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What is a Fisher

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I have noticed quite a few people mentioning "Fishers" when talking about the risks of letting their cats outside. I live in an area that is prime hunting ground for these predators. I have for may years recomended that cats be kept indoors because of the risk.

Some people also refer to "Fishers" as cats, which they are not. I am therefor providing some information on this vicious predator


The fisher is a member of the weasel family and a close relative of the marten, but is nearly twice as large and four times as heavy as the marten. The coat on the fisher’s slender body is dark brown with blackish brown fur on its rump and bushy tail. It also has a lighter, cream coloured bib on its chest.
The name ‘fisher’ has no relation to fish, but is derived from ‘fiche’ an old English word for the European polecat and its pelt.
Fishers have short legs and strong, large feet with hairy soles. It has sharp, partially retractable claws on each of its five toes.

The fisher is a carnivore and an exceptional predator. It is one of the few animals that eats porcupine.
When hunting other prey, such as mice, chipmunks, squirrels, snowshoe hares, and fawns, the fisher attacks its prey from behind.
The Fisher has also been known to attack and kill unattended domestic animals, such as cats, dogs and small farm animals.
One threat to the fisher is the bobcat, not because it is a prey, but they compete for the same food.
This is referred to as sharing the same niche. The fisher has very few predators other than humans since few animals can take on the large weasel.
The fisher finds shelter in holes in the ground, hollow trees, logs and stumps. They only maintain a permanent den when raising their young. Female fishers produce an average of three offspring per litter after enduring a pregnancy that lasts approximately 51 weeks, or 350 days.

The fisher is found in Canada along the Pacific Northwest coast of British Columbia, in northern Alberta and from Saskatchewan to Newfoundland. It is also distributed in the United States in northern California, Idaho and western Montana. The fisher is only found in North America.

Name: Fisher
Species name: Martes pennanti
Head and body length: 50 cm to 70 cm
Tail length: 30 cm to 42 cm
Weight: 1.5 kg to 8 kg
Life expectancy: approximately 10 years
post #2 of 4
They are termed "Fisher Cats" whether they are cats or not. We had them back home in NH. Poor kitties, no chance to stand up to one of those things if they ever cross paths. I've known many cats who got taken by fisher cats. Its the term all the locals use to refer to them but yah they are just weasels. Nasty weasels. Ughh..
post #3 of 4
I've actually never heard of them, but that is good to know. We keep our cat indoors, the more I learn about the various threats to them outside, I'm glad he doesn't go out.
post #4 of 4
We have them abundantely in Maine. I have them in back of my house I live in a wooded area.. I have heard them screaming at night. Very scarey sound in the night. And neighbors up the road have seen them. They are refered to fisher cats here also.They even have been known to take down small deer.
A very vicious predator.Cats are high on there list of food.
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