How accurate is Warrior cats? by Mountainstorm

Mountainstorm takes a look at how accurate Warriors really is.

Photographer unknown

Hi, kits, apprentices, warriors, elders, medicine cats!
*Warning! Lots of science ahead!*
I know warriors can’t be 100% accurate, and it wouldn’t be fun at all if it were! If it were that accurate, we wouldn’t have Clans living in the forest, or talking cats, or cats that have nine lives.
It’s a fantasy series, and I’m glad it is, because I love fantasy, especially the type that has some connection to the real world, like warrior cats! But while reading the books, I couldn’t help notice some pretty inaccurate things in it that honestly wouldn’t be so hard to fix, or some things that are kinda misleading…just some simple small things that I’d like to take a closer look at. So I’m just writing this article for fun, and to show you a few things that are slightly different in the real world!
Let’s get started right away!

The first thing I’d like to address are the animals. Let’s start with foxes!
Foxes are a very dangerous animal to the Clans. They are said to be able to kill and eat full grown strong warriors if they aren’t careful where they are stepping. In the mangas, they are shown to be huge beasts that cause horrible wounds to the warriors. Well..even the largest species of fox, the red fox, is hardly bigger than a cat.

A domestic cat is about 1 foot tall at the shoulder, and two feet long. A red fox is about 1.5 tall at the shoulder, and 3.5 feet long. While a fox certainly is bigger than a cat, it is not that big as portrayed in the books. Most adult cats are even the same size as foxes, depending on the cat’s and fox’s species/how much food they eat, etc.

Other than that, foxes are very shy, and rarely even attack a single cat- so the chances of a fox attacking a whole Clan of mostly full-grown cats is extremely unlikely. (Especially attacking RiverClan, which are mostly made up of Maine Coon cats. Maine Coon cats are very big and strong, so even a hungry fox wouldn’t attack a Clan of large cats.)

Yes, it is possible, and the risk is even higher for small kits, but something like this certainly wouldn’t happen as frequently as in the books, and they probably wouldn’t attack a camp. Foxes are also much smaller than portrayed in the books.

Another inaccurate thing about foxes in the books: when Midnight mentioned she could talk to foxes, she claimed all they said was “Kill, kill, kill”. Even though cats are much more vicious than foxes on the “killing scale”. Cats can kill from 1.4 billion to as many as 3.7 billion birds each year, not including small mammals like mice, shrews, voles, and rabbits, which reach a whopping number of 6.9 billion to 20.7 billion.

While foxes are a little more thankful for their prey, making around one or two kills per week. While…how much does a Clan cat make, even if only to feed itself? Barley kills a lot more mice than two per week, and Moth Flight hunted much more prey as well when she ran away from WindClan. So, foxes are falsely portrayed in the Warriors books. Foxes are actually really smart, timid, and playful creatures, and deserve lots of love for being adorable and lively balls of red floof. :3 🦊💖

Moving onto badgers! Now, badgers are more dangerous, and closer to what they are portrayed like in the books. In size, they aren’t very close to what they look like in fan art and what they are described like in the books. (Towering over the Clan cats, etc.) They are usually a little less than two feet tall, and usually about 51 inches wide. They are about the same size as a cat, if not smaller and badgers walk close to the ground, meaning they look pretty small and flat.

Badgers are also nocturnal, so they sleep through the day and only come out at night. And, unlike in the books, badgers are very social, and live in large groups called a Clan! 😛 Other than the badger attack in Twilight, badgers in the warriors books are show to be solitary.

A badger eating a cat is extremely unlikely. But in Warriors, it’s said that badgers don’t kill to eat- only for the fun of it, or because Clan cats are trespassing on their territory. But actually, badgers are generally tolerant of cats, and would never really hurt or kill one.
But, it certainly is possible for a badger to kill a cat, if they wanted to. They have strong claws for digging, and a grip when biting is nearly impossible to dislodge.

So yes, a badger could kill a cat, but a badger is generally slightly smaller than portrayed in art, and badgers are mostly placid creatures who will even share their burrows with other animals. This creature is closer to its description in the books than a fox, but it still isn’t very accurate.
And this….

A badger would make a tasty meal of a young kit if it had the chance. They were unlikely to prey on an adult cat, but that didn’t mean full-grown warriors were safe if they met one. A badger would kill one out of pure savagery trampling its prey to the ground or clamping it in its jaws and never letting go until its victim was dead.
-Twilight, page 31

….is definitely not accurate.

