"Not of rain, but of a great new dawn that awaits our Clan. In that ray of light, our warrior ancestors showed me the future, and it will be glorious!"
— Runningnose discussing the future of ShadowClan in Rising Storm, page 5

Runningnose is a small, gray-and-white tom with a constantly running nose[9] and amber eyes.[10]

Runningnose was a ShadowClan medicine cat under the leaderships of Brokenstar, Nightstar, Tigerstar, and Blackstar in the forest territories. He was born as Runningkit to Lizardstripe and Mudclaw, and his littermates were Tanglekit and Deerkit. Runningkit took an interest in medicine, eventually becoming Yellowfang's apprentice under the name of Runningpaw, and developed a close friendship with his mentor. He later gained his full name of Runningnose. He served under the tyrannical rule of Brokenstar, and constantly healed battle wounds and eased the deaths of many young kits who were apprenticed much too early.

When Brokenstar was exiled and Nightstar took over, Runningnose kept the secret that Nightstar was not granted nine lives. He tried to care for his Clan during the Carrionplace disease epidemic, but was unable to save Nightstar nor Cinderfur. Runningnose was forced to take up the titles of leader, medicine cat, and deputy. Tigerclaw arrived in ShadowClan and helped the Clan regain its strength. When he became ShadowClan's new leader, Runningnose recognized Tigerstar's ambitions and felt guilty for even allowing it to happen. He later took on Littlecloud as his apprentice. Runningnose eventually retired as an elder, giving him some peace after his long and stressed life, and ascended to StarClan after his death.


Looking for a longer overview? Find one here!

The Prophecies Begin

"No, Fireheart. I'm not asking you to betray your Clan’s secrets. Whatever happened in ThunderClan, I'm certain of one thing. StarClan did send Tigerstar to us."
—Runningnose to Fireheart about Tigerstar's leadership A Dangerous Path, page 57
Runningnose is the ShadowClan medicine cat and is teased throughout the Clans for failing to cure his own cold. He participates in the rebellion to drive out Brokenstar and his followers. He receives a message from StarClan that Nightpelt, an elder, should be leader, however, his Clan falls ill due to sickness. Runningnose receives an omen about ShadowClan's greatness, but swiftly receives another omen warning that it will come with a high cost.
Runningnose arrives at the Gathering to inform the other Clans that ShadowClan had survived the sickness and that Nightstar and Cinderfur had died. When asked who the new ShadowClan leader was, Tigerstar, the exiled ThunderClan deputy, arrives, and Runningnose fidgets uncomfortably when Tigerstar mentions how Runningnose received a message from StarClan. At this time, Fireheart also reveals that Runningnose's former mentor, Yellowfang, passed away, though Runningnose is too grief stricken to reply.
Littlecloud, a former warrior, becomes his apprentice, and Fireheart joins Cinderpelt at Fourtrees to speak with Runningnose. He explains how life in ShadowClan had been reinvigorated since Tigerstar took command, and that StarClan refused to give Nightstar his nine lives but was a noble leader nonetheless. He later journeys with Blackfoot to receive his nine lives after the battle against BloodClan.

The New Prophecy

"Go swiftly to StarClan, my friend. We will look after your Clanmates."
—Runningnose to Mudfur as he dies Dawn, page 224
Moons later, Runningnose retires to the elders' den leaving Littlecloud as ShadowClan's sole medicine cat. He chooses to journey with the Clans on the Great Journey and says his goodbyes to Mudfur before he dies.

Power of Three

Raggedstar: "Sol's time in ShadowClan must come to an end. He is like the darkness that covered the sun."
Runningnose: "He seems to have taken over your Clan, but he will pass and be forgotten in the brightness that follows. Brightness that will shine on ShadowClan for countless moons."
—Raggedstar and Runningnose to Blackfoot and Littlecloud about their faith Long Shadows, pages 119-120
Now in StarClan, Runningnose appears in Littlecloud's dreams and encourages his former apprentice to never give up on Blackstar who is questioning his faith. However, under Sol's influence, Blackstar forces ShadowClan to stop believing in StarClan. Runningnose and Raggedstar appeal to Jaypaw to restore ShadowClan's faith. Jaypaw, Lionblaze, Hollyleaf, Tigerpaw, Dawnpaw, and Flamepaw fake a sign to persuade Blackfoot and Littlecloud. Runningnose and Raggedstar appear and urge their former Clanmates to believe and drive Sol out of ShadowClan.

Super Editions

This section summarizes Runningnose's significant Super Editions appearances. If you're looking for a full list, find one here!

