Skunks rarely spray each other, but a hapless human or curious dog may not be so lucky. When skunks feel threatened, they give a warning before spraying by raising their tail, arching their back like an angry cat, hissing, growling, and stomping their rear feet. Then they start running at you and stomping, and if you don’t know what’s good for you by then, you probably deserve the spraying.
If you happen upon a skunk and are lucky enough to see the warning, get away FAST. A skunk can spray its victim as far as 10 or 15 feet away! All of these warnings are an effort to display their smelly intentions before they actually use their spray, because…
It takes 10 to 12 days to replenish their stinky supply. The natural production of their offensive spray isn’t quick. It can take nearly two weeks to make enough for just a few shots.
Like many smaller animals, the skunk’s weapons are all about self-defense, not offense. The organic sulfur-compound they eject from two small anal glands (known as a musk) indicates they taste bad – and the spray warns predators to stay away. Skunks are typically not aggressive, but will spray a very foul odor when they feel threatened.