The domestic housecat is a feline, while the raccoon is a procyonid. One notable difference is that some species of raccoons, including the familiar northern raccoon, have hands with which to manipulate their food. They are notorious for washing their food before they eat it. Cats lack hands but have retractable claws that raccoons do not.
Raccoons have long, pointed muzzles and short legs, and they walk on the soles of their feet like bears. This puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to jumping and running. The muzzles of housecats are short, their legs are long, and they walk on their toes. Cats are agile and can run quickly and jump distances easily.
When climbing headfirst down a tree, the raccoon can rotate its hind feet like a squirrel. Cats lack this ability and sometimes find themselves stuck in trees.
Raccoons are omnivorous, while cats are obligate carnivores, which means their diet must consist mostly of meat to support their health.
At least one type of raccoon, the kinkajou, has a prehensile tail. The housecat doesn't.
Raccoons have 40 teeth, and the teeth they use to shred meat aren't as sharp as a cat's. The cat has 26 teeth that are specialized for killing and eating meat.