Can Red Pandas Run Fast? (Yes! – Here’s Why)

One thing about red pandas is that they tend to be pretty slow in their movements. However, if they happen to be in situations where they need to run, how fast could they go? 

Come to think of it – can red pandas run fast?

Yes! Red pandas can run fast. In fact, they can run fast up to 24 mph (38 km/h) on average. The slow nature of these creatures will trick you into thinking running isn’t their thing. 

Believe me, if you chase these creatures, you can’t catch up with them. Moreover, they don’t just run fast on the ground but on tree branches too.

Now you know red pandas can run fast, you might want to know what their speed is like. So, you wonder – how fast can red pandas run?

Let’s go deeper into this article to know this…

How Fast Can Red Pandas Run?

A red panda can run very fast. They run up to 24 mph (38 km/h) and mostly in short distances. 

Of course, you’ll see these creatures taking things slow and easy. Still, some situations can make them run fast in the wild. 

It could be to escape predators or threats around their habitats. With this speed, it’s easy for them to escape some of their main predators like the martens that are slower.

Unlike martens that run at a speed of 15 mph (24 km/h), snow leopards are faster than red pandas. These animals are also common red panda predators and run at a speed of 38 mph (60 km/h).

However, if a red panda sees faster predators from a far distance, its speed can get them to a nearby tree for safety.

Interestingly, once they get up on trees, they’re still agile and run from branch to branch with so much speed. Red pandas are creatures that don’t just go slow on trees.

Speed Comparison

AnimalsAverage Speed (mph/km/h)
Red pandas24 mph (38 km/h)
Humans8 mph (13 km/h)
Giant pandas20 mph ( 32 km/h)
Polar bears25 mph (40 km/h)
Racoons16 mph (26 km/h)
Weasels15 mph (24 km/h)
Skunks10 mph (17 km/h)
Polecats15 mph (24 km/h)
Coati15 mph (24 km/h)
Badger18 mph (29 km/h)

Red pandas can run at a speed of 24 mph (38 km/h). This is faster than the average speed of a human. So we stand no chance chasing them. 

In addition, if you compare their speed with the bigger pandas, giant pandas, you’ll see that they’re even the faster pandas. 

Giant pandas run at a speed of 20 mph (32 km/h), which is less than that of the red pandas. 

Interestingly, red pandas can run as fast as polar bears. These huge bears run at a speed of 25 mph (40 km/h) and that’s just a little more than that of the red pandas.


In summary, red pandas can run fast. They run at an average speed of 24 mph (38 km/h). However, most of the time you’ll see them doing things slowly. 

When it’s time to run, they’ll surprise you with their speed. This slow habit of theirs is something that has to do with their bamboo diet. 

It doesn’t give them so much energy so they always have to conserve the little they get. This is something giant pandas do too.

You should also know that red pandas spend most of their lifetime in trees so you’ll hardly see them running around on the forest floor. Interestingly, these creatures mostly run when they need to.

Aside from running fast, these creatures can also climb so well. This is something they do with much speed and skill.

To find out the different things red pandas can do, you can read our full article about what can red pandas do?