How to Litter Box Train a Raccoon
One of the questions I get asked most frequently from new owners of pet raccoons is “How do I litter box train a raccoon?” When I first got my pet raccoon, Moonshine, I had trouble finding any good resources. Hopefully this guide will help the process go a little easier for you than it did for me!
Thankfully, something that gives raccoons a leg up when compared to other unusual exotic pets is that pet raccoons can be litter box trained. Litter box training a raccoon is a lot like litter box training a cat. A very, very smart cat.
First things first, in order to litter box train a raccoon, you are going to need to pick out the right litter box and litter. I am sure some people do, but I have personally never heard of any pet raccoon owners having luck using kitty litter. The best option when it comes to litter box training raccoons is non-clumping pelleted litter. Pine pellets like feline pine or corn cob bedding like the kind used for horses are both great options for your pet raccoon’s litter box.
Another option for a pet raccoon’s litter box is the Breeze Litter Box System. While we use pellets like the ones listed above in a normal cat litterbox for raccoons at Exotic Pet Wonderland, I use the Breeze litter box at home. This is a good option if you just have one or two raccoons and don’t buy litter in bulk and want to completely dump your raccoon’s litter box daily. You put the special litter pellets on top, and a pad in the pull out tray in the bottom. Your raccoon’s poop stays on top, and their urine falls to the bottom and is soaked up by the pad! The major downside to this is that the litter and pad refills for the Breeze litter box are not cheap.
Side note, this post isn’t sponsored Breeze or anything, but if they want to send me some free litter boxes, I am not opposed.
Now that you have picked out a litter box and some litter, it is time to talk about how to actually liter box train a raccoon. Sometimes you get lucky and will get a raccoon that is happy to go in the box without any problem, but sometimes you end up like me, with a pet raccoon who would prefer to go in a box full of expensive textbooks. The trick to this is to find out where your raccoon is repeatedly going to the bathroom (like my textbook box) and then placing the litterbox there.
Once your pet raccoon gets the idea and starts using the litterbox regularly, then you can move the box to where you actually want it to go. Most of the time, your raccoon will go to the bathroom wherever the litter box is. Sometimes, pet raccoons can be quite stubborn and won’t agree to go in the litter box once you move it. We’ve had luck here at Exotic Pet Wonderland using Go Here spray in order to convince our raccoons to go to the bathroom in a certain place, but it is never totally guaranteed to work. If your pet raccoon still won’t go in the litter box after you have moved it and used Go Here spray, you are likely just going to have to accept that this is the litter box’s permanent home. Having a pet raccoon is all about compromise, and trust me, you will be doing a LOT of compromising with your pet for the next 20 or so years.