Coatmundi have long, pointed muzzles, and long, bushy, ringed tails, and brownish fur. They range in size from 13 to 27 inches (330 mm to 690 mm) including their tails, which can be just as long as their bodies. They weigh from 7 to 15 pounds (3 kg to 7 kg). Males are larger than females.

Coatimundi are diurnal and spend most of the day foraging for food. They are omnivores and eat both meat and plants. They eat small prey like lizards, insects, rodents, snails, and small birds, as well as fruit and nuts. They often eat while hanging upside down from a tree branch. A coati finds food using its keen sense of smell.