Warrior Cats
 of the Forest

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News

Enemy Animals Guide

Posted by Ember on July 29, 2017 at 2:35 AM

There’s a reason why the first line of the code requires that cats defend their clans, even if their lives: the life of a warrior is dangerous. While starvation and fights with the other clans are constant threats, clan cats also come across a variety of dangerous animals in their day to day lives. While sometimes these enemies can be allowed to go about their lives, others must be confronted and killed or chased away, and others even hunted for food.

This guide to Warrior Cats of the Forest enemy animals is by no means inclusive of all species found in the clans’ territories, nor should encounters with many of these animals be common, but is meant to show the variety of animals cats could encounter and to show how enemy animals in our Michigan territories varies from that in the canon books.

For more information about the species our clans interact with, check out the Herbs Guide and Prey Guide. A map of the territories can be found on The Clans Page. All references are listed at the bottom of this guide. As always, if you have any suggestions for corrections or additions, please message me.


Snakes


Blue Racer

Description: A 4-6 foot long snake with a gray or blue body. Their head is darker than their body. They are alert and active, and can climb into bushes and trees to escape predators and have been rumored to also use these skills to attack kits. While they do bite when threatened, this species is not venomous.

Location: Blue racers live in thick vegetation and are therefore most common along the MoonClan-DawnClan border.


Black Rat Snake

Description: A 4-8 foot long snake with whiny black scales. This is the largest snake found in the clans’ territories and are skilled climbers and known thieves of clan prey. While they are not venomous, they are very strong and a well-placed strike can kill a cat.

Location: These snakes live in woodlands, and are therefore found mostly in Dawn- and MoonClan territories, but are occasionally spotted in The Abandoned Barn of SunClan’s territory.


Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Description: A 18-30 inch long snake with a thick, brown body covered in large dark brown blotches. Their head is wide and triangular and their tail is adorned with rattles. This is the only native venomous snake found in the clans’ territories and has been known to kill cats.

Location: commonly inhabits Snake Gorge.


Northern Water Snake

Description: A bluish-grey 2-4 foot long water snake with dark bands or blotches.

Location: These snakes prefer the shorelines of streams and are there found most commonly along the river, especially in DawnClan territories. They are strong swimmers and eat frogs and fish. While they are not venomous, they are known to bite if cornered.


Ring-necked Snake

Description: A small black or grey snake with a yellow ring around its neck and a plain yellow body.

Location: These snakes are slightly venomous and live along Snake Gorge, hiding under rocks to stay away from the sun and feeding on salamanders and other snakes.


Birds


Bald Eagle

Description: A large eagle with chocolate brown body and wings, white heads, and a long, bright yellow, hooked beak.

Location: This bird is rarely found near the clans, as the river is too small to be home to their preferred prey. However, when they are spotted, it is along Snake Gorge or nesting in MoonClan’s pines.


Broad-winged Hawk

Description: A small raptor with broad black and white bands on their tails, a dark brown back and a chestnut chest. The underside of their wings is white, with a striking black band along their edge. They compete with the cats for food and are a threat to small, unattended kits.

Location: Found in the thick forests of northern MoonClan during green-leaf.


Canada goose

Description: A big, black-necked goose with a white chinstrap, a tan breast, and a brow back. These birds can be very aggressive when threatened and while it’s rare that they will kill a cat, they can seriously injure cats with their sharp, strong beaks.

Location: These birds land in SunClan territory in giant flocks while migrating, making them a common seasonal pest.


Northern Harrier

Description: A long-tailed hawk with a white rump patch and a distinct, low “wobbly” flight style. They hunt rodents and other small creatures, and have been known to dive for unprotected kits or even a full grown cat when prey is scarce.

Location: A common sight over DawnClan and SunClan territories.


Osprey

Description: A large raptor with brow upper feathers and white under feathers. They prey only on fish and have long talons to keep hold of their prey, as well as a distinctive wing posture to help them dive. Ospreys do not target kits, but if harassed by over-daring apprentices, they have been known to strike back.

Location: These birds nest in the pine groves along the southern edge of MoonClan’s territory.


Peregrine Falcon

Description: a crow-sized bird with slate-grey feathers and a beige underbelly. They require large open areas for hunting and are known for their impressive dives, which make them especially dangerous to the kits of SunClan.

Location: these birds nest along Snake Gorge and hunt over SunClan territory.


Short-Eared Owl

Description: a medium-sized owl with rounded head, broad wings, and a short tail. They are brown and spotted white, with pale underwings. Unlike many other birds, they reside in the clans’ territories year-round, and are especially threatening to cats both directly by stealing kits and indirectly, by competing for prey, during leaf-bare.

Location: These birds prefer large, open grasslands and are therefore commonly spotted along the eastern reaches of SunClan’s territory.


Mammals

Beaver

Description: a large semiaquatic rodent with a large, paddle-shaped tail and a thick layer of fat under their skin. Their dark-brown fur is coarse and waterproof. They are primarily active at night and prefer to stay in the water. Beavers’ lodges create pools so deep they do not freeze solid in the winter, but disrupt the flow of the river in the process which can diminish cats’ food supplies. While beavers are herbivores, they have very strong, sharp teeth and similar claws that can be dangerous to cats who attack a beaver or attempt to run them away.

Location: Beavers occasionally construct lodges out of mud and sticks along branches of DawnClan’s portion of the river.


