5 Reasons Behind Raccoon Scratching at Windows

raccoon scratching at window

Imagine sitting in the comfort of your home, engrossed in a quiet evening when suddenly you hear an unusual sound—soft scratching at your window. You investigate, only to find a pair of mischievous eyes staring back at you. It’s not an uncommon scenario for those living in areas frequented by raccoons.

In this blog, we delve into the curious behavior of raccoons scratching at windows, exploring the reasons behind this intriguing phenomenon.

Why do raccoons scratch at the window?

Possible Reasons for Raccoons Scratching at Windows:

Curiosity and Playfulness:

Raccoons are naturally curious animals. If they spot movement or detect sounds coming from inside a building, they may investigate by approaching windows. The scratching could be a form of playfulness or an attempt to interact with what they perceive as interesting activity on the other side.

Territorial Behavior:

Raccoons can be territorial, and they may scratch at windows as a way of marking their territory. This behavior is not necessarily aggressive but could be an instinctual response to the presence of another creature, even if it’s just their own reflection.

Food Source Identification:

Raccoons have an exceptional sense of smell. If they catch a whiff of food inside your home or detect residue on the window, they might scratch at the window in an attempt to reach what they believe to be a potential food source.

Mating Season:

During the mating season, raccoons may display more erratic behavior. Scratching at windows could be a way for them to communicate with potential mates or establish their presence in the area.

Escape Route Exploration:

Raccoons are known for their problem-solving abilities. If a raccoon feels threatened or trapped, it might scratch at windows as it explores potential escape routes. This behavior can be particularly common in urban areas where raccoons may find themselves in unfamiliar surroundings.

Can a raccoon break a window?

While raccoons are known for their agility and dexterous paws, they typically lack the physical strength to break a window. Raccoons are more inclined towards using their sharp claws for tasks like climbing, digging, and foraging rather than exerting force. Windows are designed to withstand various environmental elements, and breaking one usually requires a considerable amount of force.

However, it’s essential to note that raccoons can still cause damage to windows indirectly. Their curiosity and persistence may lead them to scratch at windows, potentially leaving scratches or marks on the glass. In rare cases, if a window is already weakened or compromised, a raccoon’s efforts could contribute to further damage.

How to Save Windows from Getting Scratched by Raccoons?

  • Apply a Protective Film: Invest in anti-scratch window films designed to deter raccoons and protect your windows from their curious claws.
  • Use Deterrents: Employ raccoon deterrents like motion-activated lights or sounds to discourage them from approaching and scratching windows.
  • Trim Nearby Trees and Branches: Reduce potential access points by trimming branches that may provide raccoons with a convenient pathway to your windows.
  • Secure Trash and Food Sources: Minimize attractions by securing trash cans and eliminating food sources that could entice raccoons to explore your property.
  • Install Hardware Cloth: Consider attaching hardware cloth or mesh over windows to create a barrier, preventing raccoons from making direct contact with the glass.
  • Use Scent Repellents: Apply scent repellents near windows, like ammonia-soaked rags or commercial raccoon repellents, to deter them from scratching.
  • Regularly Inspect and Repair: Conduct regular inspections of your windows, fixing any existing damage or weaknesses that might invite raccoons to explore further.
  • Close Blinds or Curtains: Limit visibility from the inside by closing blinds or curtains, reducing the likelihood of raccoons being enticed by movements or activities indoors.
  • Consider Double-Sided Tape: Affix double-sided tape to the lower portion of windows; raccoons dislike the sticky sensation, deterring them from scratching.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Raccoon Scratching at Windows

Q1: Why do raccoons scratch at windows?

A: Raccoons may scratch at windows out of curiosity or to investigate intriguing sounds and movements inside homes. It can also be a way for them to communicate, establish territory, or search for potential food sources.

Q2: Is raccoon scratching harmful to windows?

A: While raccoons themselves might not break windows, their scratching can leave marks or scratches on the glass, especially if the window is already weakened. It’s advisable to take preventive measures to minimize potential damage.

Q3: Can raccoons open windows?

A: No, raccoons lack the physical strength and dexterity to open windows. However, their attempts to scratch or explore may inadvertently lead to damage. Securing windows with proper preventive measures is key to avoiding any unwanted interactions.

Q4: Does the time of year affect raccoon scratching behavior?

A: Raccoons may exhibit scratching behavior throughout the year, but it might become more pronounced during mating season when their behavior tends to be more erratic. Understanding seasonal patterns can help anticipate and manage raccoon activities.

Q5: How can homeowners deter raccoons from scratching at windows?

A: Homeowners can use deterrents such as protective films, motion-activated devices, or scent repellents. Securing trash, trimming nearby branches, and addressing potential entry points can also discourage raccoons from approaching windows.


The next time you hear a raccoon scratching at your window, remember that these creatures are simply expressing their innate behaviors. By understanding the reasons behind their actions, we can coexist with these fascinating creatures while taking measures to ensure our homes remain secure and free from unwanted visitors. Raccoons scratching at windows may be a temporary curiosity, but with a thoughtful approach, we can maintain a harmonious relationship with the wildlife around us.

About Tanya Garg 82 Articles
I'm Tanya, the dedicated raccoon enthusiast behind racoonpet.com. 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.