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Keep racoons away from feral's food

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Hey, everybody. I've been feeding feral cat (a neutered male) regularly for the past month and am looking for some advice on keep raccoons away from his food. The kitty in question, Frank, only comes around at dusk and in the early morning. So, I've been putting his dry food out about an hour before dark, pulling it when I go to bed, then putting it out again for a couple of hours early in the morning. I had been leaving it out all night, but the raccoons starting coming around, so gave that up. Now, I've got one coming around before dark and he's eaten all of Frank's food a couple of nights this week. I've tried leaving the food out during the day, but it goes untouched. I've also tried putting the food up on a table. Frank gets it, but so does the raccoon.

Guess I need to come up with some kind of feeding station that's raccoon proof. Is there such a thing? I'm pretty limited what I do because I live in a two-family apartment and my downstairs neighbor only agreed to me putting out food for Frank if it's right outside my front door. I don't really have a porch, just a few steps and a small stoop. Any ideas would be appreciated.
post #2 of 35
I really don't have good advice. If Frank doesn't run away when you feed him, sit out with him while he eats to discourage the racoons. They are very agile and can get anywhere that a cat can get too unfortunately.
post #3 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I really don't have good advice. If Frank doesn't run away when you feed him, sit out with him while he eats to discourage the racoons. They are very agile and can get anywhere that a cat can get too unfortunately.
Thanks. Unfortunately, Frank doesn't stick around when I put the food out.

That's what I figured about the raccoon. If he can tip our garbage cans overly, certainly he get jump up on a table.
post #4 of 35
When I lived way out in the country, the racoons were more interested in my compost pile than the cat food bowls. It was a good alternative food source that unfortunately I don't think you could pull off in the city. And like you, we started feeding them only during daylight (dawn and dusk) because we had problems with possums.

I'll wish you luck!
post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
When I lived way out in the country, the racoons were more interested in my compost pile than the cat food bowls. It was a good alternative food source that unfortunately I don't think you could pull off in the city. And like you, we started feeding them only during daylight (dawn and dusk) because we had problems with possums.

I'll wish you luck!
You're right. Couldn't pull the compost pile off here. I don't even want to think about possums, though I know we have those around too.

Thanks!
post #6 of 35
I am totally with you Eileen!!!

I had to combat with raccoons for my ferals.
http://www.thewildones.net/raccoons.htm
This website tells you very interesting things. If you put food high enough, raccoons can't reach.



I keep food inside this cat house but raccoon was going in there.
So, I made inside of entry area like a little maze.
I guess cats can manage tight corner but raccoon can't.
So far it's preventing him from going in there.
post #7 of 35
Before we brought Pru in, we went on vacation for three weeks. We put a big self feeder on the front porch and bungee corded it to the railing. A friend was going to fill it up as needed while we were away. The biggest raccoon we had every seen was eating from it the first night, so we decided Pru had survived this long without us and could make it another three weeks. We didn't want any wildlife up on the porch.

Our neighbors were feeding stray cats and found out skunks love cat food too along with possum and raccoons. We have deer eating from the bird feeder, so nothing surprises me now.
post #8 of 35
I have the same problem you do been trying different things alot of the time I am watching with a camera out there and can chase the racoons off, Id like to see your design on that maze , I rasied the door on the shed higher the cat can jump in and if the racoon jumps he can reach the ledge and climb in to I also raised the feeding station, he got on that, racoons have their own feeding station with plenty to eat, and I know they can jump I have watched them do it and fit through very small spaces to which suprised me, If I could just get the ferals to come in during the day or stay in the shed Id have it made. I hung some chimes on the ledge of the window the cat goes in, havent seen him try to climb in yet but if there is no food he might, I wonder if maybe after the kittie eats, maybe I can set up the trap and maybe if it gets tired of being traped will he move on, the bad thing is evey time I chance something then Oreo gets nervous and spooked, I been leavig the wet food in the shed for him more often he will go in there for the good stuff but he dont stay in there to long if at all , and thats their house, that shed if for them, I have only seen this one comming in the rest I havent seen at all. Last night I tried using a light in the feeding station and it didnt bother the racoon, at first it spooked the cat but then he realized it was just a light and came in and ate and Oreo is trap savy so havent caught him or her yet, I will keep trying different things to see that maybe a happy solution for both wildlife and kitties can be reached , I thought maybe they would get tired of me comming out there , maybe I will stuff a pair of my coveralls and putting in the station see if that works




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazy View Post
I am totally with you Eileen!!!

