Predators of the raccoon include bobcats, coyotes, great horned owls and cougars. Depending upon location, they are also consumed by eagle owls, wolves and lynxes. Some humans also trap and eat raccoon, and one raccoon can feed up to five adults.
Preparing raccoon meat for consumption is arduous work. To be made edible, a frozen raccoon must be thawed, added to a brine and soaked in a solution for at least one night. It is then parboiled for two hours prior to being barbecued, roasted or otherwise prepared for a meal. In 2009, trappers sold whole raccoon carcases for up to $3 to $7 USD.
The greatest threat to raccoons is not predators but disease. Distemper is the number one natural cause of raccoon death in North America. Raccoons who contract the widely-spread viral disease die within two weeks, after suffering from symptoms such as vomiting, fever, partial paralysis and seizures. An entire population of raccoons can die when a raccoon catches and spreads distemper. Other leading causes of raccoon death include vehicular accidents, hunting and habitat destruction. Additional diseases that raccoons can contract include trichinosis and roundworm. Like distemper, both are illnesses that can affect both pets and humans.