A juvenile raccoon sits back with paws up.

How to Identify Raccoon Sounds and Noises

Raccoons may be sneaky, but their diverse vocalizations give them away. From snarling growls to clucking noises, get familiar with the different sounds raccoons make so you can recognize when one is lurking around.

From barks, whistles, snarls, and purrs – these little creatures have created an impressive language. They make various noises to stay in contact with each other and convey danger. Let’s explore their communication system further and determine how it can help you keep them away from your property.

Key Pest Points:

• Raccoons make various sounds and noises that help them communicate and survive.

• From rasping screams to low grunts, harsh snarls or growls, whistles, and purrs, raccoons rely on an impressive array of sounds for communication.

• Knowing what these vocalizations mean can help identify the presence of raccoons in your home and differentiate between similar animal noises like squirrels or bats.

What Sounds Does a Raccoon Make? 

With an average lifespan of 2-3 years,  raccoons start interacting with each other quite early. Baby raccoon sounds include whining, mewing, and crying. Adults make various noises, including chittering, purring, snorting, growling, snarling, and screaming. 

These sounds can vary depending on their situation, below are some common types of raccoon sounds to listen out for:


Raccoons may be small, but they sure have a lot to say. Their universal language includes chittering noises, which are high-pitched and consist of rapid chirps. This type of sound comes out for various reasons – adults do it to communicate with one another, and young ones call out for their mothers. Raccoons even use this sound to search for food and shelter. 

But that’s not all. It turns out that raccoons use chittering sounds to get romantic, too – females make different noises during the breeding season, usually during late winter or early spring, to woo potential mates. So if you hear some funny noises coming from nearby places, don’t be alarmed – it’s just raccoons having a good ol’ chat.


Raccoons have the unique ability to purr, similar to cats. This type of sound can be a warning sign that you’re too close for comfort and should back off. When they purr, it usually means they feel threatened by your presence, so give them a wide berth.

It is best to avoid any raccoons you encounter, regardless of their vocalizations. If they are making noise or appearing agitated, it is a good sign that they may feel threatened and should not be approached.

Angry raccoon showing its teeth, standing near food on the ground with grass behind it.


They may look cute and cuddly, but raccoons are not to be taken lightly – these critters know how to put on a tough face when it matters. When faced with danger or threats, male raccoons let out a menacing growl to tell their enemies they mean business. Raccoons are not afraid to step up and engage in a fight if they feel like it – and their growls may be a sign that they are ready to do just that.

What Do Different Raccoon Noises Mean?

By now, we’ve learned that raccoons can get pretty vocal – they screech, scream, squeal, and whistle to express their feelings in various situations. But what exactly do each of these noises mean? Let’s evaluate the sounds they make and what these signify depending on the circumstances.

Screeching/snarlingRaccoons will make these sounds when distressed or angry. These can also be associated with raccoon fighting sounds.
ScreamingThey make this noise to either intimidate one another or attract a potential mate.
WhistlingCalling each other for impending danger, distress, and pain, mother raccoons when looking for cubs.
ChitteringAdults communicating with one another
Barking (high-pitched)Injured, in pain, or feeling threatened. Mother raccoons bark if their kits go missing.

These are just some key sounds raccoons make to communicate with others and us. Next time you hear them in your neighborhood, you’ll know exactly what they’re trying to say.

Other Ways to Identify Raccoon Sounds

Apart from listening to their vocalizations, there are other ways you can identify raccoon noises. Raccoons make a lot of noise at night, so if you’re ever curious about what kind of creature is making all that racket, look outside and listen carefully.

Here are other ways to identify raccoon sounds:

  • Raccoons can be seen rummaging through garbage bins at night.
  • You may hear scratching noises from attics, walls, and ceilings.
  • Chirping noises heard in your backyard could be the sound of baby raccoons calling out to their mother.
  • If you see a raccoon running around in your yard during the day, it may be looking for food or shelter.

All these signs can help you identify the presence of raccoons near your home and understand what their various noises mean. Raccoons are fascinating creatures, and by understanding their vocalizations, we can gain more insight into their behavior and communication.

Raccoon peeking behind a tree.

How To Deter Raccoons From Your Home and Yard

Although raccoons can be cute and fun to watch, they can become a nuisance if they enter your yard or home. To prevent this, it’s essential to take specific steps to ensure these critters stay away. Here are some tips on deterring raccoons:

  • Secure all your outdoor garbage bins with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Remove any bird feeders, as these can attract raccoons.
  • Make sure to clean up pet food bowls after meals and store them indoors.
  • Eliminate sources of standing water in your yard, as this can attract raccoons.
  • Install motion-activated lights around your property to frighten raccoons away when they come too close.
  • Ensure that all your doors and windows are tightly sealed to prevent any entry points for raccoons.
  • Place scent detergents near potential entry points to make raccoons stay away.

Remember, raccoons may look cute but are wild animals – do not approach or attempt to touch them! They can be quite territorial and will not hesitate to put up a fight if they feel threatened. So it’s best to keep your distance and let them live without human interference.

What Other Animals Produce Noises Comparable to a Raccoon’s

Many other animals make similar sounds to a raccoon, including red squirrels and groundhogs. To help differentiate the noises made by these animals from one another, pay attention to the pitch and tone of their vocalizations.

Sound TypeProbable Animal
Slower and heavy sounding during nightRaccoon
Noise in the daytimeSquirrel or Snake
Fast scurrying soundsRats or Mice, Flying Squirrel
Chirping/fluttering soundsBats, Birds

The next time you hear an unknown sound coming from your backyard or attic, try to differentiate the noise and use this guide as a reference to determine which animal is making it. All in all, raccoon vocalizations can help us gain valuable insights into their behavior and communication patterns.


What Are Raccoon Sounds at Night? 

Raccoons can be a significant nuisance to homeowners, especially at night. When scavenging for food, they may make loud noises like rummaging through or knocking over trash cans. If they’ve made their way inside the home, you might hear them scratching and rustling between the walls – an unwelcome sound that could quickly wake you up.

What Time of Night Are Raccoons Active?

They are nocturnal creatures, meaning they come out at night to search for food and shelter. Raccoons are typically most active during the early morning and late evening hours. Although they tend to be more active around dawn and dusk, spotting them during the day is common.


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