All About the Asian Palm Civet

The Asian palm civet is a small viverrid that tends to weigh less than ten pounds.

It’s also known as the Common Palm Civet, Motit, Toddy Cat, Marapatti, Maranai, and Uguduwa.

What You Should Know

Asian palm civets live in Asia, extending from the Philippines to Kashmir. Most of them live in southern China, southern India, northern Himalayas, and neighboring islands.

They choose a variety of habitats to make their home. Typically, they are found in the tropical and temperate forests but are also found in fruit orchards, plantations, suburban gardens, and parks.

The Asian palm civet opts to live where food is easy to find. This puts them in dense foliage, rock crevices, and tree hollows. They prefer the tallest trees with dense canopies and vines for protection. They will live in elevations up to 2,000 feet.

This solitary animal comes out at night to hunt its food. They mark their territory by dragging their anal glands across the ground. The Asian palm civet is carnivorous. It eats a meat-based diet, with the occasional fruit or plant. The majority of its food includes frogs, snakes, lizards, and rodents. Some of the vegetation it prefers include mango and palm.

What Sound Do They Make?

You can hear the squeaky, chirpy sound that an Asian palm civet makes with this file.

Group Characteristics

A female Asian palm civet will give birth to between one and four young after a couple of months gestation period. The civets breed any time of the year; there’s no predetermined season. These babies are weaned once they can fend for themselves in the wild. Many Asian palm civets can live for 20 years, but predators and habitat loss cause them to die sooner.

It’s interesting to know that the only time a civet shares a tree with another is during mating or raising its young. Otherwise, it wants to be completely alone.

How Many are There?

The Asian palm civet is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN list. It’s become tolerant of a broad range of habitats, making it easily adaptable to any condition. This animal faces danger from numerous predators, including large cats and reptiles.

Watch a Video

The first video offers some facts you might not know about the Asian palm civet.

Here’s another informative video that will entertain.

Pop Culture

Leo, the Wildlife Ranger, had an episode dedicated to the Asian palm civet. The civet steals food and the Junior Rangers must take the civet back to its home. This causes them to travel through the rainforest, a plantation and run into a wild boar.

The most known issue with the Asian palm civet in the public eye is the coffee scandal. The world’s most expensive coffee comes from civet poop. They are fed coffee cherries which get partially digested and pooped out. This causes them to live in cages and eat food they aren’t accustomed to. This behavior led to an outcry from activists about the inhumane treatment of the animal.

Interesting Facts

The Asian palm civet measures 19 to 23 inches long and has a tail that measures 17 to 21 inches long. It typically weighs less than ten pounds. It has a shaggy, coarse coat that is grey. It also features black markings on the nose, ears, and feet.

The Asian palm civet has been known to climb trees and house gutters. That’s because they have sharp claws on their feet that allow them to climb almost anything.

Even though the Asian palm civet is closely related to mongooses and weasels, it is not a feline animal.