Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Civet, Civet-Cat, any species of Viverra, the type-genus of the AEluroid family Viverridae, from the warmer regions of the Old World, containing forms closely allied to the True Cats and to the Hyenas. These are of small or moderate size, with sharp produced snout, and long tail, and are all more or less striped or banded; the tongue is rough with papillae, some of the molars are tubercular, and the claws are partially retractile. The true Civet is the African Viverra civetta, a small nocturnal beast, which supplements its flesh diet with roots and fruit. Its Indian congener ( V. zibetha) also yields civet - a pomade-like substance secreted in an anal pouch, whence it is scraped out with a spatula. This "uncleanly flux of a cat" was formerly in repute as a medicine, as it continued to be till comparatively recent times as a perfume, for which purpose it is still used in the East.