How Do Red Pandas Fight? (8 Facts You Need to Know!)

Although cute and fluffy, red pandas know how to fight and be dangerous. It might make you wonder, ‘How do red pandas fight?’

Red pandas are small but power-packed creatures that fight by standing on their back legs and striking their enemies with their claws.

In addition, they also use their sharp teeth to bite enemies during a fight. 

Besides their teeth and claws, red pandas also have other techniques to fight their predators. 

Let’s discuss that in detail! 

Table of Contents

What Body Parts Does Red Panda Use to Fight?

Below are the three body parts that a red panda uses to fight.


A red panda uses its sharp claws to attack its enemies. These claws are very sharp and can dig into the flesh of the attacker. 

In addition, the damage is high! This is because red pandas strike with force to make sure their enemy is hurt.


An image showing red panda's teeth

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Red pandas’ teeth are also very strong. Although they live on a strictly bamboo-based diet, the molars and canines are made to chew hard things.

It is no wonder that red pandas use these strong teeth to protect themselves in times of need. 

Red pandas also show their sharp teeth to scare away enemies. If that does not help, they would then turn to fight. 

When fighting, red pandas will use not only their claws but also their strong, sharp teeth.

Odor Gland

Sometimes, all does not go well as planned. It happens with the red pandas too. When they are fighting, if claws and teeth won’t work, they will use their scent glands. 

Red pandas have a scent gland that produces a scent that is odorless to humans but extremely stinky to animals.

The scent gland is present at the base of their tail. Red pandas will release the scent when there is no escaping and they are not winning in a fight. 

The odor is so strong that their enemies have to step back.


Besides their body parts, red pandas also use their height when fighting. They stand up on their hind legs when they are threatened. 

This way, they appear taller, and this fools their enemies into thinking that they are larger in size. Standing on their hind legs also gives them full control of their front paws.

They can use their front claws more efficiently when standing up and can balance their weight perfectly.

Why Do Red Pandas Fight?

Red pandas fight for different reasons. Below are the three most common reasons why red pandas fight.

For Territory Marking

Male red pandas are highly territorial animals. They are solitary creatures who only stay together in the mating season. This territorial behavior often results in fighting. 

Red pandas mark their territory with the help of their anal glands and urine. But most interestingly they have a scent gland situated between their footpads.

Odor secreted from these glands can be used as a warning for other pandas. Male red pandas are born with a territorial instinct. So, when they find another male panda in their territory, they can become violent.

Two male red pandas who are not related or know each other from early childhood can turn violent in a territory.

Mating Season

Red pandas get very violent during mating season. This is because male red pandas try to approach the few female red pandas all at once. 

Red pandas mate only one time a year in early winter. Female red pandas come into heat for a very limited period of time.

It is usually in the months of either January or February and this lasts for a maximum of three days. Male red pandas hence have only a few days to mate with the females.

Fighting is unavoidable when more than one male red panda tries to approach a female. The female enjoys from on top of the tree as males fight and try to gain her favor.

Threatened by Predators

When threatened by predators, red pandas would go into their defense mode. Red pandas would first try to stand up and look bigger than their actual size to scare the predator away.

If standing on their hind legs doesn’t work, they will fight. Red pandas will fight for their survival and create chances to escape

Red pandas would fight their attacker with their strong claws. They also use their teeth and as a last step would spray them with scents. 

If the red panda has an opening to escape, it will do so and try to climb on a tall tree or a large rock. Red panda claws are sharp enough to help them climb super-fast and probably save their life. 

The scents from their scent glands produce a sticky odor. This behavior might also save their lives as the predator would be attacked with a nasty smell that is hard to put off.

What’s the Red Panda Fighting Stance?

How Red Pandas Fight - Red Pandas' Fighting Stance

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Red pandas normally stand on their two hind or back legs when they fight. This stance makes them look bigger.

This stance also helps them strike better with their front paws. 

Are Red Pandas Aggressive?

Yes, red pandas are naturally aggressive and it is true for hand-raised pandas also. 

They can be dangerous if they feel threatened by their enemies. To defend themselves, they use their sharp claws and teeth. 

Male red pandas also get aggressive if their territory is invaded by others.


Even though red pandas are seen as adorable creatures, they know how to fight.  

Red pandas use claws, sharp teeth, height, and scent glands to fight off their enemies. 

Red pandas do ‘paw attack.’ They strike their enemies with their claws. This allows them to attack from a distance. 

They further attack their enemies with their teeth. When red pandas get close enough to their enemies, they also bite with their sharp teeth. 

In addition, their scent glands produce nasty odors that can chase away predators.

When red pandas fight for survival, it’s normally against predators. But are these just any predators? 

So do red pandas have natural predators? Find out in our article – Does The Red Panda Have Any Predators?