[a genetically-accurate full-body design of Leopardstar]

Making random TNP cats genetically accurate: Sandstorm, Leopardstar, and Cinderpelt by Skysong

Skysong redesigns Sandstorm, Leopardstar, and Cinderpelt to be genetically accurate.

[a genetically-accurate full-body design of Leopardstar]
Art by slugswarriorsdesigns (tumblr)
[a genetically-accurate full-body design of Leopardstar]

Hello everyone! Skysong here with my first article! Here are my headcanons that make random TNP OG cats genetically accurate and giving some of them different parents to do so!

First off, Sandstorm! According to the Wiki, Sandstorm is described as a “slender, pale ginger she-cat with pale leaf-green eyes.” This goes further and says she has “soft, sleek fur, and barely visible stripes of darker fur.” So, basically, she’s a pale ginger tabby she-cat with green eyes. This can be taken realistically and be said she is a fawn tabby she-cat with green eyes. Now, Vicky has said her parents are Redtail and Brindleface. I mean, okay? If you wanna be real naive and say Sandstorm got Brindleface’s tabby genes and Brindleface’s silver mixed with Redtail’s red-ginger to make fawn, then go for it, but it…doesn’t work. Brindleface is described on the Wiki as a “pale gray tabby she-cat with darker flecks and green eyes.” So basically a gray ticked tabby she-cat. And Redtail is described as a “small, dark, dappled tortoiseshell tom with amber eyes.” It goes on to say he has a “distinctive, bushy dark ginger tail as red as fox fur, and feathered ears.” So that makes Redtail a red tortoiseshell tom with feathered ears. Following the laws of cat genetics, Redtail can’t even have children; all tortie toms are infertile. So Sandstorm isn’t even genetically possible. Even if we did the classic genderswap and made Redtail the mother and Brindleface the father, Sandstorm’s canon colors still couldn’t happen. Red tortie and gray tabby does not make a fawn tabby. In my headcanon, Redtail is a transgender male. So that would mean he could have kits. But with Brindleface? I mean, sure, but I don’t like that ship. They never ever really interact except if he’s assigning her on a patrol or something else formal. But back to the genderswap idea, the mixing of Redtail and Brindleface’s genes wouldn’t result in a fawn tabby. The most close pelt result to Sandstorm’s canon would be a ticked dilute tortoiseshell-tabby, which is basically a gray and fawn tortoiseshell with pointy spots and the tabby M on the forehead. But, again, that wouldn’t work, due to Redtail and Brindleface’s genders and how Redtail is SUPPOSED to be infertile, but he’s NOT because the Erins don’t understand cat genetics. If we’re trying to make something as close to canon Sand as we can, we need to switch parents. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm what are some cool Redtail ships? What about Redtail x Runningwind? Not only does it provide representation in the fact it’d be a gay ship, but it is genetically possible following the popular trans Redtail headcanon. Redtail could’ve transitioned after having Sand. Redtail could’ve been the biological mother of Sand and Runningwind the father. This also could possibly explain Runningwind and Firestar’s closeness as Running being Fire’s future dad-in-law. Cat genetic time again. Let’s see what Red and Running would create. Redtail has the recessive gene, and Runningwind the dominant. Male kittens take their mother’s colors, and females take a mixture of both parents. I’m not a genetics expert, I only know the basics, but I’m pretty sure a red tortie and a chestnut tabby could create a fawn tabby with some darker spotting! And viola, we have Sandstorm without having to change too much of her appearance! IN SUMMARY, Sandstorm is a fawn tabby she-cat with darker spotting and pale green eyes. Her parents are Redtail and Runningwind!

Next, we have Leopardstar! (I never did say we’re doing just ThunderClan lol) On the Wiki, Leopardstar is described as a “sleek furred, dappled golden tabby she-cat.” She is said to have “unusual, dark golden spots on her pelt, with a long, winding tail, and amber eyes.” I think a lot of people recognize Leopardstar because of two reasons: a lot of fans headcanon her as a Bengal, and she has diabetes that ended up killing her. Now, I personally like Mudfur and Brightsky as her parents, so I’ll be trying my hardest to have them stay like that. This does mean, though, that not only will I be giving Leopardstar a redesign most likely, but Mudfur and Brightsky, too. Mudfur is described on the Wiki as a “lean and lithe, thick-furred and long-haired light brown tom with a pale belly, wide shoulders, and golden eyes.” And Brightsky is described as simply a “ginger-and-white she-cat with spotted fur.” One could argue Brightsky’s spotted genes would pass on to give Leopardstar her spots. This is possible, and could definitely happen, especially if you gave Mudfur spots on your redesign, too, which I see a lot of people doing. Moving on to Leopardstar’s fur length. Now, the Wiki provides pixel art of each character for people’s reference. Leopardstar, Brightsky, and Mudfur are no different. Although, these pixels are…often inaccurate. Just with Leopardstar herself, she’s described as sleek-furred. This can be translated to short length hair, which is how the current manga artist (I forgot his name) depicts Leopard, with having short fur. The pixel representation is, I’m guessing, based on Leopard’s bust on the cover of her Super Edition, where she’s depicted as having long fur. With the Warriors franchise being solely book-based, the cats’ designs are left mainly up to us to interpret, with their appearances in the Allegiances section the only base we really have, along with brief mentions in the actual story. So, artist’s freedom. I’m headcanoning Leopard as a shorthair and no one can stop me! I can leap boundaries! I don’t care what the canon says! I- oh yeah, article. Gotta do that. Anywho, if I headcanon Leopard as having spots and being short-furred, one of her parents would have to be similar. Mudfur is canonically a longhair, but Brightsky’s description is very vague. So why not make Bright the culprit of having short fur? Like I mentioned before, the pixel art isn’t canon. Even if it depicts Brightsky as being longhair, I don’t care. It does that to Leopard, too. As far as I’m aware, the canon books never mention Brightsky as having long fur. SOOOOOOOOO YOU ARE COLD AND HAVE SHORT HAIR NOW BRIGHT RAHHHH! Since Bright’s eye color is also pretty much never mentioned, let’s take Mudfur’s. He has amber eyes. These can be passed down to Leopard. Now we come to the most crucial part: the pelt color. I like to headcanon Leopard as a bronze Egyptian Maw, or at least similar to one, due to the fact these cats can’t be purebreds because they mix and merge. How can we try to achieve that golden color? Well, Brightsky is ginger. That’s close to gold. Just make a few tweaks…and momma Bright is gold!! But now Leopard looks too much like her mother and too less like her father. Female kits take both parents’ genes and mix them. They don’t specifically have one parent they get their colors from. So how can we edit Leopard to be more like her father? Wait for it. She can be a ticked tortie! Tortoiseshells come in many different colors, from red and black to gray and cream to brown and tan and beyond. Gold and brown? Yep! So now we have Leopardstar: a gold and brown ticked tortoiseshell-tabby she-cat with amber eyes and sleek, short fur. And for a bit more realism to add in Brightsky’s white, let’s have Leopardstar have mild white spotting too. And there we go!

