A Quick Look at the Malabar Civet Cat

May 20, 2020

A Quick Look at the Malabar Civet Cat

Malabar civet catis a wild animal from Viverridde family.

It is found in India and has been listed under IUCN Red List of critically endangered animals. Malabar civet cat is a carnivore. 

There are about four species of Malabar civet. The animal was declared distinct in 1978. Nine years later, it was rediscovered.

There are a few hundreds of Malabar civet cats around the world.

The growth of human population and the use of land has resulted in a decrease in wild animals. The Malabar civet cat can survive for more than 15 years.

There are other types of civet cats that look like the Malabar civet cat.

These include the small Indian civet cat. They both look alike but the small Indian civet cat is smaller than the Malabar civet cat. 

In March 2020, a video of a civet cat circulated in social media platforms. It showed a cat roaming in the streets of Meppayur town in the district of Kozhikode in Kerala state of southern India.

Thanks to social distancing caused by COVID-19 coronavirus disease; the cat had the freedom to go out from its hideout spot.

People thought that the small Indian civet cut was a Malabar cat. However, the two are similar but different. 

Physical Appearance: What Does the Cat Look Like?

Malabar civet looks like a cat but it has a longer body. An adult Malabar civet can be 74cm and weight about 12kg.

The Malabar cat has a pointed snout, small ears and a long tail thickly furred tail that measures around 13 - 66cm. The colour of its body varies according to species.

Generally, it can have a grey body with black spots or stripes. It can have one pattern or a mixture of spots and stripes. 

A Little About Its Natural Habitat

During the day, civets like to stay in tree hollows, in rocks and other places that provide security. They come out of these places at night to start hunting for food. 

Malabar civet cats are found in Western Ghats of India.

They stayed in lowland forests, riparian forests and lowland swamp. Due to an increase in population, the forests have been used by human beings. It is believed that the Malabar civet cat now lives in cashew plantations and in lowland forests in northern Kerala.  

What Does the Malabar Civet Cat Eat?

The Malabarcivet cat is a carnivore and its diet consists of meats.

They hunt small animals in the bush for feed. Malabar civet cat can also feed on eggs, vegetable matter, flowers and fruits as a source of energy.  

Here Are a Few Unique Things About the Malabar Civet Cat

The animal has a secretion that is used by other animals to mark their territories.

The secretion which has a fragrance is produced in the perennial gland of a Malabar civet cat.

Some people kill the animal to harvest the secretion.

The preferred method of harvesting fragranced secretion is scraping the secretion from the glands of a live animal. The secretion is also known as civet and it can be used to make perfumes for commercial purpose. 

Did you know of the Malabar Civet Cat before reading this article? Let me know in the comments!


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