Are Red Pandas Herbivores or Carnivores? (Solved!)


Just like the giant pandas, red pandas live mostly on a bamboo diet. However, they have the sharp teeth and claws, and digestive system of a carnivore

So, do we classify them as herbivores or carnivores?

Red pandas can be considered omnivores because they can eat both plants and animals.
In most cases, they prefer to eat plants, especially bamboo. This behavior makes them primarily herbivores.

It means that if you give them an option between bamboo (plant) and meat, red pandas will more likely choose bamboo.

Since red pandas are considered to be mainly herbivores, what plants do they eat?

Let’s discuss this next!

What Plants Do Red Pandas Eat?

Bamboo

Red Panda Eating Bamboo as Herbivores

Bamboo is the main plant that red pandas eat. To be more specific, they eat mostly the leaves and shoots. Bamboos make up about 95% of their diet. 

They can eat up to 2-4lbs of bamboo a day even without eating anything else. This is one of the things that make these creatures more of a herbivore than a carnivore.

Other Plants Red Pandas Eat:

  • Fruits
  • Grasses
  • Leaves
  • Roots
  • Flowers
  • Barks
  • Mushrooms

What Meat Do Red Pandas Eat?  

Red pandas can survive without meat. However, these creatures do eat meat occasionally. Believe me, you’ll hardly notice!

In the wild, there are certain days they’ll mix their diet with little meat. Here are some meats red pandas eat: 

  • Insects
  • Fishes
  • Birds
  • Smaller animals: mice, lizards, etc.

Recommended Reading for Full Guide: What Do Red Pandas Like to Eat? 

Final Thoughts

To sum up, red pandas can be considered omnivores due to their mixed diet. 

However, their behavior makes them herbivores because they mainly eat bamboo throughout their lives. 

By nature, they’re meant to eat meat but they prefer to survive mostly on bamboo. This is something the red pandas and giant pandas have in common.

To know more about the red pandas, you should read our full article, “What is a Red Panda?