The Civet is a small mammal native to Africa and Asia. Civet have a cat-like appearance and the best known Civet is the African Civet. Their muzzle is rather pointed resembling that of a Mongoose or an Otter and the give off a musk scent that was used in popular perfumes, such as Chanel no. 5, up until 1998 when it was deemed cruel.

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A Civet is a small, lean, mostly nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa, especially the tropical forests. The term Civet applies to over a dozen different species, mostly from the family Viverridae, the common name given to a variety of carnivoran mammal species. Most of the species diversity is found in southeast Asia. Civet do not form a shared evolution of history, as they consist only of certain members of the Viverridae, Eupleridae and Nandiniidae.

Civet have a broadly cat-like general appearance, though the muzzle is extended and often pointed, rather like that of an Otter, Mongoose or even possibly a Ferret. They range in length from about 43 to 71 cm (17 to 28 in) (excluding their long tails) and in weight from about 1.4 to 4.5 kg (3 to 10 lb).

The Civet produces a musk (named Civet after the animal) which is highly valued as a fragrance and stabilizing agent for perfume. Both male and female Civet produce the strong-smelling secretion, which is produced by the Civet’s perineal glands. It is harvested by either killing the animal and removing the glands, or by scraping the secretions from the glands of a live animal. The latter is the preferred method today.

Civet are unusual among feliforms, and carnivora in general, in that they are omnivores or even herbivores, many species primarily eat fruit. Some also use flower nectar as a major source of energy. As human habitats have increased and expanded, Civet have preyed on livestock and smaller domesticated animals, such as fowls, ducks, rabbits, and cats.

African Civet (Civettictis Civetta) are listed as Least Concern, but in certain regions of Africa the population is declining due to hunting, direct and indirect poisoning, and an increase in large-scale farm fences that limit population flow. They are also seen as comparatively abundant options in the bushmeat trade.

African Civet are mostly nocturnal but may sometimes be seen during the morning or the afternoon on cloudy days. Peak activity is 1-2 hours before sunset until around midnight. During the daytime, these animals sleep in dense grass near water, and only mothers with their young have a nest. African Civet are solitary, except when they are breeding. Although solitary, they use a range of visual, auditory, and olfactory methods of communication. Being territorial, they mark their territory when crouching and pressing their perineal glands against something. If an African Civet feels threatened, it raises its dorsal crest to make itself look larger and thus more formidable and dangerous to attack. African Civet can make three kinds of sounds: a scream, a growl, and a cough-spit, but the most common sound they make is the ‘ha ha ha’ they use when making contact.

The predators of the African Civet include Lion, African Wildcat, Bat Eared Fox, Black Backed Jackal, Black Footed Cat, Caracal and Cape Fox.

The average lifespan of the African Civet is 15 to 20 years. African Civet are only seen together during mating, which suggests that they might be polygynous. August to January, the warm, wet summer months, is when mating takes place, this time being favoured due to the large numbers of insects. Females have 2 or 3 litters during a year, with gestation lasting for 60 to 71 days. Litters contain one to four young, and they are born in a nest made in a hollow tree trunk or hole that has been made by other animals or they are under tangled roots. Civet babies are covered in dark, short fur. They can crawl at birth, and their hind legs support their body when they are 5 days old. They begin to leave the nest from 17-18 days, and at about 2 weeks they show their first indication of play behaviour. The cubs each feed on their mother’s milk for about 6 weeks, then begin eating solid food, before weaning takes place at 14 to 16 weeks. A female African Civet attains reproductive maturity at around 1 year of age, while males start to breed earlier, from 9 to 12 months of age.

Civet are also called “Toddycats” in English and “musang” in Malay. Some of the indigenous people in Peninsular Malaysia, the Orang Asli, occasionally keep pet Civet. It was a Civet that started the outbreak of SARS, in 2003. Kopi Luwak is a coffee made from the coffee cherries that have been eaten and digested by the Civet.


There is limited knowledge of their habits because of their nocturnal and secretive lifestyle. Civet often travel through urban areas with people often complaining about the Civet noise from climbing on roofs of houses as well as the mess they make. Some species of Civet are very rare and elusive and hardly anything is known about them. Preferred habitats include woodland, savanna, and, above all, Rainforests. Because of this, many are faced with severe loss of habitat.


What is Civet Taxidermy?

Civet taxidermy is the art of preserving the Civet’s skin and other body parts to produce lifelike sculptures for display, either at home as a hunting trophy or in museums for educational purposes. Skin is preserved and mounted on an artificial armature to display the specimen.

The contemporary English word “taxidermy” is derived from the Greek terms taxis, meaning “movement,” and derma, meaning “skin,” thereby combining these two meanings. This is why, in a broad sense, taxidermy is synonymous with “the motion of skin.”

