The average lifespan of the African civet is 15 to 20 years. There is no favored breeding season in West Africa. The breeding season in Kenya and Tanzania occurs in March through October. In southern Africa, breeding occurs in the warm, wet summer months from August to January, when there are a large number of insects. Captive females first give birth at about 1 year of age. Females are polyestrous and are able to have two or three litters a year. There are usually 1 to 4 young in a litter. Mothers have six nipples to feed their young.
Young civets are born in advanced stages relative to most carnivores. They are fully furred, although the fur is darker, shorter, and softer than adult fur. Their markings are more poorly defined than those of adults. Young are able to crawl at birth, and the hind legs support the body by the 5th day. They start leaving the nest between 17-18 days, and the first sign of play behavior is seen at about 2 weeks. The young are completely dependent on mother's milk for about 6 weeks. After about 42 days, their mother provides them solid food. By the second month, they are catching food for themselves. The behavior of mouth suckling, in which the young licks their mother's mouth and drink her saliva, is seen just before the mother begins to provide the young with solid food.
The mother transports the young in her mouth, clasping them by the back or by the neck. Captive mothers sometimes kill and devour their young at birth. (Animal Breeder 1999, Ray 1995, Schliemann 1990)
Average birth mass: 380.5 g.
Average gestation period: 65 days.
Average number of offspring: 2.5.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
Sex: male: 213 days.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
Sex: female: 365 days.
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