Now let’s take a look at a hawk, which is also a pretty dangerous animal for warrior cats, wounding and attacking older felines and eating kits.
Short answer: Pretty accurate
Hawks are nearly the same size as cats and while they won’t go out of their way to attack one, they will go after even a full grown cat if they are hungry enough.
Hawks are actually a bigger danger to cats than foxes and badgers.

Now I’d like to take a look at healing herbs. Just three common plants medicine cats use.
Poppy seeds
Poppy seeds in the Warriors world are used by medicine cats to help cats sleep, soothe distress or shock, or ease pain. Well, kinda true! The abundance of magnesium in poppy seeds helps reduce the levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, that thereby attenuates stress and improves the quality and duration and provides a peaceful sleep. But five or ten seeds most certainly won’t help, or at least not in humans. Maybe since cats are smaller, it can help them with less seeds. To reach it in humans, you’d need a LOT of poppy seeds, and please don’t try to do that. 😛

Borage in the Warriors world is given to queens to produce more and better milk, relieve tight chest, help with stomach aches after eating too much prey, and helps with fever caused by infected wounds. Borage is actually a herb that is incredibly toxic to cats.

Tansy is used to help prevent a cat from getting greencough. It’s also used to cure whitecough, soothe an achy throat, and help wounds.
Tansy, just like borage, is extremely poisonous to cats, and can cause liver failure.

Next up! Cats are actually colorblind! They are red-green colorblind, meaning they can easily confuse/or not be able to tell the difference between green and red. They can’t really see red- to them, it’s mostly a murky brownish shade of green. This wouldn’t make that big a difference for warrior cats- they’d have to recognize deathberries by their scent instead of their color, and they wouldn’t have names like Redtail, or Redwillow.

In the Warriors books though, cats can definitely see red, which isn’t that big a problem, since it is a fantasy book, but a little detail to keep in mind when you see a cat next time! This doesn’t stop cats from doing what they do, though! <3

The next thing I will be discussing is things about queens/genetics!

Female cats are called “queens”, unlike in the warriors books, where “queen”, means a mother cat or pregnant cat. Once a female cat becomes a mother, it’s called a “dam”. (In real life)

In real life, queens can actually mate with multiple toms. In fact, one litter of kittens can have each kit having a different father. That’s why there can be multiple coat colors in one litter.
For example, if a queen, let’s call her Oliveberry, and make her a calico with green eyes and one floppy ear, would mate with Leopardroar, a fluffy golden tom with brown eyes, Ripplecloud, a grey tabby tom with blue eyes, and Kestrelsnow, a dark brown tabby with yellow eyes, she would have a golden kit, (whose father is Leopardroar) a grey tabby kit, (Whose father is Ripplecloud) a dark brown tabby kit, (Whose father is Kestrelsnow) and a calico kit with one floppy ear, (who inherited its mother’s genes) instead of just one calico kit and the pelt color of the father.
Cats can only inherit genes from their parents. (But there’s a thing called recessive genes which we’ll get to in a moment) Yet some cats still have many different colored kits in their litters, and that’s how that can happen.

Of course, this doesn’t happen every time. My aunt’s cat is a black she-cat, and she mated with a black and white tom. She had two kits- a black one, and a black and white one. That means she most likely only mated with that one tom. So, queens have kits in all kinds of different ways!
But- in the Warriors books, cats often have kits with different colored pelts in the same litter, but with only one father. Unless, of course those cats mated with other toms in secret; ones we don’t know about. But I find it highly unlikely that Ferncloud mated with another tom other than Dustpelt. (Neither Dustpelt or Ferncloud is a solid white or ginger tabby, like their kits, Foxleap and Icecloud. The only way their appearances could happen is if they had different fathers, or inherited a recessive gene.)

After all this talk about recessive genes; what are they exactly? Recessive genes are small/not very strong genes you inherit. They are there in your DNA (also known as deoxyribonucleic acid), but are not strong enough to show. For example, someone with grey eyes could have a recessive gene for green eyes, yet not have it show because the gene isn’t strong enough. (Recessive genes are usually presented with lower case letters.) If you have two recessive genes though, the color will show, so you might have green eyes instead of grey.

