Originally Posted by Beckiboo
How do your cats and coons get along? We have some vicious racoons who have recently moved into our barn, and they are fighting with our cats. The cats couldn't even eat, unless dh was in the barn with them!
Well, as you can see in the second photo above, the cats keep an eye on the coons when they are around, but many a time I've seen a situation like that in the photo, with the cat on the porch waiting to get back in and a raccoon there waiting for a human so he could beg for a handout. I've seen many times when a coon would get too close for Purdy's comfort and he would swat at the coon's face. The coon would back off. That worked with the little female that kept showing up and with the young ones, but I'd hate to see what might happen if he did that with a big old male. I have seen a coon chase Red Cat all the way around the house, so he is a bit more timid of them now.
Thankfully, we don't have a problem with rabies in this state. Of course, it could happen, but since it hasn't in the past the risk of them being in close proximity to the cats isn't as big a concern here as in some other parts of the country.
I don't feed my cats outside at all, so there really isn't any competition for food. If there were, I can see that there would be more of a problem, and I really don't know how you'd solve it if you are feeding ferals. Relocation of the coons is often a death sentence except for the older males, as the young ones need their mother for about 8-10 months, I believe. They may look big enough to be on their own, but they just don't have the smarts to find their own food and protect themselves yet. So whether you catch the young or mama, the young will probably die either way. Mama doesn't usually kick the young ones out until about the time she goes into heat again the next spring.