The breeding season for Raccoons starts usually in late January or the begging of February. Raccoons in southern areas have been known to breed year around. The birth peak occurs in May. However, some Raccoons are reported to give birth to the young as late as September.
Male Raccoons mate with a few females. Meanwhile, females are monogamous and tend to be aggressive towards other males after the mating has taken place. As a rule, females reach sexual maturity in their first year and start breeding that same year. Males, however, do not start mating until their second year, although they are sexually mature by the age of one year. This is due to a high competition rate from other adult males.
The gestation period is about 63 days. Litter sizes vary from one area to another. In northern habitats, Raccoons tend to have large litters. They give birth to 3-7 young. Southern Raccoons have litters that count about 2-3 young.
Raccoons – Life Cycle
Raccoons are born without dentition. They are blind at birth and very small. A little Raccoon weighs about 75 grams at birth. By the age of two weeks old, the eyes open with teeth erupting some time later. In a few days after birth date, Raccoons start to acquire adult coloration with the black mask on the face.
Male Raccoons do not take part in rearing the young. The juvenile Raccoon stays inside the den for about 8 weeks. Then they start foraging with their mother and appear to be fully weaned by the age of two months. Raccoons are active during the night. A female teaches the young to climb trees, swim, and hunt. After a female has a new litter, her offspring from the previous year is left to find its own home range. Female Raccoons are known to settle near their mother’s home range.