Keeping Out Raccoons
Electronic pet door companies typically talk about keeping out stray cats, not wild animals. We think that small rodents, insects, snakes, skunks, possums and most other critters must be kept out as well. The hardest to keep out is the wily raccoon.
There are some electronic pet doors that really will keep a raccoon out. Here's the list:
- High Tech Power Pet Door
- Plexidor Electronic Door
- Cat Mate Elite Series
- PetSafe Smart Door Large and Medium
- SureFlap Microchip Pet Door
- SureFlap Dual Scan Cat Flap
- SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap
For sash windows, we'd recommend the raccoon proof SureFlap Thermo Sash 2E.
If you're getting a first dog door, it might be wise to go ahead and spend the money on one of these. But if you're thinking of replacing a manual pet door, you might want to check out these customer suggestions first:
- I did poke around on the internet, and found a potential solution--someone had put their cat door several feet off the ground, so that the cat had to jump up to a platform before entering. Since raccoons don't jump like cats, this should be an effective deterrent.
- Installing a small radio tuned to a talk show to suggest human presence.
- "...spraying an orange terpine spray on the door area"
- "A friend told us about a solution someone had recommended to keep coons off his dock at the lake. He began to use the deterrent a couple of years ago and has had no coons on the dock since. I can't verify it completely because I'm having problems with an erratic cat door, but I did employ the solution about six months ago and have had no coons attempt to enter the garage as they did many times in the past. The solution is to place a bar of Irish Spring soap in the problem area. Apparently the coons are repelled by the smell??? My friend just put a bar on the floor of his dock. I bought a cheap soap dish, placed the bar of soap on it and placed it on the driveway beside the cat door. I doesn't seem to bother the cat, but no coons."
- I found a site "guaranteeing" a critter repellent specially suited for 'coons called "Shake-Away". It is said to make the 'coons avoid the area and contains powdered fox urine. They say the 'coon fears trespassing larger animal territories and will not frequent the location once you treat it as directed. It also claims it will NOT to spook your pets." Unfortunately, we have some indication that this may not be as successful as we had hoped.
- Not every report has been of a success:
- "An update on the raccoon repellents of Irish Spring and a radio. Sad to say, after a couple of weeks of success, they are no longer working. :- First, one night I forgot to turn the radio on—that caused the first breach. I put out new bars of Irish Spring, thinking it had gone stale or at least less potent, but to no avail. Even with the new soap and the radio back on, the raccoon(s?) have called my bluff, so now I will be locking the cat doors—which the cats will not like, but we’re out of choices.
So, although there was initial success, it didn’t hold up over the longer term.."
Here's the most recent success story:
We installed a cat door a little more than 2 feet above the ground for our cat to go in/out of the attached garage to the outdoors. We installed another door at ground level for our cat to go in/out of the attached garage to our house.
Required some work and training, but it was well worth it.
- We've had no rodents or small animals come in uninvited.
- Our cat comes and goes as he pleases which means no more waking up in the wee hours to let him out.
- On really cold days, the cat can still enjoy hunting in the garage.
- We've always kept a litter box for him in our laundry room during the winter months when the ground is too frozen for him to dig a hole. And now we keep that litter box in the garage.
Happy Cat, Happy Family!
But, then, along came this note:
Found your site while searching for a solution to my raccoon problem. I have had a family of raccoons sharing my yard and surrounding area for the last 7 years. Two years ago, a family of foxes started to move in and around the area as well. There seems to be no discord between the two. This Spring, I began to have problems with the nursing females attempting (and finally succeeding)to get into my home through a pet door.I have removed all access, and they have countered by climbing the vinyl siding walls. The pet door sits above my kitchen counter, well off the ground. I wanted to share with you and your site, that, Coons and cats and foxes are all pretty harmonious here. And Coons are more then capable of jumping like a cat. They were using a rocking chair over 4 feet away! I'm out of ideas for on modifying their behavior.... I am going to try keeping the door shut as much as possible in hopes that they will lose interest over time. It's a sight! If all else fails, I can always move. Just kidding. My next move would be an electronic door....Thanks for the tips:) Holly P.
As you can see, a lot of these success/failures have somewhat been situational and have a lot of factors that play into them. If you already have an existing pet door, we suggest you try one of these fixes, and if raccoons still prove to be a problem, we suggest that you purchase a raccoon proof door!
We'd like to solicit feedback from anyone trying these or other solutions. Contact Alan at firstname.lastname@example.org.