South African Large-Spotted/Cape Genet

South African Large-Spotted/Cape Genet Genetta tigrina

Type of Animal:

Forest, woodland, areas near water, areas near streams/rivers, fynbos, savanna, farmland, villages, well-watered savanna woodland, cultivated areas, agricultural areas, areas near human settlements, scrub forest, riparian areas, grassland, permanent water reservoirs, scrubland, pine plantations, urban areas, coastal shrubland, rocky crevices

Southern Africa

Ash gray/yellowish w/ brown irregular spots, black stripe along spine, white muzzle, white spots below eyes, black & white banded tail w/ black tip, short dorsal crest

Insects, myriapods, rodents, shrews, hedgehogs, golden moles, bats, reptiles, arachnids, amphibians, birds, seeds, fruit, grasses, bird eggs, carrion, earthworms, crabs, pet food, refuse, human leftovers, small primates, hyraxes, lagomorphs

Status in Wild:

Breeding from zoos, wildlife centers, & breeders


Additional Info:

Young: Kit
Group: Solitary
Male: 3.5-4.6 lbs
Female: 3-4.12 lbs
Young: 1 lb

9 weeks 

Life Span:
8-10 years in wild, 13-20 years in captivity

8.2 in, same for both sexes

Body Length:
Male: 1.5-1.91 ft
Female: 1.4-1.83 ft
Young: 8.2 in

Tail Length:
Male: 1.283-1.5083 ft
Female: 1.267-1.416 ft

Main predators are owls, leopards, pythons, honey badgers, cats, dogs, & eagles.
Short, partially retractable claws help aid in climbing & catching prey.
Active at night (nocturnal).
Mark territory by depositing secretion from anal sac, often doing handstands while doing this.
Females make nests/give birth in hollow trees, holes, among boulders, & even in roofs.
Kits open eyes at 10 days old & canine teeth break through at 1 month old. Weaned at 1.5-2.5 months & leave mom at 6 months to a year. Become sexually mature at 11 months.
Usually breed in wetter periods.
Females usually give birth to 1-5 kits.
Sometimes killed by farmers due to killing poultry.
Courtship involves male following female, making low calls. He then smells genital region. Then, she assumes mating position w/ shoulders low & hindquarters slightly raised. Mating typically only lasts 5 minutes.
Females have 1-2 litters a year.
Communicate w/ cat-like vocalizations (purring/mewing/hissing/spitting).

Fun Fact(s):
When angry/frightened/injured, they can squirt foul-smelling substance.
Sometimes grass eaten to assist in digestion & get rid of any possible toxins ingested.
Can squeeze flexible bodies through any opening bigger than head.
Sometimes kept as exotic pets.
South African Large-Spotted Genet, Cape Genet, stock photo

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