Do Raccoons Scream at Night?

sketchy looking raccoon in a storm drain

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures who are notorious for making an awful lot of noise at night when they are trying to get into garbage cans or bird feeders outside of homes. They’re also quite vocal, creating a variety of different sounds and noises when they feel threatened or anxious.

Raccoons are so noisy that people have claimed they can be heard screaming at night, especially during mating season. Does that mean they actually do scream? This article will explore that question and the answer will likely surprise you.

So, Do They Scream?

Raccoons make a lot of different noises, and screaming is just one of them. They can also hiss and growl, for example. The noises they make depend on the circumstances around them and what they’re trying to communicate at that time.

Screaming is a form of communication raccoons use to either intimidate another raccoon or attract a mate. It’s also used to defend their territory from others, so if you see a raccoon scream at night it might be trying to scare off another animal who is encroaching on its space.

Why Do They Scream at Night?

A Raccoon may scream because of excitement, like when they find food, or they scream because of aggression, such as when they’re trying to scare off another raccoon. They also scream during the breeding season, which often happens at night because raccoons are nocturnal.

Why are Raccoons So Noisy?

Raccoons have evolved over time to develop the vocalizations they need to survive. As with any animal, raccoons will make noise when they feel the need to be heard and this is part of how they communicate with others in their tribe or family group.

Mother raccoons can show their affection, males can show dominance, and baby raccoons can communicate satisfaction and happiness with their calls. They make these noises for a variety of reasons, but all of them serve an important purpose for the animals. Survival and reproduction.

Why Are Raccoons Nocturnal?

Raccoons are nocturnal creatures because they learned, over generations, that it is safer to be active at night when there are fewer predators around. They’re also more likely to eat more food at night because there will be fewer competitors and dangers.

Raccoons are not completely nocturnal, however – they tend to be more active at night, but they will sometimes come out during the day too. They would go out during the day if they are hungry, sick, or injured.

So How Can I Tell What The Sounds Mean?

Depending on the context of the situation and how close you are to a raccoon, it can be difficult for people to tell what the raccoons are trying to communicate. If you can’t tell, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume that they are trying to scare or intimidate you.

Raccoons tend not to be aggressive toward humans unless they feel like their young are threatened in some way. In the end, you must take into consideration all of the circumstances that surround your nighttime visitor to figure out why it is screaming at night.

Sounds Raccoons Make

Besides screaming, raccoons make many different sounds to communicate with other members of their species and also when they feel that they are in danger. Some of the most common sounds include:

  • Hissing
  • Growling
  • Whining
  • Chattering
  • Purring
  • Snarling

These are the usual noises that you’ll hear raccoons make, but not every noise means the same thing. The context in which they occur is important to understand what’s going on and why a raccoon might be making that sound. When you hear these sounds at night around your property it can make for an unpleasant sleeping experience! Let’s go over what you might hear and why.


Hissing is a sign of aggression and normally accompanies other signals like an arched back or tail up in the air. If you see your raccoon make these noises it’s likely because they feel cornered, so keep that in mind before trying to approach one!


Raccoons also make this noise as a way to show aggression and they often accompany hissing or an arched back. It can also happen when you try to approach them too closely in the wild, so be careful if they do this! They might just want to be left alone, so it’s best to avoid getting too close.

Raccoons mating also make this sound, so if you hear it and the raccoons aren’t otherwise displaying signs of aggression or distress, they might be trying to reproduce!


This is a sign of submission and normally occurs when the raccoon feels threatened or anxious about something nearby. It can also happen during the mating season if they are trying to attract a female raccoon who has not yet decided on them. If you hear this noise at night then it’s probably a younger raccoon who encountered an older, bigger one or a male who’s trying to attract female raccoons.

Chittering Sounds

This is a unique sound, that raccoons make when they’re socializing with each other. It’s normally accompanied by them playing, wrestling, or chasing one another. It can also happen during the mating season if they’re trying to attract a mate with the sound.


