The warrior code is a list of sixteen[1] different rules that should be followed by all Clan cats. It is taught from the first moons of kithood to when an elder is faced with death. It is said that as long as the Clans follow the warrior code, no harm shall come to them.[2]


There is a disagreement about the origins of the warrior code. On one hand, Secrets of the Clans states that the rules were invented when the Clans were founded, made up by the leaders Thunder, Shadow, Wind, and River.[3] On the other hand, Code of the Clans states that the rules were developed during a very long timespan, each one invented by different cats after a significant event.[4] For example, Daisytail made it law that kits must be six moons old in order to start their training after being nervous about her kit's safety.[5]

The warrior code

The warrior code is as follows:[6]

  1. Defend your Clan, even with your life. You may have friendships with cats from other Clans, but your loyalty must remain to your Clan, as one day you may meet them in battle.
  2. Do not hunt or trespass on another Clan's territory.
  3. Elders, queens, sick or injured cats and kits must be fed before apprentices and warriors. Unless they have permission, apprentices may not eat until they have hunted to feed the elders.
  4. Prey is killed only to be eaten. Give thanks to StarClan for its life.
  5. A kit must be at least six moons old to become an apprentice.
  6. Newly appointed warriors will keep a silent vigil for one night after receiving their warrior name.
  7. A cat cannot be made deputy without having mentored at least one apprentice.
  8. The deputy will become Clan leader when the leader dies, retires, or is exiled.
  9. After the death, retirement, promotion (to a leader status), or exile of the deputy, the new deputy must be chosen before moonhigh.
  10. A Gathering of all four Clans is held at the full moon during a truce that lasts for the night. There shall be no fighting among Clans at this time.
  11. Boundaries must be checked and marked daily. Challenge all trespassing cats.
  12. No warrior can neglect a kit in pain or danger, even if the kit is from a different Clan.
  13. The word of the Clan leader is the warrior code.
  14. An honorable warrior does not need to kill other cats to win their battles, unless they are outside the warrior code or if it is necessary for self-defense.
  15. A warrior rejects the soft life of a kittypet.
  16. Each Clan has the right to be proud and independent, but in times of trouble they must forget their boundaries and fight side by side to protect the four. Each Clan must help the others so that no Clan will fall.[7]


  • Cats on their way to the Moonstone or Moonpool are allowed to cross other Clans' territories to get to their destination—WindClan grounds on the moorland in the forest,[8] and ThunderClan grounds by the lake.[9]
  • At the lake, cats may travel on other Clans' grounds as long as they are within three fox-lengths of the lake; for instance, to go to a Gathering.[10]
  • Cats may travel on other Clan territories if they have something to report or to ask for help.[11]
  • The code is flexible about leadership challenges. Cats may challenge a weak or cruel leader if their Clan is in danger, and if their leadership threatens the Clan, the code expects a warrior to challenge their leader.[blog 1]

Additional rules

The following rules are not specifically stated in the warrior code, but are expected to be followed:

  • Medicine cats may not have a mate or kits, as they must be able to heal all cats equally.[12]
  • Kits must stay in camp until they are apprenticed,[13] and are not allowed to hunt.[14]
  • The safety of the Clan as a whole is more important than the safety of one cat.[15]
  • Clans must not unite together to drive out another Clan.[16]
  • Clans must not force another Clan to share territory.[17]
  • Enemy patrols must not attack cats if they are on a mission that all four Clans have agreed upon.[18]
  • Cats cannot eat when going to the Moonstone or Moonpool to speak with StarClan.[source?]

Rejected codes

Throughout history, several other rules were proposed for introduction into the Warrior Code, however, they were turned down.[19][20] These rules were:

  • Only cats of pure forest blood can be Clan members (suggested by Featherstar of WindClan).[21]
  • Each Clan may only eat the prey they are most suited for (suggested by Robinstar of SkyClan).[20]
  • All Clan cats must acknowledge that StarClan controlled Clan life, and to deny their existence would be to violate the warrior code (suggested by Dovestar of RiverClan).[20]

Breaking the warrior code

The rules are often broken, by all five Clans. Most rules have been broken at least once.

