Raccoon? Leopard Cat? Red Panda!
Date: 2018-03-07

When walking around the red panda playground of the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, the writer often hears some dialogues in this way: “Oh, that is a leopard cat, it is one of the god beasts in anime!” or “Oh! Look! It’s a classic figure from a snack noodle. Mr. Raccoon” and so on. There are too many words like these to list all of them.


So, are these animals, called red panda, leopard cat and raccoon, really the same species, but with different names? Next, let’s explore the similarities and differences amidst these three animals together.



Let’s look at the picture above, the figures from left to right are: red panda, leopard cat and raccoon. After browsing this picture, I’m sure you already intuitively notice their obvious differences in appearance.


Red panda has a reddish-brown body and dark brown limbs. And there is white fluff around their mouth, cheeks, eyebrows and outer edge of the ears. Therefore, it has an English name: Red panda.


As for leopard cat, combined with the picture, it is easy to understand the reason of the name’s origin. Because leopard cat’s appearance, hair color, pattern and face type are very close to leopard, except their body which is are much smaller. Actually they are more close to domestic cats.


Look at the raccoon’s picture. Different from the first two animals’ bright hair colors, raccoon’s gray hair seems more low-key. On the other hand, the raccoon has a wider cheek, a larger and more protruding nose.


Red Panda in the Grass


Leopard Cat on the Tree (Picture from the Internet)


“Mr. Raccoon”in the Jungle (Picture from the Internet)


Besides the obvious differences in shape, they still have own characteristics in habitat, geographical distribution, classification and other aspects. Here are a few cases to share with you:


a. Although these three animals easily make people to associate with domestic cats because of their appearances, in fact, only leopard cats belong to the Felidae family.


b. They all live in the jungle, but compared with red pandas and leopard cats, raccoons’ habitat must be close to the water and they are born“swimmer”.


c. Leopard cats and raccoons are both nocturnal animals, but the red panda just goes out and foraged in the morning and night, and always hides in the holes or trees during the day.


d. Because of the small population, red panda and leopard cat have been classified into vulnerable species.


Through these comparisons and introductions, you musthave a superficial understanding on the differences of red panda, leopard cat and raccoon. In fact, no matter what species, we all need to pay constant attention and offer protection. Only in this way, can they live with us on this planet forever. Because any species is unique, and all of them are the gifts of nature.


Red panda, “This is me, a unique me.”




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