Raccoons are opportunistic creatures that seek shelter wherever they can find it. They are skilled climbers, and will enter unsecured trash cans, crawl spaces, sheds, attics and other structures to hide from predators or weather elements. They are also excellent scavengers and can use their dexterous hands to open doorknobs, unlatch pet doors, open food containers, and break into houses. In the wild, raccoons look for den sites to breed and protect their young in, but are also good at finding other places to sleep when they can’t find a suitable one.
In the wild, raccoons often choose hollow tree logs, burrows, caves and cliffs to sleep in. They don’t like sleeping on the ground because it puts them at risk of being attacked by larger predators, such as wild cats. They prefer to sleep high in trees, especially if they have young babies with them.
If a baby raccoon is found during the day, it is important to leave it alone and not disturb it. It may be an orphaned raccoon, and it is likely that its mother will return at night to take care of it.
In the city, raccoons tend to make their homes in abandoned attics or other man-made structures such as sheds and garages. They are attracted to these places because they provide warmth, food and water within a smaller area than their natural environments do. Urban raccoons also have a tendency to limit their movements to specific areas, which helps them avoid running into traffic and other dangers.