"Your name will be a reminder that medicine cats cannot cure everything - but we always need to have faith enough to try."
—Yellowfang giving Runningnose his full name Yellowfang's Secret, page 403
In Yellowfang's Secret, he is born to Mudclaw and Lizardstripe alongside his littermates, Tanglekit and Deerkit. Brokenkit becomes his foster brother, and Runningkit and his siblings tease Brokenkit because of his unknown heritage. Yellowfang scolds them, and Runningkit is the only one who stops. He becomes Yellowfang's apprentice, and is noted to be cheerful and patient despite not being able to cure his cold. She names him Runningnose as a reminder that medicine cats cannot cure everything. Later on, Yellowfang is accused of murdering Marigoldkit and Mintkit, and Runningnose comes to the defense of his mentor, along with Rowanberry, Nutwhisker, and Newtspeck. Ultimately however, Yellowfang is exiled, but Runningnose tells her that he will do everything to prove she is innocent.


This section summarizes Runningnose's significant Novellas appearances. If you're looking for a full list, find one here!

"Look around you. ShadowClan is not on the brink of destruction! Your Clan is full of strong, able warriors. You know in your heart which one will make the best leader. You alone know the signs that StarClan might send. Your ancestors trust you enough to be their voice in ShadowClan. You can help them choose the next leader."
—Tigerclaw encouraging Runningnose to trust himself Tigerclaw's Fury, page chapter ten
In Tigerclaw's Fury, with much of ShadowClan sick, including Nightstar, and Cinderfur dead, Runningnose is in charge of filling in the leadership roles. Tigerclaw and his group of former ShadowClan cats arrive with fresh-kill, and Runningnose gladly accepts their gifts. Tigerclaw notes how Runningnose was looking worn out trying to heal and lead the Clan by himself. Nightstar dies, and Runningnose expresses his fears about ShadowClan's future to Tigerclaw. Tigerclaw urges Runningnose to trust in StarClan and that he will have his support. Runningnose, now leader, allows Tigerclaw to handle ordering patrols and battle training.
As the Gathering draws closer, Runningnose once again confides with Tigerclaw, this time fretting about not having an official leader or deputy. Tigerclaw reassures him that StarClan has not forgotten them, and ShadowClan has been thriving at the moment. When asked if Runningnose should fake a sign from StarClan about choosing the next leader, Tigerclaw insists the medicine cat should listen to his head and listen for StarClan's guidance. The day before the Gathering, Runningnose notices a claw covered in shadows resembling tiger stripes and declares it as a sign from StarClan that Tigerclaw should be leader. Tigerclaw accepts, and later realizes that Jaggedtooth faked the sign.

Detailed description

Runningnose is a small, gray-and-white tom[9] with patchy,[11] grizzled,[1] ungroomed fur,[12] a gray muzzle,[13] rheumy[12] amber eyes,[10] and a constantly running nose.[9]


Interesting facts

  • Runningnose was given his name as a reminder that medicine cats cannot cure everything.[14]
  • While Nightstar was sick, Runningnose played the roles of both deputy and medicine cat,[5] and stood in as temporary leader until StarClan decided to appoint a new leader.[6]
  • Although Runningnose mentions he has no expertise in battle training,[15] it is mentioned in Night Whispers that all ShadowClan medicine cats are trained to fight like warriors.[16]

Author statements

  • Cherith Baldry has said she imagines Runningnose's prediction of a glorious future for ShadowClan was fulfilled when Tigerstar became leader.[17]


  • He has been mistakenly shown with additional black patches.[18]
  • He has been depicted without white.[19]

Character pixels

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Alternate images

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Official art

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Runningpaw's medicine cat ceremony
Yellowfang: I, Yellowfang, medicine cat of ShadowClan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. He has trained hard to understand the ways of a medicine cat, and with your help he will serve his Clan for many moons. Runningpaw, do you promise to uphold the ways of a medicine cat, to stand apart from rivalry, between Clan and Clan, and to protect all cats equally, even at the cost of your life?
Runningpaw: I do.
Yellowfang: Then by the powers of StarClan I give your true name as a medicine cat. Runningpaw, from this moment you shall be known as Runningnose. Your name will be a reminder that medicine cats cannot cure everything-but we always need to have faith enough to try. StarClan honors your intelligence and your dedication. Now come, touch your muzzle to the Moonstone, and may all your dreams be good ones.
Reference: Yellowfang's Secret, page 403



