Kidadl

Fun Indian Civet Facts For Kids

Contents
Fun Indian Civet Facts For Kids

Share this article

The Indian civet is definitely one of the most interesting animals found in the Indian subcontinent! Is it a cat or a mongoose? Opinions differ, but most commonly agreed that the large Indian civet and the small Indian civet, like every other civet in the genera, should be put into their own category. It is against this popular yet controversial debate that we see the Indian civet thriving in the areas that are its habitat. These mammals are rarely seen on the ground, mostly preferring to stay on their perches in tall trees, out of the way from predators, but will come on the ground if they have to hunt.

And goodness, what voracious appetites do they have! You can easily see them eat almost anything they come across, which includes a variety of small animals, insects, and more. These long-tail animals are so hungry, yet just a few of them can imbalance the local species population in not just their territory but the areas around them too! Wondering how they got this far? Then read on to know everything about them, and do not forget to check out the puma and the lion either!

Indian Civet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Indian civet?

Both small Indian civet (Viverricula indica)  and large Indian civet (Viverra zibetha) are a type of civet.

What class of animal does an Indian civet belong to?

The small and large Indian civet (family Viverridae) belong to the class of mammals.

How many Indian civets are there in the world?

The population of large Indian civets is expected to be less than 250 adult individuals. Due to incredible adaptation, the population of small Indian civets is very high, but an accurate estimate of the population is not available. About eight small Indian civet species are found in India.

Where does an Indian civet live?

The small Indian civet mostly lives in the woodland. Both the small and large Indian civets can be mainly found in South and Southeast Asia.

What is an Indian civet's habitat?

Small Indian civets (family Viverridae) are mainly terrestrial creatures that are active at night. Small Indian civets can be found in various habitats, including savannah and grasslands, riverine regions, nearby tea plantations, semi-evergreen forests, and deciduous marshes. Their other habitats are scrubby areas, bamboo and thorn forests, and nearby villages. Indian civets live in caves in the earth, underneath rocks, or dense vegetation.

In South and Southeast Asia, the giant Indian civet lives in grasslands, brush, and thickly forested environments.

Who do Indian civets live with?

Both small and large civets are a solitary, secretive, and shy type of species. Usually, they live out of sight and stay alone.

How long does an Indian civet live?

Small civets live for about eight to nine years in suitable places. The life average of the large Indian civet is 15 years in the wildlife range. But in captivity, the large Indian civet lives up to 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

Once a year, large Indian civet males and females mate. The significance of the scent glands in reproduction has been demonstrated. This organ's secretion of chemical substances is thought to attract a mate or signal which creatures are in lactation. Secretion of civet oil by both males and females from their scent glands on a variety of surfaces during times of estrus. This civet oil has a special fragrance. Both the small Indian civet and large Indian civet in India, China, Sri Lanka, and other countries in South Asia are thought to reach estrus during any time of the year. Information about making pairs of these species (Viverrinae families) is less known in the wild ground.

What is their conservation status?

The Carnivora animals, small Indian civets (native to South and Southeast Asia), are classified as Least Concern species by the IUCN Red List due to their frequent distribution and genericness. But in Myanmar, these grasslands animals are fully secured with the help of the Wildlife Act. The IUCN Red List classifies the large Indian civet as Least Concern. Trapping-driven decreases in highly hunting and fractured places, especially in China, and the huge wildlife trade are thought to be reducing the world's population.

Indian Civet Fun Facts

What do Indian civets look like?

Small Indian civets are mostly found in India, Thailand, China, Peninsular Malaysia, and other South Asian countries. The body of this species has a thick reddish brown-gray to light yellowish-brown hair with many linear brown or black stripes on the backs and vertical rows of dark spots on both sides. On the back, they usually have five or six separate bands and four to five stripes of dots on one and the others sides. Two small black stripes run from the backside of the ears reach to the shoulders, with a third appearing in the front and across the throat. The color of the chin is always brown, while the head has a brownish-gray color with a small dusky mark behind the ears. In front of both eyes, there is a spot. Black or brown are the colors of the feet. It has seven to nine whitish and black and rings contrasting on its tail. The large Indian civet looks similar except for its size and that the spots on its back are less pronounced.

