"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 members of a Clan who treat diseases and injuries.[1] They also receive and interpret omens and prophecies from StarClan.[2] They are highly respected by all the Clans.[3]


Medicine cats are Clan cats who treat diseases and injuries, and who receive directions and guidance from StarClan.[2] They have their own den in their Clan's camp, where they sleep, store herbs, and treat wounded or sick cats.[4] Medicine cats are not allowed to take mates or have kits.[5] They are expected to stand apart from Clan rivalries.[6] Medicine cats have a special way of getting their full name,[7] 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.[8] They are deeply respected by their Clanmates and few cats dare to argue with them.[9]


Some of a medicine cat's tasks are:

  • Knowing all of the herbs and store a supply of them in their den[10]
  • Treating wounded and sick cats[11]
  • Assisting queens while they are pregnant with kits, giving birth, or nursing them[12]
  • Check up regularly on the health of Clan cats, (especially queens, elders, and kits)[13]
  • Visiting the Moonstone/Moonpool at every half-moon to seek guidance from StarClan[14]
  • Interpreting prophecies and omens and sharing them with the Clan leader[15]
  • Upon the death of the Clan leader, accompany the deputy to the Moonstone or Moonpool to be appointed as the new leader[16]
  • Training an apprentice as the Clan's next medicine cat[17]
  • Bearing the knowledge of basic battle training in case they need them[18]
  • Visiting their ancestors when in a crisis that requires direct communication with StarClan.[19]

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.[20] They are introduced to StarClan as a medicine cat apprentice at the first half moon after they gain apprenticeship.[21] They earn their name at the Moonstone or Moonpool after successfully completing their training,[22] assuming full responsibilities even while their mentor is still alive.[3] While there are usually two medicine cats at most, this is not always the case, and there may even be three at one time.[23] 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.[24] The apprentice has to gather herbs, get water, or do other useful things.[25] They are expected to watch carefully when their mentor is treating a cat, so that when the time comes, they can do it, too.[26]
It is also revealed in Night Whispers that ShadowClan trains their medicine cats to fight like warriors,[27] and ThunderClan medicine cats occasionally train their apprentices some fighting moves, such as Cinderpelt training Leafpaw.[28]
Featherwhisker was also taught to hunt for prey even though it didn't follow the basic duties.[29] Leafpool was also capable of catching prey,[30] suggesting that medicine cats are at least taught the basics of hunting.

Special cases

Some cats have been known to exchange their life as a warrior to be a medicine cat (for instance; Littlecloud,[31] Hawkheart,[32] Jayfeather,[33] Mudfur,[34] Mothwing,[35] Spottedleaf,[36] or Yellowfang[37]) while some have life-altering experiences that may cause them to take that path (such as, Cinderpelt[38]) but this is considered to be very uncommon.[39]
Though most medicine cats believe in StarClan, a few rare exceptions (e.g. Mothwing), have become medicine cats despite their lack of belief.[40]
Medicine cats usually keep their role until they die, with the exception of Goosefeather,[41] Leafpool,[42] and Runningnose.[43] 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.[44]
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).[45]

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.[46] The leader can receive omens from the Tribe of Endless Hunting,[47] just as Clan medicine cats receive dreams from StarClan.[48]

History of ranks

Name Gained rank in... Left rank in... Apprentice(s)...
Cloud Spots Moth Flight's Vision Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Shivering Rose
Prickleface Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Before "The Leader Who Sought Peace" Unknown
Pearnose Before "The Leader Who Sought Peace" Before "The Victorious Clan" Fallowpaw, Goosefeather (StarClan apprentice)
Kestrelwing Before "The Victorious Clan" Before Mapleshade's Vengeance Unknown
Oatspeckle Before Mapleshade's Vengeance Before Mapleshade's Vengeance Ravenwing
Ravenwing Before Mapleshade's Vengeance Mapleshade's Vengeance None
Cloudberry Before Pinestar's Choice Goosefeather's Curse Goosefeather
Goosefeather Goosefeather's Curse Bluestar's Prophecy Featherwhisker
Featherwhisker Bluestar's Prophecy Bluestar's Prophecy Spottedleaf
Spottedleaf Bluestar's Prophecy Into the Wild None
Yellowfang Into the Wild Rising Storm Runningnose, Cinderpelt, Puddleshine (StarClan apprentice)
Cinderpelt Rising Storm Twilight Leafpool
Leafpool Twilight Squirrelflight's Hope Willowshine (StarClan apprentice), Hollyleaf, Jayfeather, Alderheart, Puddleshine
Jayfeather Sunrise Veil of Shadows Alderheart
Alderheart Thunder and Shadow Veil of Shadows Flipclaw
Flipclaw Veil of Shadows Veil of Shadows None
Jayfeather Veil of Shadows - -
Alderheart Veil of Shadows - -

