Top 20 Animals Similar to Raccoons (With Pictures)

Animals Similar to Raccoons

We explore 20 animals similar to raccoons, highlighting their commonalities and unique characteristics.

The raccoon is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. Known for their distinctive black mask and mischievous behavior, raccoons are found in a variety of habitats including forests, marshes and even urban areas.

While the raccoon is a unique animal, there are many other animals in the raccoon family (raton laveur) and share similar traits and behaviors.

Raccoons are omnivorous mammals that are known for their intelligence, adaptability and markings that resemble a “bandit’s mask”.

Some of the raccoon’s defining features include:

  • Medium in size, usually between 8 to 20 pounds
  • Distinctive black “mask” of fur around the eyes
  • Dexterous front paws used for handling food
  • Nocturnal habits
  • Ability to live in a variety of habitats

The animals included in this list were selected for their physical resemblance to raccoons (mapache), shared behaviors like intelligence and adaptability, as well as similarity in habitat and diet.

Just like raccoons, many of these creatures thrive near humans in urban settings or other disturbed habitats.

Here are 20 animals that are comparable to the clever raccoon.

Animals Similar to Raccoons

Animals Similar to Raccoons
Animals Similar to Raccoons



The coati is a diurnal mammal related to raccoons, found in tropical forests from the southwestern US to South America.

The Coati is an animal that looks like a raccoon with a long tail. With a long, flexible snout for poking into holes and rotten wood, the coati uses its sense of smell to find food.

Coatis lack the characteristic “bandit mask” of raccoons, but have a distinctive banded or ringed tail that they hold erect while walking.

As diurnal omnivores, they forage on the forest floor during the day for fruit, invertebrates, small vertebrates and eggs, using their snouts to probe crevices.

Coatis live in social bands of females and offspring, males are mostly solitary.

They inhabit a variety of tropical forest habitats including rainforests and dry deciduous forests from the southwestern US through Central America and into South America.



The kinkajou is a tropical rainforest mammal of Central and South America resembles a raccoon in diet and habits.

Adapted for life in the forest canopy, the kinkajou has a fully prehensile tail and paws with a opposable digit that allow it to climb and hang from branches.

Kinkajous sleep in tree hollows during the day and emerge at night to feed. Specialized for handling fruit, their slender tongues let them slurp up nectar and pollen from flowers and fruit.

Kinkajous will also eat insects, small vertebrates and honey. Mainly frugivorous, 90% of their diet consists of tree-ripened fruit.

These nocturnal rainforest mammals inhabit Central and South American forests from southern Mexico to Brazil.

Raccoon Dog

Raccoon Dog

The raccoon dog resembles a raccoon but is a type of wild East Asian canine.

Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has dark fur on its face that resembles the “bandit mask” of a raccoon.

However, raccoon dogs belong to the canine family, not the procyonid family like raccoons. Adaptable omnivores, raccoon dogs inhabit forests and wetlands where they feed on amphibians, small mammals, insects, plants and fruit.

They are widespread and common throughout East Asia in China, Korea, Japan and Indochina. Raccoon dogs are also found in parts of Europe where they were introduced from East Asia in the early 20th century.

These intelligent, adaptable canids thrive in human-dominated areas like farmland, orchards and even urban environments.



Bassaricyon are procyonid mammals native to Central and South American cloud forests.

Closely related to raccoons, Bassaricyon have yellowish or reddish fur and a “masked” facial pattern reminiscent of a raccoon or panda’s face.

Their ecological niche is similar to raccoons, as omnivorous nocturnal foragers adapted for an arboreal life in rainforest trees.

Bassaricyon inhabit cloud forests and rainforests in the Andes Mountains from western Venezuela to Peru and can be found at elevations up to 10,000 feet.

With excellent climbing skills, Bassaricyon rarely descend from the forest canopy.

They consume fruit, nectar, insects and small vertebrates. Four species of Bassaricyon are currently recognized. These treetop mammals are threatened by deforestation across their limited range.



The ringtail is a small procyonid relative of raccoons, native to arid regions of western North America.

With its striped ringed tail and masked face, the aptly named ringtail resembles a miniature raccoon.

An agile climber, its tail is not fully prehensile but helps it balance like a lemur. Ringtails are nocturnal omnivores that forage on the ground for fruit, insects, small vertebrates and some plants.

