-caged and free to roam in order to live healthy lives, and this causes issues within a person’s home. For example, they like to dig nests for themselves and burrow beneath them. This means your bed or sofa would be the ideal hole digging paradise for them. A raccoon would essentially need its own room with its own furnishings to be safe and relaxed as they can be, indoors; otherwise, you can kiss your mattresses, couches, recliners, and sofas goodbye.

They are also skilled climbers and as said before, very curious. They can and will get into anything and everything, such as trash cans, cabinets, drawers, potted plants, laundry baskets, and more. Your entire home would basically have to be proofed and specifically built to replicate their natural environment and to accommodate them in your home.

Health Risks

Although cute and irresistible looking, raccoons are carriers of many viral diseases such as rabies, distemper, canine hepatitis, and more. They are also known to potentially spread roundworms and more serious variations of the infection. This is a huge red flag for anyone wanting to adopt and domesticate a baby raccoon they have found in the wild. Even if taken to a vet, the raccoon may have irreversible damage or have already infected your home. Health concerns are important to consider if you are still thinking about making a wild raccoon your pet.

Legal Concerns

In most states, owning a raccoon is illegal anyway. It is a risk to take in a stray raccoon or other wild animal because it can result in a load of fines and even loss of animal ownership rights. Other states require a permit to own an exotic animal, in which a raccoon is categorized under. Raccoons bite and this risk is taken seriously among many local governments. This is another reason to reconsider domesticating a baby raccoon, no matter how cute and helpless it may be.

Local Resources

There are many resources and organizations that will take in a stray exotic animals and relocate them to a safer and protected habitat. It is encouraged for people to never attempt wild animal domestication for their own safety and for the safety of the community.