Raccoon Jumping and Climbing – Trash Panda Acrobatics

Raccoons are great climbers and are able to climb trees without much difficulty. This allows the animal to escape predators, forage fruit and nuts, and sleep in the tree branches out of harm’s way. When getting down from rights, raccoons prefer to climb, but they can also jump if the heights aren’t too great.

Do Raccoons Climb or Jump?

Raccoons can both climb and jump as they please. They are very diligent and curious creatures that utilize this to their advantage to navigate their environments. 

They are best known for climbing into places they were never welcomed into. As for jumping, they only do so when they must, and if they have to jump, they are not able to jump very high, to begin with. 

Are Raccoons Good Climbers?

Raccoons are very good climbers. It’s not uncommon to see a raccoon climbing up a textured wall or pole. They have strong and durable claws that aid them, and with their innate strength and build, climbing is one of their best traits. 

Walls that are made of wood, brick, stone, masonite sidings, and other products that have texture and an opportunity to gain traction are ideal for raccoons (and should be avoided). 

Can Raccoons Climb All Kinds Of Obstacles?

Raccoons can climb up many kinds of obstacles. However, they aren’t invincible! 

  • Raccoons can climb walls. The sort of walls that have crooks, crevices, or texture that they could even subtly stick their feet or claws into.
  • Raccoons can climb trees. Raccoons can even reside in trees. There have been many cases of “raccoon nests” where a cluster of Racoons seems to congregate within a tree. 
  • Raccoons can come upstairs easily. Just as most four-legged animals, this is a simple task for them.
  • Raccoons can climb roofs, assuming the way up was not blocked off. They can climb up the aforementioned surfaces and then make their way up to the roof. Assuming the roof is not a smooth angled surface, they should have no problem hanging around up there (which is no fun). 
  • Raccoons can climb up all sorts of fences. Depending on what the texture and proofing level of said fence is, you’ll encounter different levels of raccoon infiltration. 

For example: 

A short, non-proofed fence is like an embellished “you’ve been invited to trash our yard” invitation. 

A tall fence coated with two layers of barbed wire will keep those raccoons from inviting themselves over. 

Raccoons can climb chicken wire. They are very skillful, crafty, and have been known to even rip through the chicken wire-like a piece of paper. Chicken wire is best suited for chicken (non-menacing, claw, and handless creatures). 

Are Some Barriers Safe From Climbing Raccoons?

Some barriers are more appropriate for and safe from raccoons climbing onto. 

Slippery and smooth surfaces like glass for example do not allow for raccoons to climb as easily. Assuming the surface is non-textured.

Unweathered sheet metal is also a surface that raccoons cannot climb vertically. 

Overall, sharp barriers, unstable barriers, smooth surfaces like glass and other products are ideal when keeping raccoons away from your property. 

How Do I Keep Raccoons From Climbing On My Property?

You can keep raccoons from climbing onto your property in a variety of ways. Some are more harmful to the creatures than others. But will certainly deter them from coming back. 

A perfectly safe way to keep raccoons from climbing onto your property or fencing would be to tape pieces of aluminum foil on top of the fences. Preferably slightly crumpled. 

Raccoons really do not like the sensation of crumpled aluminum foil on their paws. This solution will eventually break off and seemingly vanish as delicate products like foils do. Simply reapply when necessary. 

Raccoons’ paws are very sensitive to certain sensations. This is why placing stainless steel wire across your desired surface would also deter them from trespassing. 

Does Barbed Wire or Spikes Keep Raccoons From Climbing?

Barbed wire does an especially good job of keeping raccoons from climbing onto your desired surfaces. With that being said, raccoons are very clever and may find ways to tear the barbed wire apart if they find an opening or space. 

If you are to use barbed wire, you should place multiple layers of the wirings to ensure that if a raccoon did attempt this, they would be too uncomfortable to make any progress. 

This is a great solution, however, it is an expensive one. If you have the money disposable for about 60 to 110 dollars on the average 1320 foot roll of barbed wire then go wild!

