Genet

Family: Viverridae

Genet peering down from the fork of a tree. Viverridae family.
Strictly nocturnal the cat like genet belongs to the same family as mongooses and civets. The two genets featured here are of similar size with the “large” part of the common name referring to the size of the black spots on its fur.

Conservation status : Least concern
Life span : 13 years
Gestation : 70 days
Young : 1 to 4
Common genet : Genetta genetta
+ Length (including tail) : 93 cm
+ Weight : 1.9 kg
Large spotted genet : Genetta tigrina
+ Length (including tail) : 98 cm
+ Weight : 2 kg

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To intimidate an aggressor genets will raise the crest of hair along their back to appear larger than they actually are.

Genets are agile climbers and will often escape danger by heading to the trees where they can leap 3 to 4 metres from tree to tree.

Like civets and mongooses, the genet who belongs to the same family uses its well-developed anal glands for scent marking.

Genets have been depicted in ancient Greek tapestries as domesticated rat catchers.

It is thought that the white patches under the genet’s eyes are used to help with communication by making any facial expressions more distinct when they come face to face with other genets.

When scent marking with their anal glands they will either perform a hand stand or back up an object to make their marking as high as they can, this is probably to intimidate intruders.

The viverridae family which the genet belongs to is thought to be the most primitive of all living carnivores.

A genet’s musky anal gland secretion can retain its smell for up to 9 weeks.