The Fisher Cat is a small, carnivorous mammal native to North America. These forest-dwelling animals belong to the family mustelid and the genus Pekania. Despite the name “fisher cats,” a fisher is very different from felines, and neither do they catch fish. Moreover, after the North American River Otter, fishers scientifically known as Martes pennant are the second largest members of the weasel family in Massachusetts.
Just like many members of the weasel family, fishers also have long, slender bodies and keep a low profile when moving across the ground. Furthermore, their shy and elusive nature gives them more outstanding hunting prowess.
Even though fishers are carnivorous and generally eat whatever comes along, they mainly prey on porcupines, snowshoe hares, and small mammals like mice, voles, shrews, moles, and squirrels. Likewise, they feed on amphibians, insects, birds, fruits, carrion, and nuts. One of their techniques while killing porcupines is repeated swift attacks to the face and head. The fisher cat then flips the porcupine over on its back after killing it and starts eating the belly.
Characteristics of a Fisher Cat
- Fishers have a dark brown, dense, and glossy coat.
- Female Fisher cats give birth to a litter of 1-6 kits.
- The females give birth in a tree cavity raised 20-30 feet off the ground.
- Males are twice the size of females and weigh up to 30 pounds.
- These animals are one of nature’s few porcupine predators.
- Fishers have short and stout legs.
- They have partially retractable claws, which enables them to swiftly climb trees. They are also capable of jumping up to 7 feet between trees.