I had to combat with raccoons for my ferals.
http://www.thewildones.net/raccoons.htm
This website tells you very interesting things. If you put food high enough, raccoons can't reach.



I keep food inside this cat house but raccoon was going in there.
So, I made inside of entry area like a little maze.
I guess cats can manage tight corner but raccoon can't.
So far it's preventing him from going in there.
post #9 of 35
I only feed during daylight. At night I put the food up in the BBQ grill with the lid secured tightly with a bungee cord(raccoon can get in the grill if the the lid isn't bungeed tightly shut.)

The only thing I can suggest is to keep trying to feed him during the day. He should get used to only being fed during the day. The few times I haven't I've had to go yell at the raccoon 'GET OUT OF HERE!!" than retrieve and put up the food bowl. They aren't afraid if you just come out(they are used to humans enough that the simple presence of one doesn't scare them) but the yelling gets them to go away. The cats could care less about the raccoon and the raccoon could care less about the cats, they all just ignore each other.

I'm more worried since if the funding comes through the city is going to tear down 2 houses in May where I know at least a few of the raccoon live inside of. Hopefully they decide to live in the woods nearby. I fear what else might come out of the damn houses. Mitzi and I are going to see what might flee when they tear them down and deal with it from there. I'm ore worried about the houses staying up than coming down, they are a major eyesore a huge fire risk if they were to catch fire Mitzi's house is gone and Paul's trailer would prolly at the very least be damaged if not destroyed. Not to mention that the houses scare the sh*t out of me because I don't know if they contain people who shouldn't be here and that aren't quite in the right frame of mind due to illegal substances or they are just plain loony toons crazy(I'm bi-polar so I can use the word crazy and loony toons if I want to.) They are a dangerous eyesore and they need to go, if the funding doesn't come through I might sic the news station here on them.

I would like the raccoons gone Paul has had to shoot and kill 2, one for being out in broad daylight, standing right by Paul and trying to go after Paul's dog so it was sick. Another had got into Mitzi's woodpile, couldn't move and Mitzi couldn't get to her car because it required her to pass the raccoon, she actually called her boss and told him she'd be late due to it. It too was sick, it kinda of hissed when Paul used a board to get it out of the woodpile to end it's suffering but it was nowhere near a normal raccoon response. The ones that are normal nocturnal, seemingly healthy ones we deal with since they have lived here long before we have and I wouldn't appreciate being shot for going after the easiest food source there is. I can't blame them, if I was a raccoon I'd go for pet food too, it's an easy meal. I just take up the bowl so that the easy meal isn't there. Our raccoons are big(we have 2 that are easily 30+ lbs) enough so they eat more than enough normal raccoon fare that they don't need cat food to supplement their already abundant diet.

They also like to grab the bowl and run if we come out. One got it as far as the driveway before me driving up in my car scared it off.

Really the only thing I can suggest is to trey and see if you can get him used to eating in the daytime so that the temptation isn't there for the raccoons. Like I said you can't blame them, they see it as an easy meal and it is. They are acting as a normal animal would. We have stranger cats come up all the time to eat the food we put out for our guys. I even had the farmer's dog come and eat all my cat food. I was feeding them Natural Balance at the time so I was a little peeved until I found out it was just Daisy(I though it was bitch's dog who she wasn't feeding, I have never been so glad to hear that someone's house was foreclosed on in my life, I'm glad she's out of the neighborhood, her and her kids who did something horrid to my cats), Daisy is cute and sweet and doesn't care about the cats. IOW- she doesn't chase them, she ignores them and they ignore her.

Taryn
post #10 of 35
I understand you've invested a lot in your feeding station, but you either need a new one, or you have to pick up the food at night.

Here is a raccoon-proof feeding station:

http://www.thewildones.net/raccoons.htm



Anything elevated deters skunks - the skirt is what prevents the raccoons from accessing this station.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
I agree an elevated feeding station is your best bet. That's not an option for me, due to space and my neighbor's protests, so I limit feeding to during the daylight hours - a couple of hours in the morning and in the evening. Frank, the kitty I was initially so concerned about feeding has been socialized and adopted since I started this thread, but the limited feeding times worked well for him and succeeded in keeping away the raccoons and other critters most of the time. Frank adapted to the feeding schedule pretty well as does the other fixed feral I still feed.
post #12 of 35
We like using fixed hours to feed because we get new feral visitors, and having the set times for feeding not only deters the wildlife, it makes it easier to trap.
post #13 of 35
Just finished cleaning up my birdseed, which is in a small metal trashcan with a locking handle, that had a brick on top and bungy cords wrapped around it.

