Inside/outside raccoon?  

Active Member

Has anyone successfully had a raccoon be able to live inside/outside? I raised and released two brothers spring 2018 and saw them up until this June 2019. I did vaccinate for rabies and distemper but did not neuter because the intention was for them to go back to wild.   We have a 20 acre part farm part timber area.    I had someone ask me to raise/release another baby (Bean) this spring, did a soft release in early August but when he was injured by a wild animal late October we have had him inside since.   We decided to neuter because I’m not sure he is taking to the wild as good as the other two.  My original two were not raised with dogs because my last of 5 dogs had just died before I got them.  Bean has been raised with dogs (a dobie and a mini poodle) and I’m afraid he now thinks he’s a dog lol.   Bean is not as destructive as he was when younger and does not try to get outside at all.   We’ve actually had to replace all the weather stripping in the doors  from him trying to get back in when he was released.  I guess I’m afraid in the spring he will want to go back outside with the dogs but then I’m not sure he will come back? I know there’s no way to tell for sure and even thought maybe try invisible fence with him like my dogs, the trainer has had success with other farm animals not typically associated with that type fencing.  No idea what to do. I don’t want to lose my baby Bean but then again don’t want to keep penned up when he’s used to swimming in a pond, pool, and loved being up with our other farm animals. 

Posted : December 2, 2019 12:49 pm
Admin Admin

You need to do a do a slow release.   I don't know what type of other wild animals are nearby you. the sad part is sometimes other animal might try and  could kill him. but, not always.
depends on the food source that is found in the wild.    A member here has a feeding station near her home, but, far enough away from her house. she has a camera to see  what animals
will use it.  I seen the videos of it. it was pretty neat.  she would have skunks, foxes and raccoons all there at the same time.  However, coyotes might be a different story.

My nephews had a small dog that wondering off, and a coyote killed him.  Recently I am now  finding about 3 wild foxes that stick around in my yard also wild raccoons. I have almost 6 acres fenced it.
These wild foxes killed many of my chickens and some guineas.  Also, I have  seen dead raccoons on my road  and the main road.  Usually  wild raccoons will travel, to  look for food
but, usually, raccoons join in a family. however, I would guess if there was enough food out there, maybe the the other wild animals might now bother him.   I do get upset when I see dead raccoons on the road.

on another note,  with hope, he could find  a family of  raccoons and join that group.  in the wild, raccoons usually (not always) join a group of raccoons. (in the wild, most usually do travel in groups.
    Do you have some type of outdoor enclosure for him?  since you live on a lot of property, maybe you could keep him in the enclosure and leave the door open. he most likely will stick around.
if so, maybe you can keep him in there, and leave the door open. for him to come and go. Chances are he will stick around. 
however,  slow release is the best way to try.  How old is he?

I currently have 3 raccoons that I raised (leagal one) I also use to have 3 legal foxes.   when I first bought the first raccoon and first fox, they both bonded. later I got 2 more foxes.
but, my first fox love my raccoon. After my first raccoon died, my fox cried out for him for months.  However, that is a different story there.

The best you can do if you want to release him, is give it a try and see if you can check on him.  Since you are a rescue, doe this racoon live with other raccoons? How many do you have? Maybe release two of them?    If I can think of other ideas, I will let you know.  I wish the best for you and the raccoon.   Please keep me updated.



This post was modified 2 months ago by pat Sybils Den

Posted : December 2, 2019 3:16 pm
Admin Admin

if you could keep him that would be nice.  they do make nice pets as long as they are raised properly. (I am sure you know how to do that)
all the raccoons I had and still have them. however,  my oldest one died of liver cancer awhile ago.  

I am now thinking about the raccoon you have, if he is use to dogs, it is not a good idea to release him. I think he will be fine staying with you.

You could build him an outdoor enclosure if you prefer.  my set up is, I have an extra bedroom with a doggie door that goes out in their enclosure.
when I did the enclosure, I use the dog kennel panels. I put the kennel close to my house. they now have access to their room and to their enclosure with a doggie door.

However, I do let them in the house with me also.  What I did in their room (which can also be done in an outdoor enclosure) I found a bunk bed for free with no mattress. (which is not a good idea to have a mattress),   I then used cement boards instead of a mattress.  I painted the cement boards with rust-oleum. oil based gloss. it is an easy clean up.    

