Skunk Families

Skunks are not very social animals and they are seldom seen interacting with others. They tend to wander off on their own, always in search of food. The only exception to this is during matching season, which runs from February to March. Every Spring, a male will emerge from the den and go in search of a female. The male will travel a few miles to find the right suitor and he will know who she is by her aroma. Females that do not wish to breed will emit a scent that is not as strong as a spray, but enough to deter the male.

Skunk Births

Once males have found a mate and they have impregnated her, she will carry the babies for just over 60 days and will then give birth to multiple live skunks. On average, a litter consists of 4 to 6 skunks, but there can be as few as 1 and as many as 10. The mother will provide all care for the babies as the male does not interact with the mother or the young. The babies will remain with the mother for approximately 8 months before they start to venture off on their own.

When the babies are born, they have little to no fur and are pink in color. They are also blind for the first few weeks and cannot spray until they are almost one month old. During the initial weeks, the mother will gather all food sources and will care for the kits in the den and around 6 to 8 weeks, the babies will emerge and start to follow the mother around on the hunt for food. A striped skunk does not become sexually mature for one year after birth, so they will be ready to have their own babies the following Spring.


Adult skunks that live in the wild are prone to disease and do not live a very long life. It is not uncommon for a skunk to only live for 3 years, though if they are domestic pets, they can live for as many as 10 years.

Skunks are nocturnal animals and are mostly seen at dusk and dawn. They sleep during the day and are very sensitive to light. They have poor vision from birth, but they do possess keen senses of smell and hearing. Skunks are not aggressive animals, but during the mating season, the female will become more aggressive. When she bears her young, she will be more apt to spray any threat to protect the babies.

Though the lifespan of a skunk is not long at all, they do lead full lives. They are prone to disease and often are unable to find suitable food sources in the cold months, leading to malnutrition. Overall, skunks are interesting critters that pose little threat to humans and pets, but they should be avoided when possible as they can attack and spray.