What Do Red Pandas Like To Eat? (7 Types of Food w/ List)


The “black & white” pandas love eating bamboo shoots all the time! But there’s another kind of panda called “red pandas”.

And you might be interested to know what they like to eat.

Quick answer – Red pandas’ diet mainly consists of bamboo shoots and bamboo leaves

Although red pandas have sharp teeth to eat flesh, they prefer to eat bamboo. 

A red panda eats somewhere around 2-4 pounds of bamboo every day!

Nonetheless, they also love eating other things besides bamboo, such as eggs, small insects, fish, etc. 

Since red pandas have sharp teeth, you might want to know if red pandas can actually eat meat.

Let’s find out! 

Do Red Pandas Eat Meat?

A picture of meat as not a food for red pandas

No, red pandas do not eat meat. Although their ancestors were carnivores, red pandas today have adapted themselves to a green diet.

Their diet primarily consists of 99% bamboo and only 1% of other things. 

READ OUR FULL GUIDE: CAN RED PANDAS EAT MEAT

Do Red Pandas Eat Bugs?

A picture of bugs as a food for red pandas

Yes, red pandas love eating small insects occasionally.

For example, red pandas catch small bugs and insects while climbing trees and bamboo plants and eat them to get more protein and energy. 

Below is the list of 10 bugs red pandas eat.

  1. Grasshoppers
  2. Mosquitoes 
  3. Flies
  4. Ants
  5. Termites
  6. Aphids 
  7. Ladybugs
  8. Butterflies
  9. Dragonflies
  10. Cockroaches 

Do Red Pandas Eat Fish?

A picture of small fishes as food for red pandas

Yes, red pandas sometimes eat small fish to meet their nutritional requirements. However, fish and foods other than bamboo form only a small part of their diet. 

Do Red Pandas Eat Other Animals?

Although red pandas cannot eat large animals, it’s possible to find them eating small animals. 

List of 6 Small Animals Red Pandas Eat

A picture of a rat as a food for red pandas
  1. Rats
  2. Mice
  3. Birds
  4. Lizards
  5. Pika
  6. Carrions

Besides these small animals, red pandas also prefer eating small eggs to get enough protein. 

Do Red Pandas Eat Their Babies?

No, red pandas don’t eat their babies. In fact, red pandas, especially panda moms, take good care of their young ones by feeding and nursing them.

It’s only after panda cubs become grown-ups that their moms stop taking care of them. 

However, in some rare situations, pandas can eat their dead babies to get nutrients. 

RELATED TOPIC: DO GIANT PANDAS EAT THEIR BABIES?

Do Red Pandas Eat Grass?

Yes, red pandas eat grass

Below are the 4 types of grasses red pandas eat.

  1. Bamboo (water bamboo, black bamboo, and arrow bamboo)
  2. Barley 
  3. Oat
  4. Canary 

In winter, red pandas mainly eat bamboo leaves while red pandas eat grass in the fall. 

It’s because bamboo trees shed their leaves during fall. Therefore, red pandas eat grass to meet the needs of their vegetarian diet. 

Do Red Pandas Eat Fruit?

A picture of different kinds of fruits as a food for red pandas

Yes, red pandas eat almost all varieties of fruits. 

However, it forms a small part of their diet. 

Below is the list of fruits red pandas commonly eat.

List of 10 Fruits Red Pandas Eat

  1. Bananas 
  2. Apples
  3. Berries
  4. Grapes
  5. Oranges
  6. Kiwi
  7. Cherries 
  8. Blueberries 
  9. Strawberries 

Do Red Pandas Eat Vegetables?

Yes, red pandas eat vegetables but very rarely. Below is the list of vegetables red pandas eat.

List of 7 Vegetables Red Pandas Eat

A picture showing carrots as a food for red pandas
  1. Carrots
  2. Spinach
  3. Celery
  4. Broccoli 
  5. Bell Peppers
  6. Beans
  7. Corn 

What Do Red Pandas Drink?

Red pandas drink water from nearby streams and ponds. However, you will find them drinking water only once or twice a day. This is because they get 90% of the water from their bamboo diet. 

Besides drinking water, pandas love playing in the water too. 

Conclusion

In this article, we have learned that red pandas love eating bamboo leaves and bamboo shoots. In fact, 99% of their diet is nothing but bamboo. 

However, red pandas also feed on small insects like grasshoppers, rodents (mice and rats), fishes, lizards, birds, and fruits and vegetables occasionally to meet their nutritional requirements. 

Besides eating, pandas also drink water once or twice a day to keep themselves hydrated. 

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