Let’s have a cat called Buzzardwing hop in here! Buzzardwing is a tabby chocolate she-cat with white markings and green eyes. She has green eyes, but carries a small recessive gene for blue eyes, not strong enough to outshine the green-eye-gene, but still there nevertheless. She mates with a tom called Smokebreeze, a tom with amber eyes, who also has a recessive gene for blue eyes. They have a kit, Runningkit, who is very likely to have blue eyes; and it is possible for her, because she could have inherited two recessive genes for blue eyes, which when mixed are strong enough together to power out any other gene. This would be shown as bb. (-Lower case letters: recessive genes)

Neither of Runningkit’s parents have blue eyes, yet she does, because she inherited two recessive genes that don’t show on her parents, yet are still there in their DNA.
Which is why some cats may have different colored eyes than their parents. But some cats don’t have recessive genes, some don’t have the same genes, so this is rather unlikely, and a pretty rare thing to happen!
So genetics in warriors aren’t that realistic either. But not so bad!

Okay, genetics put aside, it’s time to take a look deeper into a new mother’s life!
Cats are pregnant for about 60 days or more. (A moon and two weeks)
When they are ready to give birth, the medicine cat helps them. Now, a cat giving birth in the Warriors world usually lasts a few minutes, resulting in one to four kits. I don’t remember very well, but I don’t think there has been any more than four kits in a litter at a time in the books.
For a queen who kits for the first time, the first stage of labor can last for up to 36 hours, with the other two stages taking a few hours as well. Cats can have 12 kits in one litter, but that depends a lot on the breed. And finally, the last two facts about she-cats:
1. She-cats only mate when they are hormonally ready
2. She-cats can be responsible for as many as 20,000 offsprings over a five year period. (Something that doesn’t happen in the Warriors books)

Next thing I’d like to discuss is how fast kits grow, or how long it takes to open their eyes, start walking, etc. In the Warriors world, kits open their eyes by their second or first day of living. Cats are usually very worried if the kit doesn’t open it’s eyes after that.

In real life, it can take from 7 to 10 days for a kitten’s eyes to open, and even then it doesn’t open completely. By the time they are two weeks old, their eyes will have fully dilated, but it can still take up to 6 moons for the kit’s eyes to fully mature.
In Warriors, the eye color of the kit is revealed right away when it’s eyes are opened. But actually, it can take from 3 to 6 moons for the mystery to be revealed. Until then, kitten’s eyes are misty baby blue- the eye color they will keep until their vision has fully matured and the color they will keep for life appears.

Kittens are born blind, but they are also born deaf, something I feel gets ignored in the Warriors books. Not only can most kits hear when their eyes open in the Warriors world, they can ee=ven hear before that, like Bluestar, who was listening to what her mother was saying even though her eyes were still closed. In real life, it takes longer for the ears to unfold and hear than the eyes to open and see. The ear canals will open in about two weeks after the kit is born.

And lastly, kits in the Warriors books can already walk in their first day, as shown in Bluestar’s Prophecy, when Bluestar went out of the nursery to explore as soon as her eyes opened. In real life, kits will only start walking after they are around 3 weeks old, but even then it takes time for them to gain their coordination. Till then, they will crawl and stumble around clumsily, something Bluestar and Snowfur didn’t do when they were kits.
Here’s an example of eyes and ears developing too fast in Warriors:

“Shouldn’t she have opened her eyes by now?”
“Hush, Swiftbreeze. She’s only a day old. She’ll open them when she’s ready.”
Bluekit felt the rasp of her mother’s tongue on her flank, and nestled closer to Moonflower’s milk-warm belly.
“Snowkit opened hers this morning,” Swiftbreeze reminded her. “And my two had theirs open from almost the moment they were born.”
Bluestar’s Prophecy, page 8

So here, not only can Bluestar hear at one day old, but Swiftbreeze said her kits opened their eyes almost the moment they are born, which is super inaccurate.

Okay, now let’s discuss Jayfeather’s blindness. If a person/cat is blind from birth, like Jayfeather, it means their brain receives no signal from their eyes to process what they see. Which means they see nothing.
So here’s the thing: in the books, Jayfeather’s blindness is described to be eternal darkness.

