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Ringtail Cats
(Bassariscus astutus)



Local Austin Ringtail


The Ringtail cat is not a true cat, but the smallest member the raccoon family (Procyonids).

They are not as uncommon in Austin as you might think. They are nocturnal and smaller than raccoons. They are about the size of an average house cat and can fit in a hole about the size of a softball. Like raccoons, they are adept climbers and are usually only found after they have ripped a hole through a roof eave and entered your attic. Although they are generally an unwanted guest in the home, be aware that they are excellent mouse hunters. They are also called the "Miner's Cat" because miners used them for their mousing abilities.

Though they are sometimes used as pets, it is illegal in Texas to capture or domesticate wild animals. Like raccoons, one must be careful when evicting them. The mother is likely in your home in order to have babies in safety. If you kill them or prevent them from returning, you risk not only be cruel, but risk the long-lived odor of dead babies in your walls or attic space.



A few external links about Ringtail Cats:


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