Examples of breaking the warrior code

  • Rule 1 was broken by Graystripe when he was torn between his loyalties to ThunderClan and RiverClan due to his romantic relationship with Silverstream, and refused to fight her.[22] This rule was also broken by Bluefur when she fell in love with Oakheart, becoming his mate.[23]. This was also broken by Fallowtail and Reedfeather when the two became mates and later had Graypool and Willowbreeze.[24]
  • Rule 2 is one of the most frequently broken, with many Clans crossing boundaries to catch prey or apprentices not acknowledging the boundaries.[25]
  • Rule 3 was broken by Firepaw when catching prey for Yellowfang after she was exiled from ShadowClan.[26] It was also broken by Longtail and Darkstripe, who ate prey on a hunting patrol instead of bringing it back to the elders and kits.[27]
  • Rule 4 was broken by Tigerstar and his warriors when he killed prey only to raise a hill of bones.[28]
  • Rule 5 was broken by Brokenstar of ShadowClan when he forced kits to become apprentices before they were old enough. He also trained them too hard, killing some of them. Some were made warriors before they were even six moons old.[29] This rule was also broken when Bluestar apprenticed Cinderpaw and Brackenpaw before they were six moons old.[30]
  • Rule 6 was broken when Squirrelflight was named a warrior, but did not sit vigil that night, as ThunderClan did not yet have a camp.[31] This comes into conflict with her story in Code of the Clans, where she gives vigil tips and shares experiences from her own vigil.[32]
  • Rule 7 was broken by Firestar when he appointed Brambleclaw as deputy because he had no apprentice, even though he was going to mentor Berrykit when he became six moons.[33] This rule was also broken when Hawkfrost was appointed temporarily as deputy, since he hadn't mentored an apprentice.[34] This rule was again broken by the fake Bramblestar, when he appointed Berrynose and later on Bristlefrost as his deputy, despite the two never having trained an apprentice.[35]
  • Rule 8 was broken by Tallstar when he appointed Onewhisker deputy right before he died, even though Mudclaw was still deputy.[36]
  • Rule 9 was broken by Bluestar when she waited for too long to name a new deputy,[37] and when Firestar refused to name a deputy when Graystripe disappeared.[38]
  • Rule 10 was broken by all Clans when they fought numerous times at Gatherings.[39]
  • Rule 11 was broken by ShadowClan when they stopped believing in StarClan and stopped patrolling their borders.[40]
  • Rule 12 was broken by Russetfur and her patrol, watching Berrykit struggle with his tail caught in a fox trap, and making no move to help him.[41] Also done by Tigerstar when he was an apprentice and tried to kill Scourge while he was a kit named Tiny.[42]
  • Rule 13 was broken by Fireheart when he refused to attack WindClan when Bluestar planned an attack.[43]
  • Rule 14 was broken by Brokenstar,[44] Hawkheart,[45] Tigerstar,[46] Hollyleaf,[47] Lionblaze,[48] and Clawface[49] when they killed cats to win their own battles.
  • Rule 15 was broken by Cloudpaw when he took food from Twolegs.[50]
  • Rule 16 was broken by WindClan who refused to help ShadowClan with their yellowcough epidemic.[51] It was also broken when ThunderClan, WindClan, and RiverClan refused to help either ShadowClan or SkyClan when the two were competing for territory.[52]
  • The rule about medicine cats being forbidden to have a mate and kits was broken by both Leafpool and Yellowfang, when Leafpool took Crowfeather as a mate[53]and Yellowfang took Raggedstar.[54]



These can be a scolding,[source?] giving a warrior apprentice duties,[55] or giving an apprentice an unpleasant task.[56]