"Runningpaw, from this moment you will be known as Runningnose. Your name will be a reminder that medicine cats cannot cure everything - but we always need to have faith enough to try. StarClan honors your intelligence and your dedication. Now come, touch your muzzle to the Moonstone, and may all your dreams be good ones."
—Yellowfang giving Runningnose his full name Yellowfang's Secret, page 403

"I couldn't hope for a more patient and loyal medicine cat to have beside me."
—Yellowfang's thoughts Yellowfang's Secret, page 465

"I can't see why they appointed him when he can't even cure his own cold!"
—Graypaw about Runningnose Into the Wild, page 144

"Out of the corner of his eye, Fireheart noticed Runningnose shifting uncomfortably. For some reason, he looked unhappy at the mention of the omen."
—Narrator about Runningnose A Dangerous Path, page 9

See more
"Fireheart noticed Runningnose sitting erect and gazing upward, his eyes clouded with sorrow. He had been Yellowfang's apprentice when she was ShadowClan's medicine cat, before Brokentail drove her out."
—Narrator about Runningnose A Dangerous Path, page 12

"Wherever Nightstar is, I hope he is at peace. The most important thing to do now is to keep the rest of the Clan safe. My Clanmates are terrified of being leaderless. There is no deputy to take over from Nightstar, and StarClan has sent us no sign of what should happen next. How can I blame these cats if they feel that their ancestors have abandoned them? What if we never recover from what Brokenstar did to us? The wounds run so deep, and nothing I can do will heal them."
—Runningnose to Tigerclaw Tigerclaw's Fury, page chapter 7

"Even as we mourn Nightstar, life must continue. The worst of the sickness has passed, we must make ourselves strong once more."
—Runningnose to ShadowClan Tigerclaw's Fury, page Chapter 7

"What kind of medicine cat can't cure his own cold?"
—Jayfeather's thoughts about Runningnose Eclipse, page 142

Runningnose: "How are things? Is the prey running well?"
Littlecloud: "Prey's running fine."
Runningnose: "Are the Twolegs bothering you? What about Tawnypelt's kits? Are they healthy? What's wrong?'"
Littlecloud: "It's Blackstar! He's"
Runningnose: "Distant? Do you mean he's left the Clan?"
Littlecloud: "No! Distant, as in distracted. He lets Russetfur organize all the patrols, and he's started to say things."
Runningnose: "What sort of things?"
Littlecloud: "He says he wonders if StarClan meant to bring us to the lake at all!"
Runningnose: "Then you’re right to be worried."
Littlecloud: "I am?"
Runningnose: "Blackstar is losing his faith."
Littlecloud: "How can that be? He's always believed."
Runningnose: "It doesn’t matter why or how. You must help him to find his faith again."
Littlecloud: "But how? What can I do?"
Runningnose: "Help him find his faith again."
Littlecloud: "Help me!"
—Runningnose and Littlecloud about Blackstar losing his faith Eclipse, pages 142-144

"I have spoken to Littlecloud in dreams. He keeps faith, but few cats will listen to him, and now Blackstar has forbidden him to speak of StarClan. He is not allowed to leave camp to share tongues with us at the Moonpool."
—Runningnose to the grief-stricken ShadowClan Long Shadows, page 65

"Runningnose must have regretted the day he asked to become Yellowfang's apprentice. As Brokenstar's medicine cat, he was forced to interpret omens that promised nothing but success in battle for his bloodthirsty leader, and then tried to stop the life blood of the Clan from sinking into the ground as apprentices were taken from the nursery. Even after Brokenstar was captured by ThunderClan, Runningnose had more secrets to keep: this time, the fact that StarClan would not grant Nightstar his nine lives. His conscience must have weighed heavier than stone."
—Rock about Runningnose Cats of the Clans, page 42

External links

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Revealed in Eclipse, page 142
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Revealed in Into the Wild, allegiances
  3. Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 333
  4. Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 355
  5. 5.0 5.1 Revealed in Tigerclaw's Fury, chapter 4
  6. 6.0 6.1 Revealed in Tigerclaw's Fury, chapter 7
  7. 7.0 7.1 Revealed in Firestar's Quest, allegiances
  8. Revealed in Cats of the Clans, page 42
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 66
  10. 10.0 10.1 Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 65
  11. Revealed in Rising Storm, page 1
  12. 12.0 12.1 Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 89
  13. Revealed in The Ultimate Guide, page 88
  14. Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret, page 403
  15. Revealed in Tigerclaw's Fury, chapter 8
  16. Revealed in Night Whispers, page 64
  17. Revealed in Erin Hunter Chat 3
  18. Revealed in Into the Woods, page 66
  19. Revealed in Yellowfang's Secret manga
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