This site started in 2008 when I started researching the Fisher Cat after noticing a lot of hype surrounding the animal.  What I found was a mix of opinions and information from experts and public video clips and stories about the Fisher.  I naturally built the website to revolve around the Fisher’s screech or scream, however never stopped to think about whether it was a myth or if it was a fact.  Continue below for answers to the famous question, “Does a Fisher Cat actually  screech?”, as well as countless questions people have after seeing or hearing a friend mention a Fisher.

Do Fisher Cats Screech?

1. According to Roger A Powell, Fisher Cat’s do not in fact scream or screech

I do not want to spread misinformation about the Fisher screeching if it in fact doesn’t, so I think it’s best to gather your opinion based on the research of Roger A Powell, a leading expert on Fisher Cats and the actual encounters and stories shared on our website.   I received an inquiry from someone who noted the following about Fisher’s screeching:

The leading expert on fisher research, Roger A Powell (who raised fishers for nearly 20 yrs) confirms that fishers do not screech at all. They can make low, quiet sounds. Never once, even when living with fishers, did he hear them scream, screech, or otherwise make a loud, high-pitched noise.

This was shocking to me and tough to understand after so many visitors (1000+ comments) on this website say they have seen and heard Fisher’s scream.

2.  According to stories and experiences of the community, a lot of people say Fisher’s do screech

After almost 4 years of gathering 1000+ comments it seems that there are people who truly believe they have heard the sounds of Fisher Cats screaming.  Most say that they know it’s a Fisher Cat even though they don’t see them.  I will need to scour through the thousands of comments now to see if anyone has actually seen a Fisher screech but it seems that no one has in fact seen and heard one scream at the same time.  (Besides the video we have of a young fisher screeching)

I’m not going to say that Fisher Cats do screech, but I’m also not going to say that they don’t screech.  I think it’s interesting to hear everyone’s opinions on the site and would rather leave it to you to discuss.  Although Roger A Powell was an expert I would still like to compile all of your encounters with this odd animal.  It would be great to gather any pictures or videos.  If you have any, just send them to

What is a Fisher Cat?

A “Fisher Cat” is simply known as a “fisher” and contrary to its name, it is not a type of cat. The fisher is a medium-sized mammal that is part of the Mustelidae family, which also includes otters, weasels, and minks. It’s native to North America and is often found in the northern forests of the United States and Canada. Fishers are carnivorous and primarily feed on small mammals, and surprisingly, despite their name, they don’t particularly eat fish.

What does a Fisher Cat sound like?

The vocalizations of a fisher are quite distinct and can sometimes be unnerving. They have been known to produce a range of sounds from growls, hisses, and chirps to high-pitched screams. The scream, in particular, is eerie and can be mistaken for a person in distress, making it a notable feature of the fisher’s vocal repertoire.

What to do if you encounter a Fisher Cat?

If you encounter a fisher, it’s best to avoid getting too close and to give the animal its space. While they’re not known for being particularly aggressive towards humans, they are wild animals and can become defensive if threatened. If you have small pets, keep them indoors or supervise them closely in areas where fishers are known to be present. Should a fisher approach you, make loud noises to try to scare it away, and avoid cornering or provoking it.

What animal can kill a Fisher Cat?

While fishers are predators and are adept at hunting small mammals and birds, they aren’t at the top of the food chain. Larger predators such as coyotes, bobcats, and owls can and do prey on fishers. In some areas, humans are also threats to fishers due to habitat destruction, trapping, or vehicle collisions.

What does a Fisher Cat look like?

Fishers have a slender, elongated body covered in dark brown fur. Their face features large, rounded ears, and they have a bushy tail. The legs of a fisher are short and stout, giving them a low profile, but they are agile climbers and runners.

How big is a Fisher Cat?

Fishers are medium-sized mammals. Males are larger than females, typically measuring between 35 to 47 inches in length (including the tail) and weighing between 7 to 13 pounds. Females are smaller, generally between 30 to 37 inches in length and weighing 4 to 6 pounds.

Where does a Fisher Cat live?

