Traditionally, noises like bumps and scratches that come from the ceiling or wall voids are attributed to rats, squirrels, and raccoons. However, there is a newcomer to add to the list: the ringtailed cat. Though technically called just “ringtail cats”, we’ll often refer to them as “ringtailed cats”, as it’s what people generally call them.

When we receive a call from someone claiming they’ve seen a lemur on their roof, after first confirming they have not downed a twelve pack of Lone Star, I inform them that they have just captured a rare view of a ringtailed cat. When this happens, it is time to call the animal experts at Critter Ridder in Austin!

ringtail cat in a tree

What Is A Ringtail Cat?

The ringtail cat, or Bassariscus astutus, is a mammal within the raccoon family. It’s native to arid regions of North America. Like the raccoon, ringtail cats prefer a solitary existence. Male ringtail cat’s territories can range for several miles. The male takes multiple mates and the litters, which are born in the spring, usually consist of two to four young cubs. Ringtail cats are unbelievable climbers. Their agility is attributed to their balancing beam-like tails and unique ankle joints, which are flexible and can rotate 180 degrees.

These animals are also nocturnal, hunting for food and water at night. This should affect your awareness about night time critters running around after sundown. By having bugs or small berries available at night, you are inviting the ringtail cats to your area. Rid your property of those things before the sun goes down, and that should stop any ringtail cats from making your home, theirs. If you spot a ringtail cat on your property, give our animal experts a call right away for humane animal removal!

Ringtail Cat Identification

The ringtail cat can easily be mistaken for a fox, but with a giant ringed tail. Because of their long tail, they are able to use it for precise handling in tricky areas. That’s why you will often see ringtail cats climb on cacti, tight ledges, or residential walls. They are excellent and versatile climbers that can perform tight turns on a moment’s notice due to their tails.

weight

Weight

Two to Three Pounds (On Average)

height

Length

Body Length of Around One Foot

Long, Banded Tail

Used for balance and distracting predators.

Omnivores

Diets consist of birds, lizards, insects, and fruit.

Like the raccoon, ringtailed cats prefer a solitary existence. Male ringtailed cat’s territories can range for several miles. The male takes multiple mates and the litters, which are born in the spring, usually consist of two to four young cubs. Ringtailed cats are unbelievable climbers. Their agility is attributed to their balancing beam-like tails and unique ankle joints, which are flexible and can rotate 180 degrees.

These animals are also nocturnal, hunting for food and water at night. This should affect your awareness about night time critters running around after sundown. By having bugs or small berries available at night, you are inviting the ringtailed cats to your area. Rid your property of those things before the sun goes down, and that should stop any ringtailed cats from making your home, theirs.

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Ringtail Cat Habitat

Ringtail cats can also be found in rockier climates. If you’re living in a densely wooded area of Texas, these animals will be a bit more rare. However, the more rural and sparse your landscape is, the more likely it is you’ll find ringtail cats. The chances of getting a ringtail cat infestation are higher due to their need for water and resources. In addition to desert landscapes, they also gather closer to sources of water for sustenance.

 

The ringtail cat’s breeding season takes place in spring. Eliminate any possible attractions for ringtails in or around your property prior to warmer temperatures beginning. Once they breed, new ringtails can start appearing by May. Between one and four ringtails could be born, creating more of a nuisance in your area.

When I started Critter Ridder in 2001, ringtail cats were not on the Austin radar. I first started encountering them in Dripping Springs and Wimberley. Soon, reports came from Lakeway and Steiner Ranch. Now ringtail cats are commonly seen in Circle C and Northwest Hills. If you have seen any ringtails roaming around your property, call our animal removal experts in Austin today!

Ringtail Cat Removal

Entry points into an attic space can be difficult to locate, as the ringtails can access a space as small as a golf or tennis ball. Although not nearly as destructive as a raccoon, their feces are just as dangerous. Both types of droppings host raccoon roundworm, a parasite that is harmful to humans, should they be exposed to it. Should you encounter ringtail or raccoon droppings, consult our professionals at Critter Ridder immediately.

Ringtails tend to live in more rural areas where they can live unnoticed. However, if you happen to have an infestation of ringtail cats in your attic or some other area of your house, don’t worry. We’ve dealt with ringtail cats before, which gives us the advantage that you need to get rid of them. While rare, it still happens. Be prepared and be safe when approaching these animals. Follow the guidelines below if you find a ringtail cat around or within your property. We advise that you do not do anything you aren’t comfortable with and encourage you to call our experts for assistance!

Remove any pets or other animals from the area. If ringtail cats feel threatened, they could end up injuring you, your pets, or themselves.

If inside your home or another building, open up doors to create a straightforward exit for them to escape the premise safely.

Distance yourself from the ringtail cat, not only for your safety, but they are more likely to make their way out of your home if left alone.

If the ringtail cat has made their way into a more difficult place to reach within the building, it’s best to call our animal removal experts for help!

Do not approach the animal if you are not comfortable. Raccoons can bite and attack if you are not careful about how you approach them. If you are uncomfortable removing the raccoon or if you potentially have an infestation of raccoons, do not risk harming yourself or the raccoon.Contact Critter Ridder in Austin immediately for raccoon removal services!

As Austin’s Top Rated Local® wildlife control, Critter Ridder is here to provide you with professional animal removal services as well as exclusion and restoration to keep ringtail cats away from your property. With over a decade of experience, our team is knowledgeable about each and every species that tends to pester the Austin area, and are dedicated to sharing that knowledge with you!

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