How to tell if the baby raccoon is abandoned?

How can you tell if a baby raccoon is abandoned?

Baby raccoons are adorable and stunning creatures. They need the full attention of their mothers for food and protection. But have you ever found a tiny baby raccoon and wondered, “How can you tell if a baby raccoon is abandoned?” indeed, it’s a genuinely touching situation that pulls at the heartstrings.

In this article, we will dive into the world of baby raccoons and try to know the mystery of these adorable creatures. Let’s read on and determine whether the baby raccoon is ok or abandoned.

Some distinctive features of baby raccoons:

Baby raccoons rely entirely on their mother for warmth, food, and protection during their early weeks. Mothers carry them in their mouths when moving to a new den.

Size: Baby raccoons are small at birth, weighing about 3 to 4 ounces (85 to 115 grams) and measuring around 6 inches (15 centimeters) long.

Fur: They have soft, grayish-brown fur, which is darker than adult raccoons.

Mask: Baby raccoons also have the black mask on their eyes like adults, though it might not be very clear when they’re very young.

Eyes and Ears: Their eyes and ears are closed at birth but start opening around 2 to 3 weeks. Initially, their eyes are blue but change as they grow.

Claws: They’re born with sharp, retractable claws used for climbing. They have a ringed tail with dark and light bands.

Sounds: They make high-pitched sounds like chirps or mewing to communicate with their mother while in the den.

Growth: Baby raccoons grow fast during their first few months and start exploring outside the den with their mother at around 8 to 10 weeks old.

How can you tell if a baby raccoon is abandoned?

The mother raccoons give birth to kits in early spring between March and April. The mother raccoons take very good care of their babies. They feed them, keep them warm, protect them from danger, and teach them important skills for surviving in the wild. This care lasts for several months until the baby raccoons are old enough to do more things on their own. Baby raccoons are typically not abandoned by their mothers unless there are specific circumstances or issues. Here’s how you can tell if they are genuinely abandoned. 

1. Observe from a distance:

Keep an eye on the baby raccoon from a safe distance for a few hours. In truth, mother raccoons are usually very attentive, and they may return to their young. It’s best not to intervene immediately.

2. Check for signs of distress: 

If the baby raccoon appears to be in distress, injured, or visibly sick, it may indeed need help. Signs of distress can include continuous crying, shivering, lethargy, or visible injuries.

3. Time of day: 

Raccoons are typically nocturnal animals, so it’s common for them to leave their young during the day and return at night. If you find a baby raccoon during the daytime, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s abandoned.

4. Sibling presence: 

Look for other baby raccoons nearby. Raccoon mothers usually have more than one baby, so if you find a lone baby raccoon, it’s possible that the mother is caring for the others and will return for this one.

5. Mother’s behavior:

If you’re observing the area, pay attention to whether you see the mother raccoon coming and going. This can be a sign that the mother is still around and caring for her young. It means the baby is not orphaned.

6. Look for kit health:

If the baby raccoon is thin and lethargic, it may be dehydrated or malnourished. This could be a sign that it has been abandoned and not getting the care it needs.

7. Listen for Vocalizations

Baby raccoons are not shy about making noise. If they are genuinely abandoned or orphaned, they will likely cry out for their mother. Listen for high-pitched cries or chattering sounds, which are a clear indication of distress.

8. Disturbance: 

If you’ve already handled the baby raccoon or moved it, try to return it to the location where you found it. The mother may be looking for her young, and reuniting them is essential for the baby’s survival.

How can we prevent baby raccoons from being abandoned?

The best way to prevent baby raccoons from being abandoned is to avoid contact with them in the first place. If you see a baby raccoon, do not approach it or try to handle it. If you are concerned about the raccoon’s well-being, contact a wildlife rehabilitator for advice.

Here are some additional tips for preventing baby raccoons from being abandoned:

  • Spay or neuter your pets. This will help to reduce the number of unwanted litters of animals.
  • Secure your garbage cans. Raccoons are attracted to garbage, so it is important to secure your garbage cans to prevent them from getting into them.
  • Keep your yard clean and free of debris. Raccoons like to make their nests in debris, so it is important to keep your yard clean and free of clutter.
  • Seal up any holes in your home or outbuildings. Raccoons can squeeze through small holes, so it is important to seal up any holes in your home or outbuildings to prevent them from getting in.

By following these tips, you can help prevent baby raccoons from being abandoned and give them a better chance of survival.


In conclusion, discerning whether a baby raccoon is abandoned can be challenging, but several indicators can provide insights. To determine if a baby raccoon is abandoned, follow these steps: maintain a safe distance for observation, check for signs of distress, consider the time of day, search for nearby siblings, monitor the mother’s behavior, assess the kit’s health, listen for vocalizations, and if you’ve already intervened, attempt to reunite it with its mother.

These guidelines will assist you in making a well-informed decision regarding the baby raccoon’s need for assistance. Additionally, by following these guidelines you will be able to tell “how to tell if the baby raccoon is abandoned.


Can baby raccoons survive without mom?

Baby raccoons have a much higher chance of survival with their mother’s care. If separated from their mother, their survival in the wild is limited, and they may need human intervention or care from a wildlife rehabilitator.

Are baby raccoons supposed to be alone?

Baby raccoons are not supposed to be alone when they are very young. Their mothers take care of them, and they usually stay together in a den. If you find a baby raccoon by itself, it might need help, so it’s a good idea to contact a wildlife expert for advice.

Can orphaned raccoon survive?

Raccoon babies are unable to survive on their own because they are born blind and deaf. They rely heavily on their mother’s care for up to 9 months. While these young raccoons may appear harmless, they can cause more damage than people often realize.

What to feed a baby raccoon?

The baby raccoons should be fed with milk replacement formula (MRF) that is easily available in the stores. The baby raccoons’ stomach is weak so they can’t digest the cow milk.

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