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Old 10-10-2006, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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How prevalent are concerns about cat safety? I have read and been told of predatory wildlife, such as fisher cats, eagles and coyotes. I have been told that cats are safe outside in Brattleboro, in town, but in West Brattleboro there are problems with fisher cats. I even read a post somewhere (not on this forum) about a fisher cat trying to get into the house to get at a person's cat.

I never heard of fisher cats until I visited Vermont.

I love my cats dearly and I want to keep them safe. (They are indoor cats.)

Also, are there concerns about bears?
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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If your cats are indoor cats, then you have nothing to worry about. Our cat goes outdoors, but only during the daytime. We have bobcat & coyotes in our neighborhood.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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Never thought about this aspect and I'm glad you brought it up. I always thought pets were relatively safe as long as development wasn't encroaching on open space and natural habitats. In other words, animals have plenty of prey and don't need to go after domesticated animals.
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Old 10-10-2006, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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Coyotes, eagles and fisher cats are known to prey on domestic cats.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:46 PM
 
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What's a "fisher cat"?
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:30 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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A fisher cat is not a cat and it does not fish. It is in the weasel family. It is solitary and nocturnal, and also a fur animal. It was re-introduced in order to control the porcupine population. You can google it and learn more and also see pictures. Actually, it is a very handsome animal. Beautiful fur and dog-like face. But it is a great danger to domestic cats, as are coyotes and eagles. It does not attack humans, but it can grab a cat very quickly. I think it also makes a lot of noise at night.

I think the term "fisher" in fisher cat is a corruption of a French word.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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Default Fisher Cat Sighted

This morning a rather large fisher cat loped across the back end of our property. After talking with some friends, I am now very concerned. Should I be? How "dangerous" is our situation?

I have a small dog who is my dear companion. He's an "inside dog," but let's face it, he needs to go outside about 3x a day. I am always with him, but I read how swift these fisher cats are in attacking small animals, even with a human near. Eeeeek! The very thought makes me nauseous.

What should I do? I live in Rutland Town, near Town Line Road. Anybody have an idea?

Thanks!
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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Fisher cats are very dangerous to small animals and they are very fast. I believe they are nocternal - how early in the morning was your sighting? Our cat has gotten in some trouble by being out in the dark, so now we simply don't let him out at night.
Just keep an eye on your dog...don't let it wander to far from the house.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Vermont
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DrLit, I certainly do not blame you for feeling nauseous. I also get anxious when I think about the vulnerability of my pets if I move to Vermont.

Is there anything you can do to frighten the fisher cat so he'll stay away from your house? Something like a spray or something else aversive?

I am very concerned about the fisher cat problem in Vermont. I have 5 indoor cats. I know someone in West Brattleboro who said her cat disappeared; she suspects a cat sitter accidently let the cat out, after which the cat was killed by a fisher. Until this woman told me about them, I had never even heard of fisher cats. A friend who lives in town said there isn't a problem there, but there is a problem in West Brattleboro. Her cat goes in and out at all hours. He may even spend the night outdoors.

I wonder if there could be some fisher cat control program. But the fisher is, I think, indigenous wildlife and should be respected as such. Our beloved pets are not indigenous wildlife. And outdoor cats have been known to wreak havoc on local ecosystems in some places.

I still like domestic cats better than fishers.
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Old 01-26-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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Fisher cats indiginous? I think not. I grew up in central Vermont and we didn't have any. There are very strange things going on in the state. We rarely had bears forty years ago - my uncle once shot a bear and the entire town was invited to a church supper just to have a taste of it. Now they are more of a pest in the Montpelier area than the legislators. We rarely had moose, except in the northeast kingdom. Those moose that did come into central Vermont were - how to put this delicately? - high on mating hormones, happy to meet cows, and not as bright as a drunk thirteen year old boy.

Deer, 'coons, skunks, some muskrats and assorted field rodents. That is what we had. No coyotes, no fisher cats, bear, moose, wolves, aardvarks, wild llamas, buffalo, pit bulls, or other re-introduced pests.

Vermonters of old would have dealt with the fisher cat problem directly, and on a personal basis, preferably with the expenditure of a single small caliber shell in the middle of the night, studiously unnoticed by good neighbors. The residents today seem to wonder if they are expected to put out tablecloths and candles for the dining pleasure of the local fauna.

It'll take a kid or two getting mauled to bring folks back to their senses, and even then the animal rights groups will object. But, FWIW, domestic cats don't belong outside. Those of us who grew up there knew that a barn cat had a lifespan of about a year or two at best, while the family pet cat in the house would live for fifteen years or more.
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