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11/28/2022 5 minute read

How Big is a Raccoon?

The Procyon lotor, best known as the raccoons, are small-sized mammals native to North America. In addition to being nocturnal, raccoons are excellent climbers.

Raccoons are famous for the black mask around their eyes and their tails are ringed. They are called the masked bandits as they’re pretty sneaky when rummaging through garbage cans and dumpsters. Even though they are small animals, raccoons can be pretty aggressive if they feel threatened.

With all these facts in mind, only a few know their actual size. And for someone who has not seen one, it’s not easy to picture them. Discover how big raccoons can get below!

So, how big can raccoons get?

The size of an adult raccoon depends on its subspecies and gender. Most of them grow up to 30 inches (76 cm), with their tail adding an extra 12 to 20 inches (30 to 50 cm).

Females are mostly smaller than males, with an average weight of 12 pounds (5.4 kg). On the other hand, the biggest recorded male raccoon weighed 42 pounds (19 kg).

Their diet also plays a role in their size. Raccoons that live in urban areas where food is abundant tend to be larger than those in the wild. This is because they don’t have to worry about finding enough to eat and can afford to put on a few extra pounds.

How much weight can a raccoon be?

Males are generally larger than females, but both sexes reach similar lengths. A typical raccoon weighs between 10 and 30 pounds (4.5 and 13.6 kg).

Some raccoons, however, have been recorded to weigh as much as 60 pounds (27 kg). These outsized animals are usually found in captivity.

The biggest and heaviest recorded raccoon was named “Bandit.” He died weighing 75 pounds, which is 34 kilograms. Bandit lived an enjoyable 10-year life together with his owner. Bandit died in 2004.

What is the average height and weight of a raccoon?

The average size of a raccoon is around 24 inches (61 cm) long and 14 inches (35.5 cm) tall. They weigh between 10 and 30 pounds (4.5 and 13.6 kg).

Females are usually smaller than males, with an average weight of 12 pounds (5.4 kg). On the other hand, the biggest recorded male raccoon weighed 42 pounds (19 kg).

Raccoons have a reputation for being chubby animals, but this is not always the case. In fact, they can be pretty lean when they need to be. For instance, their body weight can drop significantly during the winter when food is scarce.

How long can a raccoon get from head to tail?

Measuring adult raccoons from their head down to their hindquarters can be between 16 and 28 inches. However, their tail adds an extra 8 to 16 inches to their overall length. So, on average, and in total, raccoons can be between 30 to 45 inches from the head down to the tails.

How did they get so big?

Raccoons in the wild don’t usually get as large as those in captivity. This is because they don’t access the same food and often worry about finding enough to eat.

On the other hand, those that live in urban areas tend to be larger because they have a constant supply of food and don’t have to worry about going hungry. 

Much more when they’re kept as a pet. If owners feed them constantly with sufficient food, they can be as heavy as Bandit. 

There may be physical dysfunctions too. According to the owner of Bandit, he was born with a bad thyroid gland which has caused him excessive weight gain.

Biggest Raccoon Species

There are three main species of raccoons. They are the Procyon pygmaeus, Procyon cancrivorus, and Procyon lotor.

The Procyon pygmaeus is the smallest of the three, with an average weight of only 4 pounds (1.8 kg). The most common place for them to be found is on Cozumel Island, off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. These bandits have acquired other names such as dwarf raccoon, Cozumel island raccoon, pygmy raccoon, and Cozumel raccoon bear.

Unfortunately, these mammal species are marked as critically endangered species.

The Procyon Cancrivorus is also known as the crab-eating raccoon. This is because of their exciting eating behavior, which is to eat crabs. These species are found in Costa Rican regions and other parts of South America.

Lastly, we have the most common raccoon, the Procyon lotor. These species are the largest among the three. They are found throughout the United States, except in Arizona, Utah, and Nevada.

Largest Raccoon Species, The Procyon Lotor

The Procyon lotor is the largest of the three main species. The average size of the Procyon lotor species is between 16 to 28 inches, excluding the tail.

These species do not belong to endangered populations. They are the most common, with their habitats stretching across most of North America. These bandits are also prevalent in Canada. Toronto, to be specific. But, they can also be found on farther continents, in countries like Japan, Russia, and Germany.

How big can a Crab-Eating Raccoon get?

The Crab-eating raccoon, or the Procyon cancrivorus, is found in South America, specifically along the coasts of countries like Venezuela and Brazil.

They are the second-largest species and are around 24 inches (61 cm) long and 14 inches (35.5 cm) tall. They weigh an average of 10 to 30 pounds (4.5 to 13.6 kg).

The raccoon fur pattern of these species is a bit distinct compared to other raccoon species. Their fur is not thick, resulting in them looking skinnier and thinner. So, if you spot raccoons in this description, they’re probably Crab-eating raccoons.

How big can a Cozumel Raccoon get?

