Ring-Tailed Cat

What Exactly is a Ring-Tailed Cat?

Wildlife X Team® San Antonio Technician Holding Ringtail
  • A ring-tailed cat is sometimes referred to as a ringtail, and is a member of the raccoon family. The ringtail looks like a cross between a cat (its slender body), a fox (angular and pointed muzzle), and the striped tail of a raccoon or lemur. Ringtails can grow up to two feet long, including their tails, and only weigh a few pounds.
  • Like their raccoon relatives, ringtails are nocturnal. The ringtail’s long tail helps them balance when climbing to look for food. 
  • Ringtails are also known as miner’s cats because miners and early settlers used to keep the creatures as pets in order to keep rodents out of their homes. Ringtails are good at rodent removal, but unfortunately they present a nuisance themselves.

Where Are Ringtails Found?

  • Ring-tailed cats are primarily found in the southwestern areas of North America, ranging up to the midwest, as far east as Texas, and south through the majority of Mexico. Ringtails prefer rocky areas with nearby water sources, such as caves or canyons.
  • Ringtails’ homes are called dens and like raccoons, they seek out shelter in hollowed trees and crevices of rocks. These nuisance mammals also make their way into attics.

Do Ringtails Get Into Houses?

  • Though ringtails aren't relatives of cats, they do have something in common with the felines: curiosity. Curious ringtails will get inside homes, particularly when the temperatures start droppings.

Can Ringtails Damage Your Home or Property?

  • Much like the presence of their raccoon relatives, finding a ringtail in your attic can spell trouble. Their nocturnal behavior may be disturbing to your sleep schedule and they can carry secondary parasites and transmit illnesses like other wildlife creatures do. They often get into attics for a cozy nesting area and a food source: rodents.

What Noises Do Ringtails Make?

  • Ringtails have a variety of vocalizations, such as clicks and chatters like raccoons. They also bark.

Ringtail Diet

Ringtail in Live Trap
  • Ringtails are omnivores and they eat a wide variety of food. Their diets include items like rodents, insects, lizards, birds and bird eggs. Some of these favored food sources can draw them to your home where populations of such critters are also present.
  • Ringtails also like sweet foods like cacti, berries and other fruits.

More About Ringtail Cats

  • Arizona's state mammal is the ringtail.
  • Ringtails mate in spring. They are solitary critters and typically only become social in order to mate. A ringtail litter consists of usually 2–4 babies and the babies reach maturity at 10 months, when they become independent. 

Contact Wildlife X Team® San Antonio at 830.253.2810 if you spot a ringtail, or suspect you have one, on your property or in your home. We offer quality ringtail removal in the San Antonio area!