Blotched Genet

George McCarthy/Corbis

About the size of a large house cat, this attractive carnivore is mainly nocturnal and solitary in its habits.

During the day it sleeps in a vine tangle, on a branch, or in a hole in the ground.


Each individual has a well-defined territory that it marks with strong-smelling secretions from the perineal glands or with urine.

It is a good climber and can descend trees head-first.

It eats mainly rodents, but will also consume invertebrates and fruit. The blotched genet hunts on the ground, ambushing and quickly running down its prey.

It is usually silent in the wild, but it can make a variety of catlike calls, coughs, and screams.

This genet is found in tropical forests, but it adapts well to other habitats and also occurs in agricultural areas, swamps, and villages.

It is widespread and not endangered.

Animal Facts

Name: Blotched Genet (Genetta tigrina)

Family: Viverridae (Civets and Relatives)

Range: Most of sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat: Tropical forests, mixed woodland, swamps, and tall grass

Diet: Small rodents, birds, reptiles, fruit, and invertebrates

Head and Body Length: 16 to 22 inches (40 to 55 cm)

Tail Length: 16 to 22 inches (40 to 55 cm)

Weight: 2 to 7 pounds (1 to 3 kg)

Life Cycle: Gestation about 70 days; two to five young born that stay with mother for six months and can breed at one year of age

Description: Black spots on white, gray or buff background; black muzzle; white around eyes and mouth; long body; short legs; black-striped tail

Conservation Status: Common

Related Content: Corwin's Carnival — Lil' Mammals