The Cozumel raccoon, or the Procyon pygmaeus, is the smallest of all three species. They are only found in one place on earth, the Cozumel island, off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula coast.

They are so small that they only grow to be about 16 inches (40 cm) long and 7 inches (17.8 cm) tall. They weigh an average of 4 pounds (1.8 kg). The distinct feature of these bandits is their dark fur. It almost looks blackish-brown in color.

More Raccoon Knowledge

Diseases

There are many diseases that these wild animals can carry. They include rabies virus, giardia, leptospirosis, and roundworm. These are transmitted to humans and pets when they come in contact with the raccoon’s feces, bite, or scratches. It is advisable to keep a safe distance and not let them roam around your property.

Rabid raccoons may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Abnormal behavior like walking in circles, staggering, or paralysis.
  • Discharge from the eyes or nose.
  • Excessive drooling or frothing at the mouth.
  • Fearlessness around humans.

Call your local animal control to have them safely captured and quarantined if you see a raccoon displaying any of these symptoms. Do not try to catch them as they may be aggressive and attack you.

Offspring

Did you know? Female raccoons are called a sow, and male raccoons are called boar. A baby raccoon is called a cub or kit. A group of raccoons is called a nursery, gaze, or clan.

Young raccoons are born blind and deaf and are dependent on their mother for the first few months of their lives. After a successful reproduction, a mother raccoon can have anywhere from 1-7 baby raccoons. The average litter size is usually 3-5 kits.

Diet

A raccoon is an omnivore. A raccoon’s diet usually consists of small vertebrates, berries, fruits, invertebrates, bird eggs, and nuts. They are known to eat about 40% of their diet in invertebrates. Their favorite food is crayfish, but they also enjoy eating frogs, lizards, snakes, turtles, fish, eggs, and birds. A balanced combination of this diet will make raccoons healthy animals.

Raccoons have excellent night vision! This lets them forage more food at night time.

Raccoons have been known to raid human garbage cans in search of food. This is why it is important to keep your trashcan sealed tight! In the winter, their diet slightly changes as they eat more fruits and nuts to help them survive the cold weather.

Predator

The main predators of raccoons are humans, coyotes, owls, eagles, and bobcats. Raccoons have been known to fight back when attacked by predators. They usually go for the eyes and face of their attacker.

Out of all the predators in the environment, coyotes and other canines are the biggest threat to raccoon populations.

Habitat

Raccoons are found in North and South America. They prefer to live near freshwater sources like rivers, lakes, and streams in wooded forest areas. They are also known to live in urban areas like cities and suburbs. Raccoons will build their dens in hollow tree forests, burrows, rocky crevices, abandoned buildings, and attics.

Interesting Fact

You may have bumped into the term “raccoon dog.” But did you ever wonder, are they raccoons or dogs? Well, these are dogs! They got the name raccoon dog as they possess a raccoon-like appearance.

Why Should I Hire A Wildlife and Pest Control Company for Infestations?

Hiring a professional wildlife and pest control company is best if you have a raccoon infestation on your property. They will be able to safely and effectively remove the animals from your property.

A wildlife and pest control company will also be able to clean and disinfect the area where the animals live. This will help prevent the spread of diseases and keep your family safe.

Pest control companies can also help with other issues and infestations from mice, chipmunks, weasels, skunks, woodchucks, opossums, squirrels, coyotes, foxes, skunks, or other rodents.

Need Help With Raccoon Infestation? Call Us Today!

Raccoons may be adorable to look at, but they can be a nuisance when they continuously go through your dumpsters. Not just that, but they can also hold risk for diseases.

If you find an unwanted raccoon or two in your home, attic, or yard, give AAAC Wildlife Removal a call. We will be more than happy to help you get rid of these pesky critters!

Conclusion

Raccoons are truly fascinating creatures, with their playful and mischievous nature captivating our attention. It’s intriguing to note that raccoons come in different sizes, influenced by various factors such as their species, habitat, and even individual characteristics.

If you’re curious to learn more about the size variations among raccoons and delve deeper into their behavior and activities, click here: size of a raccoon.

Remember, exploring the diverse aspects of raccoons can provide a deeper appreciation for these adaptable and intelligent creatures.

FAQs

Is a wild raccoon the same as a typical raccoon?

No. The typical raccoon is the common North American raccoon, while the wild ones are the ones living in forests and woods.

What is the average lifespan of a raccoon?

The average lifespan of a raccoon in the wild is 2-3 years, while captive raccoons can age up to 20 years.

Do all raccoons have rabies?

No. While some may be carriers of the disease, not all raccoons have rabies.

I found a baby raccoon. What should I do?

The best thing to do is call your local wildlife rehabilitation center, especially if they’re juvenile raccoons. They will know what to do and care for it better than anyone else.

Can I have raccoons as pets?

Raccoons are a protected species. Some states allow this and some do not. It will help if you check your law if you want to have them as pets.