The best way to deter wildlife is not to feed them. We do not recommend feeding opossums, raccoons, skunks or other wildlife. These animals do not need food from humans to survive. Feeding them can make them dependent on humans, can upset neighbors and can draw unwanted attention to the cat colony.
Feed the cats at the same time every day and take away any uneaten food after 30-60 minutes. One or two meals a day is appropriate. More than two meals a day is unnecessary and may make controlling the schedule more difficult. Never leave food out for extended periods of time, especially overnight when opossums, raccoons, skunks and other wildlife are more active. Don’t worry if cats miss a meal. They will learn the schedule. Train the cats, don’t let the cats train you.
If wildlife persists, try feeding cats on a table. Possums and skunks can climb, but they can’t jump. A metal skirt around the table can be effective in deterring raccoons.
It is illegal to trap and/or relocate wildlife without a license. Animals that suddenly find themselves in a new territory may not have a food source and are competing with existing animals, who may chase them away. Studies show high very high fatality rates for relocated animals.
Finding Injured Wildlife
If you find injured/orphaned wildlife, reach out to one of the below organizations:
Flint Creek Wildlife, www.flintcreekwildlife.org, 847-842-8000
Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, www.birdmonitors.net, 773-988-1867
Willowbrook Wildlife Center, dupageforest.org/willowbrook-wildlife-center, 630-942-6200
Chicago Animal Care & Control, https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cacc.html, 3-1-1
Home for Now Raccoon Rescue, https://www.facebook.com/Home-Fur-Now-Raccoon-Rescue-106144081132414, 847-707-2514, firstname.lastname@example.org