Fishers are native to the dense forests of North America, spanning from the northern United States up into Canada. They prefer mixed forests with both coniferous and deciduous trees. These habitats provide them with shelter, prey, and ample trees for climbing.

What sound does a Fisher Cat make?

As mentioned earlier, fishers produce a variety of sounds, the most notable being a high-pitched scream. They also emit growls, hisses, and chirps, especially when communicating with each other or when feeling threatened.

Will a Fisher Cat attack a dog?

While fishers are not typically aggressive towards larger dogs, they might view small dogs as potential prey, especially if the dog is unsupervised. It’s always a good idea to monitor pets closely in areas where fishers are known to be present.

Can a Fisher Cat kill a coyote?

While fishers are formidable predators for their size, taking on a coyote would be a significant challenge. It’s unlikely for a fisher to kill a healthy adult coyote. However, they might attempt to defend themselves if cornered by one.

Why does a Fisher Cat scream?

The high-pitched scream of a fisher is believed to be associated with mating or when feeling threatened. While the exact reason isn’t definitively known, this eerie vocalization can be unsettling to those unfamiliar with it.

A picture of a Fisher Cat

Unfortunately, I cannot provide pictures. However, a quick online search will yield many images of this intriguing animal.

Can you eat a Fisher Cat?

While it’s theoretically possible to eat a fisher, it is not commonly consumed by humans. Additionally, in many areas, fishers are protected species, making it illegal to hunt or trap them without specific permissions.

What does a Fisher Cat look like?

To reiterate, fishers have a dark brown fur coat, large rounded ears, a bushy tail, and a slender body. They possess a low profile due to their short legs but are agile climbers.

Can a Fisher Cat hurt you?

Fishers are wild animals, and like all wild animals, they can become aggressive if threatened. While they are not known to attack humans unprovoked, it’s always a good idea to give them space and respect.

Will a Fisher Cat attack a human?

Fishers are generally shy and tend to avoid humans. While they might become defensive if cornered or provoked, attacks on humans are extremely rare.

Can a Fisher Cat kill a human?

Fishers are relatively small compared to humans, and while they have sharp teeth and claws, it’s extremely unlikely for a fisher to kill a human. Again, they tend to be more defensive than aggressive, and encounters with humans usually result in the fisher retreating.

Is a Fisher Cat a weasel?

While the fisher is not specifically a weasel, it belongs to the Mustelidae family, which includes weasels, otters, minks, and other similar animals. So, it’s closely related to weasels but is its distinct species within that family.

36 responses to “Fisher Cats

  1. They do in fact hiss, I have a cabin remote in the woods of Maine. One day, we went there, there were 3 or 4 climbing the walls and ceiling. They do hiss…ABSOLUTELY..Not happy to see us, I will tell you for sure..

  2. They do screech I’ve been hearing it for days and just saw it. It wasn’t that big but mean looking and moved very fast. It has a loud high pitch screech like its going to atack you…

    1. That’s was your wife dude screeching & wanting to attack you ! Don’t be blaming it on the cat !

    2. Actually the screeches have been determined to be baby foxes who are frequent prey. Not the attacking Fisher cat.

  3. Yeah this is what happened to me last night. I went out on deck about 9 pm just to look and see if i saw any critters, actually a bear cause I found out we had a bear in our neighbors yard a few days ago.. So im on deck for 5 seconds total when all of a sudden I hear a very loud hissing right in front of me only on the grass about 3 ft away and sort of saw a big tail and just the head but like didn’t see shiny eyes and it was about a foot in a half long give or take. But the hissing scared the crap out of me and i ran for the house. Called my neighbor and it went under his deck.. He was thinking a red fox but I wasnt sure if they hissed. Anyway I will look out tonight with a flashlight from house. LOL Scared in Ct…

  4. Hello, Just a week ago i was lying in my bed sound asleep, and about 5:00 a.m. i was woken up and one (ungodly scream!!!) The scream that came from this animal was terrible and my cat had been in the living room window and she bolted to my bedroom window and i guess you know i jumped out of bed, and as i was getting up that sceam almost sounded like a sheep but higher scream. We live in a Mobile Home Park. The following morning my husband asked me if i heard a noise outside and i said yes. We talked to our neighbor’s about it and a couple people said they saw a Fisher Cat in a neighbo’rs yard. I do not think they screached, but they do scream. Fisher Cats are vicious, and i would not go out and look in my back yard, because it could have rabies. Thank you

    1. How are you sure the screaming came from the predator and not the actual prey? Which has more reason to scream? Think about it.