I also made a wide ladder (but, put a backing on the ladder. (the ladder is a heavy type of wood.  Raccoons love to be up high, but, not always.
In their enclosure,  have a large wide shelf that they can climb to also. along with a tower where they can climb easily.

However, many people let their raccoons live in the house 24/7. but, some will get into everything. the first raccoon and fox I mentioned that were bonded.
my raccoon would open the fridge for my fox, and pull the eggs out for his fox buddy.

raccoons also like dogs, mine do play with my dogs.  
Raccoons are very intelligent animals. I was watching a video on how some people trained their raccoons to do tricks, even ride a small bicycle. 

Please keep me updated..


This post was modified 2 months ago by pat Sybils Den

Posted : December 2, 2019 10:20 pm
Active Member


I don’t officially rescue and do not intend to raise another one again because it’s so devastating when they leave.  We would like to keep Bean forever but I’m wondering if anyone has been successful letting them go inside/outside like a cat? He doesn’t come when called while asleep which scares me if he should fall asleep outside and me not know where he would be.    It’s such a hard decision because he enjoys swimming a lot.   So if I put him in an enclosure I’m not sure that it would work.   He’s in the house full time right now.   Never has to be caged.  He’s more tame then feral cats I’ve had. Pretty sure another raccoon attacked him in October and I do not have any others to release him with.   I really want him to stay with us for his life time.   

Posted : December 3, 2019 3:03 pm
Admin Admin

I think you should keep him.  I don't know if he gets into things he shouldn't. but, if he does, you can break him of that.  so I say, "keep him"  raccoons are  my favorite and are very intelligent. 
if you need any help, the members and I can help you if you have problems that you might have.   

I don't know the legality of keeping raccoon. some states are OK with keeping raccoons, also some states require a bill of sale, permit, or maybe a USDA.
email me and I will see if I can help you further.


This post was modified 2 months ago by pat Sybils Den

Posted : December 3, 2019 5:09 pm
Active Member


I’m in Illinois and have a permit to keep him, the permit renews every year. I really hope to keep him I’m just really scared for when he goes outside.   It’s hard to keep my cats in let alone Bean.   Its wonderful the bond the 2 dogs and 2 cats have w him.  I have tons of videos  😊 

Posted : December 3, 2019 7:26 pm
Admin Admin


how old is he now?  I doubt your raccoon would stray too far. however, I wouldn't take the chance.    I am glad he is legal.
many coon owners keep theirs in the house 24/7.  some keep them in outdoor enclosures only.  mine have the best of both worlds.

outdoor cats seem to roam further than raccoons do.  However, I still  would be nervous letting your raccoon out himself. If you go with him, I would think, he would stay near you.

I will tell you the experience I had a long time ago. (guess this kind of tells what some raccoons will do)
my first raccoon got outside, (or so I thought) I looked everywhere for him for hours. then later that day, I went in the basement, and found him sleeping on a shelve there.
I had two other raccoons that got outside.  One was sitting  by his enclosure waiting to get back in.  the other one that got out, I called for him. then I look down and there he was 
almost to say "what do you want" 

honestly, I can't say what your raccoon would do when he goes outside.  If possible, make an outdoor enclosure for him. other than that, keep him in the house with you
 also, go outside with him.  I doubt he will stray far. I just worry that a wild animal would kill him.  or even someone that lives nearby.   The first fox I had got out (this was along time ago)
she did end up straying away. someone shot and killed her and now has her in his trophy room.   the people that lives near me, would shoot raccoons. anytime my raccoons got out,
or if I thought they did, I would call my neighbor to tell them my raccoon escaped. (I thought they did though) I did have a rescue raccoon, which did escape, and of course, I did find him at the neighbor I just mentioned. 

What I don't know is how close you are to a road.  Not saying your raccoon would wonder to a road.  

I would love to see pictures and videos of your raccoon. Not sure if you seen the ones I have and had.  when I get time, I will try and post them. I might even have some pictures on this board. 