Finally, we have our lovely Cinderpelt! Cinderpelt is described by the wiki as a “small and sleek-furred, smoky-dark gray she-cat with pale blue eyes, and a twisted hind leg.” I know this part isn’t genetic, but I want to talk about her hind leg first. If you’ve read TNP, you know she got that from being ran over by a car. Er, okay? If this were a real-life cat, the car tire would likely cut off all circulation in her leg. And since Cinderpaw didn’t seek medical attention (other than that of a cat doctor), she should’ve technically died. But since she survived, I have that to work with. Cinderpelt’s leg wouldn’t be flattened and would never be healed. Instead it would be very twisted, odd-looking, and likely paralyzed. No visible injuries other than that, so no scars, just a twisted leg. A lot of people draw Cinderpelt’s leg as if it were a burn scar or fleshly injury when it’s not. There wouldn’t be any scars. Okay, now that I’ve finished ranting about her leg, let’s talk about her actual pelt. Cinderpelt’s parents are Frostfur and Lionheart. Frostfur is described on the Wiki as a “pure snow-white she-cat with dark sky-blue eyes and sleek, soft fur.” Lionheart is described as a “golden tabby tom with green eyes, and thick fur like a lion’s mane.” Lionheart has the dominant gene, and Frostfur has the recessive. Technically, golden tabbies…don’t exist, I’m sorry. They’re not possible. The closest to that is a ginger or red tabby. Gingers are more reddish than reds, ironically enough. So let’s say Lionheart is a red tabby. Can red tabbies have long fur and manes? Yes, they can! Can they have green eyes? Yep! So Lionheart is genetically possible, just change “golden” to “red.” Frostfur is definitely possible as well. But how would their genes merge to fit Cinderpelt’s? I like to headcanon Cinderpelt as a gray smoke. Maybe Frostfur was one, too? Except not gray. She could’ve been pale gray, as much as it pains me. (We have too many pale gray she-cats help me dear god) But how would Lionheart’s genes merge into Frostfur’s to create gray? The answer is: they couldn’t. Red tabbies x whites or even pale gray smokes do not make gray smokes. So Cinderpelt isn’t genetically possible. The closest to her canon we can get is a dilute calico, which is actually very pretty. But I like to make things complicated. So let’s put a pin on the dilute for a minute here and expand. Cinderpelt could be a red tabby with white spotting. She could be a normal calico. Both are possible so far as I’m concerned. But we have enough normal calicos and torties, and a red tabby with white spotting for CINDERpelt? Yuck. Doesn’t even fit her name. So let’s take that dilute calico idea back. Say we redesigned Frostfur into a gray smoke with major white spotting. I do actually like that. The white from Frostfur would go into the calico color’s natural white base, and Frostfur’s gray would go into the dilute calico gray color. Lionheart’s red tabby would reflect in the stripes calicos do have, and the cream in a dilute calico. For the fur length, Frostfur is technically a medium-hair with silky fur in canon, but I headcanon her as a shorthair, and Lionheart a longhair, likely the length of a Maine coon or Norwegian forest cat. Cinderpelt would take a mix of both and be a medium-hair, and she also takes her mamma’s blue eyes. So now we’re done! We have Cinderpelt: a dilute calico she-cat with medium-length fur and a twisted hind leg.

So how’d you like my redesigns? Were they genetically accurate? Give me feedback! I’m studying biology and genetics at the moment but I’m only an amateur, so please let me know if I got anything wrong! Also, feel free to use these designs or headcanons if you want, but please credit my DeviantArt user (TheDiluteTortie) as the maker ^^

Have a great day/night and may StarClan light your paths!

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