Name Gained rank in... Left rank in... Apprentice(s)...
Pebble Heart Moth Flight's Vision Before "A Sign from StarClan" Unknown
Redscar Before "A Sign from StarClan" Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Unknown
Mossheart Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Before Cloudstar's Journey Unknown
Molepelt Before Cloudstar's Journey Before Mapleshade's Vengeance Hollowbelly
Sloefur Before Mapleshade's Vengeance Before Goosefeather's Curse Unknown
Redthistle Before Goosefeather's Curse Before Yellowfang's Secret Sagewhisker
Sagewhisker Before Yellowfang's Secret Yellowfang's Secret Yellowfang
Yellowfang Yellowfang's Secret Into the Wild Runningnose, Cinderpelt
Runningnose Into the Wild Before Firestar's Quest Littlecloud
Littlecloud Before Firestar's Quest Thunder and Shadow Flametail
Flametail Sunrise Night Whispers None
Leafpool (temporary) Thunder and Shadow Thunder and Shadow Puddleshine
Puddleshine Thunder and Shadow Darkest Night None
Puddleshine River of Fire - Shadowsight
Shadowsight The Silent Thaw - -


Name Gained rank in... Left rank in... Apprentice(s)...
Dappled Pelt Moth Flight's Vision Before "A Night of Listening" Unknown
Meadowpelt Before "A Night of Listening" Before "A Loss for All Clans" Unknown
Graywing Before "A Loss for All Clans" Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Unknown
Kinktail Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Before Cloudstar's Journey Unknown
Icewhisker Before Cloudstar's Journey Before Goosefeather's Curse Unknown
Echosnout Before Goosefeather's Curse Before Yellowfang's Secret Cloudberry
Milkfur Before Yellowfang's Secret Before Crookedstar's Promise Brambleberry
Brambleberry Before Tallstar's Revenge Before Into the Wild Mudfur
Mudfur Crookedstar's Promise Dawn Mothwing
Mothwing Dawn Mistystar's Omen Willowshine
Willowshine Mistystar's Omen - -
Mothwing Mistystar's Omen Veil of Shadows None

Name Gained rank in... Left rank in... Apprentice(s)...
Micah Moth Flight's Vision Moth Flight's Vision None
Acorn Fur Moth Flight's Vision Before "Darkstar's Law" Unknown
Twigtail Before "Darkstar's Law" Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Unknown
Quailfeather Before "The Medicine Cats Decide" Before "The Defeated Clan" Unknown
Fawnstep Before Cloudstar's Journey Before Firestar's Quest Unknown
Brackenheart Before Firestar's Quest Before Firestar's Quest Unknown
Sandstorm (unofficial) Firestar's Quest Firestar's Quest Echosong (unofficial)
Echosong Firestar's Quest Hawkwing's Journey Frecklewish, Fidgetflake
Leafpool (temporary) Darkest Night River of Fire None
Frecklewish Before After the Flood - Fidgetflake, Tree (temporary), Rootspring (temporary)
Fidgetflake Hawkwing's Journey - Rootspring (unofficial)
Puddleshine[50] Darkest Night River of Fire None


  • 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]

See also

External links

Notes and references

  1. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 43
  2. 2.0 2.1 Revealed in The Sight, page 49
  3. 3.0 3.1 Revealed in The Sight, page 50
  4. Revealed in The Sight, page 62
  5. Revealed in Starlight, page 272
  6. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 54
  7. Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 1
  8. Revealed in Starlight, pages 285-287
  9. Revealed in Eclipse, page 237
  10. Revealed in The Sight, page 315
  11. Revealed in Dawn, page 176
  12. Revealed in Twilight, page 311
  13. Revealed in Sunrise, page 102
  14. Revealed in The Sight, page 179
  15. Revealed in Midnight, page 112
  16. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 35
  17. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 84
  18. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, page 240
  19. Revealed in Sunrise, page 78
  20. Revealed in Sunset, page 151
  21. Revealed in Sunset, page 199
  22. Revealed in Long Shadows, page 253
  23. Revealed in The Apprentice's Quest, chapter 4
  24. Revealed in Dark River, page 101
  25. Revealed in Dark River, page 205
  26. Revealed in The Sight, page 163
  27. Revealed in Night Whispers, page 64
  28. Revealed in Moonrise, page 100
  29. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 222
  30. Revealed in Squirrelflight's Hope, page 276
  31. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 55
  32. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 129
  33. Revealed in The Sight, page 260
  34. Revealed in Crookedstar's Promise, page 374
  35. Revealed in Midnight, page 50
  36. Revealed in Spottedleaf's Heart, chapter 8
  37. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 364
  38. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 175
  39. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 91
  40. Revealed in Starlight, page 39
  41. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 470
  42. Revealed in Sunrise, pages 306-207
  43. Revealed in Firestar's Quest, allegiances
  44. Revealed in Bramblestar's Storm, allegiances
  45. Revealed in the Warriors App
  46. Revealed in Outcast, page 52
  47. Revealed in Outcast, page 53
  48. Revealed in Night Whispers, page 102
  49. Revealed in River of Fire, allegiances
  50. Puddleshine became one of the SkyClan medicine cats following ShadowClan's merge with SkyClan, and left the position following ShadowClan's revival.[49]

Author references

Hierarchy and positions in the Warriors world
Clan Hierarchy KitsApprenticesWarriorsDeputiesLeadersQueensEldersMedicine catsMediators
Ceremonies VigilApprenticeWarriorDeputyLeaderElderMedicine catName changing
Tribe Hierarchy To-besCave-guardsPrey hunters‎Kit mothersHealer/Stoneteller
Miscellaneous General Clan informationGeneral Tribe informationCat names
Other Groups LonersRoguesKittypets
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