Top 7 Genetic Inconsistencies in Warriors Shimmerfeather

leafpool

Shimmerfeather explains why Warriors is definitely fictional

DISCLAIMER: Please do not bash on me for being ‘too nitpicky’ or ‘but warriors isn’t supposed to be realistic because cats can’t talk or form civilised communities!’ or send me the link to that Moonkitti video because I have already seen it and it won’t help. Plus, these are my views and I am not forcing you to believe these either. I’m just stating facts for fun, and even I have made so many mistakes in cat genetics!

IN ORDER

Random Note: Props to the Warriors Wiki for drawing for drawing all their ginger and cream cats with stripes. Fun fact: all ginger/red cats have stripes, although they might not be a true tabby, they will always have stripes. Same goes for cream, as cream is the dilute version of red.

7. Snowfur

Okay, so Snowfur has around 95% white spotting or so, not 100% because of her dark grey ear-tips obviously. And Moonflower and Stormtail, her parents, have no visible white spotting. Even if they carried it under their coats, I doubt it would be brought out in their daughter.

6. Leafpool

To be honest, as soon as I was introduced to Leafpool, I thought she was a tortoiseshell. Why? Because that’s genetically correct. Female kittens in litters fathered by a ginger/red/orange tom (like Firestar) are typically ginger or tortoiseshell (which would make Squirrelflight okay, but she’s somehow a long-hair even though her parents and sister are short-hairs). Nowhere in that does it say brown tabby with white spotting! I know that she could’ve gotten her looks from her grandmother, Nutmeg, or her aunt, Princess (Princess doesn’t make much sense either), but cats get their genetics from immediate family. Also, doesn’t a tortoiseshell coat suit her name better? I know she was named after Leafstar and Spottedleaf, but if she was named after her looks – a brown cat – then her fur reminded Firestar and Sandstorm of a decaying leaf. At least tortoiseshell patterns have red, so the ‘Leaf-‘ prefix would make sense because the red patches would be like autumn leaves. Plus, I’m not a genius on cat eye colour genetics, but shouldn’t Leafpool have GREEN eyes? Her parents and sister have green eyes, and once again, her eyes would be like summer/spring leaves!

5. The Three (Jayfeather, Hollyleaf and Lionblaze)

Let’s start with Jayfeather. First of all, I’m curious on what mutation happened to cause his blindness, because apparently it was from ‘genetics’. Also, take note of this: Jayfeather is a grey tabby with blue eyes and he doesn’t have a SCRAP of white on his body. Grey tabbies can’t have blue eyes without white spotting! IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE BUT IT’S VERY, VERY UNLIKELY! Just saying. Next is Lionblaze, who is ridiculously unrealistic considering his parents are both short-hairs; Lionblaze is a long-hair! And even worse, has a RUFF OF LONGER HAIR AROUND HIS NECK LIKE A LION’S MANE! Also, he’s ginger! How does that work? Hollyleaf is alright, even though she’s depicted as a long-hair when she should be a short-hair. I suppose her black fur and green eyes make sense: blue + yellow = green. She should honestly be a short-hair! Not a long-hair like she’s described!

4. Blossomfall

First of all, let me say that I think Blossomfall is the most whiny, ungrateful, most annoying brat to have ever graced – no, RUINED a published Warriors book. Her genetics? Somehow worse. Listen here: she’s a tortoiseshell and her parents, Greystripe and Millie, DO NOT carry the red gene! Tortoiseshells can’t be born without a damn red gene! I’m not sure if she could still be a tortie if the couple carried it under their coats (maybe they can’t), but then again, Grey and Millie have Briarlight, A DARK BROWN CAT!

3. Redtail

All you need to know is he’s a tortoiseshell tom. Okay, don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that tortoiseshell toms aren’t impossible, I know they’re very real but they’re also very unlikely. Also, most male torties are typically sterile, meaning they can’t reproduce, but yay! Due to the powers of StarClan, Sandstorm was born to REDTAIL! But then again, not all tortie toms are sterile, but they do have general health problems and are weaker than the regular cat. And apparently Redtail was Bluestar’s deputy for ‘many moons’. How did he survive that long?! A tortie tom kittypet wouldn’t survive very long! And he’s a wild cat, so the circumstances are worse! (Seriously, every-time he’s introduced into a Field Guide he always seems sick. Battles of the Clan – Redtail has a bellyache. Code of the Clans – Redtail has whitecough. Just think about that…)

2. Spiderleg

THIS NEEDS NO EXPLANATION! CATS CAN’T HAVE BROWN UNDERBELLIES, THEY JUST CAN’T!

