Are Red Pandas Diurnal Or Nocturnal? (3 Reasons Why!)

Interestingly, some animals are active during the day (diurnal) and others are fully active at night (nocturnal).

So which category do the red pandas belong to? Are they diurnal or nocturnal?

Here’s a quick answer – red pandas are nocturnal animals but are most active at dawn and dusk. They spend all day sleeping on tall trees, curling their long tails around them to keep warm.

I believe you’ll be wondering why these cute creatures have a nocturnal nature.

Just read further to find out the reasons these cute creatures behave this way!

Why Are Red Pandas Nocturnal?

One main reason red pandas are nocturnal animals is as a result of their solitary nature. Usually, nighttime is perfect for the red pandas to walk around freely in their habitats and successfully avoid others.

Here are 3 other reasons red pandas have a nocturnal behavior:

1. Hiding from Predators Is Easy

A red panda hiding inside
 a tree

At night, it is very easy for the red pandas to hide from their predators.

In the wild, Martens and Snow leopards are the predators of the adult red pandas. But their primary predator is man, which was making the pandas go into extinction a few years back.

Presently, laws have been put in place in India and China against harming the red pandas just to ensure their survival.

While some of the animals that hunt them for food are diurnal, others find it hard to see the red pandas at night.

Therefore being nocturnal is beneficial for the red pandas’ survival.

2. Hunting Prey Animals Is Quick

Despite their love for the bamboo diet, the red pandas feed on small lizards, bird eggs, rodents, and insects. At night, hunting for prey is easier and faster for the fox bears.

While some prey will likely be inactive at that time, others may not see well thereby escaping.

Acting on their great sense of smell, the red pandas attack careless prey and kill them for food.

3. There is Less Competition at Night

Naturally, there is always high competition for food during the day. And since the red cat-bears don’t like socializing, they’ll prefer not to struggle with one another.

However, they can hunt for food comfortably at night without fighting one another. More prey comes out at night and a panda may quickly see and attack them before the others.

Are Red Pandas Active At Night?

Yes, red pandas are active at night like other nocturnal animals. But when in captivity, these fox bears can be active at any time of the day.

Most breeding centers provide different toys for the red pandas to play with during the day. Sometimes, the zookeepers at these institutions also teach the animals some behaviors to keep them active.

Therefore, we can conclude that the red pandas in the wild sleep more during the day than those in captivity.

What Do Red Pandas Do At Night?

A red panda sleeping on a tree during the day

Mostly, the red pandas look for food at night. Even though these fox bears eat bamboo all day, they still hunt small animals at night.

After spending all night looking for food, these pandas are usually tired during the day. And this is the main reason they sleep on trees all day long.


We’ve come to the final part of this article. Keep some important points in mind before you leave.

Red pandas are nocturnal animals because of their solitary nature.

Moreover, nighttime is perfect for cat bears to hunt prey and hide from predators.

In captivity, red pandas engage in lots of activities that prevent them from sleeping throughout the day.

Finally, the red panda bears majorly look for food at night.

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