Please keep me updated. Sybils Den

Posted : December 3, 2019 9:24 pm
Active Member


Hi! First, thank you for all your help! We think Bean is about 6-7 months old.  Same age as Phoebe the mini poodle.   If he does go out I would let him out with my the dogs and Roxie is a Doberman Pinscher and She generally runs anything off because she’s pretty scary looking and Phoebe my miniature poodle is about the best protector Bean and my two cats have.  They play outside and it’s so comical and like I mentioned Bean LOVES to swim.  He did follow me around in the summer outside but I thought as they get older the light starts to bother them more so maybe just early evening outings? I haven’t read too much on what happens past the one year mark and he is very attached to all of us (me my husband son and dogs, cats) he’s always enjoyed going up to the barn too with the others.  We do live by a road but I was hoping that keeping him well fed and supervising I could let him out. As much as I love him, I also want to do what’s best for him, protect him but also try to let him be a raccoon too.   

Posted : December 4, 2019 9:25 am
Admin Admin


6-7 months old is still young.  how old was he went you got him?   Is Bean fixed?    with a intact raccoon, some or most will get aggressive at breeding season.
However, that don't stand true for all raccoon owners.   Did you  bottle feed  Bean when you first got him?

That is really great your dogs go's out with Bean, at least he will be safe.  I assume your dogs and Bean stick together when outside.

Living close to a road could be a bit unsafe.  However, sounds like your dogs know not to go on the road? I doubt Bean would go near the road. 
I have my property fenced. However, raccoons are good climbers.    As long as Bean is well fed and has his doggie buddies, I believe he knows  he has a good home.
you are doing a good  job, I thank you for that very much.  

What puts me over the edge is when some people seem to think it is OK to keep a raccoon in a small cage. I have seen that. 
(The word "stupid" comes to mind with the people that keep a raccoon or any animals in a small cage.)
I know you take excellent care of Bean.  I thank you for that.. 

Please keep me updated.  I love all animals, raccoons being my favorite. I try to help people from my experience with raccoons, I also have and had so many different animals.

Don't forget about the pictures and videos when you get time. Sybils Den

Posted : December 4, 2019 3:10 pm
Active Member

Hi! Bean was born in May and we just got him neutered.   He did great with that I haven’t noticed any changes in behavior.  I did bottle feed him for quite awhile.  I give him wormer mixed in w KMR formula still to this day and as a treat for him lol. He’s on a schedule with feeding but has access to food all day/night he just tends to only eat at certain times.   He has days he eats a lot then others not so much.  I won’t cage him unless maybe I have people over and he’s awake but he doesn’t mind being kenneled because I’ve never done it very long.  I tried to download some videos but it’s saying it’s too big of a file I’ll send some shorter clips later today.   It’s really funny.   I always tell people this probably isn’t normal so I try to not glorify it.  I work from home and I’m available for all my animals pretty much 24/7 

Posted : December 4, 2019 5:46 pm
Admin Admin

I believe Bean will be fine as far as breeding season approaches.  Breeding season could start as early as December-January.  However, that don't always stand true, The wild raccoons can breed in the spring and even in the summer months.

if You  have a link to your video's and pictures, can you just post the link?  If not, you can try sending me a link in my email ( 

The time you got Bean neurtered, is great, you won't have any problems. That is great you can work at home.  I do the same thing now.  

It is best to not glorify raising raccoons.  sometimes, we can tell who would be good with raccoons and who won't be. Sybils Den

Posted : December 5, 2019 2:44 am
Member Admin

I've tried to give mine an outside run, but they showed no interest so after a couple of months I gave up.  I let my daughters coon in and out with the dog but he got killed by something so I don't let my coons out.  I only have Scooter left and although I got him as an older baby he has no interest in going outside.  He has woken me up several times to rat out my goats for opening my patio door and freezing us out.  IMO these people that want us to feel guilty for not letting our pet coons run wild and be free are out of their minds.  The average life expectancy of a "wild and free" coon is something like 3 yrs. But I also have never penned any of my coons, they have the run of the house.  I can't really recommend that per say, unless you enjoy remodeling often.


Posted : December 19, 2019 9:07 pm
Admin Admin

Trefoil,  I let mine little darlings in the house with me, but not everyday.  I have to secure a few things before I do.  When they are in the house with me, all they do is lay on a doggie cot,
the youngest male, climbs in a cupboard and lays on the shelve there.  I had to empty all my stuff out of it, because Larry (my first raccoon) also liked that cupboard.
the first time Larry went in, he threw all the sheets out of the cupboard  . I just gave up and put  my sheets in another cupboard.

As you know, raccoons do learn words.  mine know quite a few of them. LOL Sybils Den

Posted : December 23, 2019 11:32 pm
Black Emo

Please Login or Register