What Does a Red Panda Look Like? (With Photos & Video)


Red pandas and giant pandas are both pandas but are quite different in a lot of things. One interesting fact is that they don’t look alike at all. 

We know giant pandas to be bear-like but the red pandas have no living family or relatives. However, I wonder – what does a red panda look like? 

Red pandas look like a domestic kitty in size but are slightly bigger. They take the shape of bears but are not related to bears at all.

Moreover, you’ll know them by their reddish-brown color with black legs and white markings on their faces.

Having known what a red panda looks like, let’s look deeper into their physical description. This way we can learn so much about their appearance and size in detail.

Physical Description

Red Pandas' Appearance

Color

A Chinese Red Panda

Red pandas are mostly reddish-brown in color. However, some of their body parts appear to have a different color. 

They have both a reddish-brown and white color on their faces, which form beautiful patterns. You’ll see more white fur with a few reddish-brown markings on the faces of the Himalayan red pandas. 

On the other hand, the Chinese red pandas have more of a reddish-brown color and a few white markings on their faces. 

In addition, the red pandas’ legs and belly area also have a different color. These parts are black or dark brown. 

Size

Adult red pandas have an average body length of 20-25 in (50-64 cm) in length without tails. This is way smaller than the length of an average human, which is about 70 in (178 cm). 

In addition, giant pandas are bigger than them with an average length of 75 inches (190 cm). 

Interestingly, other bears like the polar and grizzlies are giants to the red pandas. They grow up to 98 inches (250 cm).

Weight

Red pandas weigh up to 7-13 lbs. (3-6 kg). The males are a bit heavier than the females. If you compare this weight to that of human beings, the red pandas are lighter. 

The average weight of humans is about 137 kg lbs. (62 kg), which is way bigger than the red pandas’. 

Even giant pandas weigh so much more than red pandas. The average weight of an adult giant panda is about 150-265 lbs. (70-120kg). 

This makes them not just the bigger pandas but the heavier ones. Also, the red pandas’ weight is no match for the bears. 

Big bears like polar and grizzlies can weigh up to 800 lbs. This is so huge!

However, let’s compare red pandas’ size and weight with other smaller animals like them below…

AnimalsSize (inches/cm)Weight (lbs/kg)
Red pandas20-25 in (50-64 cm)7-13 lbs (3-6 kg)
Raccoons16- 28 in (40-70 cm)8-20 lbs (4-9 kg)
Skunks8-19 in (20-48 cm)4-11 lbs (2-5 kg)
Weasels10-12 in (25-30 cm)0.2-0.8 lbs (0.09-0.36 kg)

What are the Body Parts of a Red Panda?

Red Pandas Have Tails

Red Panda Tail

Red pandas have broad and bushy tails which grow about 12-20 in (30-50 cm) in length. This is quite long compared to that of the giant pandas. 

Their tails are also ringed just like that of raccoons. Their tails are one of the most important parts of their body, especially as animals that spend most of their lives on trees

As red pandas climb trees and move across tree branches, their tails help them stay balanced. This is why they get pretty skillful while moving on trees. 

Even when they go down from trees head first, which most arboreal animals can’t do, their tails still support them. 

In addition, during harsh weather, their tails serve as blankets which they wrap themselves with for protection.

Red Pandas Have Teeth

Fully grown red pandas have a total of 38 teeth in number. They have teeth that look like that of carnivores despite being vegetarians. 

These sharp teeth combined with their strong jaws help them crush and grind the bamboo they eat. These teeth are very dangerous as tearing flesh is something easy for them to do.

Red Pandas Have Fur

Red Pandas' Fur

Red pandas have thick fur covering all parts of their bodies. The main fur you’ll see is their reddish-brown guard fur which covers another inner soft thick soft fur. 

This fur is what makes the red panda look so attractive. The inner fur mainly keeps them warm. It helps red pandas self-regulate their body temperature. 

The guard fur is protective and it’s also water-resistant. It helps to protect their skin. This fur also helps red pandas camouflage well in their habitats, especially on trees. 

As red pandas don’t have paw pads, fur covers the sole of their feet. This protects their feet from the very chilly ground as they walk. 

This also keeps them firm on slippery surfaces. 

Red Pandas Have Fingers

These creatures have five fingers with an extra false thumb (an enlarged wrist bone). This false thumb is neither a thumb nor a finger but acts like one. 

Their fingers alongside the false thumb help them grip things, especially holding bamboo very well as they eat. These five fingers also help them support their weight as they walk.

Red Pandas Have Claws

These cute animals have sharp claws on every paw. They are five for each foot and pull back (semi-retractable). 

These claws are also curved and long which helps red pandas when climbing. It also gives them a strong grip on narrow branches they move on. 

In addition, they use their sharp claws to defend themselves whenever they face threats from predators. 

Red Pandas Have Whiskers

Red Pandas'Whiskers

Red pandas have long whiskers. This is something that made them different from the giant pandas. The bigger pandas don’t have whiskers at all! 

However, it’s just the same case with all other bears. You should know that red pandas’ whiskers do the same work whiskers do for other animals that have it. 

For red pandas, their whiskers assist their vision and detect things in their surroundings, especially when it’s dark. It just serves as an extra sense organ for them and works like the antennae of insects.

Red Pandas Don’t Have Pouches

Not at all! Red pandas don’t have pouches. These pouches are common to marsupials like kangaroos and opossums that carry their babies in them.

Behavior

Red pandas are just loners! Just like the giant pandas, red pandas live solitary lives. They don’t get pretty comfortable around any other red panda.  

It’s mostly the mating times that can naturally bring red pandas together. After this, they continue living alone

Males don’t even stay around to help females raise the young ones. Moreover, on rare occasions, they travel in groups, which is another reason for them to come together. 

They are also very territorial! However, this is something that most male red pandas do. You’ll see them marking their territories with scents. 

Also, red pandas prefer large areas for themselves. Studies have found out that a red panda needs a space of about 44 square miles (115 square kilometers).

These creatures don’t like small areas at all.

One interesting thing about these creatures is that they are both crepuscular and nocturnal. They are most active during the night and sleep more during the day. 

Moreover, you’ll see them very active during early mornings and early evenings.

Red pandas are also great climbers and they do this with a lot of skill. 

They don’t only climb so high but so well. They spend most of their life on trees where they take their lazy naps and sunbathe during the cold days. 

Moreover, these creatures are very quick at using the trees to escape predators around them.

Conclusion

In summary, red pandas are the smaller pandas. You’ll know them by their bright reddish-brown fur, beautiful face patterns. 

Their legs are all black and their tails are just like that of raccoons – bushy and ringed. Although they are vegetarians, a red panda still looks like a carnivore with sharp teeth.

Red pandas have unique behaviors, especially being loners just like the giant pandas. Sunset is mostly the busy time for these creatures 

If you’re looking for a red panda in small areas of their habitat, you’ll definitely not find them. These creatures are very greedy when it comes to space.

Read more about the red pandas on more of our blogs like this one to learn a lot about the lifestyle of these cute creatures.

I hope you learned a lot from this article. Don’t forget to share it!