What Is a Fisher Cat and Where Does It Live?
Fisher cat is a type of large weasel, their furry, round ears and bushy tails give them a cute appearance. Fisher cats, also called fishers, are about 32-40 inches (81-102 cm) long. Their tails add another 12-16 inches (30-41 cm) of length to their bodies. Females weigh 4.5 to 5.5 pounds (2-2.5 kg). Males are much larger at 8 to 12 pounds (3.5-5.5 kg).
They’re easily confused with other weasels or house cats. They only live in the forests of North America. You’re most likely to find one in Canada, but they’re also common in the northwestern United States and California. Fisher sightings are also becoming more common in eastern states.
If you do see a fisher cat, it’s likely to be just a fleeting glimpse. Their short legs keep them low to the ground, and they move quickly. Fishers’ dark fur makes them even more difficult to spot at night. These critters are also great at hiding among bushy plants and the hollows of trees. Fishers also have to watch out for larger predators, including bobcats, coyotes, and cougars.
Fisher cats are fierce predators. In fact, they’re one of the few creatures on the planet that eat porcupines. That’s right! Those prickly little rodents may not sound appetizing to you, but to fishers, they’re a feast. Fisher cats are also known to snack on mice, hares, squirrels, and other small mammals. Fisher cats have also been rumored to hunt small pets, including—house cats.
Fishers are wild animals and should be left alone. In fact, throughout most of history, fishers have had more to fear from people than the other way around. The fisher cat population of Washington state was once wiped out by trapping and habitat loss. Today, they have been reintroduced, but protections against over-trapping are still in place.