civet(redirected from African civets)
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a large cat-like animal but with short legs and a long muzzle and without retractile claws. The family Viverridae includes civets and genets; the civets are characterized by the secretion of a valuable scent from their anal glands, and are kept in captivity so that the scent can be harvested. They are nocturnal, carnivorous and largely arboreal. Common genera are Civettictis, Viverra and Genetta, but there are many other genera of civets. Also the spotted skunk, a completely unrelated animal, is known as a civet in the USA.