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"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)...
Petunia Graystripe's Vow - -


  • 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