  5. We had one in our yard last night around 1AM. It was trying to eat our bunnies and hens. We turned on all the lights and started yelling and sceaming. It sounded like a hurt bird/child screaming. It was an awful sound. It slowly made its way back into the wooded area behind my home. You could hear it scream for over an hour. We live in Southern N.H.

  6. My dog treed a fisher cat about a month ago, at first I thought it was a bear cub,until I got closer! He made several different sounds, “how to put in words” it was a cluttering gurgle and hiss. No screech! I took a video, it’s hard to see it and my dog was making so much noise that it’s very difficult hear!

  7. If you have ever heard a red fox “screech” it will make the hairs on your neck stand up! Of the eyewitness reports, it sounds as if the fisher cat hiss & eerily growl. The other strange sounds, that sound like a cry, maybe a mother fisher cat that has been seperated from her babies while hunting, she gets startled and calls for babies or a warning cry to babies or mates. The blood curdling scream sounds like a red fox might be in vicinity, as well. Fisher & fox may be battling over the same prey. I have seen the red fox & while taking pictures of it, that thing let out the most horrible screaming sound I have only heard in horror movies! Dang near broke my camera getting to my buggy to get the heck away from it! I actually came across the fox trying to get a newborn fawn nested on the other side of a fence and it backed off to the woods on the other side of road and sat there just watching me. That’s when I took it’s picture.

    1. Fox and their young are actually frequent prey for a Fisher and the more likely source of the screams. The victim is the more likely to be the one screaming. Not the attacker.

  8. I heard a noise outside my house this morning at 5am. It was a repeated, very loud screech/almost bird sound. We shined a flashlight out into our woods and saw yellow-gold relective eyes staring back. I clapped my hands and scared away 1 of the animals. The other stayed for a few minutes. We looked when it was light out and there was no blood or anything dead only some upturned mushrooms and leaves. We did get a pic of a fisher on our game cam a few weeks ago. I got audio of the sounds-so spooky sounding.

  9. Are people hearing a different animal, like a fox, coyote, bobcat, or even bigfoot? I don’t think rodents scream, but I don’t know better.

  10. I’m glad to see that you updated your website and made it more structured and informative. I first published an article called “Fisher Cat Screech: Real or Urban Legend” almost a year ago, and I too spoke with the researcher Roger Powell. I would also be very interested if anyone can actually provide verifiable evidence that the fisher does indeed screech or scream.

  11. Fishers eat foxes and many other similar sized predators. It could be that the fishers are tracking the foxes by scent
    or possibly that the fishers is attracted to the screeching of the fox, and is trailing it.

  12. There is a fisher cat that lives right next to my house. It does sound like someone screaming for help. It attacked my cat and fractured his tail. He has a huge gash in his tail, and it became severely infected.

  13. Never even heard of a Fisher cat until tonight. Heard something a week ago in the woods that was probably a red fox. Horrible sound–had no idea they did that.

  14. I heard a fisher cat scream several years ago, before they’re existence was actually confirmed here. The fisher cat does make a screaming sound. I describe it as a cross between a bad power steering pump and a woman being attacked.

  15. Fisher Cats’s make a call that sounds like someone getting strangled,a very strange sound,usually in the spring,mating season.I’ve heard it in back of my house at night in the springtime.I ran into one during the day in the woods by Lake Dennison,MA and the thing hissed at me,waggled it’s tail and bared it’s teeth.I ran away and the thing chased me a short distance.I believe that I had either startled it or stumbled across it’s den.Mostly it just scared me off,but it was a very loud HISS that made me wonder what it was.I thought it was a badger but the park ranger told me that there are no badgers up there.Must have been a Fisher.I think he was correct.

  16. If In fact the fishers do screech and it is a mating call, then chances are that in captivity it may never screech due to its unnatrual lack of freedom and possibly limited diet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *