Raccoon Enrichment Guide

Authors: Linsey Hembree and Nessie O'Neil

When exploring raccoon ownership, many people overlook the fact these animals require constant enrichment. Raccoons are highly intelligent and are very destructive when left to their own devices.

A photo of a raccoon

In the wild, raccoons must search for food, keep their eyes out for predators, climb trees, run, and rely on their senses to survive. When kept in captivity, however, raccoons are relieved of these tasks. As a result, raccoons tend to become obese, destructive, and even aggressive. Providing sufficient enrichment for these remarkable animals poses a challenge, especially considering their intelligence is comparable to many primates.

The types of raccoon enrichment we use at Exotic Pet Wonderland can be broken down into five categories: cognitive, sensory, food, motor, and social.

A photo of a raccoon

What is cognitive enrichment?

Cognitive enrichment refers to enrichment that provides mental stimulation for your pet. As mentioned earlier, raccoons are incredibly smart animals. In order to keep your pet raccoon from becoming destructive, you must keep their mind engaged. 

A photo of a pet raccoon in a ballpit

Please make sure you are watching your raccoon closely when it is playing with any small toys in order to avoid choking.

A photo of a pet raccoon enrichment session. The raccoon is sitting on a ledge in front of a hanging jingle toy

Raccoon Cognitive Enrichment Ideas

Dog, cat, bird, monkey, and baby toys

Puzzle feeders

PVC Jungle Gyms with toys

Cardboard tubes and boxes


Musical baby toys


Smart dog toys


Sensory Enrichment for Raccoons

What is sensory enrichment?

Sensory enrichment for your pet raccoon revolves around stimulating your animal’s senses. Sensory based raccoon enrichment can be broken down into four categories–olfactory (smell and taste), tactile, auditory, and visual. 

Tactile Enrichment for Raccoons

The raccoon’s sense of touch is the most powerful of all their senses. In fact, the raccoon’s sense of touch is more powerful than most other animals due to having 4 to 5 times as many nerve ending in their hands. Because of this, raccoons really enjoy tactile enrichment. Providing novel textures for your animal to experience is a quick and easy way to provide your raccoon enrichment.  

Tactile Enrichment Examples for raccoons:

Painting (with non toxic paint)

A kiddie pool filled with water and/or ice

Textured fabrics and stuffed animals to touch 

A sensory board

fur/wool from other animals 

A close up photo of a raccoon eating a rambutan

Olfactory Raccoon Enrichment

Olfactory is essentially a fancy science word that refers to one’s sense of smell. Olfactory enrichment describes the “addition of scents or scented material to an animal’s enclosure” (A Critical Review of Zoo-based Olfactory Enrichment).

Some examples of olfactory enrichment we use for raccoons are as follows: 

Pet safe essential oils 

fur/wool from other animals 

Pet safe artificial scents 

Herbs and Spices 

New food scents 

A close up photo of a raccoon eating a rambutan

Auditory Enrichment for Raccoons

Auditory refers to sound based enrichment. Just like humans enjoy listening to music and podcasts, sounds are a great source of raccoon enrichment as well.

Some forms of auditory enrichment for raccoons are:

Singing to your raccoon

Playing music 

Playing sounds from other raccoons or other animal species

When providing new forms of auditory enrichment, it is important to continuously monitor your animal for signs of stress. 

Visual Raccoon Enrichment

For humans, things like going to an art museum, watching birds, or scrolling through Instagram are all visual enrichment. Just like humans, raccoons need visual enrichment, too! After all, can you imagine looking at the same thing every idea?

Here are some ideas for visual enrichment for raccoons:

Bubble Blowers

Being able to see other animals (monitor your  raccoon to ensure your animal is not destressed) 


Changing your raccoon’s enclosure around

Planting a butterfly garden outside the enclosure

Add a bird bath outside the enclosure 

A photo of an albino raccoon playing with bubbles as a form of visual raccoon enrichment

Food Enrichment for Raccoons

What is Food Enrichment?

Food based raccoon enrichment is one of the most commonly used forms of enrichment. As mentioned earlier, raccoons are prone to obesity. Food enrichment will not only keep your pet raccoon entertained, but it will also slow down the time your raccoon takes to eat.  

A photo of two raccoons, one albino and one standard color, at a raccoon sanctuary in tennessee engaging in food based raccoon enrichment

Raccoon Food Enrichment Ideas

Some food based enrichment for raccoons used at Exotic Pet Wonderland:

Snuffle mats

Puzzle feeders for dogs, primates, and large parrots

Foraging boxes

Kong treat toys

Fruit frozen in ice cubes 

Apples cored and filled with meal worms 

Pumpkins filled with dried bugs

Hiding food around the room 

Placing fruit in a pool or tub full of water or ice

Scattering food around the enclosure 

Feeding whole nuts in the shell 

Feeding live fish and bugs (meal worms, super worms, Dubia roaches)

Placing food in suet feeders for birds


Raccoon Motor Enrichment

What is Motor Enrichment?

When it comes to raccoon enrichment, “motor enrichment” does not refer to playing with motors, but instead keeping your raccoon physically active. It is important for your pet raccoon to exercise not only to keep your animal entertained, but also to keep them a healthy weight. 

Raccoon Motor Enrichment Ideas

Cat wheels 

Climbing Walls 

Cat Trees 

Pet Hammocks 

Sensory Saucer Swings

Swimming Pools 

Climbing Shelves

Large Branches

Tug ‘O War

A photo of a pet raccoon on a cat wheel for motor based raccoon enrichment

Social Raccoon Enrichment

Social Enrichment Ideas for Raccoons

Forms of social enrichment for raccoons include:

Spending time with your raccoon, just talking and playing with your animal 

Placing your pet raccoon with another raccoon, or a group (please seek professional advice before introducing a new raccoon)

Training your raccoon using a clicker or talk buttons 

What is Social Enrichment?

In captivity, raccoons are social animals who bond closely with their caregivers. Social interaction is important for your pet raccoon! 

A photo of a red-haired woman in a banana print hawaiian shirt wearing glasses petting a raccoon who is licking her nose with one hand and a raccoon sitting on her lap with the other

Click Below to Learn More About Raccoons as Pets

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