[image description: the head of a silver cat with green eyes peeks out from behind grass]

Dovewing Defense by MoonTabby

MoonTabby defends Dovewing.

[image description: the head of a silver cat with green eyes peeks out from behind grass]
Artwork by Wayne McLoughlin
[image description: the head of a silver cat with green eyes peeks out from behind grass]

Many people think that Dovewing is whiny, hypocritical, unloyal, etc. But today I want to argue why she’s actually a realistic, wonderful character! There are a lot of points that are brought up against Dovewing, such as her love life, changing Clans, and losing her powers, which I’ll be discussing in just a moment. This article is just my opinion, but I also hope it serves as a debate in the Dovewing-hate war. Now, I haven’t gotten around to reading Tigerheart’s Shadow yet, so all these points are just pulled from the main arc books. If there’s something I missed that only happens in Tigerheart’s Shadow, do point that out in the comments! I hope you enjoy my defense for Dovewing! 🕊️

• Dovewing x Bumblestripe

Now, some Dove x Bumble shippers only ship them because they don’t like Tigerheart, so Bumblestripe is the only option left. But their relationship is undoubtedly toxic and abusive! People say Bramble x Squirrel, Tom x Turtle Tail, Hawk x Ivy, etc. are unhealthy ships – why not Bumble x Dove? Bumblestripe is a horrible mate for her! At one point, Dovewing was in love with him, but mainly because she felt she had to find a mate from her own Clan. A bit of love, but more of being pressured. All her Clanmates were shaming her and pressuring her nonstop: “You gotta be with Bumblestripe”, “Don’t you see how he loves you?”, “We don’t care if you don’t like him, we say he’s the best match for you and somehow it’s our business”. Jerks! They made her feel like trash just for the fact that she did not love him the way she did with Tigerheart. Why should they poke their noses into this relationship? They had absolutely no business! How would you feel if your friends constantly pressured you to date someone you didn’t like or didn’t have a crush on, then they made you feel horrible after you refused? Giving advice is one thing, pressuring someone to do something they don’t want to is quite another. Bumblestripe himself shamed Dovewing at times for rejecting him. He didn’t respect her wishes and was too needy and pushy. Even after Purdy’s funeral, at the most inappropriate timing, he asked her about starting a family! Dude. A cat just died, and that’s your idea of a good moment to ask her to have kits? Isn’t this so eerily similar to how Finleap was pressuring Twigbranch to have kits, and of course he gets all the hate?

• Dovewing x Tigerheart

This isn’t my absolute favorite ship, but I still like it and want to make some arguments for it. Despite what many people say, Tigerheart did NOT steal Dovewing from Bumblestripe. I bet he didn’t have any idea about him! It was Dovewing’s choice – yes, it was her own choice – to become Tigerheart’s mate and move to ShadowClan to be with him. In the end, she was perfectly happy to make that decision. Did Tigerheart make some mistakes sometimes in their relationship? Yes, definitely. Did Dovewing make some mistakes too? Of course. But in the end, they moved past any wrongs they might’ve done because they loved each other so much. This is a kind of love that Dovewing never had for Bumblestripe. A lot of people deem characters or ships too perfect and unrealistic. But in that same token, Dove x Tiger is not at all perfect! They had fights, they messed up, every now and then they broke each other’s trust. The difference between this and a ship like, oh, Raggedstar x Yellowfang, is that Tigerheart and Dovewing usually apologized when they did something wrong. Plus, Tigerheart never intentionally abused Dovewing. Raggedstar, however, abused Yellowfang’s mental state, never listened to her, and eventually shunned her completely, only crawling back to her when he needed help. He didn’t really repent like Tigerheart did. The Dove x Tiger ship is also sometimes hated for being a forbidden romance. Dovewing is from ThunderClan, Tigerheart is from ShadowClan. So why are other forbidden relationships justified then?? Graystripe x Silverstream, Crowfeather x Leafpool, Rootspring x Bristlefrost… There’s no difference. If you hate one just for being forbidden, then you have to hate the others too, don’t you? To conclude, Tiger x Dove is not toxic. It shows the ups and downs of relationships. It started out first as friendship on their trip to the beaver’s dam, then grew into something more and became stronger.

Now, I also don’t justify their relationship just because they had Shadowsight, Lightleap, and Pouncestep. Those three kits could’ve been born to any other couple and, by themselves, don’t necessarily make Dove x Tiger the great ship that it is.

