How long can a baby survive without its mother?

How long can a Baby Raccoon Survive without its Mother?

Raccoons are fascinating animals, and their baby raccoons are really cute. Some people like to have them as pets at home. Do you ever think, “How long can a baby raccoon survive without its mother?” It’s an intriguing question for wildlife experts and raccoon enthusiasts.

In this article, we will dive into the fascinating world of baby raccoons and explore their survival possibility in the absence of mothers’ care. Here you will find authentic, accurate, and up-to-date information regarding baby raccoons. So let’s read it and explore how long it can survive on its own.

Importance of Mother Care and Love for Kits:

Baby raccoons are very cute and sweet-looking. Usually, mother raccoons don’t leave their babies alone, but when the little ones grow up and become able to live on their own, it ends.

Sometimes, mother raccoons are not with kits because of accidents, like getting hurt by other animals or cars. This leaves baby raccoons alone and helpless. Indeed, mother raccoons are very kind and conservative for their kits.

However, male raccoons are very dangerous to baby raccoons. If they get a chance, they never hesitate to give harm to them. They kill the babies and mate with females. Anyway, our query is how long baby raccoons survive without their mother.  let’s know a little bit about the physical characteristics of a baby raccoon for better consideration.

Some physical features of newborn raccoons (kits)

  • Helpless: Newborn kits are helpless. Thus, they can’t do things on their own.
  • Size: Small and about 6-7 inches long at birth.
  • Fur: Soft, grayish-brown fur.
  • Mask: Distinctive black mask around their eyes.
  • Eyes and Ears: Eyes closed at birth, ears small and rounded.
  • Tail: Banded tail with light and dark rings.
  • Claws: Sharp, non-retractable claws on front paws.
  • Teeth: Tiny, sharp teeth at birth.
  • Mobility: In the early days not very mobile.
  • Fuzziness: May appear fuzzier than adults due to soft fur.

These characteristics help distinguish baby raccoons from adults, but they rely heavily on their mother’s care and protection during their early stages of life.

How long can a baby raccoon survive without its mother?

Baby raccoons mainly depend on their mothers for basic needs of life like warmth, protection, and food. In truth, they can’t live anymore without their mothers’ love and care. Typically, a baby raccoon can only survive for a few days to a couple of weeks without its mother, depending on its age and the availability of food and shelter. 

  • Newborn babies or kits are more vulnerable and may not survive more than a day or two without their mother’s warmth and milk.
  • Older kits that are closer to weaning age (around 8-12 weeks old) may have a slightly better chance of surviving for a few weeks on their own if they can find food and shelter, but their odds are still not great.
  • In the wild, baby raccoons need to stay with their mother until they are old enough to fend for themselves, which is usually around 12 weeks of age.
  •  If you find any orphaned baby raccoons, you must contact with wildlife rehabilitator or animal rescue organization. They can provide the best care and support to the baby raccoons for their survival.

Factors that are important in kits’ survival:

Here is a brief view:

1. Age:

The age of baby raccoons is a critical factor in their survival. Newborn baby raccoons, known as kits, have a lower chance of surviving without their mothers. Essentially, kits are entirely reliant on their mothers for essential needs such as milk and protection. Conversely, slightly older babies have a better chance of survival than newborns.

2. Season:

The season is another survival factor. Intriguingly, the chance of survival is higher in the spring or summer when food sources are more abundant and the weather is reasonable. However, in winter, the chances of survival decrease due to harsh environments and limited food sources.

3. Food Availability:

Same as age and season food availability plays a crucial role in the kit’s survival. The availability of natural food like insects, fruits, and small animals can significantly impact a baby raccoon’s survival. If they can find enough food, they have a better chance of survival.

4. Shelter:

The presence of suitable shelters or den sites can help protect a baby raccoon from predators, adverse weather, and other dangers.

5. Predation Risk:

Baby raccoons are vulnerable to predation by animals like owls, hawks, and larger mammals. Their chances of survival increase if their predation risk is low.

6. Human Intervention:

When people take care of baby raccoons, feeding them the right food and looking after them, these little raccoons can survive and be healthy even if their mom isn’t there. Human help, like raising them by hand and giving them the right food, can make a big difference in their chances of doing well.

What to do if I found an orphaned baby raccoon:

Suppose you encounter an orphaned and solitary baby raccoon; here are some tips for assisting it:

1. If you come across a lone baby raccoon or kit, make an effort to locate its mother in the nearby vicinity. If, unfortunately, you cannot find the mother, get in touch with a local wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.

2. Don’t try to feed or care for the raccoon unless you know what you’re doing. Raccoons are wild and can carry diseases like rabies, which is harmful to humans. It’s important to take precautions.

3. If you intend to keep the baby raccoon as a pet, provide it with a warm place to rest and feed them a milk replacement formula (MRF) available in stores. Keep in mind that young kits may not effectively digest cow’s milk.

4. If you are not prepared to care for them yourself, contact a wildlife rehabilitator and entrust the baby raccoon to them for proper care and nutrition.


Baby raccoons need their mothers to survive. They can’t do it alone. So, how long can a baby raccoon go without its mom? Not very long, just more than 1 or 2 days. Baby raccoons are very vulnerable and need the full care of their mothers. In general, a baby raccoon’s chances of survival without its mother are slim. In the very early days of their lives, mother care is necessary because they are deaf and blind and can’t survive and their behalf.

The mother feeds them with milk and protects them from predators. If you find a baby raccoon that is alone, the best thing you can do is to contact a wildlife rehabilitator for assistance.


Do baby raccoons need their mother?

Yes, baby raccoons need their mother for food, protection, and care. They can’t survive on their own because their mother provides everything they need to grow and stay safe.

Will a mother raccoon come back for her babies?

Yes, mother raccoons typically come back for their babies. They are protective and caring parents. If the babies are left alone temporarily, the mother usually returns to care for and feed them.

What is the survival rate of a baby raccoon?

The survival rate of a baby raccoon in the wild varies, but it’s generally lower for newborns and higher for older ones. Factors like age, season, food availability, and threats from predators and accidents all play a role in determining their survival. Those orphaned or injured and receiving proper care from experts have a better chance of survival.

How long do baby raccoons drink milk?

Baby raccoons drink their mother’s milk exclusively for the first 8 to 10 weeks of their lives. After that, they start eating other foods and become less dependent on milk.

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