Do raccoons eat squirrels?

Do raccoons eat squirrels?- A Fascinating Truth 

Do raccoons eat squirrels? Why do raccoons eat squirrels? How do raccoons hunt squirrels? What nutritional benefits do raccoons get from squirrel meat? These are commonly asked questions regarding raccoons eating squirrels.

A squirrel is a good food source for various predators including foxes, weasels, and hawks; but what about raccoons? Do raccoons eat squirrels or not? 

Let’s come to know about the intriguing mystery of raccoons about the consumption of squirrels. This blog post will explore deep insights and provide you with exact, correct, and recently researched data.

What are squirrels – A brief intro

Before discussing the complete details of raccoon-eating behavior regarding squirrels, it’s important to know a little bit about squirrels. So please take a closer look at Squirrel.

Family: Squirrels are part of Sciuridae family.

Appearance: Squirrels are small rodents with slender bodies, bushy tails and large eyes. Their fur is short, soft and silky. 

Distinct characteristics: Squirrels are omnivorous, fast-running and clever creatures. Squirrels, unlike raccoons, are social creatures that reside in groups known “Scurry” or “Dray”. They are diurnal animals and become active during the day.

Raccoons: On the other hand raccoons are amazing creatures that are known to be very genius and intelligent. They are nocturnal mammals found in the United States of America. Raccoons can live in habitats like wild, urban, suburban areas, and even deserts. They are omnivorous and have a wide range of food including squirrels. Yes, squirrels too. 

Do Raccoons eat Squirrels?- Fact or myth!  

Yes, definitely, raccoons eat squirrels!

It’s an intriguing fact that squirrels are not their first choice of food. They usually eat squirrels only as a last resort when they fail to find easily accessible food. As squirrels are fast and agile, making it difficult for raccoons to catch them. So they hunt and eat squirrels in rare cases as described below.

  • Firstly, raccoons opportunistically hunt squirrels when they are sleeping, eating, or playing. They often target injured, dead, and baby squirrels as their satisfying meal.
  • Secondly, raccoons consume squirrels when their preferred or readily available food sources are scarce. 

Now it comes to mind how raccoons hunt squirrels opportunistically or actively. So the precise answer is opportunistically not actively but in rare cases when other food of choice is not available.

  •  As raccoons are opportunistic in nature, so usually raccoons hunt squirrels when raccoons easily trap squirrels.

Why do raccoons eat squirrels?

No doubt, meat is a basic need for raccoons’ life! 

Raccoons need to eat meat to stay healthy and active. They are omnivorous mammals, which means they eat both plants and animals. However, plant-based food alone cannot provide all the necessary nutrients they require. 

Meat is a major part of their diet, whether from squirrels, lizards, frogs, rabbits, or other animals. It is essential to meet their nutritional requirements, promote their well-being, and provide the energy they need to thrive.

What are the key nutrients that raccoons obtain from squirrel meat?

Here are the amount of basic nutrients that are found in squirrel meat. The 100 grams of squirrel meat contains 120 calories, 3.21 g fat, 21.23 g protein and negligible amount of carbohydrates.

  • Squirrel meat is recognized as a source of lean protein. It provides essential amino acids that are crucial for the raccoon’s body’s proper functioning. 
  • While the fat content can vary, squirrel meat typically contains beneficial fats like polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats.
  • Squirrel meat is a good source of vitamins B6 and B12. it also has other nutrients like phosphorus, selenium, and iron. All of these nutrients are very important for the maintenance of daily activities.
  • Raccoons get nutritional benefits from the meat of raccoons. Squirrels meat contains proteins that are important for cell regeneration and tissue development in the bodies of raccoons

How do raccoons hunt squirrels actively?-way of hunting

Raccoons can hunt squirrels on the ground, nest, and even trees. They are excellent tree climbers. No doubt squirrels are fast-running rodents but raccoons can catch them when squirrels are unconscious. 

  • Instead, raccoons will chase and prey on squirrels by observing their behavior and carefully approaching them. They get as close as possible and seize the opportunity to hunt squirrels when it presents itself.
  • Raccoon’s bodies are well-designed to capture and tear prey. Similarly, they use their dexterous paws and sharp teeth to kill and eat squirrels.

During the night: The best time for hunting 

Raccoons typically hunt squirrels during the nighttime since they are nocturnal animals. The best time for raccoons to hunt squirrels is when the squirrels are either asleep or engaged in playful activities.

During the day : How do they interact?

Sometimes, raccoons find their prey during day time. People are wondering about it; How do they can interact? So let me explain.

Fortunately, both are omnivorous so they share the same feeding habitats,  preferring wooded areas with plenty of trees. Both animals are attached to these environments for food.

Wooded areas also provide water sources and shelter, which are essential for both species. Sometimes, raccoons and squirrels may compete for resources, but they can usually, coexist peacefully when there’s enough to go around.

Do squirrels fight back?

One question comes to mind; are squirrels fighting back or not in their self-defense? The precise answer is yes! Yes, no doubt squirrels can fight back to protect themselves from the attack of raccoons.

Squirrels possess sharp teeth and claws. Their teeth are so sharp that are enough to tear the nuts So they can scratch or even bite the raccoon during their fight. They can seriously damage the raccoon, especially in areas that don’t have fur.

Why squirrels are not the primary source of food for raccoons?

Ultimately, the speed of squirrels is faster than that of raccoons. Raccoons can cover 15 miles per hour, while squirrels can cover 20 miles per hour. In other words, squirrels can run 5 times faster than raccoons.

And no doubt this is a huge difference between the speeds of both. So this is an understood point that it’s too much difficult for raccoons to hunt a squirrel. Therefore, raccoons don’t waste their energy to chasing them, but hunt opportunistically using tricks.


Raccoons eat squirrels. In fact, the meat of squirrels is valuable and nutrient-rich for the proper working of raccoons’ body. They prefer to eat injured, dead, and baby squirrels.

It’s a bitter fact of raccoon’s life that they always prefer to go for easy meals that don’t require much effort.

They mostly eat fruits, plants, small animals, and even food waste from trash cans.

They usually don’t target squirrels as their first choice because squirrels are incredibly fast and smart, making them difficult to catch. So raccoons mostly avoid to eating squirrels and rely on easy-to-grab food.


Are Raccoons solitary mammals?

They have about 2 to 3 years of life in the wild areas. It’s a bitter fact that raccoons like to live alone; they just come close to each other just for mates and to raise their young ones.

When do raccoons and squirrels meet?

Both raccoons and squirrels are omnivorous. When both raccoons and squirrels roam in search of food they come in front of each other. If raccoons get a chance to catch and eat squirrels, obviously they will never hesitate to eat them.

Do raccoons eat dead squirrels?

Yes, raccoons can eat injured and dead squirrel. Its a tasty meal for raccoons, as it is available them to without any effort.

Are squirrels the primary source of diet for raccoons?

No, not at all. They always prefer to eat food that are easy to avail. The hunting of squirrels is tough, so they normally avoid to hunt and eat squirrels.

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