How Long Raccoons Live in Captivity? 10 or 20 years

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Cute and clever? Whatever your perception of these curious critters, if you’re planning to keep raccoons as pets, you should know how long they live in captivity. You should also know that how long raccoons live in captivity?

Raccoons in the wild are exposed to many predators, diseases, and parasites, which shorten their lives. However, they are protected from much of this in captivity and live longer. The average lifespan of a raccoon in captivity is between 10 and 20 years but can be as long as 30 years old. That is a very long time, especially for a small mammal.

This article will give you insight into whether it is a good idea to put raccoons in captivity or how long raccoons live in captivity, and much more!

How Long Raccoons Live in Captivity
How Long Raccoons Live in Captivity

Can Raccoon Be Kept In Captivity?

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Raccoons are considered to be incredibly smart creatures. Another well-known fact about raccoons is that they can live well in the wild, as well as they can also live in captivity.

The lifespan of raccoons in captivity depends on a number of factors like age, nutrition, and general health of the raccoon. But then there is also the risk of diseases and injuries, which can reduce the overall lifespan.

But you can help your cute little critters to live a longer and healthier life in captivity by providing them with proper care and diet.

How Long a Raccoons Live in Captivity as Compared to Wild Raccoons?

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I’m sure it’s not easy to answer the question of how long a raccoon lives in captivity because the lifespan of raccoons can be very diverse.

This is determined by many factors, including the species and the origin of the animals.

For example, a raccoon living in captivity in the zoo can live for several dozen years and more, but their close relatives living in the wild with a more stressful lifestyle could live only 5-6 years.

The first raccoon was taken away from its natural habitat in the mid-eighties to Germany. The purpose was to study this species’ behavior in captivity and investigate the possibility of taming it.

What Should Be the Diet Of a Raccoon In Captivity?


It’s essential to provide them with a balanced diet rich in protein to avoid obesity and other health problems. Obesity is the main reason for diabetes and high blood pressure in them, and being overweight also affects the reproductive system of raccoons.

If you plan to keep him as a pet, provide them with nutritional food like you give to your pet cat or dog.

But if you are planning to release him in the wild, then provide him with food as natural as possible like nuts, fruits, crayfish, etc., to develop a habit in him to survive in the challenging wildlife.

Raccoons love to wash their food before eating, so make sure to place water near them.

Do Raccoons in Captivity Need Exercise?

Though some raccoons don’t like to exercise, they tend to struggle with obesity in captivity.

It’s important to take them to a walk each day to keep everything balanced and make sure they are living a healthy lifestyle, and it also helps them interact with other people and pets.

Do Racoons in Captivity Needs Training?

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Training is an important part of owning any pet to strengthen your bond with your pet, provide mental stimulation, and make them obedient. But raccoons are very stubborn, and it is not easy to train them.

Try to spend at least 20 minutes training them and do the training session after exercise because, after exercise, they will be a lot calmer and more focused than they will be throughout the day.

How Are Captive Raccoons Different from Wild Raccoons?

Basic survival skills are missing in captive raccoons compared to wild raccoons. Due to them being domesticated since they were born, it will be very difficult for them to survive in the wild.

If you send them back to the wild, they would be clueless about living with the wildlife because they are used to being fed and having an easy lifestyle.

How To Entertain Raccoons in Captivity?

With raccoons, your imagination is limited. Raccoons are very intelligent and active animals. They are curious and like to play. As a result, they require constant attention and entertainment.

Therefore, if you want to keep raccoons in captivity, you must spend a lot of time with them.

Try to take them for a walk daily, make sure they have plenty of exercises, let them do swimming and roam around in the house freely, and get them toys like balls to keep them engaged and busy like the raccoons in the wild and avoid aggressive behavior.

Importance Of Living Space for Captive Raccoons


Raccoons are as big as small dogs. A full-grown adult male will weigh up to 35 pounds. Full-grown females are slightly smaller than male raccoons. The largest raccoon on record weighed 50 pounds.

So, if you are thinking about captivating a raccoon, make sure to provide him ample space. If they are in a smaller cage, they soon become restless, get angrier than usual, and start screaming.

Does Your State Allow to Put Raccoons in Captivity?

Ensure that your country or local state allows you to have a captive raccoon. Even capturing a raccoon is still legal in some states, but the laws are really strict regarding captivating wild animals.

What if your raccoon bites someone etc? So, make sure to check all the rules and regulations regarding captivating a raccoon.

Many people in the past rescued raccoons only to find out that their state didn’t allow them to put raccoons in captivity.

They can’t take them to the vet to get the shots that raccoons need before you can take them home, and, in the end, they have to release into the wild, or they get caught and have to face a fine by the state.

Where Do Racoons Like to Live?

Raccoons in Urban Areas

Raccoons are wild animals and prefer to live in the wild freely or in urban areas near humans so they can get food.

It is illegal in many countries to take them away from the wild and put them in a cage, and these little rascals will get you in a lot of trouble if they are left unsupervised.

Can you Have a Pet Raccoon?

It’s not surprising that a lot of people want to keep them as a pet due to them being so cute, but there are a few things you need to know before getting yourself a pet raccoon.

  • They are affectionate, playful, and curious by nature.
  • They are very clever as well as fairly unpredictable.
  • They get from all cuddly and following you around to not wanting to listen.
  • it’s in their instincts to break away from you and develop as fast as possible to spread their genes and have offspring.


Raccoons are quite popular among those who keep exotic mammals as pets. These mammals are easy to care for. However, they need a long-term commitment.

So, if you’re interested in getting a raccoon as a pet, however, it is essential to know raccoons are clever pets, and with their intelligence and inquisitive nature, they are not suitable pets for everyone and do require time, patience, and expertise to raise a young raccoon into an adult.


Frederick W Stuewer Ecological Monographs 13 (2), 203-257, 1943

W. COLE Professor of Psychology, University of Oklahoma.