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Artistic License Biology / Warrior Cats

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Warriors is a book series starring talking cats. This doesn't mean that the characters necessarily behave or feel like cats. The series takes a lot of liberties with its characters.

Cat Behavior

  • Adult warriors can become From Stray to Pet if they wish to, though it's deeply looked down upon and they're seen as traitors to their Clan if they do so. Many, like Graystripe, dislike being homed, but others are shown to be just fine amongst twolegs. In real life, most feral cats (as in, they were born and raised on the streets with little-to-no human contact) cannot be homed after kittenhood; true wildcats cannot be domesticated at all. This is why, instead of trying to find them owners, Trap-and-Release programs release the cats after spaying and neutering them. Of course, these cats are also portrayed with human-level intelligence, so that may also be a factor.
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  • Cats are portrayed as monogamous animals that mate for life. In real life, cats are anything but monogamous. As a result, Clans don't work like colonies. In colonies, males will try to hoard females and females will usually try mate with any available male. Cats in Warriors go through courtships and stay faithful to one cat. (Although they also seem to consider questioning paternity to be rude, and apparently view adultery as less wrong than lying.) In real-life colonies, mother cats help one another and raise each other's kittens together, while males play no real role in the process after mating. The latter was used in the first arc but changed in future arcs, with fathers being given a bigger role in their kits' lives.
  • Cats are depicted as strictly diurnal. The characters rarely hunt at night and they don't have very good eyesight at night either. While cats are not truly nocturnal, they are typically as active by night as they are by day, and have very good low-light vision.
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  • Kittypets are usually timid Non Action Guys who rarely hunt or venture into the forest. Studies have shown that outside cats hunt a lot, can become very territorial and aggressive towards strays and one another, and often walk long distances away from home while out.
  • Digging tunnels is a large part of the lore. While cats can dig, they can't dig tunnels like depicting in the books.
  • Each cat has their own "den" (or a specific nest within a den they share with others) that's their exclusive sleeping place, similar to how we have our own beds. This is not realistic in terms of cats. Cats don't make dens like foxes, and while they do pick favourite sleeping areas, they have plenty of variation in their sleeping spots.


Cat Biology

  • Neutered cats are portrayed as sluggish and fat. This is a reason why cats fear humans. Learning he's likely to be neutered helps persuade Rusty to run away to ThunderClan in the first book. This is an old myth. Cats, or dogs for that matter, don't become less active due to being spayed or neutered.
  • Warriors is pretty bad with genetics and cat colours. Cat genetics are complicated and the writers have stated they don't know anything about them. A lot of characters have colourings that are implausible or impossible for them considering their parentage. There are also several characters who have pelts that are physically impossible for a cat to have.
  • No mention is made of heat cycles; female warriors seem to be able to get pregnant and have kits whenever they feel like it. Real female cats can only get pregnant during their heat cycles.
  • Cat pregnancies are depicted as longer than they actually are. Birthing is also portrayed as painful, difficult and as prone to complications as human childbirth, as well as very quick, with the kittens coming one right after another and the whole thing lasting less than an hour. In real life, cat births are much easier than human births, a trait common in all quadrupeds — for obvious reasons, the less likely an animal is to die in childbirth or miscarry, the likelier it is that she will pass on her genes in surviving offspring. As such, natural selection has ensured that most mammals can give birth with ease — human childbirth complications are mostly due to our fairly quick shift to full bipedalism causing some drastic rearrangements of our internal anatomy that we haven't had time to evolve past yet. Also, cat births tend to be fairly long — the whole process usually takes up to twelve hours, with the mother having time to thoroughly clean and groom each kitten before the next is born.
  • The animals use Healing Herbs in ways that don't work in real life. If anything, frequently eating herbs would do more harm than good due to cats being obligate carnivores. Several of the plants, such as the poppy seeds used for sleep, are poisonous to cats. The characters in the series also never deal with illnesses common amongst feral cats, such as FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus), rabies, and worms. Some illnesses do appear (such as Word of God being that Leopardstar died of untreated diabetes) but the cats don't understand them.
  • Redtail is a male tortoiseshell that has sired kittens. While not impossible, it's very unlikely. Male torties are rare enough but fertile ones are even rarer.
  • The cats seem to see the world like humans, not cats. They see colors that cats appear not to be able to (or at least, see differently than humans). Much of the series revolves around the colour red, but cats can't see red.
  • Jayfeather is unrealistic for a blind cat. Cats aren't as visual-centered as humans, and as such most cats who are blind from birth have minimal impairments. Many can even hunt just fine.
  • Kittens aren't portrayed correctly to scale. By six months, most cats are 75% of their adult size. Kits are portrayed as much smaller than they actually are, and even apprentices, which are usually between six months and a year in age, are much smaller than adults — they're written as essentially feline teenagers, when they should be at neatly their adult sizes.
  • Kittens aging is done inconsistently and inaccurately. Several kits open their eyes in a matter of days, some are walking not soon after being born, and many can have concrete conversations despite being a month old. In reality, kittens open their eyes after eight to twelve days, walk at three weeks, and at a month old they're only just starting to meow.
  • Kits can see perfectly well right after being born. Real kittens can't see as well as adult cats until they're about ten weeks old.
  • In several books, cats can taste sweet things like honeycombs and berries. There's even a character named "Sweetpaw". Cats can't taste sweetness. This is corrected later on in the series; a character trying honey for the first time comments in surprise that honey doesn't taste of anything, and another responds that of course it doesn't, everyone knows that, it just feels soothing to eat.

Other Feline Inaccuracies

  • "She-cat" is not an actual term used when referring to cats. "Queen" or "molly" is more accurate. "Queen" in the series refers exclusively to nursing mothers, except in the first few books where it was occasionally used for any female. In real life, "queen" can be used to mean any female, though it is admittedly more common for nursing or expectant mothers. "Kit" is also not a term often used for kittens, and "clan" is not a technical term for a group of cats — the collective noun for a group of cats is "clowder", and feral clowders are sometimes referred to as "colonies" — although in the series it's not used as a generic term for a group of cats either, as is only used for five specific groups.
  • Hunting is much simpler in Warriors than it is in real life. While characters do sometimes fail to catch prey, most of the time they essentially just sniff around, see a vole or mouse, pounce, and catch it. In real life cats fail to catch prey almost 100% of the time. They also don't always easily kill prey (hence why cats are known to "play" with their prey, in order to ensure an animal is weakened and stunned before going for the killnote ). The cats' choices of food are also unrealistic. WindClan primarily eat rabbits and RiverClan primarily fishes. Rabbits are too large for domestic cats to hunt often (dogs are more likely to hunt rabbits) while cats, with a couple of exceptions like the wildcat species known as the "fishing cat", aren't known for fishing much.
  • LionClan, TigerClan, and LeopardClan are legendary Clans. The problem is that tigers and leopards are solitary animals (and it's unlikely they'd all interact anyway). The cats also believe that they're descended from these clans. Domestic cats are actually distantly related to big cats. They're directly descended from the African wildcat, a tiny species that resembles a tabby. This is justified, however, as by the authors' statement these are purely fictitious in-universe myths — some characters believe it, but it never actually happened.

Other Animals

  • According to Moonlight, foxes don't talk about much besides killing. Foxes in real life are not any less than intelligent than cats.
  • Hawks, owls, and eagles have taken five month old kittens as well as pregnant adult females. The problem is that no such birds in the area that at least the first arc is based on are large enough to fly off with full-grown cats.
  • Badgers are presented as a primary predator of cats. However, European badgers almost never attack cats without being provoked.


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