[Leafpool looks down at a trail of stars with the Warriors logo above her]

Warriors Needs to Stop Promoting Dangerous Relationships by MoonTabby

MoonTabby shares an important message about relationships in Warrior Cats.

[image description: a brown cat sits on the ground and looks at a trail of lights and a sunset reflected on a lake. "Warriors" is printed at the top]
Official art by Wayne McLoughlin
[image description: a brown cat sits on the ground and looks at a trail of lights and a sunset reflected on a lake. “Warriors” is printed at the top]

Hello again from MoonTabby! I want to discuss and rant a bit about something I think is very concerning going on in Warriors: the amount of dangerous relationships that are encouraged or do not give any consequences. I’ve tried to limit graphic details and I think this should be okay. However, this topic might be uncomfortable for some, so please feel free to drop out if you want. 🙂

What kind of “disturbing relationships” do I mean, exactly? By that, I mean the ones who are close relatives, cheaters, stalkers, mentor / apprentice pairs, and ones with a tremendous age gap between the cats. I used to think it was totally fine because, obviously, these are cats! Real cats do these kinds of things. But recently I’ve been watching a lot of Warrior Cat videos from people in the fandom which have given me a whole new perspective. I can’t believe that this content is in a CHILDREN’S book series!! These characters are so anthropomorphized, they’re just humans in little cat bodies. If these characters were actually in books about humans, this series would be dashed immediately for inappropriate content!

If it was just one or two toxic mates, I’d still attribute it to them being animals. But the fact that this is a constant thing should be a bit disturbing. At least make these issues out to be bad and that have consequences. There’s such a wide age range of kids that read Warriors, so while older kids may understand not to do something, younger children (or any age really) can be influenced by this kind of content. You may have kids as young as 8 or 9 reading this stuff! Now, hang on, I know I sound very snobbish so I’m sorry, and trust me, I hate it too when people categorize all kids as being dumb or something. I’m not talking down to anyone. I’m saying that any kid, regardless of age, can be influenced by what they see or read about and think, “Oh, okay, so Warriors is fine with a 40-year-old and a 15-year-old falling in love, so obviously that’s okay” NO! Some kids who’ve read Warriors have tried to release their cats into the wild because, in this fictional universe, they have a free and wonderful life, living in peace with their fellow felines. And some think that the herbs and remedies in Warriors are fine for cats to digest. But those kids don’t understand that it doesn’t happen like that in the real world. No matter how old we are, we can be affected by the influences around us if we haven’t been taught otherwise. And most of the Warriors audience have never been warned about these types of inappropriate relationships.

To name a few, there is the infamous Thistleclaw x Spottedleaf, Stormtail x Dappletail, and, the more recent outrage, Onestar x Whitetail, who used to be mentor and apprentice. There’s Pinestar x Leopardfoot, Dustpelt x Ferncloud, Thornclaw x Blossomfall, all of whom had tremendous age gaps between them, not to mention that Dustpelt x Ferncloud were mentor and apprentice once too. What’s super gross is that teacher / student relationships are being promoted. In real life, that would be a worthy cause to call the cops and these books just – just treat it as if it’s no big deal!

For this article, I’ve had to go back to reread a bit from Spottedleaf’s Heart, and it’s disgusting what they’ve done there. Ummm…. When the whole fandom turns against a book and limits detailed discussion on it, don’t you think that’s a major red flag that something is terribly wrong with it? I do think the Erins might’ve had good intentions for the book in order to teach kids that this is wrong, but they went about it in the worst way possible. Spottedleaf was the victim of grooming, but she stayed silent, never told an adult, and just nodded and went along with whatever Thistleclaw did, just because he made her feel special. THAT is the entirely wrong message to be sending to readers, especially if they’re victims themselves in real life. You should be trying to get them help, not telling them to stay quiet.

I may be overreacting, but when these cats are so anthropomorphized as to have organized religion, emotions and problems and intelligence on the same level as humans… they’re just humans in cat bodies! And these disturbing relationships are being promoted to young kids. It’s one thing to include toxic relationships in the books, and it might even be beneficial if it was done in the right way to warn readers: “Hey kids! This is bad! If someone ever tries to stalk you like this, find help immediately!” But they don’t do that, and it’s wrong that there are never consequences! They can’t normalize this stuff.

I still love Warrior Cats. I still love many of the characters, books, and world they’ve created. And to a certain extent, I still believe that cat romances should be handled differently because, of course, they’re animals! But when these cats are so human-like, I draw the line when they’re promoting these types of inappropriate relationships.

Thanks for reading my article! What do you think about this topic? Am I being too emotional, or is this justifiably a very concerning thing? Drop your thoughts down in the comments so I can read and consider your opinions!

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