11 Reasons Why Red Pandas Are The Best (w/ Videos!)

Red Pandas are funny and cute that can light up your mood. In fact, Their habits or overall nature makes them charming!

But these are not the only reasons why they are the best. In this article, I will explain the top 11 reasons why red pandas are the best!

Table of Contents

1. Red Pandas are ‘Red’

Do you know red pandas have nicknames like ‘Firefox’ and ‘Red-Cat-Bear’?

It is because of their bright color that red pandas are given such creative names. 

Red pandas are easily recognizable due to their reddish-colored fur. In contrast, their belly and most of the underneath parts of their body are covered in black fur. 

You can also see white markings on their faces, making them pretty adorable. 

The unique markings on their face also make them look like cats. 

2. They Make Adorable Sounds

They not only look adorable; they make adorable sounds too. They also make sounds while sleeping.

The kind of sounds they make include tweets, squeals, grunts, hisses, and even a “huff-quack.”

They make those half-quack sounds when they are excited. This sound is a mix of a pig’s snorting and a duck’s quack.

But they do not make the groaning noise like giant pandas when fighting. They make soft squeals.

Giant pandas fall under the distant taxonomy group of bears called ‘Ursidae.’

Red pandas fall under another taxonomy group, ‘Ailuridae,’ and share commonality with Raccoons, Skunks, and Weasels.

3. Red Panda Just Love Bamboos!

A picture showing red pandas' love for bamboo

Red pandas eat the lower leaves and young shoots. Their diet consists of 95% of bamboo leaves and shoots. They use their hands to hold their food. It’s adorable to see them eating like civilized creatures!

Surprisingly, red pandas can eat up to 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg) of leaves or 8.8 lbs 4 kg) of shoots per day. 

They also consume 30% of their body weight as they rapidly pass food outside their body.

Besides bamboo, they consume fruits, roots, succulent grasses, acorns, lichens, insects, and small mammals.

4. Red Panda Cubs Are Super Playful

Red Panda cubs are born completely covered in fur to protect them from the cold weather. They are groomed and cared for until their eyes are opened.

They are born in a litter of four, but generally, they are born in a pair. They start to play when they are vaguely three months old.

They play not only for fun. Instead, they engage in physical activities to learn to balance their bodies.

Cubs also play with their mother, and it is a cute sight to see. The tiny cubs stand on their hind legs, and with their front paws, they playfully attack their mothers.

They also roll around with the other cubs and play on the branches with the help of their claws. Their playing behaviors, whether with other cubs or parents, are adorable to watch.

Unlike popular belief, red pandas are not from the giant panda family. 

Although discovered before giant pandas, they have identical dietary preferences.

So, which Panda is the true panda? 

The giant panda was discovered in 1869, whereas the red panda was discovered in 1825.

6. Red Pandas Have Cute Thumbs!

Red pandas have thumb-like appendages. These are modified sesamoid bones which are thought to have evolved due to the bamboo diet.

They use these ‘thumbs’ to hold bamboo and grasp branches. The opposable thumbs help them in their gripping abilities.

These thumbs are an example of ‘convergent evolution”.

They are known as pseudo-thumbs as they are not really thumbs but the prolonged wrist bone. 

The bone is shaped like a thumb to assist them in their eating habits. They can grab their food just like a human for this feature. 

Trying to pick up their food in a civilized way is sure to make you fall in love with them. 

They look so cute, behaving like little humans while eating.

7. They Spend Their Sweet Time Eating and Sleeping

A picture of a red panda sleeping

Red pandas are not lazy. They just do not like to burn their energy. 

They eat bamboo, a lot of it. Because of this, they do not have energy, as bamboo does not have much nutritional value.

So, it’s pretty normal always to see them in their energy-saving mode.  

Before the mid-day breaks, they are found lying around or sleeping.

In winter, however, they become dormant as their metabolic rates decrease. 

They wake up more often in the daytime during this time of the year to eat more frequently. 

8. Red Pandas Are Kind of Cats

They have similarities with other cute creatures, like cats. That is why they have a nickname related to them that is ‘red-bear-cat.’

The Red Panda cubs use high-pitched vocalization to get attention from their mothers if they are hungry.

When the cubs are born the mother keeps them clean by licking them. The mothers also carry the cubs in their mouths like a cat. 

They carry them by their neck and the cub transforms itself into a ball.

The mothers also protect the cubs by hiding them inside a den or hollowed tree branches.

9. Red Pandas are Excellent Climbers 

Red pandas are known to be great climbers. They use their sharp claws to grab tree branches firmly.

As a result, it is not surprising to see them climb a tree headfirst. In fact, they can climb a tree by running onto it. That is a fantastic feature on its own! 

10. Red Panda’s Tails are Important

A picture of a red panda focusing on its tail

Red Pandas have lush reddish tails that are bushy, long, and thick. The tails have rings of alternating red and buff all over.

They use their tails to balance themselves while climbing trees.

Moreover, red pandas also use their tails to balance their bodies while swimming. 

They also use their tails to wrap themselves in the cold seasons. They are believed to use their tails as blankets to warm themselves. 

You can also see them using their tails as pillows while sleeping. Their tails are bushy and cozy for them to sleep on.  

11. Red Pandas Help Balancing the Ecosystem

Red Pandas actually help in balancing out the ecosystem. 

They help our ecosystem by eating bamboo. If the Red Pandas did not eat bamboo, then the bamboo would overgrow. 

The bamboo forests are under control in the Himalayan region because they feed on them. Otherwise, the overgrown bamboo would hamper the growth of other plants in forests. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, we can safely say that red pandas are the best creatures found on earth! They are cute, adorable, and have pretty unique habits.

They are actually the true pandas as they were discovered approximately fifty years before the discovery of giant pandas.

You will be amazed to see their climbing skills, eating habits, and also their similarity to cats. 

And there’s no sight more adorable than seeing a red panda cub in a playful mood. 

They love playing with other cubs and with their mothers.

And what’s the best part is that they also help in preserving the ecosystem. 

Are all these interesting facts about red pandas making you feel like owning one? Check out these 21 places to pet red pandas