[Jaypaw] blinked open his eyes and saw only darkness.
-The Sight, page 110

This isn’t the only time Jayfeather’s blindness is written down to be only darkness/blackness either. But unlike how many people assume, it’s not eternal darkness in front of them, it’s just complete nothingness. To get a good idea of what it’s like, try covering one of your eyes with your hand. What do you see out of your covered eye? Not darkness, just nothing. Or, what do you see with your elbow? Not darkness, just nothing.
So the way Jayfeather’s blindness is described is extremely inaccurate.

Now let’s talk coat colors! Are the fur colors in Warriors realistic enough?
There are ten main common coat colors in cats. White, lavender, lilac, ebony, blue, red, fawn, chocolate, cinnamon, and cream.
Here’s something a picture to give you a better idea:
These are the main coat colors. Then there are things like tabby and calico and tortoiseshell, the rest of the cat patterns. This part is actually pretty accurate! There are some genetic twists in the books like Lionblaze’s appearance, but nothing is too far fetched, for example a red cat, or a pinkish-coated one. Even Bluestar’s purrsona is realistic; it’s said she has a blueish-grey coat, which is 100% possible. Some cat breeds are popular for being blueish, like the Russian Blue, but the blueish cat color is on the list of cat colors above too. 🙂 The only unrealistic thing about Bluestar is that a luxuries breed like the Russian Blue would probably not be born into the wild, and we can be sure Bluestar is Clanborn, as well as her father, Stormtail who looks exactly like her. While Stormtail’s parents are unknown, I’m pretty sure it would have been mentioned if he came from a kittypet home, or his parents did. (Well, okay, maybe Spiderleg is a tad impossible)

The second-to-last thing I will be talking about are Clan skills! Each Clan has a unique skill in Warriors cats! RiverClan is known for being really good swimmers, WindClan cats are super fast, SkyClan cats can leap very high, ShadowClan is great at hunting and fighting in darkness, and ThunderClan is good at fighting and hunting in dense undergrowth. I will be taking a look at all these skills: are they realistic and possible; or not? Let’s find out!

RiverClan– So RiverClan is known best for having amazing swimming skills. They have thick pelts and webbeds paws- well adapted to semi-aquatic life. It has been confirmed that most RiverClan cats are Maine Coons, and Maine Coons do indeed have thick pelts and webbed paws. Maine Coon cats are one of the oldest natural cat breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it was first spotted and from where it got its name. (But they are often nicknamed gentle giants, because they are so big and very kind and patient!)
Maine Coon cats actually have water resistant fur that not only enables them to withstand cold water and weather, but also to swim effortlessly through water.
Yes! RiverClan’s skill is accurate, and pretty realistic!

WindClan– I’m not sure what breed WindClan cats are- their breed hasn’t been confirmed. The fastest cat breed is an Egyptian Mau, but it’s highly unlikely that cats in WindClan would be that breed- it’s very recognizable, and their description doesn’t match an Egyptian Mau at all.
The maximum speed a fast cat can run is 30mph. (Miles Per Hour) In comparison, a cheetah can reach speeds of 80mph.
The only reason I don’t think WindClan’s skill is accurate is because the only breed that could run as fast as they are described is an Egyptian Mau, but I’m 100% positive that’s not the breed WindClan cats are. Other than that, they’d be as fast as any other cat, except possibly they run more than other Clans, and with so much practice, they are bond to be better at sprinting than some other Clans who spend their days in water, thick undergrowth, jumping trees, and creeping through muddy marshes.

