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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.

  • 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. This is why, instead of trying to find them owners, Trap-and-Release programs release the cats after spaying and neutering them.
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  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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 completely nocturnal, they are known to be active as night as long as they have some light, and have good low-light vision.
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  • Warriors is pretty bad with genetics and cat colours. Cat genetics are complicated and the writer have stated they don't know anything about it. 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.
  • 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 it will pass on its 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.
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  • The average life expectancy for a feral cat is only around three to eight years. While the series has a very high death toll, most cats live longer than that by several years. It's likely a pragmatic decision as it wouldn't be that interesting if cats died after only being a few dozen moons old.
  • "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. "Kit" is also not a term often used for kittens.
  • 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 don't catch prey almost 100% of the time. They also don't always easily kill prey (hence why cats are known to "play" with their preynote ). The cats choices of food is 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 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). Justified, as per the authors, these Clans never existed and are just mythological.
  • Kittypets are usually timid Non Action Guys who rarely hunt or venture into the forest. Studies have shown that outside cats hunt a lot and that they often walk long distances away from home while out.
  • 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.
  • According to Moonlight, foxes don't talk about much besides killing. Foxes in real life are not any less than intelligent than cats.
  • Cats in the series revere big cats such as lions, tigers, and leopards and say that they're descended from them. Domestic cats are actually distantly related to big cats. They're directly descended from the African wildcat, a tiny species that resembles a tabby. As this was said by one of the characters themselves, and the authors confirmed that the big-cat Clans are only mythological, it's possible that the characters were simply repeating stories they were told.
  • 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 so 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 and even apprentices are portrayed as much smaller than they actually are.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Clans and tribes act similarly to real cat colonies but there are differences. For experience, colonies tend to be more matriarchal, with males being around mainly for protection and breeding. Mother cats help one another and raise each others kits together. The latter was used in the first arc but changed in future arcs (with fathers being given a bigger role in their kits lives).
  • There are several cats who take after extended kin or grandparents. In cats, only a litter's parents have any affect on their look.
  • Badgers are presented as the main predator towards cats. However, European badgers almost never attack cats without being provoked

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