Honourable Mentions:
Heatherstar – I guess she’s okay, but why not use the term ‘lilac’ instead?!
Petal – She’s a YELLOW cat. Cream would work better
Ruby – Like I said earlier, female kittens in a litter fathered by a ginger/red tom (like Jake, because he’s the father of Ruby), the kits will either be GINGER or TORTOISESHELL.

That’s it because there are so many genetic warps in the series.

1. Clear Sky, Storm and Thunder

UGHHHHHH. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THIS! Let’s start with Clear Sky. First of all, he’s grey with blue eyes – NO WHITE – very, very unlikely. And you might argue with “but he has white splashes on his feet!” no, dear, that’s how he is drawn. He has never been described with white splashes on his feet. I personally don’t understand the white splashes on Clear Sky’s paw thing, but I guess the word ‘Sky’ makes artists think of clouds so they draw a cloud pattern, even though his name is CLEAR Sky, and clear skies don’t have clouds, which is why it’s called a clear sky. And Storm is a grey cat with more silver thrown in, and she’s a classic tabby. Note: They are both long-hairs. So SOMEHOW, they produce a GINGER (TICKED TABBY STRIPES) AND WHITE CAT WITH AMBER EYES AND SHORT FUR! HOW DOES THAT WORK?! HOOOOOWWWWWWWW?!

And that’s it. My complaints on cat genetics in fictional books. 🙂

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63 comments

  • The Redtail one has always annoyed me. I was literally five seconds into my first Warriors book ever thinking, “Male tortie? This is gonna be more unrealistic than I thought..” Jayfeather annoyed me too. I mean, how does a silver tabby come from a normal tabby and an almost black cat? And what’s up with the blindness?
    To be honest fantasy is fantasy and a little genetic flaw here and there is fine (colours, other inherited things that make no sense) but I get pretty annoyed about cats being mates with their family XD

    • Male torties /do/ exist, they’re just very rare. And not all male torties are sterile, though it’s much more common for them to be so.

      I mean, these are groups of 20-30 cats who have existed for several generations who have strict rules about not mating outside of the Clan. Of course they’re all related at this point. 😛

      • Yeah you have some points there. I don’t mind cats being mates with slightly more distant family, but Dustpelt and Ferncloud were too close for my liking and annoyed me a lot at the time 😛

        • Graystripe’s parents were full-blooded brother and sister. And as Jayfrost said, things weren’t planned out yet when the first series was written. Also as Kate likes to say, socks get lost in the wash. I’m pretty sure they don’t have a giant family tree mapped out in the super secret Erin Hunter room where they write books so it’s natural that some family trees end up getting crossed.

          • Well I’m learning things today, I never knew about Greystripe XD With so many cats in the books, it’s no surprise that things can get a little messed up when it comes to family trees.

        • Yeah! I felt like making a Warriors family tree, b/c why not, and I needed to know about Dustpelt. So I looked him up, and found out his parents were Robinwing and Fuzzypelt, and that his brother was Ravenpaw. And nothing else except for Ferncloud being his mate. So then I felt like looking at cute pics of him and Fern and saw a picture that had them snuggled together (how sweet <3) and text on top, saying "Dustpelt and Ferncloud's kits were inbred. Brindleface (Ferncloud's mother) is Dustpelt's older sister." (here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/5e/5f/4b/5e5f4b75725bab6d0708a7d86b628c92.jpg) So I was so creeped out, you know…

    • On Jayfeather:

      Simple.

      Leafpool could be Dd. Crowfeather could be Dd.

      Jayfeather can get DD(ginger, black, brown, or cinnamon), Dd(ginger, black, brown, cinnamon), or dd(cream, gray, lilac, fawn).

      Leafpool is bb or bb1. Crowfeather is BB, Bb, or Bb1.

      Jayfeather can get Bb(black or gray) bb(brown or likac), b1b1(cinnamon or fawn), Bb1(black or gray), or bb1(brown or lilac).

      Jayfeather must have some sort of recessive gene that makes him blind.