SkyClan– SkyClan cats have lean, lightweight bodies and strong back legs that allow them to leap very high. I’d say SkyClan cats can jump about 6 or 7 feet high, taking it from the illustrations in the SkyClan manga. Cats can leap about 5 feet high, maximum, though, including every cat breed. So unless a cat was born with a special ability to jump so high, SkyClan couldn’t have the skill to jump as high.
Like with WindClan, the cats could have practiced jumping as high! Well, not really, because in SkyClan’s Destiny, and in SkyClan and the Stranger, many cats try to learn how to leap as high as the descendants of Clear Sky, and other warriors who could jump high. But no matter how hard they try, they can’t learn that skill- so practice doesn’t work with this particular ability.
You might argue that cats who practiced jumping high passed down the ability to younger generations, but that’s not how evolution really works. You have to be born with a special ability, something that’s in your genes to be able to pass it down. However much you practice jumping high, and however strong your legs can get, the younger generation wouldn’t be born with it because it’s not in your DNA. So unless there was a cat who could naturally leap really high, SkyClan cats couldn’t get that trait from anywhere else. Lucky for them, Clear Sky was a natural-high-leaper, so most cats got lucky with him! But let’s stop here for a second.
There have been thirteen generations since Clear Sky and Spiderstar, the last leader of SkyClan before it scattered. If every single SkyClan cat before that was a descendant of Clear Sky, then we have another great problem brewing here. Inbreeding. When cats mate with relatives, it causes genetic diseases and weaker genes and eventually causes the species to spoil. Another thing that is greatly ignored in Warriors…we have Ferncloud and Dustpelt, a good ol’ uncle – and -niece couple, Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight, and of course, the legendary Patchpelt and Willowpelt pairing; those two are siblings. If following the rules of nature, Greystripe, the child of the two siblings, should have been an extremely weak kit. Yet he is a strong and healthy tom. (I’m not complaining about that, though! XD)
Most cats in Warriors are related, even cats like Crowfeather and Leafpool have some shared grandcats somewhere up that family tree, or possibly even Appledusk and Mapleshade.
That’s why pairings like Feathertail x Crowfeather are great, because they have no connected bloodlines. (I double triple checked their family trees 🙂 ) Of course, it’s those ships that get ruined. Because of course.
Buuut we’re getting off track here! Let’s turn back to SkyClan’s special skill.
While there has been a record of longest leap by a cat called Waffles, there has been no documented leap upward over 5 feet, so it’s slightly unlikely that SkyClan cats can jump so high.
They can’t learn it- even by practicing a lot, they can’t be a specific breed that can jump higher than other cats, and it’s slightly unlikely that so many cats would have the same unique ability to jump high. One ancient cat with the super rare jumping ability wouldn’t be enough to create a whole Clan of high-leaping warriors.
This is getting confusing, isn’t it? 😛 Let’s just say SkyClan’s ability is not super realistic.

ShadowClan– Cats have pretty good night vision, so yes, this ability is realistic, but I think any cat could do it. I think.

ThunderClan– Same as ShadowClan. I feel any cat can do it, but it is a realistic skill.

The very last thing I’d like to address today is nests; what they are made from, and would they really be as comfortable as they are written down to be?

Most nests in the Clans are made from moss. Moss is usually very soft and silky! If you see any moss growing in a forest, you can try gently brushing against it with your hand, and you’ll see it would make a very comfortable bed!

Mosses are classified as bryophytes, meaning plants that get their nutrients from their outer surfaces instead of their roots. So here the thing- after moss is collected, and taken into a dry Clan space like a nursery, it would dry up and die, because it couldn’t get water or sun. And dried moss isn’t all that soft or comfortable anymore. It’s rather hard, like you’re trying to sleep on very thin twigs. While living moss would make a comfortable nest, dead moss would not. Not to mention it would take a lot of moss to make so many nests!

And Stormfur mentioned that in RiverClan, they slept on comfortable nests made of reed.
First of all, if they use the stalks to make the nests..that would be super uncomfortable.

Reed stalks are kind of like bamboo sticks. Long ago they were used to make house roofs, or tweaked a little to make a charming little flute. Reed stalks are tough little plants and incredibly uncomfortable to sleep on, unless it’s the base of a bed with a mattress or other sheets and blankets on it- definitely not something warriors could do. 😜

But Stormfur mentioned in Moonrise how he wished to be home and sleep in his comfortable, soft nest. I’m thinking…the authors were referring to the reed seeds, which are incredibly fluffy and soft. It would however take a lot of reed seeds to make a whole nest, let alone enough for a whole Clan, and then why wouldn’t the authors just say that they used reed fluff?

Aaannd that concludes my ted talk about the realism of Warrior cats.Thank you for attending. 😉 Some things are completely okay, like the genetics part, but some can be quite misleading…like don’t give your cat tansy if it has a cut because it doesn’t heal, unlike what the Warriors book says, or don’t assume blind people like in tortures dark like described in the books.
However, Warriors is a fun book to read and I’ll continue doing so, but while keeping these things in mind the whole time. 🙂
Thank you very much for taking your time to read this, ✨ StarClan light your path! ✨

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