Originally Posted by Faverolle
It's actually fisher, not fisher cat. They are not related to cats but are in the weasel family. They range more or less from coast to coast and will prey on small domestic animals or small livestock if given the chance.
Edited by They Call Me Pete - 5/19/09 at 4:10am
You have hit the nail on the head. We have literally one grey squirrel around our house and we are out in the country. I now no why. Someone told me that if hungry enough they will swipe a cat through a window screen. My neighbors had one climb up on their grill a few years back and sniff around.
Sorry I couldn't get the picture to come through.
The Fisher is a medium size member of the mustelid family often compared to the American Marten, a slightly smaller mustelid, due to many shared habits and characteristics. The "fisher-cat" is neither much of a fish catcher nor is it a member of the cat family though it does resemble a house cat in general body size and shape, but the fisher has shorter legs and a longer, wedge- shaped snout. The fur on a fisher is dark brown to black, as an animal ages the hair tips may become frosted, especially around the head and shoulders. They molt in the fall. Males generally have coarser hair coats, this makes the females more desirable to trappers. Their bodies measure 20 - 30 inches with an additional 13 - 17 inches of tail and weigh from 3 - 12 pounds. Males are usually significantly larger than the females. Tracks reveal 5 toes in a plantigrade foot averaging 3 in. wide by 4.5 in. long with thick fur on the soles of their feet in winter. The nails are at least partially retractable though not sheathed and the mustelid, 2x2 bounding gate is most common with fisher track patterns. (see tracking section for illustrations)
Fishers are considered to be quite carnivorous, favoring snowshoe hares as well as squirrels, carrion, mice, shrews, voles, birds, fruits like berries, and ferns. They are also famous for their ability to successfully hunt and kill porcupines. One of the very few other animals to prey on porcupines is a close cousin of the fisher, the wolverine. The fishers long, wedge-shaped snout is well suited for making vicious attacks to the porcupines face until mortal wounds cause the porcupine to succumb. In some forests, fishers have been reintroduced to try to control porcupine populations. This biological control method has been successful at least for short-term population reductions; it is currently unknown how well it works for long-term porcupine population control. They generally hunt by systematically searching for patches of abundant prey and then systematically searching those patches for prey to kill. Fishers will sometimes cache food items and find/make temporary den sites near large food items like a deer carcass.