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Q: What do raccoons like better than kibble?

January 13, 2010 | By Amber | 7 answers | Expired: 1675 days ago

Amber

this isn't really a question of what raccoons *will* eat. i know they'll eat just about anything. my question is regarding preference.

our neighborhood kitty feeding station in our back yard also attracts raccoons. i don't mind the raccoons coming around, and i don't mind them eating the kibble. the problem is that they make a huge mess of the water bowl, mucking the water up very quickly, making it very hard to keep a reasonably clean water bowl.

so i started thinking that maybe if i could come up with something that the raccoons would like *better* than the kibble but that the cats wouldn't eat, i could put it elsewhere in the yard to hopefully keep them from messing up the water bowl.

has anyone had to troubleshoot a similar problem? obviously the raccoons don't mind the kibble, but what do they really, *really* like? what would they find so tasty that they'd forget all about the kibble? i know that in a more "natural" environment they'll also eat fruits, veggies, and nuts. if given the options...if they had to choose between kibble and fruit, nuts, etc., would they generally prefer these things over kibble? and if so, what types of fruits, nuts, etc seem to be their preference?

**thanks for the suggestions...i may try only putting food out only during the day, though i did this before and had a different problem. when i would put out food in the mornings, i would rarely see raccoons, true, but frequently possums would come eat the kibble. and while the possums didn't make such a mess of the water bowl, they ate a lot and could get pretty mean with the cats. the cats and raccoons seem to get along fine. i'll occasionally see both species eating from the same bowl at the same time. but the possums are mean and greedy! anyway, it may be pure coincidence, but i haven't seen a single possum since i started leaving food out round-the-clock. it may be that they're coming and i'm not seeing them, but in any case, there's definitely less competition for food with it being constantly available rather than on a "first-come-first-served until it runs out" basis.
**diane, funny you should mention grapes. we have a grape arbor in the back yard with muscadine grapes. we just moved in here last August, and it was in pretty bad shape at the time, so it should be interesting to see what the raccoons do with that when it starts fruiting again!

Readers' Answers (7)
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L M.
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Jan 22, 2010

I think they like our peaches, and I know they like marshmallows. Stunning creatures....

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Kelly
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Jan 22, 2010

Raccoons are true omnivores...they will eat just about anything. In the wild, their favorite foods are nuts, berries, corn, fish, & eggs. They also like sweet things like honey. That's strange about the possums. Our possums come up & eat with the ferals all the time, even taking turns at the food bowl. Possums are generally docile & only react if they feel threatened. Even then, its mostly for show. They show their teeth & hiss, but that's because they're scared. If you're leaving food out all night, I can almost guarantee you've still got possums. They'e nocturnal & will come up & feed at any available food source from sundown to sunup. You probably haven't seen them because they're coming while you're sleeping. Putting food out later in the morning should deter both the possums & raccoons if you're tired of feeding them. They're both nocturnal species but can be active during the day especially when its cloudy & in the spring when mothers have to spend more time foraging. Hunger can also drive them out during the day if they've been denned up for days due to weather.

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Michele Z.
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Jan 17, 2010

I'd suggest you buy a 50# bag of whole kernel (dried) corn or even cracked corn (but it is messier/dustier). The corn is rather inexpensive . I used to get it for as little as $5.00 at Agway, but the price has gone up to maybe $8.00 or so at Tractor Supply). Dogs/cats wouldn't like it, either.

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Diane H.
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Jan 16, 2010

I know they like sunflower seeds because I see them in the bird feeders at night. Since they like to wash alot of their food, they always make a mess in the birdbath. Its funny you should ask this because I leave food out alot, lots of leftovers, and in the morning its kind of funny to see whats left over -what they haven't touched, esp. certain vegetables. I know they like grapes - but thats way too expensive. They've never wasted any of my leftover fish that I put out. But usually I just put out some cheap cat food or dog food.

I have to admit, I do enjoy them and I don't care what anyone says about that. lol.

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Peggy W.
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Jan 14, 2010

Raccoons eat just about anything and everything. They are mostly nocturnal animals. I would suggest that if you are attracting raccoons and don't to then just don't leave food around during the overnight hours. Also--I had this same issue. I ended up having to place my garbage can in the garage. That way the raccoon wasn't being enticed by my healthy choice tv trays. LOL. Hope this helps. :)

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Tricia L.
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Jan 14, 2010

great idea kavy keeper!!!!!!

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Kavykeeper
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Jan 14, 2010

Try leaving food out only during the day and removing it in the evening. Raccoons tend to come out at night. Once they realize they don't have a free meal anymore, they might not stick around.

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