Raccoons

Older baby raccoons often play under their mother’s supervision. Before disturbing them, observe from a distance to see if the mother is indeed watching over them. If the kits are energetic and healthy, leave them alone and monitor them from a distance.

When to rescue

baby raccoonA baby raccoon needs rescuing if:

  • it is following people
  • more than one baby starts falling out of a nest
  • a cat or dog was involved
  • you relocated the mother (tsk tsk)
  • it is showing signs of illness or injury

If you find a single raccoon baby that is smaller than the length of your hand and has closed eyes, is still warm, mom may have dropped it while moving it to a different nest. Try for one night to reunite a baby with mother by following the instructions below.

What to do

Follow the baby mammal temporary care instructions.

What to feed

If eyes are closed, do not give any food or water. Feeding the wrong thing, at the wrong time, using the wrong tools can cause more harm than good. 

If eyes are open, call RVWS for advice. Normally, baby raccoons cannot drink or eat on their own until they are about 2 months old.

If you recently excluded a raccoon from your attic or shed

Raccoons always have back-up nests so given the chance, there’s a 99% chance that mom will move the babies. Immediately put the babies in a small box as close as possible to where you found them. Follow the instructions below to reunite.

Reuniting babies with mother

If you found a single baby raccoon that shows no signs of illness or injury, try for at least one night to reunite the baby with its mother. Put the baby in a box it cannot climb out of (e.g. a recycle bin), and place the box as close as possible to where you found it. It is very important to keep the baby warm as the mother will not retrieve a cold baby. Put the box half-on and half-off a heating pad set to low, so that the animal can move to the non-heated side if it is too warm. Never place an animal directly on a heating pad. You can also fill a soda bottle with hot water, wrap it in a towel and brace it inside the box so that it does not roll on the baby. Replace the hot water frequently as it cools down. Leave the area and monitor every few hours. As long as the baby is warm and not in imminent danger, leave it out during the first night since the mother will usually retrieve it after nightfall.

If mother has not returned, follow the baby mammal temporary care instructions.