The raccoon chewed through the bungy cords, pushed the brick off the top and somehow figured out how to unlock the handle.

I am just happy it stopped raining before he did it. Otherwise, I would have had a can full of mush!

Had to bring what was left inside until I can figure out another way to secure it.

I'd vote for daytime feeding.
post #14 of 35
One of the most common myths regarding wildlife is that a raccoon active during the daylight hours has rabies. That is just not true. I constantly receive phone calls from people who have spotted a raccoon active during the daytime, and they assume it must be rabid, and they call me to report this information and perhaps request that I come and remove the dangerous animal.

Raccoons are primarily nocturnal animals, but the truth is that they do frequently forage during the daylight hours as well. In particular, raccoons that haven't found enough to eat, or females who have young to feed will need extra time to search for food, and thus they may be found moving about while the sun is up. If the animal is moving in a normal manner (as opposed to walking in circles while falling down) it's likely healthy.

It is true that a rabid animal may be active during the day, but that's just one of many symptoms of a rabid raccoon, including paralysis of limbs, drooling, whining, shaking, and other zany behaviors. Rabies in raccoons is simply not present at this time here in central Florida - yet I get calls all the time about suspicious, suspected rabid raccoons. These reports are incorrect.

In fact, I have a lousy neighbor who never talks to anyone. He only talked to me one time. I came home from a day of wildlife control work, and he came storming over. I guess he could tell from my truck that I do wildlife control work. He barked at me, "Hey buddy! I seen a raccoon out during da day today! Dat thing has rabies!" I carefully explained to him that many healthy raccoons are active during the day, and that this is normal. "No it aint, pal! My grandfather taught me that if a raccoon is out during the day it has rabies. It aint right!" and he stormed off. Nice neighbor.

People are very scared of rabies. Animal control offices across the US have done a great job of containing this dreadful disease in North America. It is now extremely rare here. Alas, people get swept away when it comes to rabies, and below is an email exchange from a lady who lost her dog because of a likely ignorant animal control official. Remember, rabies is a debilitating disease, and any raccoon in the contagious stage will be nearly incapacitated and very sick. If it looks healthy, it almost surely is
post #15 of 35
well I have tried all kinds of things so far and not giving up, the latest was last night, I put a platter full of leftovers and black oild sunflower seeds out, the racoon filled up on that and left the cat food for the cats, I have an arbor full of seeds they should be going to so maybe I can keep them going to that section, I guess as a last resort I could try to trap him and let him out in that section, its just that one that does it , most of the others will go right to the section they are supposed to go in take a look, this seems to be somewhat of a solution http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/
post #16 of 35
I never said it had rabies I said it was sick, it could have had distemper which is more common in raccoons than rabies anyhow but who knows. It was standing right next to a human in broad daylight(Paul could have literally reached down and touched it), so even if it wasn't sick(and it was it wasn't acting right and raccoons aren't supposed to walk sideways in a drunken manner) it was too comfortable with humans. It's besides the point anyways, it went for Paul's dog so it wouldn't have changed the outcome.

I don't care about them as long as they leave me and my cats alone. If they are obviously sick or injured then we put them out of their misery otherwise we live our lives and they live theirs.

Taryn
post #17 of 35
people tend to say a native wild animal attacked their dog when clearly they and their dog cornered the poor animal forcing it to defend itself because it was scared for its life !

or the animal had a nest of babys near by and was protecting them

barking loud hyper dogs are almost always the ones that start fights with other animals (including cats)

i am sorry but even a sick raccoon unless it had rabies (which it didnt) would NOT just walk up to a dog and pick a fight! Wild animals dont go picking fights just because they are sick there is always a reason for it.

the sideways drunken manner is common for a coon that is giving a threat display because its scared and trying to tell whatever to back off or its ready to fight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJNwL...layer_embedded

as u can see from a video its a bluff kinda like a cat puffing up and hissing at a dog
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
We like using fixed hours to feed because we get new feral visitors, and having the set times for feeding not only deters the wildlife, it makes it easier to trap.
What hours do you use to encourage ferals and keep the local wildlife foraging for their food ? Or this is only a trap situation and not left out at a feeding station unattended ?

