Raccoons in the wild have to contend with a number of predators, including cougars, jaguars, coyotes, dogs, foxes and certain kinds of owls. The geographic area where the raccoon is located determines which of these animals will be primary predators. For instance, the jaguar will not be a raccoon predator in the northern United States, but may be a primary concern in central America.
The common raccoon naturally ranges from Canada to as far south as Panama, and can be found in both rural and urban areas. Urban raccoons typically have very few predators. During the 20th century, the raccoon was introduced to other parts of the world, including Japan, Germany and Russia, adding different types of predators to the list. Even though being eaten is a risk inherent to any small animal, raccoons more often than not are killed by disease, infection or run-ins with passing cars.
Raccoons that live in the wild have sharp teeth to help ward off smaller predators and thick fur that provides a layer of protection against bites from other animals. To escape predation by the larger animals seeking a meal, raccoons are excellent swimmers and can climb trees fairly easily with their sharp claws.