Why Do Raccoons Fight Each Other?

raccoon displaying dominance

All animals fight when they feel threatened. This is especially true for raccoons, which are solitary animals that live mostly alone and only come together when it’s time to mate or take care of their young.

Most people have never seen raccoons fight each other but it does happen. Raccoons can be very territorial animals and they will fight to protect their home turf. This is one of the main reasons why raccoons can get aggressive with their own kind. But besides territory, raccoons will also fight each other for many different reasons. Let’s take a look at a few of these reasons.

Why Raccoons Fight?

Raccoons will avoid fighting when they can. They are mostly solitary animals that live by themselves. However, there will be times when they end up in the same territory as another raccoon and this can lead to a fight. Here are some reasons why raccoons can get aggressive and fight with each other:

Potential mate

Raccoons are most active during the mating season. They will usually roam further from their home to find a partner, which can lead them into the territory of other raccoons. This means that fights are more likely during this time of year between male raccoons.

When males are looking for a partner and encounter another male, it’s a battle to the death. Males will fight each other until one of them backs down and runs away or dies from injuries.

Younger raccoons don’t typically fight with older, more experienced (usually bigger) raccoons. They will back down and avoid fighting. Sometimes though, younger raccoons will challenge older males and this can result in raccoon fights.


When food is scarce it can be very difficult for a raccoon to find something to eat without competition from another animal. Raccoons are extremely opportunistic animals that steal food if they get the chance. They don’t usually like to fight but when food is scarce then they might try to steal it from each other which usually leads to a violent altercation.

When a raccoon is competing for food with another animal, things can get violent pretty quickly. The stronger and more aggressive of the two will win the fight over who gets to eat that tasty morsel or rare treat!

Dens and Nesting Sites

Raccoons will fight over dens as well. Some raccoons may try to evict a younger or weaker male from a den so that they can take over the den for themselves. Raccoons can be very territorial when it comes to dens. The owner of the den will usually fight back and this can often lead to a violent encounter.

They will fight with each other to protect their home from an invader, especially a male that’s trying to take over. It can lead to one or both of the animals being injured and having serious wounds from these fights.

Raccoons that are defending their den will usually fight until the invader leaves. If they’re fighting over a nesting site then one of them will usually leave or one raccoon might kill another for trying to take over their home.


Raccoons can be very competitive and they love to show who’s in charge. They have a strict social hierarchy that determines where each animal stands. Older raccoons have more authority and standing among other raccoons in the area. They will fight with each other to establish dominance over a younger or weaker animal.

This is how raccoons establish a pecking order. The more dominant raccoon will win the fight and establish their role in the social hierarchy. They may even kill another male for challenging them.

To Protect Young

Mother raccoons fight to protect their young. Male raccoons often commit infanticide when they encounter a mother raccoon with young. They will attack and kill them to bring the female back into heat so that she can mate again.

Killing another male’s young is quite common in the animal kingdom. It’s a way for them to establish dominance by killing their competition’s young. In addition, it will also bring the female back to their full reproduction capacity so that they can start mating again.


Rabies can be a serious issue for raccoons. They are more aggressive when they’re infected with rabies because it affects their brain function which influences behavior. Rabid raccoons will attack their own kind as well as other animals.

When a raccoon is infected with rabies, they become very aggressive and may attack without any reason at all. Rabies is a serious illness that affects the brain function of an infected animal. It can cause them to become extremely hostile toward other animals, including members of their species because they may not recognize them as familiar or safe anymore.

How Do Raccoons Fight?

Raccoons have very sharp claws and teeth that they can use to fight. They will usually try to scratch and bite each other. They will also try to push each other over so they can bite the soft and vulnerable parts of their body, such as the neck or belly.

Warning noises are usually made to scare away the opponent. They will hiss or growl very loudly to try to intimidate each other away. But if the fight continues then they will usually get more aggressive and start biting and scratching. Raccoon bites can be very dangerous because of their sharp and pointed teeth.

They would make themselves seem larger by making their fur stick up. They will arch their back and puff out their tail to make themselves seem larger and more intimidating.

What Kind of Noises do Raccoons Make When Fighting?

Raccoons will make a variety of different noises when they are fighting. They can growl, hiss, or bark very loudly in order to intimidate their opponent. They may also emit a variety of high-pitched noises, such as shrieks or screams. These sounds can make themselves seem more menacing and scary.

When Do Raccoons Fight?

Raccoons are most likely to fight during the mating season. Raccoons tend to avoid fights but if the chance to mate is on the line then they may fight fiercely. Mating season is the one time where male raccoons can get very aggressive and engage in brutal fights with other males to protect their right to mate and reproduce.

Do Raccoons Fight In Trees?

Raccoons avoid fights when they can but they will fight if they need to. They are usually very good climbers and often they will find competition up a tree. Raccoons can easily climb trees in order to escape a fight or evade their opponent. Sometimes raccoons may also use the height of the tree as an advantage, as they can use it to gain momentum and jump on top of their opponent.

What to Do With Raccoons Fighting and Creating a Ruckus in Your Yard

Raccoons usually get involved in fights in the evening while they are looking for food. They can be quite loud and aggressive so if you hear a commotion in your yard it may indicate that there is a raccoon fight going on nearby.

The problem is the amount of noise they can make which can be quite loud and startling especially if it’s in the middle of the night and you are trying to sleep. It’s not advisable to get too close in the fight as you may get bitten or scratched by the raccoons and rabies is always a risk with raccoons.

It’s best to wait for them to finish so you can go back about your evening, but, If the fight is quite severe and the noise they are making is really making it hard for you to sleep then you can try to throw things at them and make noise in order to scare them away and break up their fight.

It’s important to try and prevent raccoons from fighting in the first place by making sure that you keep your trash cans well secured and pet food inside the house, as these are usually what they fight over. The best thing would be to take it inside and not put it out until just before trash day so there isn’t a chance for them to get into any altercations over it.

Who Do I Call If I Have Raccoons In My Yard?

If you have raccoons in your yard and the fights are getting frequent and causing a lot of noise disturbances then it may be best to contact a local wildlife control company. Wildlife experts like AAAC Wildlife Removal will have the necessary equipment and expertise to sweep your yard for raccoons and get rid of them safely from your property.

Never try to be your own raccoon trapper, as they are wild animals and can be quite aggressive if cornered. If you have raccoons in your yard it’s best to call a professional team who will know how to get rid of them humanely and efficiently.

In Conclusion

Raccoons are generally peaceful animals that avoid fighting with each other. However, they can be very aggressive when food is scarce or if the chance to mate arises. Raccoons will fight fiercely for what they want and won’t stop until one of them backs down.

All in all, raccoons are not generally known for their fighting skills but they will fight each other on occasion. Raccoons can be very dangerous when fighting as they have sharp claws and teeth that are capable of inflicting severe injuries. So when raccoons fight each other, it’s best to stay out of their way and let them settle the dispute themselves.

Originally published on https://aaacwildliferemoval.com/blog/raccoons/why-do-raccoons-fight-each-other

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