The Small-Spotted Genet is slightly smaller than the Large-Spotted Genet, and the markings are more distinct black and white and without a rusty tinge. The tail is white tipped, as opposed to the black tipped tail of the Large-Spotted Genet. Overall body colour is more a dirty white covered with black spots and forming lines from the head to the tail. Along the spine is a crest of erectile long black hairs. It has distinct white patches on the face below the eyes, which is less prominent around the mouth and on the forehead. They have retractile claws. Tails are long and ringed black and white.
The Small-Spotted Genet has a diet which consists mainly of small mammals and insects. Bats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, millipedes, centipedes and scorpions have been recorded as their food source. It would appear to eat less fruit than the Large Spotted Genet. Almost entirely solitary, pairs are seldom seen, probably only during the mating season. Habitat preference tends towards drier woodlands, although it is also found in riverine habitats. It often lies up in trees during the day, but is more commonly found in holes in the ground and in rocky refuges. It is less arboreal than the Large-Spotted Genet.