Thomas Wentworth Higginson, an author at The American Naturalist (peer-reviewed scientific journal), came upon an animal that he named “the most interesting hybrid animal he ever examined.”
He was passing upon a bookstore when he saw a Maine coon cat breed. When he saw the cat, he had it confused with a large squirrel. When he asked the owner of the cat regarding the origin of such a breed, he was then told that the cat actually was an offspring of a cat and a raccoon that the owner’s brother-in-law brought from China, a town in Maine.
Is a Maine Coon part Raccoon
Maine coons are the largest domesticated cat breed, with majestic tails resembling that of a raccoon, silky and long fur and size peculiar to that of a cat. According to the owner that was interviewed by Higginson, it was an intentional cross-breeding and not accidental.
Higginson’s paper opened up the topic of whether cats and raccoons are compatible to mate even with their differing biological make-up.
Racoon and Cat: The Modern Romeo and Juliet
Here is a crazy idea but not entirely possible, can a raccoon get a cat pregnant? There are actually conspiracy theories out there that the Maine Coon cat breed is actually a result of a night of dalliance between a cat and a raccoon.
Maine coons are believed to be a special breed because of their raccoon-like tail, majestic size, and overall just different in appearance if compared to your regular feline friend.
According to an author named Eugene Mccarthy, it is possible for raccoons to imprint on cats. Raccoons hunt by groups, meaning they have packs. These packs are then divided into males and females. However, male raccoons would often break away from his pack and hunt alone.
Mccarthy added that “male raccoons, especially the tame ones, will voluntarily mate with female cats.” The idea may not be entirely impossible, but there is no physical evidence supporting a voluntary mating between a cat and a raccoon. There is also the issue of whether they are truly compatible.
Cross examining racoons and cats
A study conducted by Stanyon and his peers showed that raccoons & cats have the same chromosome count and similar karyotypes. The study further showed that “numerous chromosomes (12) have similar and sometimes identical G-banding and 14 chromosome pairs have remained intact. Other chromosomes apparently differ by Robertsonian translocations and inversions.” However, their similarities in chromosomes and karyotypes do not prove that they can produce offspring.
Raccoon and Cats: Comparing The New and The Old Studies
There was also the confusion if raccoons are related to cats, however, studies would show that raccoons are more related to bears than cats. Older studies suggest that there were efforts in cross-breeding raccoons and cats, although it was never confirmed if this were true or successful.
Although recent studies show it is biologically impossible for cats and raccoons to crossbreed. Raccoons can imprint and mate with cats, but there is no evidence nor studies yet showing that there is indeed a crossbreeding that occurred between Raccoons and cats.
Video: Can a raccoon impregnate a cat?
Commonly Asked Questions
What are the similarities of maine coons and raccoons?
Maine coons and raccoons actually have similarities in physical appearance that is why there is confusion about whether Maine coons were a result of crossbreeding between cats and raccoons.
Below is a list of their similarities between Maine Coons and Raccoons:
- Color of fur-raccoons and Maine cats share the same color of fur, more specifically the tabby colored cat, the cat that Higginson saw in the bookstore that opened up his fascination with the possibility of cross-breeding.
- Tail-raccoons and Maine coons both have large bushy tails and most distinctively, they have black rings on their tails.
- Size-both raccoons and Maine coons can grow to a certain size similar to that of a 3-month-old golden retriever (which are generally large breeds).
- Paws-both raccoons and Maine coons have semi-prehensile paws, meaning they are capable of grasping.
Do cats and raccoons get along?
There have been reports that cats and raccoons get along. A website reported sightings of cats nursing baby raccoons. The two are a peculiar pair but they can easily get along. Raccoons are also big on imprinting, and there have been cases wherein a raccoon imprinted on a cat.
Can you domesticate a raccoon?
Raccoons are wild animals, even the tamed ones need extensive training. They need someone knowledgeable training them. In some states the raccoon is illegal to have as a pet because raccoons are innately wild, unlike dogs and cats, raccoons tend to cause havoc when they are hormonal.
They tend to bite and attack people. Raccoons are also big on running around and climbing on things. So the possibility of things being destroyed or the house being turned upside down is highly likely.