fisher on bird feeder

Stop a fisher

from eating your pet cat

Photo Copyright by Daniel M. Keefe

So what is a fisher cat 

Fishers, also known as fisher-cats and Pekans, are members of the marten family. Fishers are about the size of a big house cat, are fast runners, climb trees, quickly, and weigh about 15 pounds. Fishers live, sleep and den very high up in trees, often higher than 50 feet. They scream and it sounds just like a child screaming with a problem. They are very quick and can climb trees with lightening speed and agility.

Fisher asleep in tree

Fishers eat what? Your kidding!

They normally do not eat fish. But they do have a favorite menu.

  • 1. Porcupines
  • 2. House cats and small pet dogs
  • 3. Penned chickens and ducks
  • 4. Wild turkey
  • 5. Any other small mammal when a Fisher is starving.

Fishers are vicious.

A fisher is the only mammal with a defined killing technique.
They jump around and over their victim until the victim tires, then repeatedly scratch its nose and face as it bleeds to death and then they eat the victim.
In the case of porcupines, they flip it on its back and then tear open its belly, thus avoiding those sharp quills.

The bottom line is
…if you have a lot of porcupine in your area, the fishers will move in to dine on them. As the porcupines are eaten, the fishers turn to house cats supplement the shortage of porcupines, and when the porcupines are essentially gone, the fishers move on to a new area. So how do you prevent fisher attacks on pets?
How do you get rid of a fisher?

  • Keep your pets indoors.
  • Fence your poultry in…including the roof of the pen.
  • Get a Big Big Big dog.
  • Lights, sounds, noise helps but is not a solid solution to deterring them.
  • Repel them with a commercial odor repellent that uses the urine of their natural predators like fox or coyote.

If you have a fisher that has camped on your property and removal is in order…

  • Poison-Don’t bother. It won’t work.
  • Trap themThis works but then what do you do with it but destroy it. This part is more complicated as fishers are generally protected. Check your local laws. Perhaps your local control officer will take it and euthanize it for you.
  • Shoot them-Fisher hunting is often allowed during certain seasons with special permits. Check your local laws. A fisher hide has a little value, very different from a few years ago when its high value led to the decimation of the fisher across the country. This lead to a long period of total protection for the fisher from the government.
  • Call for professional assistance.