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Most domestic cats are a mix of several different breeds, whose ancestry may or may not be known.
In some instances, the cats might be hybrids which means that their parents are of two different species.
For example, a Bengal cat is a mix of an Asian leopard cat and a domestic cat.
Hybrids are usually of two closely related species but there is always the occasional mix that makes heads turn owing to the uniqueness of the individual species.
One of these unlikely combinations is the cat-raccoon hybrid – or is it?
Some people have claimed that they have seen a cat-raccoon mix and some even say they have successfully bred the two. Is this fact or fiction?
Well, both cats and raccoons are relatively common in domestic settings, so it’s not impossible for them to come into contact with each other.
Additionally, both raccoons and cats have the same number of chromosomes (38) which is one of the main requirements for inter-specie breeding.
However, that’s as far as it can go because the two species are not very closely related.
For one, cats belong to the genus felis whereas raccoons belong to the genus Procyon.
Also, geneticists have studied the two animals and have reached the conclusion that it is genetically impossible for them to mix.
One of the leading genetic specialists noted that trying to mate the two animals was “stupid” because there are just too many differences between the two.
For instance, raccoons are omnivores which means they can consume almost any type of food.
On the other hand, cats are carnivores which may explain why they are very picky eaters.
Raccoons are also more intelligent than cats – almost as intelligent as dogs – because they have way more neurons in their brain than cats.
Furthermore, the raccoon evolutionary tree reveals that raccoons are more closely related to bears than they are to cats.
Granted, it might be possible for a raccoon to mate with a cat (especially in the wild) but the two cannot produce viable offspring.
So, in other words, there is no such thing as a cat-raccoon mix.
Is A Maine Coon Cat Part Raccoon?
Despite their name, Maine Coon cats are not actually part raccoon.
The false belief that they are part raccoons likely comes from their physical appearance, as they share some similarities with raccoons.
For instance, both Maine Coons and raccoons have long tails, tufted ears, and bushy coats.
In addition, both animals are known for being intelligent and independent.
However, these similarities are just coincidences because the two are not related.
Main coons are believed to have descended from Siberian or Norwegian forest cats.
Apart from the striking similarities, the name is probably one other reason why people believe the Maine coon is related to the raccoon.
Well, the cat was probably given this name because of the similarities and not because of its origin.
It is also possible that the cat was named after the famous captain Charles Coon who traveled extensively on the east coast of America.
The captain is believed to have brought the Maine Coon amongst many other cats from his far-flung voyages.
Either way, the name should not be confused to be a confirmation that the cat resulted from breeding a cat with a raccoon.
Why Does My Cat Looks like a Raccoon
One of the most distinguishable features of a raccoon is the black “mask” around its eyes.
This mask is actually made up of two stripes that start at the inner corner of the eye and extend down to the side of the nose.
Raccoons also have very dexterous front paws, which they use to skillfully open garbage cans and raid bird feeders.
While your cat may not have a taste for garbage or bird seed, they share some physical traits with raccoons that can make them appear strikingly similar.
For example, just like raccoons, cats can have jet black fur around their eyes.
In addition, cats can also have furry tails that are banded with black and white stripes.
Even though these features can be found in several breeds, the Maine Coon is the main breed that resembles raccoons.
Does A Ragdoll Look Like A Raccoon?
The Ragdoll is a large and muscular semi-longhair cat with blue eyes, a pointed color point coat, and long rabbit-like ears.
It is a pointed cat, meaning that it has a lighter-colored body with darker points on the face, ears, legs, and tail.
This breed is distinguished from other pointed cats by its blue eyes and its gentle and placid personality.
Some people say that Ragdolls look like raccoons because of their distinctive markings.
However, Ragdolls are actually much larger than raccoons, averaging around 10 pounds compared to the average raccoon’s 20 pounds.
Ragdolls also have longer fur and tails than raccoons.
So while there may be some similarities in appearance, Ragdolls are actually quite different from raccoons.
Cats with Raccoon Tails
There are several cat breeds that boast a raccoon-like tail, including:
- Maine Coon
These cats are typically distinguished by their long, fluffy coats and bushy tails.
The Maine Coon is particularly known for its large size and raccoon-like tail, which can be up to 18 inches long.
The Nebelung is another large breed with a raccoon-like tail although it is very rare.
The Birman, Ragdoll, and Somali are all medium-sized breeds and they also have raccoon-like tails.
The Himalayan is a small breed with a short coat and a raccoon-like tail.
The Laperm is a medium-sized breed with both long and short coat varieties. The long-coated variety has a more pronounced raccoon tail.
Can Raccoons and Cats Be Friends?
The answer, it seems, is both yes and no.
In the wild, raccoons and cats rarely interact with each other.
Raccoons are mostly active at night, while cats are mostly active during the day.
Raccoons are also largely solitary creatures, while cats typically live in groups.
However, there have been rare instances of cooperation between the two animals.
In one notable case, a raccoon and a cat were caught on camera coming every night to eat the food that had been left by a homeowner.
From the footage, it appeared the feline and raccoon were friends and they were said to appear and leave together every night.
That said, do not assume that your cat will automatically hit it off with a raccoon. In fact, the two will more likely conflict leading to a fight.
While raccoons may look cute and cuddly, they can actually be quite dangerous.
They are known to carry a number of diseases, including rabies and distemper.
Raccoons can also be aggressive, and they have been known to attack people and pets.
For these reasons, it’s best to keep your cat indoors except under supervision.
In conclusion, cat-raccoon mixes do not exist.
Even though there are some claims that they do, scientific evidence shows that these too animals are too dissimilar to have offspring.
Even if they were to miraculously produce offspring, the offspring would most likely be unable to produce.
If you were interested in owning a cat-raccoon hybrid, the best you can do is get a breed like the Maine Coon breed, which resembles a raccoon.
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Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.