Fisher cats are nothing new to Connecticut, but animal control officers in Guilford said the number spotted in town has increased over the last few years and some residents have expressed concern about the animals getting close to humans and pets.
“The first time I saw a fisher cat, I didn’t know what it was," Renee Allen, a Guilford resident, said. "It was on my deck eating bird seed.”
Allen has house cats and a Husky named Khuno and she said she has had to learn to live alongside fisher cats.
“There’s the potential to live in harmony with these creatures if you just take some precautions," she said.
Guilford Police animal control officers are alerting residents about an increase in calls from people worried about fisher cats coming too close to their homes.
At the newly opened dog park in Guilford, residents said protecting pets from potential danger is always a priority.
"I just try to be more aware of what’s out there before I open the door," Kristen Konesky, of Guilford, said. She and her husband have a Bernese mountain dog named Dempsey.
“Just constant observation," Dru Konesky said about being vigilant of his dog's surroundings. "You can never be too careful."
A fisher cat's diet typically consists of small wildlife and plants, but they likely would not pass up a cat or small dog, according to experts. Keeping cats indoors and keeping dogs in sight, especially after dark, is key to pet safety.
Experts said a fisher cat usually only weighs up to about 15 pounds, but they can be fierce.
“You do need to be cautious about what’s going on in your own backyard," Allen said.
While Guilford Police Animal Control is alerting residents to the situation, it has not reported having to deal with any fisher cats attacks.