As for spikes, upward-pointing stainless steel spikes are excellent products when deterring raccoons from your property. They are more so a barrier that won’t significantly hurt them at all, and simply make it difficult to get through to their destination. 

They are also less expensive depending on how long your fence is!

Can I Stop Raccoons From Climbing With Some Kind Of Wall Cladding?

The purpose of wall cladding is to provide a wall with another layer of insulative product, allowing for further weather resistance and insulation. Wall cladding can also be used for a simultaneous benefit to the walls appearance-wise, being that designs and architectural formats are easily applicable.

With that being said, if you were to implement wall cladding, you should choose a smooth surface. Any textured wall cladding would give your raccoons more ideas. 

Are Raccoons Good At Jumping?

Raccoons are not built for jumping. They have short legs and chunky bodies. Surprisingly, however, they are able to reach heights of around 4-feet with a single leap. It may not seem like much, but when you consider that absolutely nothing about a raccoon’s shape screams ‘I can jump high’ it is rather remarkable.

Raccoons much prefer climbing!

A raccoon thinking about taking the leap

How High/Far Can A Raccoon Jump?

Raccoons can launch themselves about 4-feet vertically. Due to their chunky bodies and short legs, even a small height like this will require a lot of effort from a raccoon. This means that you will rarely see raccoons jump. 

Raccoons seem to fare a little bit when they are looking to leap horizontally. When they are looking to jump forward, a raccoon could easily add an extra foot onto the distance. It will require a lot less energy too. Raccoons will often need to jump from location to location when they are climbing.

There is some evidence that city raccoons can jump a little bit higher than their forest-dwelling counterparts. However, this is likely only going to add a short distance to their jump height. It isn’t really going to be anything that impacts how they live. 

The interesting thing about raccoons is while they cannot jump very high, they can jump from a high height. For example, if a raccoon is 20-30-feet in the air, the raccoon could easily jump down and be completely uninjured. This is because their body has evolved in that way. The only time that a raccoon is really going to get injured when they’re up high is if they fall. However, even then, raccoons do a brilliant job of being able to correct their landing. 

We know that there are a lot of people that see raccoons up high in almost impossible-to-reach places. This is not because they have jumped. Instead, raccoons are perfectly adapted to climbing. In fact, they are among the best climbers out there. They can scale pretty much any surface, and they are remarkably intelligent when it comes to planning their ‘next move’.

Do Raccoons Jump Over Obstacles?

Raccoons do not typically choose to jump when facing challenges but will do so under the right motivations. 

Assuming the obstacle is under just about 4 feet, the raccoons will be able to jump over the obstacle in question. 

In terms of distance, we know that raccoons can jump up to 10 feet distance-wise, and the raccoon will be able to jump over the obstacle and a little farther behind it. 

This is all depending on how good of a position it is in to do so and how much strength it has. 

For example:

If your obstacle involves “spikes” then it is unlikely the raccoon will beagle to jump over them upon climbing upon the wall. Spikes are designed to make it significantly difficult for them to want to move forward, let alone jump over. 

Not to mention, by then it is far too risky for them to jump. The same goes for if you’re using barbed wire or stainless steel wiring. They simply do not like the sensations of those wires and are unlikely to jump over the wire once they’ve touched them. 

If your “obstacle” is chicken wire, the raccoon could jump over the chicken wire without feeling any significant pain whatsoever. 

Are Raccoons OK After Falling?

Raccoons are perfectly okay after falling from a high height. Unlike other animals, they are built to withstand high falls and get back up effortlessly. 

How High Can A Raccoon Fall Without Getting Hurt?

There is a misconception that perhaps if your fences were very tall, raccoons would not be able to jump down successfully after surpassing them. 

Raccoons can fall from very high heights without getting hurt. Raccoons can fall up to 40 feet and land on the ground without getting hurt. 

For reference, 45 feet is the average standard height for a two-story building. So if a raccoon happened to fall off of your second-floor balcony, it’d probably come up with no more than a scratch.