They adapt well to rocky cliffside habitats in arid canyon country, found in the southwestern United States, northern Mexico and Baja California.

Solitary animals, ringtails make dens in crevices or abandoned buildings and their range overlaps with raccoons in certain areas.



The olinguito is a newly discovered rainforest mammal native to the Andean cloud forests of Colombia and Ecuador.

The olinguito is the newest discovered member of the raccoon family, first documented in 2006.

They are found only in Andean cloud forests at 5,000-9,000 feet elevation where their reddish fur blends into the forests’ mossy vegetation.

About the size of a domestic cat, olinguitos are solitary, nocturnal and arboreal, rarely descending from the canopy. Using their dexterous paws, olinguitos feed on fruit, nectar and arthropods available in the treetops.

Shy and reclusive, they inhabit a relatively small range with potential threats from habitat destruction and climate change. More research is still needed to fully understand these rare rainforest mammals.

Red Panda

Red Panda

The red panda has a raccoon-like appearance but is a unique arboreal mammal of Asian montane forests.

Despite similarities in their reddish fur and masked facial markings, red pandas are not closely related or in the same taxonomic family as raccoons.

Red pandas are the sole living members of their own unique family, Ailuridae.

They inhabit temperate broadleaf and conifer forests with bamboo understories at high elevations of 12,000-18,000 feet across the Himalayas and mountains of southwestern China.

Specialized bamboo feeders, red pandas have adaptations like an enlarged radial sesamoid bone that acts like an opposable thumb to grasp bamboo.

Mainly active at dawn and dusk, red pandas shelter in tree hollows and under root systems during the day. Fewer than 10,000 remain in the wild between Nepal, Bhutan, India and China.



Bassariscus are small procyonids native to the arid regions of western North America.

The Bassariscus looks like a raccoon but is brown, closely related to raccoons, these diminutive mammals have a black and white striped tail resembling a coon’s tail.

Bassariscus are generally smaller than raccoons and reddish brown or grey in color. Nocturnal omnivores, they feed on fruit, nuts, berries, carrion, small vertebrates and invertebrates.

Excellent climbers, Bassariscus inhabit rocky cliffs and canyons, making dens in crevices or abandoned buildings from southern Oregon through the southwestern U.S. states to northern Mexico.

Solitary animals, they seem to tolerate the presence of raccoons in overlapping ranges but avoid confrontations with the larger mammals.



The cacomistle is a raccoon-like mammal ranging from southern Mexico to northern South America.

Also called the “mouse opossum”, this cat-sized nocturnal mammal resembles a miniature raccoon, but is not closely related.

Named for eating mice, cacomistles also consume fruit, insects and small birds. To aid in climbing, cacomistles have a long, scaled prehensile tail.

Adapted for life in tropical forests, cacomistles are found from southern Mexico to Bolivia and Brazil.

They inhabit rainforests and deciduous woodlands where they sleep in hollow trees and vine tangles during the day and forage trees and on the ground at night like raccoons.



Olingos are small procyonid mammals native to the cloud forests of Central and South America.

Closely related to raccoons, olingos occupy a similar ecological niche in the treetops of Andean cloud forests.

They have silky fur that can range from yellow-blonde to reddish-brown. Olingos have a “masked” facial pattern reminiscent of a raccoon or panda.

Nocturnal and arboreal, they rarely leave the forest canopy, nimbly climbing through the branches. Olingos consume fruit, nectar, flowers, insects and tree frogs.

They inhabit elevations between 5,000 to 9,000 feet from Costa Rica to Peru. Destruction of their cloud forest habitat threatens their populations.



Despite the misleading name, weasels are unrelated small carnivorous mammals distributed across the Northern Hemisphere.

While sometimes called pygmy weasels, these small fierce predators are actually in the mustelid family, not closely related to the procyonids like raccoons.

With long, slender bodies and short legs, weasels are adapted for pursuing prey into burrows and crevices. Ranging across North America, Europe and Asia, they occupy diverse habitats from tundra to grasslands to forests.

Weasels feed exclusively on meat, mainly small mammals like mice, voles and rabbits. With high metabolisms, weasels need to eat frequently and can consume prey 3 times their size.

