"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."
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'smentor 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
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.
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).