  • This is a great article! Yeah, the whole Thunder and Clear Sky and Storm thing always had me a bit confuzzled- would’ve made a LOT more sense if Thunder had been Hawk Swoop’s kit instead. And I didn’t know gray cats had to have white spotting to have blue eyes! *makes mental note to update fanfic allegiances*
    And decaying leaf…XDDDDDDDD

  • Yep, WARRIORS genetics just really make no sense. As I read, I could just see you getting angrier and angrier!

  • Nice article, Shimmer! Cat genetics get confusing really quickly, so it’s nice to see someone dive into this vast vast well of information!

  • Ok. (Deep, deep, deep breath) First: I agree now that you point it out. Second: I am slightly annoyed yet also interested in this article. Slightly annoyed because I never noticed any of this, AND because I try just to enjoy the story and not care about picky facts. However, I was interested because due to the said phrase about picky facts, I never really bothered trying to figure the mistakes out so when I saw this article I thought it was interesting that someone actually bothered to delve into that. Third: (breath out, and breath in) Finally, I was extremely amused by the Leafpool section.

    Nice job! When I read the title, I assumed a very thrown together article/rant of ‘colors that you didn’t like’ so when I read it I was extremely impressed (apprentice or not) of your depth and reasoning! 🙂

  • I understand how you are bothered, but as I know you’ve heard before, warriors has sooooo many strange inconsistencies that it really doesn’t do much to complain about that. Not sure where you got that Leafpool was a long hair… I always imagined her as a short hair. I belive tabby is dominant so she could still be a brown tabby, just like Princess and Nutmeg. Also, Scourge. Black cats cannot have any color other than shades of yellow/light green eyes. Which means Hollyleaf is okay, but scourge is not as black cats can’t have blue eyes like he does. Also, and this bothers me for a strange reason, humans made up the color ice blue for marketing. For the warrior cats, ice would be frosty white, so I don’t know how Firestar reached into Twoleg propaganda to retrieve the color ice blue. XD anyway, nice article!

  • If I’m right then cats carry recessive genes that are still in them but are dominated by dominant genes. So in theory a grey cat can have a brown kit with a grey father for example. It’s the same with humans. Neither of your parents could have blond hair but you could have blond hair if they both have a blond recessive gene

  • Thank you, Shiverfur! I know someone who’s parents have brown hair and he/she has blonde hair. I also have friends whose mother has dark brown hair and the father has a lighter color (idk). Two of the children have red hair due to their grandmother, four have brown, and one has blonde.

    Also yes it’s kind of weird for Graystripe and Millie to have a tortoiseshell cat and a brown cat (I think Briarlight has a stripe of dark brown fur running down her back like Graystripe).
    And Lionblaze could have gotten his golden/ginger from all the ginger genes in his family but it turns out to be more golden because of Leafpool perhaps. Hollyleaf is black because of Crowfeather who is very dark gray, almost black. She got her green eyes from Squirrelflight, Firestar, etc. For Jayfeather, OMST did no one ever realize that Crowfeather is possibly part Siamese?! In the old cover of Twilight, his face is like a triangle and he’s short-furred, just like a Siamese cat. Jayfeather is part Siamese because Siamese tabby mixes (Leafpool is a tabby) are usually GRAY WITH BLUE EYES!!!!! My cat is a Siamese tabby mix (or Lynx point Siamese) and she has huge (adorable) blue eyes.
    Anyway great article! 👍🏽

  • Leafpool is genetically possible. Sandstorm is Oo and Firestar is Oo, so it’s possible for her to inherit oo and not be ginger.

    • A male cat can’t be Oo.
      O is attached to the X gene only, this is why a female (XX) is written oo (no red), Oo (tortie) or OO (red).
      But a male (XY) would be written oY (no red) or OY (red) only. This is also why tortie males are often not healthy : they usually carry two X gene, and are XXY / OoY, which lead them to be sterile.
      I’ve heard about another type of mutation who can lead to a tortie male who’ can have kits, but I can’t find what it was and it’s really, really rare anyway. (edit : reading other comments, maybe it was chimera)

      As red male can give the O or the Y gene only, his kits would be : red or tortie if females (O from dad + O or o from mom) / red or black/chocolat/cinnamon if male (Y from dad + O or o from mom).
      So Firestar is OY without a doubt, and his daughters can only be tortie or red.
      If Sandstorm is really Oo, then Leafpool pelt would be okay if she was a male.
      As she is a female (so with the X gene from her father which carry the O), she should be a tortie or a red cat.

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