Fun Genet Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Genet Facts For Kids

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If you are interested in learning about exotic animals, then you should definitely read this article on genets. Genets are animals found mostly in Africa and have many cat-like characteristics. They are viverrids – that means they are members of the family Viverridae. Genet has 14 identified species like a common genet, crested genet, aquatic genet, and more. Even though they belong to the order Carnivora, these animals follow an omnivorous diet. Genets are skilled climbers but spotting a genet on the ground hunting prey is not an uncommon situation. These animals have retractable claws that help them climb and cover great range. The coat color and spot patterns vary among this huge range of species. Genet is also kept as pets and is very common in the trade market.

Keep on reading to learn more amusing facts about genet. If you want to learn more about genets, then check out small Indian mongoose and dwarf mongoose.

Fun Genet Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small mammals, amphibians, arthropods, birds, bird eggs

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

2.2-4.4 lb (1-2 kg)

How long are they?

16-24 in (41-60 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Various color

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Habitat Loss, Predators

What is their conservation status?

Common genet: Least Concern Crested genet: Vulnerable Aquatic genet: Near Threatened

Where you'll find them?

Woodlands, Grasslands, Forest


Africa, Europe, Asia









Genet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a genet?

Genets are graceful cat-like animals that belong to the family Viverridae. There are about 14 known species of genets.

What class of animal does a genet belong to?

Genet belongs to the Mammalia class of Animalia kingdom. It is a member of the genus Genetta and order Carnivora.

How many genets are there in the world?

There are about 14 identified species of genets in this world. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the population of some genet species like crested genet and aquatic genet are decreasing with a population of 7,000 and 10,000, respectively. Other species like the common genet have a more stable population. However, the total number of genets living in this world cannot be estimated.

Where does a genet live?

Genets are native to Africa. Only one species of genet, that is the common genet or the small-spotted genet, is found outside Africa. During historical times, the common genet or the small-spotted genet was introduced to some parts of Asia and Europe.

What is a genet's habitat?

The various identified species of genets live in a variety of habitats. Some of the species inhabit grasslands and woodlands of North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. Others prefer dry forests, rainforests, and savannahs.

Who do genets live with?

Genet is not the most social animal. These African animals like to live on their own. However, they can be seen in pairs during the mating season. The newborn kittens are seen with their mothers while they are being taken care of.

How long does a genet live?

Genet is known to live for about eight years in the wild. However, they have a longer lifespan in captivity. A common genet or small-spotted genet can live up to 13 years in captivity. The oldest known genet was a 22.7 years old male genet in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

These solitary individuals form pairs during the mating season which is generally during the wet season. Genet generally achieves sexual maturity at the age of two. The female adult genets have a gestation period of about 70-77 days after which, one to three young ones are born. Young ones need proper care and protection as they are pretty weak at birth.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the common genet (Genetta genetta) as Least Concern in their Red List. A few more species of genets share the same conservation status. However, some species have a more serious status. The crested genet (Genetta cristata) is Vulnerable with a decreasing population and the aquatic genet (Genetta piscivora) has the status of Near Threatened.

Genet Fun Facts

What do genets look like?

Genets share a lot of their physical characteristics with a cat. They have slim yet long bodies and tails that are almost as big as the body. The color of the coat and spots varies between species. They are also characterized by pointed ears and muzzles. These animals have retractable claws. These retractable claws help these climbers climb without a challenge.


How cute are they?

The various patterned spots on the body and ringed tails make these animals look pretty cute. The beauty of this species has made it gain popularity as an exotic pet.

How do they communicate?

Genet generally uses smell and gestures to communicate. However, it also has some distinct calls to communicate with each other and their owners.

How big is a genet?

Genet is a lithe animal with a body size of 16-24 in (41-60 cm). This African animal is known for having a long tail. The length of the tail is somewhere between 15.7-21.6 in (40-55 cm). This cat-like species is slightly bigger than oncilla cats.

How fast can a genet run?

These creatures are skilled runners with great reflexes. To add to this, they have excellent climbing abilities. They are perfectly capable of climbing up and down the trees and jumping from trees. However, their exact speed is not known.

How much does a genet weigh?

The average weight of a genet ranges from 2.2-4.4 lb (1-2 kg). Male genets are known to be bulkier than females.

What are the male and female names of their species?

There are no specific male and female names of this species. They are simply referred to as male genet and female genet.

What would you call a baby genet?

Baby genets are called kittens. They can also be referred to as kits.

What do they eat?

Genets living in the wilds generally follow an omnivorous diet but they are known for being nocturnal creatures. They are skilled predators with a great sense of smell. They can track down their prey with scent. A bite to the neck is all these predators need to kill their prey. The diet of this animal includes smaller mammals like bats, shrews, and rodents. Amphibians like frogs also fall prey to these opportunistic feeders. Apart from that, they eat various arthropods, insects, and birds. They can easily climb up trees – so preying on birds and birds' eggs found on trees is not a challenge for them. They also feed on centipedes and various fruits.

A genet pet can be fed certain cooked food or foods that you would normally feed pet cats. However, it will also need insects in its diet.

Are they dangerous?

Even though a genet animal is known for being nocturnal, they do not cause any serious harm to humans. Sometimes a genet cat in captivity can accidentally bite its owner. As these animals are naturally opportunistic feeders, they can become food aggressive in captivity.

Would they make a good pet?

Being a graceful species, genets have gained popularity as exotic pets. However, they are not the right pet if you are looking for someone to cuddle with. The most they will do is climb on you. A genet can be kept in a gigantic ferret cage but it should not be left inside the cage all day. Pet genets need routine exercise and a proper diet. It is noticed that their lifespan is longer in captivity. It is also important to find a veterinarian who is willing to treat this exotic pet.

Did you know...

Many genet owners get the scent glands of their pets removed to keep their natural instincts in check.

Genet helps humans with their pest problems. It helps keep the vermin populations in check.

Types of genet

Genet has about 14 identified species with various physical characteristics and habitats. The most popular species is the common genet or small-spotted genet which is also the only species found in some parts of Europe (Portugal, France, Spain) and Asia. Apart from the common genet, there are rusty-spotted genet and king genet. Cape genet or large-spotted genet, aquatic genet, and crested genet are also some of the identified species of genet.

How to pronounce genet?

The word 'genet' derives from the genus 'Genetta'. It is pronounced as 'jen-it'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals from our liger facts and fox facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printableGenet 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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