Civet Cat Care – Caring For Your Civet Cats
Civet cats are native to India but have been introduced to many countries by man. The most popular destination for civet cats is Mexico. In the wild, these animals feed on small rodents and monkeys but in captivity they are known for eating large mammals like deer, quail, etc. They prefer to hunt larger prey like monkeys, squirrels and elephants. They are usually herbivores and prefer fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, roots and seeds.
There are two types of Civet cats – wild-civet cats and captive-civet cats. The wild cats tend to live in the mountains and plains of India and they are known for their robust strength and resistance. Civet cats were introduced to Mexico a few decades back but their feral nature made them vulnerable to being captured and transferred to new cages. An enterprising local veterinarian, sensing their vulnerability, took them into his custody and now these beautiful animals are thriving in his country.
The Asian leopard civet cat is another sub-species that suffers from the avian flu (or bird flu). They too have been introduced to other countries but in their native habitats they have adapted well and rarely get sick. They can easily adapt to life in captivity, as many of them are taught to use litter boxes and eat table scraps instead of table food. The main threat to these gentle creatures is the disease carried by the bird flu virus. The disease kills civet cats but fortunately humans can be infected too, through direct contact with contaminated droppings or through insect bites.
The coffee berry civet cat is an entirely different animal from the civet cats we are accustomed to seeing. Civet farmers in India first brought this graceful creature into the cultivation field, where they are used extensively for flavoring drinks. The coffee berry is so delicate, it requires special containers to store it in. These delicate animals must be kept away from any pathogens that could harm them, especially guinea pigs and chickens who are often unwittingly contaminated with the coffee berry virus.
Other animals that make up the Flavorsation category include: the blue tongue skink of Australia, the purple, pouched monkey of Peru, the African rocker mouse of Botswana, and the blue tongue skink of southwestern Madagascar. These beautiful creatures are traded between farmers in Indonesia and farmers in India. The trade in these civet cats goes on each year, despite the fact that no civet cats are currently known to carry the deadly rabies virus that is responsible for the death of thousands of civet cats each year. It is estimated that up to one million Indonesian civet cats are traded annually.
It is not only in the wild where these animals thrive, they are also being raised in captivity for their meat, fur, and beauty. Recently, more people have become interested in raising and breeding civet cats, largely because they taste great and are easy to care for. There are several civet cat breeders who breed cats to specifically showcase the ability to eat the berries from these trees. It takes many years of study to learn what berries the civet cats prefer, but it has been found that the darker the berry, the better they taste. The darker colored berry is more flavorful than the lighter ones.