Raccoons make this noise as a sign of pleasure and are often heard when mother raccoons are nursing their young. The young raccoons may also do a faint purring sound if they are happy or content.


This is the most dangerous noise that a raccoon can make and it’s normally accompanied by aggressive noises and body language like hissing, growling, tail up in the air, arched back, etc. This sound is almost always a sign of aggression and normally means that they do not want to be approached or bothered.

Why Do Baby Raccoons Scream?

Baby raccoons screech and scream too and the reason why is usually because they want their mother’s attention. Baby raccoons sound like other baby animals and they’re often heard crying for long periods of time.

They may make sounds and noises because they are hungry, cold, or abandoned by their mother. It’s best to avoid getting too close if you hear the baby raccoon scream at night as their mother might think that you’re hurting them or that they’re in danger.

This sound is normal and you won’t need to worry about it unless it goes on for a long time without any sign of the mother raccoon around.

What Should You Do If You Hear a Raccoon Scream?

It is usually best to leave the raccoon alone if you hear it screaming at night. The best thing to do is make sure that your property is secure and no food or trash is left out where they might get into them since this will encourage them onto your property for an easy meal.

These screams don’t usually last long, but if they do then you might want to contact a local wildlife professional to see what they think is going on. If there are baby raccoons nearby who have been abandoned by their mother then they will know what to do and can help you find a rehabilitation center for them.

How Do You Stop A Raccoon From Screaming?

The raccoons will usually stop after a while, but if it’s a prolonged noise and it is preventing you from getting any sleep then you can try to scare them off. This is best done from afar – don’t get too close as the raccoon might feel cornered and attacked.

Raccoons let out a scream because they feel threatened or frightened in some way and it’s best to avoid getting too close since that will only increase their distress and the risk of attack. If a raccoon is screaming at night then it could mean that

Throw small rocks, shake a soda can filled with coins, or open an umbrella to try and scare them away from your property.

How Does Rabid Raccoons Sound Like?

Rabid raccoons will create a lot of strange sounds when they are in pain or when they are disoriented. They might scream, chatter their teeth together, make a clicking noise with their tongue, roar like a dog, hiss loudly, and much more.

Who Do I Call to Remove Raccoons In My Property?

If you have raccoons causing problems on your property then you’ll want to call a wildlife removal professional. While we aren’t a raccoon exterminator, we do know how to safely and humanely control your raccoon problem. You’ll want qualified and experienced professionals that can remove the raccoons humanely and safely.

They will know how to handle the situation, whether it is trapping or relocating the raccoons away from your home or yard. Wildlife removal professionals will also be able to use exclusion techniques to make sure that raccoons or other wild animals can’t get back in.

AAAC Wildlife Removal is a trusted name in the wildlife removal industry. We are humane, professional, and experienced in ensuring that your property is safe from any kind of animal invasions – whether it’s raccoons screaming at night or squirrels chewing through your attic, we can help!

We have the tools and expertise to handle any kind of wildlife removal situation. Contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule an appointment!


As raccoons are nocturnal and active at night, it’s very common to hear them screaming and making noises especially if you live in a place where they are common.

The noises they make vary depending on the situation, they may be screaming to attract a mate, to show aggression towards another raccoon, or they might be socializing.

Screaming is normal behavior for raccoons, so unless the noise is prolonged and accompanied by aggression it’s best to leave them alone.

Originally published on

We proudly serve Austin and Central Texas

Counties: Travis, Williamson, Bell, Burnet, Coryell, Falls, Lampasas, Milam, McLennan, Hays

Our Customers Love Us
I highly recommend these guys. I went through 2 other companies that claimed they could get rid of t...
Steve Gonzalez
We had a skunk under or storage shed/workshop in the backyard. Called and they came right now. Nic...
Linda V.
The Friendliest and hardest working guy's you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting. He gets the job ...
Leo Mireles
I had 4 baby raccoons removed from the wall of my house today. Nick Hahn did a wonderful job and re...
Karen R.

Call or Text Anytime

Click For A Quote

© AAAC Wildlife Removal 2024