Both the small and large Indian civets are different genera and fun to learn about.

How cute are they?

Rings on the neck, lines of spots, stripes on the throat, neck, and body, and different vibrant colors make small Indian civet (family Viverridae) and large Indian civet cute. However, they are not known for their cuteness. The civet cat is better known for its scent! This a potent, strong smell that wards off predators, and can be sensed by the human nose too!

How do they communicate?

The Small Indian civet (Viverricula indica) lives in isolation and communicates only during and before breeding. Usually, in the mating process, they mostly use chemical and auditory communication. Scent marks (feces matters and urine) are possibly the only way for animals to communicate when they are not pairing or breeding, and with these territory boundaries, civets can alert others.

Large Indian civet uses glandular secretions to indicate its territories in order to communicate its existence and establish territory. It is unknown whether large Indian civets protect their territory.

How big is an Indian civet?

The length of large Indian civet is 20–37 in (50.8-94 cm) with a 15–23 in (38.1-58.4 cm) long tail. The length of the small Indian civet is about 29.5 in (74.9 cm) with a 17.7 in (45 cm) long tail. The body of the large Indian civet is larger than the small Indian civet, hence the name.

How fast can an Indian civet run?

Because of the asocial and solitary nature of the Small Indian civet, no data is available for running speed.

How much does an Indian civet weigh?

The weight of Carnivora species, a small Indian civet, can range from 4.4-8.8 lb (2-4 kg). At the same time, the weight of the large Indian civet is approximately 7.5–20.3 lb (3.4-9.2 kg). The weight of the Otter civet is about 6.6-11 lb (3-5 kg), which is native to Thailand and Myanmar. The small civet (African civet: Civettictis civetta), which lives in Africa, weighs up to 3-10 lb (1.4-4.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female small Indian civet animals don't have any specific names. Like this large Indian civet, the male and female species are known by the same name.

What would you call a baby Indian civet?

A baby of both large Indian civets and small Indian civets is called pups.  

What do they eat?

Large Indian civets and small Indian civet species are both carnivorous. The large Indian civet mainly eats snakes, chickens, birds, hens, frogs, and small mammals. Their food also ranges from roots, fruit, crabs, eggs, and fish. Small Indian civets are mainly fed on snakes, birds, mice, rats, fruits, roots, and carrion.  

Are they dangerous?

The presence of both large and small Indian civets at nighttime often provokes fear among city dwellers, but these civets are generally cautious animals that rarely attack humans until provoked. A large number of Indian civets are often killed because of the erroneous belief that they would cause damage to people.

Would they make a good pet?

The most popular genet kept in captivity is the common genet. These large and small Indian civets are agile, solitary, and quick civets that need proper care, but they can be entertaining pets for the good handler.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

Civets enjoy the palm flower sap. When this is distilled, it transforms into sweet liquor or 'toddy.'

How did the Indian civet get its name?

A civet is a tiny, lean-bodied mammal that lives mainly at night in southern Asia. Usually, both civets have a cat-like look, but their muzzles are frequently stretched. The scent produced by the civet (titled for the creature) is valued highly as an aroma and fragrance stabilizing agent. These civet cats do not stink.

‎What survival mechanisms do Indian civets have?

Both large and small civets (Viverrinae families) have adapted to a wide range of different types of living conditions across their extensive geographic areas, so their living environment is highly flexible. They live close to people in many areas. The adaptability of the duo of Indian civets has made defining precise limits challenging.

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 Abyssinian cat facts and panther fun facts pages.

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

Subscribe for virtual tools, STEM-inspired play, creative tips and more

By joining Kidadl you agree to Kidadl’s and and consent to receiving marketing communications from Kidadl.