Interesting article, especially from a vet. We're in a suburban area in So. Cal., and skunks go thru the yard fairly frequently certain times of the year. There are lots of grubs in the sandy soil, and I can see where they've been digging. We can smell them, too, at night as they pass through the yard, especially in the summer, late spring, and early fall when the windows are open. Also, the night before trash day seems to be a popular time for smelling them as they make their rounds. However, I've never seen one tip or climb into a trash can, like racoons sometimes do. I've looked out the window in the middle of the night against a dark background in the yard where the double white stripe is a dead giveaway. One morning before sunrise many years back, I looked out onto the back porch and saw a skunk drinking out of the water dish. After that, I always, always dump the water dish at night before I go to bed and refill it it in the morning. That was a little too close for comfort.
I often worry about encounters with the cats, but as territorial as the cats seem to be they won't take on a skunk or racoon, thankfully. We have been presented with baby opposums, usually still alive. So, they can be released after we lock up the cats in the house. I can handle that better than the rats they sometimes bring in, too (though usually already dead). I am concerned about the rabies and parasites, but we do keep their vaccinations current and apply monthly flea control medications. Thanks for the article. It was useful to read this information.