Difference Between Raccoons and Possums

Difference Between a Raccoon and Possum

While the two creatures look nothing alike it is quite interesting to note the differences and the similarities between these two urban nuances. The raccoon to many might seem like a bit furry cat and the possum like a big weird overgrown mouse that has grabbed the internet by storm because of its chaotic appearance. If you do not know what this means, looking at internet memes is suggested. While the raccoon’s antics were known for a longer period, it still steals the hearts (and food) of many who have a chance of meeting with the raccoon. So what exactly are the key differences between the raccoon and the possum?

If you have raccoons on your property and want to get rid of them, do not hesitate and call the technicians from Wildlife Removal Peterborough!

This may come as a surprise to many, but the possum is not native to North America despite being a common sighting in cities across the continent, especially our neighbours down South. No, the possum is native to South America before migrating to the North. There was even a time during The Great Depression where these animals were eaten. The Opossum is a marsupial despite people thinking it is a mammal-like raccoon. This is because the opossum has a pouch where it carries the young in just like the kangaroo and the koala! The raccoon belongs to the family Procyonidae just like the cute animal Olinguito. The opossums belong to the Didelphidae family.


possum closeup
Possums are quite the urban nuisance when they enter your attic!

Their habits and diet of the raccoon and the opossum have some overlap in that they both eat a variety of nuts and fruits. The opossum furthermore eats insects, frogs, worms, carrion, shrews, and moles. The diet of the raccoon is just as varied and mainly consists of nuts, berries, eggs, fish, frogs, rodents, and plants. In urban areas, both the raccoon and the opossum are shamelessly seen dumpsters diving and eating from the trash. Quite the change from the healthy and nutrition-rich diets.

Opossums and raccoons have a thing for the attic, and this is why it is important to have an interior inspection conducted when you hear suspicious noises. The opossum leaves all kinds of feces behind and urines everywhere it pleases. The smell of the opossum is said to be unbearable when it decomposes. Apart from the attic, the opossum can find its way under the base of the house by digging a burrow.


Since they are nocturnal animals, homeowners might need to pay attention to anything suspicious happening at night. Opossum damage can be expensive to restore since insulation might need to be replaced as well. As for the raccoon, the animal loves to stay under decks, sheds, and attic and causes the same damage as possums.
If you want to avoid wildlife damage, contact Wildlife Removal Peterborough by calling our customer service specialists!