DIY Raccoon Proof Cat Doors (Easy Steps & Complete Guide)

Raccoons can easily pass through cat doors, making them dangerous for pet parents, especially at night. Perfect solutions for preventing raccoons from breaking in incorporate using automatic cat doors as well as considering the speed and heights that they can reach.

With this in mind, the following Raccoon-proof cat door ideas have been designed, just for you!

What are some DIY solutions to invading raccoons?

The best way to keep raccoons away and your cats’ food secure is to combine technology with creativity. These techniques make use of:

  • Automatic Cat Doors using collars: This is your best option. They install the same as a normal cat door and only cats wearing the right sensor can open the door.
  • Voice sensors: Installing these at your cat doors will allow the doors to open only when either you speak, or when your cat meows. Cats can be trained to make a sound to let them pass.
  • Phone/ app-controlled door system: These give you all-time access to entries and exits from cat doors using your smartphone.
  • CCTV cameras: These will allow you to know when a raccoon comes too close to your cat door or any other entry point.

Can sensors on collars help?

The answer is yes! Automatic doors controlled by sensors on collars have shown great popularity amongst cat parents. The main reason is sensor controlled doors allow the discriminatory entrance of cats when they approach the door, keeping invaders at bay. A variety of these doors are available in stores, generally ranging from $300-$800.

Is a DIY solution better than an expensive digital gadget?

While digital gadgets might seem like a quick and easy solution, there always exists the chance of error. DIY solutions on the other hand provide quick fixes that are modifiable. While gadgets might seem like the best way about a problem, keep some DIY techniques up your sleeve, always.

How dangerous can raccoons be?

Raccoons can effortlessly cause harm to you and your pets, cats as well as dogs. They also carry several transmittable diseases including rabies and bacterial infections. Apart from this, raccoon wastes can be brought into your house if your cat accidentally steps on it, welcoming innumerable contaminations into your house.

Should I be worried about a raccoon’s intellect?

According to researchers at Vanderbilt University, raccoons possess unmatchable abilities in problem-solving, memory, and behavior tests, making them exceptionally intelligent.  This ability makes raccoons nearly impossible to domesticate, as they lack dependence on human assistance. This mere talent is a concern for people with raccoons in their backyards.

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How much can raccoons grow?

According to National Geographic, raccoons typically grow between 23 to 27 inches, reaching the same size as minor dogs. Cats, however, grow up to 18 inches in length. Keeping this fact in mind, cat doors can be made smaller so that the body of a raccoon can’t pass through.

How high can raccoons jump?

When considering vertical distances, raccoons cannot reach great heights. This is due to their small, thick legs that don’t facilitate hurdling over long distances. At maximum, raccoons can jump up to 4 feet laterally.  They are, however, excellent climbers, helping them reach higher spots. While raccoons can’t jump to high places, they can jump from them without injury.

Can my cat fight an invading raccoon?

Raccoons will not refrain from invading a cat’s territory since they don’t see them as dangers. Raccoons, when threatened, attack cats very frequently. This is especially true with mothers protecting their children. Due to their massive size and greater strength, a raccoon will almost always be the winner in a fight against a cat.

Can raccoons be scared off with scents?

Raccoons have a strong sense of smell, and most certainly hate the scent of garlic, pepper, and Epsom salt. (Tip: prepare a spray bottle with pepper and onion, diluted in water. The smell is impossible to ignore and despised by raccoons. Spray it in places most likely visited by them)

What can I feed my cats that raccoons wouldn’t eat?

Unfortunately, raccoons eat everything, so there is no particular food choice available to make them uninterested in visiting your property. Various tricks can be adopted to scare raccoons away, or at least make it difficult for them to reach your cat’s food.

What are the drawbacks of automated pet doors?

  • Not useful in weather insulation.
  • Moving parts can overtime get damaged and need replacement.
  • Require a greater amount of maintenance than manual doors.
  • Not suitable for multiple pets, such as small cats and large dogs (one pet door).
  • Raccoons are likely to detect your pet’s scent in manual doors and consider them as predators, keeping their distance.

Can I live in peace with raccoons?

While harmony might not be possible, some solutions can help decrease visits from these uninvited guests, including:

  • Maintenance: Not feeding and taking care of raccoons, even accidentally.
  • Raccoon-proof feeders: These work best if you wish to feed your cats outdoors. These recognize your cat’s presence using collar sensors and only then release a set amount of food into bowls.
  • Strobe Lights: These use motion detectors and sense any motion, instantly setting off lights to scare away invading animals. These work best during night time.

4 Tips for Adapting to backyard raccoons

Some simple changes in day-to-day behavior can make a huge difference in your encounter with raccoons. These include:

  1. Feed your felines during daylight hours: Raccoons don’t prefer eating when sunlight is available. Therefore, make mornings the regular feeding time for cats. This will allow your cats to freely roam around, and save you from excess spending on cat food.
  2. Serve foodstuff on raised planes: Raccoons, unlike cats, cannot jump very high. Take advantage of this difference and feed your cats on surfaces at least 3.5 feet high.
  3. Properly discard excess eatables: Make sure your trash containing eatables are properly taken care of. Since raccoons can eat anything, it’s best to eliminate all sources of food available outside your house, especially at night.
  4. Fences: Building a simple fence around your cat food will help keep raccoons from accessing it. This is because raccoons can’t jump over them. Just make sure you establish a fence deep into the ground to prevent raccoons from tunneling under it.