Do Raccoons Like Shiny Things? 6 Key Possible Reasons

do raccoons like shiny things

Do raccoons like shiny things? Raccoons are indeed known for their fascination with shiny objects. These mammals have a preference for investigating and sometimes even collecting items that catch their eye with a gleam. Whether it’s a discarded piece of jewelry or a shiny trinket left outdoors, raccoons are attracted to the sparkle. 

Let’s delve into the curious world of raccoons and their affinity for all things that glitter and gleam.

Do raccoons like shiny things?

The fascination of raccoons with shiny things remains largely anecdotal, as there is no conclusive scientific proof of this behavior. Many people have shared stories of raccoons showing interest in reflective or glittering objects, attributing it to the creatures’ innate curiosity and adaptability to urban environments.

Table: Examples of Shiny Objects Attracted to by Raccoons

JewelryDiscarded or misplaced jewelry pieces.
Reflective ItemsSurfaces that produce a gleam or sparkle.
Metallic ObjectsItems made of metal with reflective surfaces.
CDsDiscs made of reflective material.
MirrorsGlass or polished surfaces that reflect light.
Glass BottlesTransparent or colored glass with reflective properties.
Chrome AppliancesAppliances with chrome finishes that produce reflections.
Aluminum FoilThin, reflective sheets of aluminum material.
Glass MarblesTransparent or colored glass spheres with reflective surfaces.
Chrome HubcapsVehicle wheel covers made of reflective chrome material.

Why do raccoons like shiny things?

While the specific reasons behind raccoons’ attraction to shiny things are not definitively established, several theories provide possible explanations:

  • Curiosity: Raccoons are known for their inquisitive nature, and shiny objects may capture their attention, prompting them to investigate and interact with these items.
  • Mistaken Identity: Some believe that raccoons might mistake shiny objects for potential food sources due to their reflective nature, as they naturally seek out items that stand out in their environment.
  • Environmental Adaptation: In urban settings, where raccoons frequently encounter human-made objects, the prevalence of shiny items could be coincidental, and their interaction may stem from their general adaptability and exploration of their surroundings.
  • Reflective Properties: Raccoons, being nocturnal animals, might be drawn to the reflective properties of shiny objects, especially during the night, when such items stand out in the darkness.
  • Playful Behavior: Raccoons are known for their playful antics, and interacting with shiny objects could be a form of amusement for them, adding an element of enrichment to their environment.
  • Mating Attraction: Shiny objects may also serve as attention-grabbing displays during the mating season, as raccoons, like many animals, engage in behaviors to attract potential mates. The reflective nature of shiny items could pique their curiosity, prompting them to investigate and potentially contribute to their social interactions during this reproductive period.

While these theories provide insights into why raccoons may be drawn to shiny things, it’s important to note that scientific studies on this specific behavior are limited, and the fascination with shiny objects remains largely anecdotal.

Catching raccoons with shiny objects

Given raccoons’ nocturnal nature and limited daytime vision, incorporating shiny elements near the trap can help attract their attention. Raccoons are curious creatures. Increase the visibility of your trap by adding shiny objects near or around it. 

Reflective surfaces or aluminum foil can attract their attention, making them more likely to investigate the trap. Alongside foil, you may use other reflective items such as aluminum pie plates or bright, reflective tape.

To catch the raccoon follow these steps:

  • Strategic Placement: Choose strategic locations based on raccoon activity, such as entry points, pathways, or areas with signs of frequent visits.
  • Bait Selection: Use enticing bait like marshmallows, cat food, canned fish, or peanut butter. Place it at the back of the trap to encourage the raccoon to enter fully.
  • Competing Food Removal: Minimize alternative food sources in the vicinity to make the trap more appealing. Secure trash bins to prevent easy access.
  • Proper Trap Setting: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to set the live trap correctly. Ensure the door is securely open, and the trigger mechanism is in place.
  • Regular Monitoring: Check the trap regularly, ideally multiple times a day, to minimize the time the raccoon spends confined and address any issues promptly.
  • Safe Relocation: Once captured, choose a suitable release site away from populated areas, following local regulations for responsible and legal wildlife release.
  • Raccoon Shiny Object Trap: Consider enhancing trap visibility during low-light conditions by using reflective items like silver foil, aluminum pie plates, or reflective tape.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Raccoons and Shiny Objects

Q1: Do raccoons have a tendency to collect shiny objects?

A: While some raccoons may grab shiny objects, there is not enough evidence to support the idea that raccoons have a consistent tendency to collect shiny objects. Their behavior is primarily driven by the search for food and shelter, and the notion is more anecdotal than scientifically proven.

Q2: Why are raccoons attracted to shiny things?

A: Rccoons are attracted to shiny things, potentially due to their inquisitive nature and the reflective properties that catch their attention. The reflective nature of these objects could stand out to raccoons, particularly during low-light conditions, making them more noticeable in their environment.

Q3: Can incorporating shiny objects aid in trapping raccoons?

A: Incorporating shiny objects near traps can potentially aid in trapping raccoons. Shiny objects, such as reflective tape or silver foil, may enhance visibility during low-light conditions, increasing the likelihood that raccoons notice and investigate the trap. 

Q4: Is there a scientific basis for raccoons’ behavior with shiny objects?

A: Currently, there is limited scientific research providing a clear explanation for raccoons’ behavior with shiny objects. While their curiosity is acknowledged, more research is needed to understand the specific factors that drive their attraction to shiny items.


The curious affinity of raccoons for shiny objects adds a delightful and unexpected dimension to their behavior. From nocturnal quests to playful investigations, these creatures showcase their natural curiosity through interactions with items that glitter and gleam. Whether encountering shiny trinkets outdoors or exploring human belongings, raccoons leave a trail of unexpected discoveries.

While the exact reasons for this behavior may remain speculative, the allure of shiny objects remains a captivating aspect of raccoon behavior, inviting us to appreciate the playful and curious side of these clever critters in the world they inhabit.

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.