For expert taxidermists, skills in sculpture, painting, and sketching are just as important as those in carpentry, woodworking, tanning, moulding, and casting.

The remaining parts of the body are synthetic replacements for real organs and tissues. Polyurethane foam is used for the manikin or form, which includes the anatomy of every muscle and vein; glass is used for the eyes; clay is used for the eyelids; for the nose and mouth the foam of the mannequin is sculptured.

Works of taxidermy can be found in a wide range of environments, including museums, classrooms, galleries, stores, restaurants, and private households, due to the complexity and delicate craftsmanship involved in the taxidermy process.

Thorough preparation is the key factor to ensuring a high-quality final product. All hides are tanned and oiled using the world’s very best available chemicals and processes to ensure permanence and longevity. Forms are selected to ensure the best fit and posture will be altered to suit you, the client’s preference without additional cost. Natural habitat bases are custom-made for full mount trophies without additional cost. Only the finest materials and 40 years of professional experience are used in defining your trophies in a whole new way. The final trophies are almost Life-Formed. When the restoration is required, every effort is made to repair cuts and abrasions, and to minimise bullet damage. Natural scarring is kept unless otherwise requested.

Hunting Civet

A large Civet of any kind will make a fine trophy. It is very difficult to tell the difference between a male and female Civet, therefore if you are hunting in a country where it is illegal to hunt any female animals, you may want to discuss this with your PH before you go out on your hunt.

Civet are best taken with a solid gunshot through the middle of the chest, if given the option. The best angle for a broadside shot is behind the shoulder. Civet have very thin skin, therefore expanding bullets could potentially ruin your trophy. The dense fur of an African Civet, when properly tanned, makes for stunning complete mounts and/or rug mounts.

The Civet taxidermist’s process and method

When making an Civet mount, careful planning is key to getting a high-quality result. When tanning and oiling the skins, only the best chemicals and methods are used. This ensures that the skins will last for many years.

Your preferred form for the Civet will be chosen after taking your measurements into account, and the posture of your form will be changed at no extra cost. Full-mount Civet trophies come with bases made to look like the animal’s natural habitat and made just for the Civet mount.

The taxidermy process at Life-Form takes your prized Civet trophy and gives it a whole new meaning by using only the best materials and drawing on more than 40 years of experience in the field.

When repair is needed, every effort is made to fix cuts and scrapes and lessen bullet damage. Existing scars are left alone unless the client asks for them to be taken away.

Taking care of your Civet trophy

Using the helpful tips below, it’s important to take extra care of your prized Civet trophy to make sure it stays in perfect shape for years to come.

  • To keep your Civet mounts looking their best, it’s important to put them in the right place with the right temperature and humidity.
  • To keep your mounts from fading over time, try not to hang them next to a sunny window where they will be in direct sunlight for a long time. If you can, don’t put taxidermy near direct heat sources like furnace vents or wood stoves.
  • A taxidermy trophy should be handled and cared for like any other expensive and fine piece of art. Mounts should only be touched when they need to be.
  • If you want your mounts to look their best, you should dust them often and gently. A feather duster works well, and then you can wipe away any remaining dust with a damp cloth in the direction of the hair.
  • People often say that things like furniture polish work well to clean hair or fur, but you should avoid using them. Over time, these things can actually gather more dust and moisture.
  • You can also use compressed air or a vacuum with a soft brush for the scenery. Be careful to work gently and follow the natural direction of the skin.
  • Use a Q-tip dipped in glass cleaner to clean the eyes, and then use a clean, dry swab to polish them.
  • Even the most prestigious museums and trophy rooms have had items damaged by insects. Moths and tiny demisted or carpet beetles are the two types of insects that are responsible for this problem, so it is worth fumigating the room regularly.
  • A fine repellent mist should be sprayed all over the mount, and then the product should be carefully combed into the hair. A blow dryer can be used to restore the fluffy appearance of the fur on animals that have it.


How much does a Civet trophy cost?

The pricing of any trophy is subject to the costing stipulated per taxidermy order, quantity of trophies and preferred mounting options, along with additional requirements.

Should you wish to receive a quotation prior to the hunt, the taxidermist can generate such for you. Please contact [email protected]

How long does a Civet trophy take?

Taxidermy is an art form that involves a complicated step-by-step process to make sure that each trophy looks just right and is of a high enough quality that it will last your whole life.

The time it takes a taxidermist to mount an animal might range from days to weeks, and possibly several months, depending on the quantity of trophies per taxidermy order, the display preferences, and volumes of client trophies to be produced, simultaneously, per production schedule.

This depends largely on the “what, how, when” factors. A taxidermy order also only becomes available for production scheduling upon receipt of the required deposit and trophy mounting instructions.

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