One thing I have tried is placing the bowl on a one-legged plant stand attached to an iron support beam that raccoons can neither get their hands around or jump (as they carry all their fat in their rear end), but the really daring ones do end up climbing the rod. It also isn't balanced or sturdy enough freestanding. Plus, there are cats that can't reach the bowl either, for physical reasons. The freestanding "skirted" tube of aluminum hung over a stake would be a similar concept.

The only times dry food is left out overnight are in winter or bad weather (when the cats are in a nearby shelter). Otherwise it is in between nine and midnight and out before dawn only with at least one of the 3 kitties having been spotted and me up and watching from a patio door.
post #19 of 35
We generally put food out around 8:00am and pick it up at sunset. When we're trapping, we put it down for two hours in the morning and two hours before dusk.
post #20 of 35
We nicknamed our pesky raccoon "Scout." He used to run up the nearest tree and peek around the trunk when we came out on the carport. Now, he boldly eats the cat food in front of us. Unfortunately, because he has lost his fear of humans, he will have to be trapped and relocated out in the country.
Because raccoons are bright, intelligent little scavengers, I suggest you consider calling Animal Control or a private agency to relocate your raccoon. If anyone has found a feeder that they can not break, I look forward to hearing about it.
post #21 of 35
How is it that your raccoons don't attack your cats?

I live in Southern California in a very densely populated area and yet we have raccoons that have killed two of my cats and would have killed a third except that I managed to grab the cat before the raccoon did. The fact that it was only 9:00 p.m. and people were walking in the street and I yelled and screamed and chased and hosed it down with water did not deter it. It just kept coming back after my cat. Fortunately my cat ran to me, thank god.

Now my cat only goes outside after the sun has been up for awhile and if I am home. The cat constantly begs to go outside or I would simply keep her in all of the time. Now you are saying that those critters come out in the day??
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellsworth View Post
How is it that your raccoons don't attack your cats?

I live in Southern California in a very densely populated area and yet we have raccoons that have killed two of my cats and would have killed a third except that I managed to grab the cat before the raccoon did. The fact that it was only 9:00 p.m. and people were walking in the street and I yelled and screamed and chased and hosed it down with water did not deter it. It just kept coming back after my cat. Fortunately my cat ran to me, thank god.

Now my cat only goes outside after the sun has been up for awhile and if I am home. The cat constantly begs to go outside or I would simply keep her in all of the time. Now you are saying that those critters come out in the day??
Awwwww ! You must have been devastated. Horrible! Raccoons are thugs. Not the raccoon’s fault, though, just animal instinct on their part. It's the the owners that need to be more responsible and ALWAYS bring small animals in at night. I worry about the ferals in my area, but they all seem to co-habitate very well so far.
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
We generally put food out around 8:00am and pick it up at sunset. When we're trapping, we put it down for two hours in the morning and two hours before dusk.
That sounds like a good arrangement. Now someone needs to invent a raccoon proof trap.

There was a new kitty that had the markings of a known feral family (...could it be already 3-4 mos this early in the spring ???) out by the feeder around sunset this morning who I'd love to try and TNR without making the already fixed regulars extremely hungry. Get ready for a riot on the porch !
post #24 of 35
Good luck!

We only trapped raccoons and skunks when we trapped after dark. Gary trapped a possum he couldn't figure out how the darn thing squeezed himself into the trap once.

...and I guess it's because we live in a rural area that the raccoons aren't a problem for the cats? Never seen an aggressive one - and if it were not scared away by us (in this area), we'd assume it had rabies. Of course, that's much more of a problem in the raccoon population out east than out west. ...But maybe it's because we try to make sure we're not attracting the cats when coons would be out? Our pet kitties are indoor-only.
post #25 of 35
if ur cat is found dead eaten or goes missing its a coyote not a coon where coons live coyotes will probably live also and they are the number one cat killers out there and here in ca they are all over