• Dovewing changing Clans

Some Dovewing x Tigerheart haters can be hypocritical when they blame Dovewing for switching Clans to be with her mate, but then turn around and say that other much-adored cats in the fandom, like Graystripe and Finleap, were justified for doing the same thing. Love is love, isn’t it? But why doesn’t that go for her too? “She was being unloyal to her Clan” is a very common argument I see, but I think this is very weak. True love for a spouse is so much stronger than any other kind of love (unless you have children later, in which case would become your top priority). I admire cats like Dovewing, Finleap, Graystripe, etc. because, as hard as it was, they gave up their Clan because they loved their mate so much, or in Graystripe’s case, his kits. THAT is love in its purest form. It would be so easy for cats in the same Clan to claim to love each other without being forced to make such a heavy decision like that. That kind of choice puts a cat to the test to see if they really love their partner. Who knows why Tigerheart didn’t move from ShadowClan to ThunderClan instead – we don’t really see their conversation of who should switch Clans. But we have to assume that they considered this very seriously and that Dovewing felt that it was the right thing for her to be the one to move. Plus, when people say that she betrayed her sister Ivypool by leaving ThunderClan… Well, sorry, but Ivypool is a grown adult with her own life and family to look after. Look at Bramblestar, who was just an apprentice when his sister Tawnypelt left! Did he miss her? Yes! But his life wasn’t completely shattered, and I think he was pretty mature to have handled it so well.

• Losing her power

Dovewing is often labeled as whiny when she lost her power of supernatural hearing. That’s a matter of opinion, I think. But come on, really? What if YOU lost almost all of one of your senses in one day? You’d probably be devastated! It would take a long time for you to get used to not being able to hear or see as well. That was all Dovewing knew – being able to hear things no one else could, like all the way across the lake. That was her “normal”. Having a sudden large decrease in her hearing would naturally cause her to go through a stressful, shocking time. People also make the argument that Lionblaze and Jayfeather went through the exact same thing, losing their powers. But Lionblaze’s ability was not being able to be harmed in battle, and that loss might not affect him as severely since battles don’t happen every day. And Jayfeather was always more emotionally reserved than the others. In fact, he might have also been a bit glad he didn’t have other cats’ thoughts in his head! Dovewing, however, lost a crucial part of her senses that she used in everyday life. She was also quite a bit younger than the others, so her age might have played a role in that. Not saying that all young people would take it as hard, but everyone, and every cat, is different.

That’s all I have for now in my defense for Dovewing! She has her flaws, as does any character, but I believe she’s an all-around good cat who only ever tried to do what was best.

I hope you enjoyed my article! What do you think of Dovewing? Do you still love her, hate her? Or by chance have I happened to sway your opinion? 😃

This is MoonTabby, signing off! 🐱

Fan Articles


  • I agree with everything, Dovewing’s a really kind character! 😀 TigerDove is not bad or toxic, in my opinion (but i don’t want to argue) 🙂

  • Great article! I love Dovewing but dislike TigerXDove.

  • I love your name! But no one can change my generally bad opinion on Dovewing, though you did make some good points.

    • I agree with Thunderpaw. There are some parts in Dovewing I’ve never thought about in this article, and I guess it explains that some bad things about Dovewing just had to happen. My negative opinion on Dovewing didn’t change, but I really admire this article.

  • Great article! I never really hated Dovewing, though I like Ivypool better. But they’re both on my top ten! Btw, you should really read Tigerheart’s Shadow. Even though I don’t like Tiger X Dove, the book isn’t bad.

  • Lilypaw/pelt who can't wait for the new Owl House episodes and Christmas! Happy holidays! (A.K.A. Cricketleap and Brightmoon) says:

    Great article! I totally agree! (But I think that Ivypool is better, sorry! :P)

  • Daykit/dream|I am now a blink/neverland/moomoo/reveluv!|pronouns she/her|running for senior warrior|next article:writing warrior cat theme songs| says:

    Great article! Dovewing is just incredibly mid to me

  • 💮🌸Skye🌸💮 [Skypaw//Skymist//Misty Moon On A Fareway Sky//Has two fanfics going on! Check out Shinign Shadows and my newest: Shadowed Path!] says:

    Great article! I like Dovewing (AND Ivypool BTW) a lot, though I dislike DovexTiger. The fact she was in a forbidden relationship showed she was willing to fall in love with someone outside her Clan, so the Erins could have picked basically ANY CAT. Why in StarClan did they pick Tigerheart? Anyway, you made great points!

  • Good article! I still strongly dislike Dovewing but these are all very good points :]
    However about Bumblestripe- His character was purposefully assassinated for plot convenience so Dovewing would have a reason to choose Tigerheart over him. Why the Erins chose to destroy Bumblestripe’s character instead of giving Tigerheart more of it, I will never understand…

  • I used to dislike Dovewing, but after reading this, I’m neutral on her. I just don’t like Tigerheart.

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