are raccoons closer to dogs or cats

Only distantly. The raccoon family (Procyonidae) is a separate branch on the Carnivora tree. It’s far closer to the canids than to felids.

Nomenclature edit

The Algonquian word aroughcoune, which means “he who scratches with his hands,” is the source of the English word “raccoon.” Similar to this, Spanish-speaking colonists borrowed the term “mapache” from the Nahuatl word mapachtli, which roughly translates to “that which has hands.”

The word “before the dog” (Greek for “before the genus Procyon”) is also applied to the star Procyon in the constellation Canis Minor.

Although early taxonomists considered the raccoon’s relatively loose evolutionary relationship with bears to be significant, Carl Linnaeus initially classified the raccoon in the genus Ursus. The term “washing bear” is used to refer to the raccoon in many languages, including Waschbär in German, mosómedve in Hungarian, vaskebjørn in Danish and Norwegian, tvättbjörn in Swedish, wasbeer in Dutch, pesukaru in Estonian and pesukarhu in Finnish, araiguma (アライグマ) in Japanese, orsetto lavatore in Italian, huànxióng (浣熊) in Chinese, and mieshta mechka (миеща мечка) in Bulgarian. One exception is Russia, where the name “yenot” (енот) for raccoons is given because they resemble genet furs. Nonetheless, the Russian name for the common raccoon is yenot-poloskun (енот-полоскун), which translates to “rinsing raccoon,” and it also has to do with water.

The term “washing” is sometimes limited to the common raccoon species. For instance, the common raccoon is known in French as raton laveur, which translates to “washing rat,” but its Linnaean binomial is Procyon lotor, which roughly translates to “washing pre-dog.” On the other hand, the French and Latin names for the crab-eating raccoon are “little crab-catching rat” (raton crabier) and “crab-eating pre-dog” (Procyon cancrivorus), respectively.

Etymology The mask of a raccoon is often interrupted by a brown-black streak that extends from forehead to nose.

The common raccoon, North American raccoon, and northern raccoon are some of the names for this species. [8] The names of the animals originate from references to their manual dexterity, or their use of their hands, in a number of native North American languages. [9] The Powhatan word, which originally described an animal that scratches with its hands, was borrowed into English and used in the Virginia Colony. It was listed as aroughcun on John Smith’s list of Powhatan words and as arathkone on William Strachey’s list. [10] It has also been found to be a reflex of the Proto-Algonquian root *ahrah-koon-em, which means [the] person who uses their hands to rub, scrub, and scratch. The word is sometimes spelled as racoon. [12].

The Nahuatl mapachtli of the Aztecs is the source of the Spanish term “mapache,” which refers to a raccoon that “takes everything in its hands.”

Its Latin name literally means before-dog washer. [14] Gottlieb Conrad Christian Storr was the person who named the genus Procyon. [9] The term “dowsing” or “washing” that the animals are known for in other languages comes from their observed habit (see below). [15][16] For example, the French “raton laveur” means “washing rat”.

The colloquial term coon is used to refer to fur clothing (coonskin) and to refer to trappers (old coon), respectively. Because the American Whig Party adopted the raccoon as its emblem in the 1830s, their political rivals derided them as “coons,” believing them to be overly tolerant of African-Americans. Soon after, the phrase turned into an ethnic slur[19], particularly in usage between 1880 and 1920 (see “Coon Song”). To this day, people find the term offensive. [20] Raccoon-hunting dogs are referred to as coonhounds and coon dogs. [21].

Other uses

Many experts advise against keeping raccoons as pets because they are not a domesticated species. However, raccoons are occasionally kept as pets. Raccoons can exhibit unpredictable and aggressive behavior, and training them to follow instructions can be very challenging. In states like Wisconsin and other United States where it is legal to own raccoons as pets, S. states, an exotic pet permit may be required. [357] US President Calvin Coolidge owned Rebecca, a famous pet raccoon. [358].

They have a tendency to behave more erratically than captive skunks, and when given the freedom to roam around, they become even less reliable. Even inexperienced raccoons can easily unscrew jars, uncork bottles, and open door latches due to their intelligence and nimble forelimbs; more experienced animals have even been known to open door knobs. [126] During the mating season, sexually mature raccoons frequently exhibit aggressive natural behaviors like biting. When they are neutered at the age of five or six months, the likelihood of them exhibiting aggressive behavior is reduced. Due to a poor diet and insufficient exercise, raccoons can develop obesity and other disorders. For extended periods, raccoons fed cat food may develop gout. According to study findings on their social behavior, keeping two or more people is now mandated by law in Austria and Germany in order to prevent loneliness. [363][364] Raccoons are typically kept in pens, which can be either indoor or outdoor. This is required by law in Austria and Germany, as opposed to apartments where their innate curiosity could cause property damage. [363][364].

Kits that become orphans may be rehabilitated and released back into the wild. It’s unclear, though, if they adapt well to life in the wild. It may be harmful to the health of unweaned kits to feed them cow’s milk instead of kitten replacement milk or a comparable product.


Are raccoons related to dogs or cats?

Many people assume that raccoons are rodents, but they’re from the procyonid genus. These small mammalian carnivores have powerful jaws and teeth. Distantly related to cats and dogs, they share a common evolutionary ancestor with bears. Endlessly adaptive, raccoons are among the more intelligent mammal species.

What are the closest relatives to raccoons?

Genetic studies have shown that the closest relatives of raccoons are the ring-tailed cats and cacomistles of genus Bassariscus, from which they diverged about 10 million years ago.

How close are cats and raccoons related?

Are cats in any way related to raccoons at all? Very distantly. They are both a part of the same order (Carnivora) but that’s the end of it. Cats are part of the family Felidae, while raccoons are a part of the family Procyonidae.

Do raccoons like cats?

Do Raccoons and Cats Get Along? For the most part, cats and raccoons are indifferent to each other. If they happen to cross paths, there is usually little to no interaction, and then the animals go their separate ways.