Solitary hunters, they are aggressive despite their tiny size of under 2 pounds. While bearing a superficial resemblance to raccoons, weasels belong to a separate taxonomic family and fill a different niche as hypercarnivores.

Crab-eating Raccoon

Crab-eating Raccoon

The crab-eating raccoon is a close relative of the common raccoon native to marshy tropical regions of Central and South America.

Also known as the South American raccoon, this species is found in coastal wetlands from Belize to Argentina.

As their name suggests, crab-eating raccoons frequently forage for crabs and other crustaceans in mangrove forests and salt marshes.

They are heavily dependent on aquatic habitats and prey. Crab-eating raccoons are larger than the common raccoon, weighing up to 28 pounds, and lack the characteristic “bandit mask”.

Though not as adept at manipulating objects as the northern raccoon, their forepaws allow them to grasp prey. Omnivorous scavengers, they also eat fish, frogs, turtle eggs, insects, fruit and carrion.

While the common raccoon has a broad range, the crab-eating raccoon is limited to Central and South America’s tropical shores and wetlands. Their affinity for aquatic foraging is an adaptive difference from the widespread northern raccoon.



The coyote is an intelligent and adaptable North American canine that fills an ecological niche similar to the raccoon.

Like the raccoon, coyotes are highly adaptable mammals that thrive in close proximity to humans. As omnivores, coyotes have a varied diet including small mammals, reptiles, fruit and human refuse.

Their intelligence allows them to problem solve, often exploiting human food sources like garbage and pets.

Starting in the 20th century, coyotes dramatically expanded their range across North America as they adapted to occupy habitats modified by humans.

While raccoons are solitary, coyotes form small family packs that cooperate to hunt prey. Coyotes are primarily nocturnal and crepuscular, more active at dawn and dusk.

Weighing 20-50 pounds, coyotes are much larger than the raccoon’s 10-25 pounds.

While not closely related, the coyote and raccoon exemplify convergent evolution as two species possessing great behavioral adaptability, intelligence and opportunistic feeding strategies.


Macaques are highly intelligent and adaptable Old World monkeys that occupy an ecological niche similar to the crafty raccoon.

Found across Asia, macaques are opportunistic feeders and exhibit great behavioral adaptability.

Like raccoons, they thrive in close proximity to humans and exploit human food sources such as crops, garbage and handouts from tourists. With advanced problem-solving abilities, macaques can access difficult foods.

Macaques are omnivorous, feeding on fruit, seeds, flowers, insects and even small vertebrates. In contrast to the solitary raccoon, macaques form complex social groups based on female matrilineal hierarchies.

Most macaque species are diurnal, active during the day rather than nocturnal like raccoons. Weighing 10-30 pounds, macaques resemble the raccoon in their intelligence and flexibility but as primates exhibit more complex social behavior.


The mongoose shares the raccoon’s adaptability, opportunistic feeding behaviors and ability to thrive around humans.

Like raccoons, mongooses are highly intelligent and exhibit complex problem-solving abilities. Their opportunistic diets allow them to adapt to available food sources including insects, rodents, reptiles, fruit and human trash.

Originally native to Africa and parts of Asia, some mongoose species have been introduced to new environments like the Caribbean and Hawaii where they can become invasive.

With cunning and ingenuity, mongooses exploit resources in urban areas in proximity to humans. In contrast to the 10-25 pound raccoon, most mongoose species are small, weighing 1-5 pounds.

While raccoons are nocturnal, mongooses like the small Indian mongoose are diurnal. The mongoose exemplifies how very different mammal groups can converge on similar ecological roles.


Capuchin monkeys of Central and South America converge with raccoons as highly intelligent, opportunistic omnivores adept at exploiting a variety of forest habitats.

Capuchins are New World monkeys that inhabit tropical rainforests occupying a niche similar to raccoons in North American forests.

With excellent climbing abilities, capuchins forage both in trees and on the ground much like raccoons. They consume a wide array of foods including fruit, nuts, seeds, insects, frogs, birds’ eggs and small vertebrates.

Highly intelligent primates, capuchins exhibit advanced tool use and problem-solving skills to access foods, similar to raccoons’ ingenuity.

Known for their trainability, capuchins successfully adapt to living in proximity to humans in urban areas.

