How Long Do Red Pandas Stay with Their Mothers?


There’s no doubt that red pandas prefer to stay alone all their lives. However, just like the giant pandas, baby red pandas do stay with their mom after birth. So, it’s clear that their solitary lives begin from the time they leave their moms.

However, this keeps me wondering — how long do red pandas stay with their mothers?

Here’s a quick answer – Red pandas stay with their mothers for about 12 months, normally at the time, their moms are pregnant again. Some even stay with their moms until she’s had another cub. At these times, their mothers nurse and train them to be fit to live in the wild on their own.

At early stages, especially as babies, they can’t stay alone. They need their moms to nurse them well and protect them till they can take care of themselves. 

Now, you know how long red pandas stay with their moms, you might also want to know at what age they start living alone. So, when do red pandas leave their mothers?

Let’s go deeper into this article to find out the answer to this and more questions about a red panda’s solitary nature.

When Do Red Pandas Leave their Mothers?

Red pandas leave their mothers after about a year. Originally, as babies, they need their mom more than anything and cannot stay alone at all, even for 5 months. Red pandas moms are important for their cubs’ survival at such a stage.

Feeding and protection are the important things they need, but can’t do for themselves as babies. Interestingly, newborns are covered with fur, but what’s more interesting is that they appear with their eyes and ears both closed. 

Red panda moms give birth to cubs after 114 – 145 days of staying pregnant. Sometimes they could be pregnant for their cubs for as long as 150 days or as short as 90 days. 

As they grow older, they stay with their moms in dens, like one made out of hollow trees. These dens are built by moms just to nurse and take care of the cubs till they can go out on their own. 

They also feed on breast milk for 5 months and they continue to nurse until they’re matured enough and can stay alone without their mothers’ protection. 

However, before this time, they must have gotten used to eating bamboo, their main diet, which is important for their survival in the wild. Also, they would have been good at climbing high, especially on trees where they’ll normally sleep.

Nevertheless, when they finally leave their moms, they find a place of their own, and the males specifically, will then begin to have territories for themselves.

Do Red Pandas Stay Together?

Red Panda Living Alone in the Wild

A specific answer – No! Red pandas don’t stay together. Unlike most animals that live in packs, clans, or other groups, red pandas stay on their own. Just like giant pandas, having territories is just their thing!

They eat alone, sleep alone, and also, aren’t comfortable having another red panda around them. However, this is why red pandas could be as far as 1 square mile from each other.

However, the times you’ll see them together is normally mating season, especially a male and a female or two. This season comes once a year so it’s not even a regular thing for them to be around females too.

Oftentimes, they can go in groups like families or just a pair while traveling. And a common time you’ll see red pandas staying together is when red panda cubs still live with their moms. Aside from this, they’re fine out in the wild on their own.

Also Read: Do Giant Pandas Live Alone or in Groups?

Final Thoughts

To sum up, red pandas stay for about a year (12 months) with their moms. This is one of the stages of their lives when being with another red panda, their moms, matters a lot.

They can only leave their moms when they’re ready enough to face the wild on their own. However, aside from this, it’s naturally fine for them to stay on their own.

Certainly, red pandas have lots of exciting facts and there’s more you can know about them on our blogs.

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