coons and cats usually get along sometimes one will go after the other if they are hungry or feel threatend in a fight a coon is obv much stronger and would win any serious fight
post #26 of 35
what I been doing the past couple of weeks , I do have a camera set up so I can see what is getting into the station, I put it up higher but other animals can still get it but I let the bird food and seeds get real low, also put food out all day then some wet in the evening, Oreo will come in and eat then I take in all the food after I watch him eat, suprisingly enough he came back in about an hour or so looking for more so when I seen him I went out and I was amazed he stopped, and didnt run, I gave him some wet food in a bowl he is used to seeing and slowly put it as close to him as he felt comfortable then I sat in my chair and just talked to him while he ate and then he left, but since doing that taking the food in I havent seen any racoons or other wild animals they may have moved on , so I guess if there is no food out for the wild animals they will move on, and as for Oreo few times he came in real late and found empty bowls so he started comming in earlyer so he would get his share , so he is figuring out he has to come in early
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by chausiefan View Post
people tend to say a native wild animal attacked their dog when clearly they and their dog cornered the poor animal forcing it to defend itself because it was scared for its life !
It had a very very clear escape route, the way it came in. Molly did kind of growl. It was not cornered, Molly was not near it and all Molly did was growl at it and it was ready for a fight. It doesn't matter who started it in order to protect my animal I will kill another especially a wild animal who might be carrying god knows what.

Like I said it shouldn't have been comfortable sitting next to Paul. That is a problem, if Paul had thought it was a cat and reached down to pet it without looking to see what it was(and we do just reach down and pet the cats without looking at them) he could have been seriously hurt.

Molly was not looking for trouble, she was not going after it, it certainly was NOT cornered. She growled at something that was next to her human that was in her territory. If it hadn't of been so comfortable next to a human it wouldn't have been harmed. Even if it wasn't sick it was way too comfortable with humans and that is dangerous, my kid plays here and while he knows not to touch a wild animal, kids don't always listen and at 7 1/2 he's old enough to play outside by himself. There are also other kids in the neighborhood, so it was a danger to them and others as well.

It was humane, a shot right at the base of the skull, it kills them instantly. It's not like he shot the raccoon multiple time or it felt any pain, it was dead before it felt anything.

Taryn
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellsworth View Post
How is it that your raccoons don't attack your cats?

I live in Southern California in a very densely populated area and yet we have raccoons that have killed two of my cats and would have killed a third except that I managed to grab the cat before the raccoon did. The fact that it was only 9:00 p.m. and people were walking in the street and I yelled and screamed and chased and hosed it down with water did not deter it. It just kept coming back after my cat. Fortunately my cat ran to me, thank god.
The raccoons and my cats live together perfectly happy. The raccoon comes and eat their food and they just lay there and watch him. They ignore each other.

I'm not about shooting raccoons, we have at least 2 or 3 that come by if we forget to put up the food bowl and like I said I don't blame them for it, heck if I could get a quick easy meal I would too. They don't bother the cats and the cats don't bother them.

Taryn
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taryn View Post
The raccoons and my cats live together perfectly happy. The raccoon comes and eat their food and they just lay there and watch him. They ignore each other.

I'm not about shooting raccoons, we have at least 2 or 3 that come by if we forget to put up the food bowl and like I said I don't blame them for it, heck if I could get a quick easy meal I would too. They don't bother the cats and the cats don't bother them.

Taryn
Heck, mine are territorial enough to appear every night for the water alone. Although you might want to try foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, chicken, turkey or fish that aren't setting the "poor things" up for obesity-induced heart failure, liver disease, joint/hip lameness and arthritis, etc....
post #30 of 35
I have seen up to 2 together and I think they were mates. They were the HUGE ones, they are a good 30+ lbs each(they have always been huge, they eat well in their natural environment, cat food has nothing to do with their size.) Other than that they are alone. We have a smaller one. Even though that might have been the one he had to shoot at Mitzi's when it was found in her woodpile alive but unable to move. I think it might have had a run in with a car and manged to get to the woodpile or whatever I think it was injured and not sick. Either way it was totally paralyzed and only just kind of tried to growl when Paul used a piece of wood to get it out of the woodpile so he could end it's suffering. A normal raccoon would have ripped your arm off and beat you with it for even getting that close to it much less not reacting until you used a piece of wood to gently lift it and even then it only kind of growled.

They only get the cat food if I forget to take up the bowl at night. I'm not encouraging them to come around. They are already comfortable enough around humans that I have to yell at them(most of the time I yell "get out of here!!") to get them to leave if they are here. Any more comfortable and they become a danger. Mickey and Mitzi are afraid of them, Mickey because she's in her 80's and Mitzi worries about her dogs, she knows Dylan would go after a raccoon and she doesn't want him ripped to shreds.

Taryn
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