Fun Common Genet Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Common Genet Facts For Kids

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Common genets (Genetta genetta) are carnivores, natives of the sub-Saharan African range and North Africa. However, they have also been seen in various parts of Europe, especially Spain, Portugal, and France.  

Common genets have a slender body that is covered in soft yellowish-brown or pale gray-colored fur with black spots all over their body. They have sharp claws, wide eyes, and round ears. The length of their tail and body are the same.

The claws of common genets are retractable, which means they can pull them in and out of their paws. These retractable claws present make them fantastic climbers and also excellent hunters. The diet of a common genet consists of mice, rodents, birds, frogs, lizards, and even fish. Usually, they hunt on the ground but climb on trees to escape from predators.

There are about 30 subspecies of common genets across Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

Keep reading for more interesting and fun information about common genets. If you find this article intriguing, don't forget to check out our other articles on dwarf mongoose and Somali cat.

Fun Common Genet Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Mice, rats, small mammals, insects, birds, lizards

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

3.5-5 lb (1.6-2.3 kg)

How long are they?

16-22 in (41-56 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Yellowish-brown in color with black spots located in parallel lines

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Snakes, Owls, Domestic Dogs, Leopards

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Forests And Hills


Northern Africa And Also Parts Of Europe









Common Genet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common genet?

Common genets are a type of viverrids of the genus Genetta. The scientific name for the common genet is Genetta genetta.

What class of animal does a common genet belong to?

Common genet (Genetta genetta) belongs to the class of Mammalia. This animal is a close relative of the civet and mongoose species.

How many common genets are there in the world?

The population of Genetta genetta is wide and therefore it is not possible to estimate the number of common genets present in the world.

Where does a common genet live?

Common genets (Genetta genetta) originally belong to the sub-Saharan African range and North Africa. They also reside in parts of the Arabian peninsula like Oman and Yemen. Additionally, these species have been seen in parts of Europe like Spain, Portugal, and France.

What is a common genet's habitat?

Common genets (Genetta genetta) are magnificent climbers and therefore thrive in areas with numerous trees. Their habitat range across forests, marshlands, agricultural lands, and rocky hills.

Who do common genets live with?

Although common genets are solitary species, their home ranges may occasionally overlap with that of another common genet. They generally sleep in tree hollows or thickets.

How long does a common genet live?

In the wild, a common genet (Genetta genetta) has an average lifespan of eight years, whereas, in captivity, it is 13 years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season for common genets (Genetta genetta) stretches from January to September, with some sub-species mating during the rainy season and others mating in the spring and autumn. Information  about their mating rituals is not available. The females give birth to one to five babies in the cracks of rocks or tree holes after 10-11 weeks of gestation. The babies are born blind and must rely on their mothers' milk for the first four months of their lives. They begin receiving meat along with the milk during the seventh week. They can independently hunt after five months.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, common genets (Genetta genetta) have a conservation status of Least Concern. This is due to the stable population of these species throughout their home range. However, these species are sometimes killed in their habitat because of their attractive fur and medicines.

Common Genet Fun Facts

What do common genets look like?

Common genets (Genetta genetta) are predators that resemble kittens with black spots on their backs in parallel lines. They have spots on their face as well which appears like a mask. They have a long body with a long tail with prominent black rings. They have white throats and a pale gray or yellowish-brown coat. They have small heads with large eyes and wide ears. Additionally, they have black hair patches running from their shoulders to their tails. Common genets' claws enable them to efficiently climb trees as well as catch their prey. They have soft fur that allows them to move around in tight spaces effortlessly.

Common Genet

How cute are they?

Yes, common genets are adorable animals. They have black marks on their bodies and look like a smaller and cuter version of leopards.

How do they communicate?

Common genets (Genetta genetta) communicate mostly through their auditory and olfactory senses. Hiccup-like noises are common genet sounds that are exchanged between a mother and a baby genet, or between partners during mating season. Furthermore, juvenile genets make 'meow' cries, whilst terrified genets growl.

Scent and body language are also commonly used to communicate. One of their most fascinating features is a chemical generated by small glands in the skin that determines a genet's reproductive status. Common genets are extremely territorial. Males mark their home ranges with urine, while the females mark them with their scent.

How big is a common genet?

A common genet (Genetta genetta) is about the same size as a house cat, about 16-22 in (41-56 cm) without the tail. Their tail is around 13-20 in (33-52 cm) long.

How fast can a common genet run?

The speed of common genets is not known yet. However, they are magnificent tree climbers because of their retractable claws and have quick reflexes to protect themselves from predators. They usually travel vast distances by following roads, or game tracks.

How much does a common genet weigh?

Common genets weigh around 3.5-5 lb (1.6-2.3 kg). Male genets are slightly heavier than females.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female common genets do not have any particular names. They are simply known as a male and female common genet.

What would you call a baby common genet?

A baby of a common genet does not have any specific name.

What do they eat?

These carnivorous animals attack small mammals, birds, as well as, small reptiles with their sharp retractable claws. Their diet consists of mice, rodents lizards, frogs, as well as, birds, and fish. These animals are stunning tree climbers as they occasionally climb the trees to prey on birds and search for fruits. They also feed on insects, garbage, and mushrooms. These animals thrive in a habitat that has their favorite food range.

Are they dangerous?

No, common genets (Genetta genetta) are not particularly known to pose any threat to humans. In fact, they are quite helpful as they help in reducing vermin populations and keep pest problems under control by residing close to their agricultural grounds.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, common genets can be kept as pets. They are fast and solitary creatures that demand specific care, yet they may be amusing pets for the appropriate owner.

Did you know...

Common genets are nocturnal creatures. They actively hunt at night and take rest in tree hollows during the day.

The common genet can scare its predator by hissing and flashing its sharp teeth. Also, they stretch their long tail while lifting its mane-like black hair along the back. Common genet behavior, when attacked, is very similar to that of scared cats.

How does a common genet raise its young?

When young ones are born, they have no eyesight and are dependent on their mother's care. They feed on their mother's milk for the first four months of their lives. They begin receiving meat along with the milk from the seventh week and become independent hunters after five months.

When was the common genet introduced to Italy?

Common genets have been introduced in various parts of Europe. These animals are also spotted in north-western parts of Italy. However, the precise date when these species were transported to Italy is unknown.

How to pronounce genet?

You should split the word 'genet' into 'Zhuh' and 'Nay'. Then, you have to repeat it out loud and emphasize the words until you can say them properly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these liger facts and fox facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable common genet coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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