|"The bond between medicine cats felt almost stronger than the bond between Clanmates. They shared knowledge and visions warriors would never experience. Their connection with StarClan tied them to one another almost like kin."|
|— Alderheart's thoughts in Darkest Night, page 119|
- Medicine cats are Clan cats who treat diseases and injuries, and who receive directions and guidance from StarClan. They have their own den in their Clan's camp, where they sleep, store herbs, and treat wounded or sick cats. Medicine cats are not allowed to take mates or have kits. They are expected to stand apart from Clan rivalries. Medicine cats have a special way of getting their full name, including that this ceremony is performed by the apprentice's mentor instead of the Clan leader. Also, the ceremony takes place during the next half-moon meeting at their sacred Moonstone or Moonpool with the other Clans' medicine cats to cheer their new name, instead of right away in their Clan with their own Clanmates to cheer their new name. They are deeply respected by their Clanmates and few cats dare to argue with them.
Some of a medicine cat's tasks are:
- Knowing all of the herbs and store a supply of them in their den
- Treating wounded and sick cats
- Assisting queens while they are pregnant with kits, giving birth, or nursing them
- Check up regularly on the health of Clan cats, (especially queens, elders, and kits)
- Visiting the Moonstone/Moonpool at every half-moon to seek guidance from StarClan
- Interpreting prophecies and omens and sharing them with the Clan leader
- Upon the death of the Clan leader, accompany the deputy to the Moonstone or Moonpool to be appointed as the new leader
- Training an apprentice as the Clan's next medicine cat
- Bearing the knowledge of basic battle training in case they need them
- Visiting their ancestors when in a crisis that requires direct communication with StarClan.
Appointment and education
- Kits who wish to become medicine cats are apprenticed at the age of six moons to the Clan's current medicine cat. They are introduced to StarClan as a medicine cat apprentice at the first half moon after they gain apprenticeship. They earn their name at the Moonstone or Moonpool after successfully completing their training, assuming full responsibilities even while their mentor is still alive. While there are usually two medicine cats at most, this is not always the case, and there may even be three at one time. Most of the time, a medicine cat's training takes longer than normal warrior training.
- When an apprentice, the mentor (or full medicine cat), has them do tasks that prepare them for being a full time medicine cat. The apprentice has to gather herbs, get water, or do other useful things. They are expected to watch carefully when their mentor is treating a cat, so that when the time comes, they can do it, too.
- It is also revealed in Night Whispers that ShadowClan trains their medicine cats to fight like warriors, and ThunderClan medicine cats occasionally train their apprentices some fighting moves, such as Cinderpelt training Leafpaw.
- Featherwhisker was also taught to hunt for prey even though it didn't follow the basic duties. Leafpool was also capable of catching prey, suggesting that medicine cats are at least taught the basics of hunting.
- Some cats have been known to exchange their life as a warrior to be a medicine cat (for instance; Littlecloud, Hawkheart, Jayfeather, Mudfur, Mothwing, Spottedleaf, or Yellowfang) while some have life-altering experiences that may cause them to take that path (such as, Cinderpelt) but this is considered to be very uncommon.
- Though most medicine cats believe in StarClan, a few rare exceptions (e.g. Mothwing), have become medicine cats despite their lack of belief.
- Medicine cats usually keep their role until they die, with the exception of Goosefeather, Leafpool, and Runningnose. However, Leafpool did return to her medicine cat role after the issue of having kits was settled in the very end of The Last Hope, and she was a ThunderClan medicine cat again instead of a warrior along with her former apprentice, Jayfeather, in Bramblestar's Storm.
- While medicine cats are not permitted to have mates or kits, cats that have previously had and lost a mate may become medicine cats if they choose, even if they still have kits (e.g. Mudfur).
The Tribe of Rushing Water
- In the Tribe of Rushing Water, the leader and the medicine cat are the same cat, known as the Healer, Stoneteller, or Teller of the Pointed Stones. The leader can receive omens from the Tribe of Endless Hunting, just as Clan medicine cats receive dreams from StarClan.
History of ranks
- It is possible that StarClan has a lot to do with cats being born with the ability to communicate with them, and that they are too wise to have too many talented cats born at once.[blog 1]
- Kate believes there was never an official "rule of two" for medicine cats, meaning there could only be one mentor and apprentice at a time. She suspects they were "just conventions which are adapted to current circumstances". Clans changed their status quo as their needs and attitudes of their members changed.[blog 2]
- Diseases and injuries
- Medicine cat ceremony
- List of medicine cats
- List of medicine cat apprentices
Notes and references
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 43
- Revealed in The Sight, page 49
- Revealed in The Sight, page 50
- Revealed in The Sight, page 62
- Revealed in Starlight, page 272
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 54
- Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 1
- Revealed in Starlight, pages 285-287
- Revealed in Eclipse, page 237
- Revealed in The Sight, page 315
- Revealed in Dawn, page 176
- Revealed in Twilight, page 311
- Revealed in Sunrise, page 102
- Revealed in The Sight, page 179
- Revealed in Midnight, page 112
- Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 35
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 84
- Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 240
- Revealed in Sunrise, page 78
- Revealed in Sunset, page 151
- Revealed in Sunset, page 199
- Revealed in Long Shadows, page 253
- Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, chapter 4
- Revealed in Dark River, page 101
- Revealed in Dark River, page 205
- Revealed in The Sight, page 163
- Revealed in Night Whispers, page 64
- Revealed in Moonrise, page 100
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 222
- Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 276
- Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 55
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 129
- Revealed in The Sight, page 260
- Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 374
- Revealed in Midnight, page 50
- Revealed in Spottedleaf's Heart, chapter 8
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 364
- Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 175
- Revealed in Into the Wild, page 91
- Revealed in Starlight, page 39
- Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 470
- Revealed in Sunrise, pages 306-207
- Revealed in Firestar's Quest, allegiances
- Revealed in Bramblestar's Storm, allegiances
- Revealed in the Warriors App
- Revealed in Outcast, page 52
- Revealed in Outcast, page 53
- Revealed in Night Whispers, page 102
- Revealed in River of Fire, allegiances
- Puddleshine became one of the SkyClan medicine cats following ShadowClan's merge with SkyClan, and left the position following ShadowClan's revival.
|Hierarchy and positions in the Warriors world|
|Clan hierarchy||Kits • Apprentices • Warriors • Deputies • Leaders • Queens • Elders • Medicine cats • Mediators|
|Ceremonies||Vigil • Apprentice • Warrior • Deputy • Leader • Elder • Medicine cat • Name changing|
|Tribe hierarchy||To-bes • Cave-guards • Prey hunters • Kit mothers • Healer/Stoneteller|
|Miscellaneous||General Clan information • General Tribe information • Cat names|
|Other groups||Loners • Rogues • Kittypets|