Can Raccoons Squeeze into Small Spaces: 4-Inch Squeeze Power

can raccoons squeeze into small spaces

Can raccoons squeeze into small spaces?

Yes, raccoons possess the remarkable ability to squeeze into small spaces. Despite their seemingly robust appearance, raccoons can flatten their bodies and manipulate their limbs to navigate through surprisingly tight spaces, often as small as four inches in diameter.

Here’s why raccoons squeeze into small spaces.

Reasons Why Raccoons Can Squeeze Into Small SpacesDetails
1. Flexible BodiesTheir skeletons are slender and can bend quite a bit, allowing them to contort their bodies to fit through tight openings.
2. Dense FurBeneath their fluffy exterior lies a surprisingly slim physique. Raccoons’ dense fur can compress, allowing them to fit through gaps that might initially appear too small.
3. Dexterous HandsTheir human-like hands can manipulate objects, creating even smaller openings if needed.
4. ResourcefulnessRaccoons showcase remarkable resourcefulness by adeptly utilizing various structures and access points in their environment, enabling them to thrive across diverse habitats from forests to urban areas.

How small a space can a raccoon squeeze through?

Most adult raccoons can squeeze through openings 4-5 inches wide, roughly the diameter of a grapefruit. Determined and smaller raccoons may manage 3-inch gaps or even slightly smaller in rare cases.

The ability of a raccoon to squeeze through small spaces depends on several factors:

  • Raccoon size: Adult male raccoons are generally larger than females and kits, meaning they’ll need a wider opening. Kits can be surprisingly small and flexible, potentially squeezing through gaps as narrow as 2-3 inches.
  • Flexibility: Each raccoon’s individual flexibility can vary, impacting how tightly they can contort their body.
  • Motivation: A highly motivated raccoon, driven by hunger or seeking shelter, might push their limits and squeeze through an even smaller space than usual.
  • Fur compression: Their dense fur can compress significantly, allowing their body to fit through openings smaller than their actual bony frame.
  • Head size: As long as their head fits through an opening, they have a good chance of squeezing the rest of their body through, even if it requi/res some effort.
Video – Raccoon squeezing through hole

What can raccoons squeeze through?

Raccoons, known for their adaptability, can squeeze through:

Vents: A common entry point for raccoons into attics, especially if the vent cover is loose or damaged.

raccoons squeezing though vent

Gaps around pipes and chimneys: Even a small crack can be enough for a persistent raccoon to squeeze through. In fact, racoons sometimes make their nest in chimneys as it feels like a warm, safe space to them.

raccoons squeezing though chimney

Pet doors: If the pet door is large enough for your dog or cat, it’s likely big enough for a determined raccoon.

raccoons squeeze into small spaces though pet door

Underneath decks and sheds: These tight spaces offer warmth and shelter, making them attractive to raccoons.

raccoons squeeze into small spaces under deck

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Raccoons Squeezing into Small Spaces

Q1: Can raccoons squeeze into small holes?

A: Yes, raccoons are remarkably adept at squeezing into small holes. Their flexible bodies and adaptable anatomy allow them to navigate through tight spaces with surprising agility.

Q2: How small of a hole can a raccoon fit through?

A: Raccoons can fit through remarkably small openings, often as narrow as 4-5 inches in diameter. However, particularly determined or smaller raccoons may manage to squeeze through even smaller gaps, such as 3-inch openings or slightly smaller, albeit in rare cases.

Q3: Can raccoons squeeze through window screens?

A: Yes, raccoons can navigate through window screens, especially if the screens are damaged or loose. Their agility and dexterity allow them to manipulate the screen’s material and access indoor spaces.

Q4: How do raccoons navigate through drainage pipes?

A: Raccoons are skilled navigators and can maneuver through drainage pipes by compressing their bodies. They may enter pipes in search of water sources, food, or shelter, demonstrating their adaptability to urban environments.

Q5: Can raccoons squeeze through gaps in fences?

A: Indeed, raccoons can exploit gaps in fences to move between properties or access different areas. Their flexibility enables them to flatten their bodies and squeeze through narrow openings, making fences a common route for their movement.


The remarkable ability of raccoons to squeeze into small spaces showcases their adaptability and resourcefulness in navigating diverse environments. Their capability to navigate through narrow openings as small as 4-5 inches in diameter highlights their remarkable agility. Understanding these traits not only fosters appreciation for the ingenuity of these creatures but also emphasizes the importance of taking preventive measures to mitigate potential conflicts with humans while coexisting with wildlife in shared spaces.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind My mission is to share my knowledge about raccoons through insightful blogs, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation for these intelligent creatures. Join me on a journey to learn more about raccoons, their behavior, and the importance of ensuring their safe relocation when necessary. Let's together create a world where raccoons and humans coexist harmoniously and safely.