Losing their rank

Breaking the code can also result in a cat being stripped of their duties. One major example of this is Firestar punishing Leafpool. She was forced to surrender her medicine cat duties, due to the truth about Jayfeather, Hollyleaf, and Lionblaze's parentage, and also taking a mate.[57]


In severe cases, the cat may be exiled from the Clan. This has happened in the series multiple times, and some examples are:
  • Leopardstar exiling Graystripe from RiverClan, due to him not attacking his former ThunderClan Clanmates.[58]
  • Firestar exiling Darkstripe for poisoning Sorrelkit.[59]
  • Bluestar exiling Tigerclaw for treason and murder.[60]
  • Bramblestar's impostor exiling Squirrelflight after she outed him as an impostor, but the impostor cited her as a codebreaker is the reason as to why.[61]
  • Dovewing and Tree were forced into exile by Bramblestar’s impostor for being codebreakers.[62][63]

After-death punishments

Cats who would murder for no reason, or have caused pain to others for nothing other than their own enjoyment would also go to the Place of No Stars upon their death.[64]
Examples of these cats are:


  • Kate thinks that few things were ever rules in the Warriors universe, as the cats change their "rules" depending on their attitudes at the time.[blog 2]
  • She also thinks the warrior code would allow a warrior to challenge their leader for leadership if it's done in the best interest of the Clan such as a weak or cruel leader.[blog 1]

See also

External links

Notes and references

  1. Revealed in Bramblestar's Storm, chapter 35
  2. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 32
  3. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 6
  4. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 10
  5. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 52
  6. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, pages 7-8
  7. Revealed in Bramblestar's Storm, page 472
  8. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 168
  9. Revealed in Fading Echoes, chapter 2
  10. Revealed in Twilight, page 85
  11. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 203
  12. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 131
  13. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 12
  14. Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 293
  15. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 202
  16. Revealed in Fire and Ice, pages 299-300
  17. Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 26
  18. Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 245
  19. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 73
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 155
  21. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 154
  22. Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 309
  23. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 458
  24. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 290
  25. Revealed in Eclipse, page 68
  26. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 86
  27. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 40
  28. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 197
  29. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 55
  30. Revealed in Fire and Ice, page 93
  31. Revealed in Starlight, page 27
  32. Revealed in Starlight, page 30
  33. Revealed in Sunset, page 256
  34. Revealed in Dawn, page 80
  35. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 312
  36. Revealed in Starlight, page 119
  37. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 297
  38. Revealed in Dawn, page 137
  39. Revealed in Code of the Clans, page 97
  40. Revealed in Long Shadows, page 9
  41. Revealed in Sunset, page 115
  42. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, pages 400-401
  43. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 162
  44. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 261
  45. Revealed in Bluestar's Prophecy, page 156
  46. 46.0 46.1 Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 287
  47. Revealed in Sunrise, page 310
  48. Revealed in Fading Echoes, page 295
  49. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 226
  50. Revealed in Rising Storm, page 134
  51. Revealed in Thunder and Shadow, chapter 14
  52. Revealed in The Raging Storm, chapter 6
  53. Revealed in Sunrise, page 305
  54. Revealed in Secrets of the Clans, page 67
  55. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 151
  56. Revealed in Into the Wild, page 100
  57. Revealed in The Fourth Apprentice, allegiances
  58. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 194
  59. 59.0 59.1 Revealed in The Darkest Hour, pages 114-117
  60. Revealed in A Dangerous Path, page 192
  61. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 301
  62. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 272
  63. Revealed in The Silent Thaw, page 247, 311
  64. 64.0 64.1 Revealed in The Sight, page 227
  65. Revealed in Starlight, page 208
  66. Revealed in Forest of Secrets, page 288
  67. Revealed in Rising Storm, page 183
  68. Revealed in The Darkest Hour, page 207
  69. Revealed in Sunset, pages 296-297
  70. Revealed in Sunset, page 2

Author references

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