In contrast to solitary raccoons, they form social groups. But like raccoons, capuchins are omnivorous and exploit varied forest resources with their dexterity and cleverness.

Honey Badger

Honey badgers, also known as ratels, are small carnivorous mammals that are native to Africa and Asia. They are known for their tough, leathery skin and fearless nature. Honey badgers are omnivorous and feed on insects, small mammals, fruits, and nuts. They are solitary and are often found in burrows.


Binturongs, also known as bear cats, are arboreal mammals that are native to Southeast Asia. They are known for their distinctive black fur and prehensile tails. Binturongs are omnivorous and feed on fruits, small mammals, and insects. They are solitary and are often found in trees, where they build their nests.


Civets are small, nocturnal mammals that are native to Africa and Asia. They are known for their distinctive black and white striped fur and long, pointed snouts. Civets are omnivorous and feed on insects, small mammals, fruits, and nuts. They are solitary and are often found in trees or burrows.


Wolverines are medium-sized carnivorous mammals that belong to the weasel family (Mustelidae). They are known for their strength, cunning, fearlessness, and voracity, and are renowned for their ability to face down and fight larger predators that are more than twice their size. Wolverines are found in cold northern latitudes of North America and Eurasia, especially in timbered areas.


What animal looks similar to a raccoon?

The ring-tailed cat looks very similar to a raccoon, with a striped, ringed tail and pointed nose. However, it is much smaller than a raccoon. The raccoon dog of Asia also resembles a raccoon in size and markings, but is not closely related.

What animal is most closely related to raccoons?

The crab-eating raccoon, also known as the South American raccoon, is the animal most closely related to the common raccoon. As fellow members of the Procyonidae family, they share similar physical features, habits, and diets.

What animal is close to a racoon?

The ringtail is the animal that is most closely related and similar to a raccoon. Ringtails belong to the same taxonomic family (Procyonidae) and resemble miniature raccoons.

What is the cousin of the raccoon?

The raccoon’s closest cousins are other members of the Procyonidae family, including ringtails, coatis, olingos, and kinkajous. These species share physical traits and ecological niches with raccoons.

Animal that looks like a raccoon with a long tail?

The coati looks similar to a raccoon and has an elongated, banded tail. However, coatis belong to the Nasua genus while raccoons are Procyon. They are closely related but in different procyonid genera.

Final Words

The raccoon is a uniquely adaptable mammal, but many other diverse animals share surprising similarities with this masked opportunist. Raccoon relatives like ringtails and coatis closely resemble them in appearance, habits, and ecological role.

Mammals including kinkajous, red pandas, and raccoon dogs have converged via evolution to fill comparable niches. Their dexterous hands, omnivorous diets, and intelligence mirror the raccoon’s attributes.

Primates like macaques and capuchin monkeys demonstrate just how far behavioral convergence goes, as their complex cognitive abilities enable them to thrive among humans.

Mongoose and coyotes also exemplify adaptability on other continents. Even crabs and coatis populate comparable shoreline habitats to raccoons.

While no animal perfectly mimics the raccoon, many species display parallel adaptations and traits, revealing the evolutionary pressures and optimal strategies for exploiting certain environments.

We find familiar raccoon-like characteristics of intelligence, masked faces, and nimble hands across many branches of the animal kingdom.

This remarkable example of convergent evolution shows how very different taxonomic groups follow similar paths in widely separated places to produce analogous ecological roles and lifestyles.

The ubiquity of raccoon-like species speaks to the success of the raccoon’s niche and survival strategies.

By comparing other animals to the mischievous raccoon, we gain appreciation for the ways evolution crafts intricate diversity from a finite set of solutions to succeed within given habitats and conditions.

Raccoons provide a central point of reference for converging adaptations across the multitude of organisms with which they share their world.

About Irfan Iqbal DVM

Hi, Dr irfan here, i have done Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from UVAS, Lahore which is one of the university of pakistan.

i have extensive experience in
1-Disease diagnosis
3-neutring, spaying,
5-urinary catheter passing, ear cropping, tail docking and other surgeries.
6- restraining, handling of pets especially dogs and cats
7- expert in management of feed and nutritional requirements
8- Dog training and basic obedience to owner.
9- teaching commands like sit, come, stop, as well as litre training and name recognizing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *