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Genets are long, lean carnivores with a tail usually at least as long as the body. In appearance, genets can be difficult to describe. Genets resemble elongated cats, and can appear catlike, except for their longer faces. They have a long, thin body set on short legs, and their ears are large and rounded. Like cats, genets have semi-retractable claws, and they can erect a crest of hair at the base of their spine when frightened. Exclusively nocturnal and solitary, genets are agile tree climbers and feed on mice, insects, reptiles and wild fruits. They are extremely flexible and agile, and can enter very small spaces.
Genets have an elongated body ranging from 16 to 24 inches (40 to 54 cm) long, with a tail 15 to 20 inches (40 to 49 cm) long, and they can weigh from two to eight pounds depending on species. They usually have a dark spotted or marbling pattern over a cream to buff colored background. Their fur is incredibly soft. The body color varies from gray to yellowish to tan, with spots from rusty brown to black. The spots vary in number, color, and size depending on the species. They can also be melanistic, meaning all black.
Captivity: I feed my genets mainly Nutro Max cat food. They also eat other brands of cat food, canned and dry, as well as meat including chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef. Occasionally I also feed fruits such as grapes and bananas. Kittens start out consuming KMR kitten milk replacer, with some yogurt added to soften up their stool.
Care and Housing
Genets can be kept in cages sized 3' by 2 1/2', but they thrive even better in larger cages. Some states require much larger cages, up to 6' tall by 7' by 7'. Check your state laws first before you consider getting a genet. Genets like places to hide, and prefer to be up high rather than on the ground. I've found that rubbermaid boxes with a hole cut out for entry, mounted up on walls make comfortable homes. Additionally shelves and limbs are added in the enclosure for activity.
Sexual maturity: 2 years
Breeding season: year round
Gestation: 56 to 76 days, depending on species
Litter Size: 1 to 5