Black Bear

Description: a medium sized bear with dense black fur. These bears have sharp senses as well as the ability to swim and climb, are active throughout the day and night, and hibernate through the winter. They mark their territories by clawing bark off of trees. While bears are unlikely to attack a cat unprovoked, an attack is almost an assured death sentence for a cat who doesn’t immediately flee. Thankfully, black bears are a rare sight as far south as the clans are.

Location: a bear may turn up at any part of the forest territories and may even explore the fringes of NightClan or SunClan.


Brown rat

Description: A brown or grey rodent with a body up to a foot in length, with a tail of a similar size. They have acute hearing and sense of smell and can be fierce fighters when threatened. They are capable of swimming, digging, and can squeeze through any hole smaller than their skull. This makes them difficult to catch, but their sheer number, especially in the city, makes them a common prey.

Location: Brown rats are found throughout the territories, but are especially common in NightClan.


Cougar

Description: a large, slender cat with round ears and a tawny pelt. Unlike other big cats, cougars cannot roar, but rather emit cry-like hisses, grows, and chirps similar to those of domestic cats. However, the domestic cats of this website cannot understand the language of a cougar. Cougars’ ambush strategies make them dangerous hunters and they will attack a cat who strays too close to them. A clan cat, no matter how skilled, cannot hope to fend off a cougar and only in the most desperate of situations would a large patrol be sent to chase one off. Otherwise, they must wait for the cougar to move on away from clan territories.

Location: Cougars can be found in all of the forest territories and occasionally stray into the edges of NightClan. However, they prefer thickly forested areas and are therefore most likely to travel through MoonClan.


Coyote

Description: a small wolf-like animal with predominantly light grey fer, interspersed with black, white, and red patches. They have longer ears than a wolf, as well as a thinner frame. They are generally solitary, but can band together in small groups while hunting for larger prey. Coyotes are a menace for cats, as they will actively hunt them and are too large for a cat to take chase off alone. Interestingly, badgers and coyotes can form a mutualistic relationship when digging up rodent prey.

Location: found throughout the forest territories, SunClan, and the fringes of NightClan’s territory.


Dogs

Description: a wolf-like animal that has been domesticated by two-legs and bred into a variety of shapes and sizes. Dogs can be as threatening as a coyote or wolf, but often are restrained by two-legs or too small to do serious damage to a trained warrior.

Location: dogs can be found throughout the territories, but for NightClanners, dog-encounters are an everyday occurrence.


Ermine

Description: a weasel-like animal with variable fur, depending on the season. During the winter, ermines have dense, silky white fur, while in the summer their fur is rougher, shorter, and sandy-brown. These animals inhabit the burrows of rodents they kill and have several dens within their ranges. They are fierce animals and are capable of taking down prey much larger than themselves, including, when desperate, cats. Therefore, only experienced hunters are advised to attempt to hunt ermines, and those guarding the camp must be careful that ermines stay away from the nursery.

Location: ermines are found throughout MoonClan and DawnClan territories and occasionally also live in SunClan or in The Burnt Woods.


Fisher

Description: a weasel-like animal with seasonally changing fur, that is approximately the size of a cat. They forage on the forest floor, as well as being successful hunters of things as large as porcupines and bobcats, and lynx. Fishers are known to attack cats and are fierce, skilled fighters, making them a danger to the clans. However, as they are solitary, a well-trained patrol can reasonably run off or kill a fisher.

Location: fishers prefer full forest and is therefore found most commonly in MoonClan territory, though they do stray into DawnClan from time to time.


Gray Fox

Description: they grey fox has a black-tipped tail and a silvery grey pelt, meeting a rusty-colored neck and white-highlighted face. Unlike other canid species, gray foxes can climb trees. Grey foxes are nocturnal and solitary. While they primarily hunt small rodents, grey foxes can attack and kill cats.

Location: Grey foxes are not very adaptable to human development and thus stay away from the city, most commonly found in the thicker portions of MoonClan’s territory.


Least weasel

Description: the smallest member of the weasel genus, with a slender body and short legs and tail. They have a chestnut back and a white underbelly. They are fierce and carnivorous, capable of taking down rabbits ten times their own weight, and have been known to go after cats.

Location: these weasels prefer wet areas and are therefore most common throughout DawnClan.


Lynx

Description: A solitary cat species with a variable coat usually ranging from tan to grayish brown, with black stripes on the body, legs, and tail. Their ears are black-tipped and pointed. They are an adaptable predator that prefers to stay to woodland, but can survive in other areas. Lynx are 30-40 inches in length and weigh 7-14 kilograms when full grown. Lynx do occasionally hunt cats, making it important for clans to chase them away with large patrols as soon as they are scented in the territory.

Location: Lynxes prefer to live in MoonClan’s thick forests, but are also found across DawnClan and SunClan.


Michigan Badger

Description: a stocky animal with powerful legs, huge foreclaws, and distinctive black and white head markings. Their bodies are covered in grizzled, brown, and black and white fur. These animals are generally nocturnal and solitary, but occasionally form mutualistic relationships with coyotes. Badgers are fierce fighters and are an almost hopeless opponent for individual cats, who are encouraged to retreat and return with a patrol when they come across a badger.

Location: badgers prefer open prairie regions with sandy soil, meaning they are most commonly found in SunClan, but also make their homes in the meadows of MoonClan and DawnClan.


Mink

Description: a dark, thickly furred, semiaquatic mammal related to weasels, otters, and ferrets. They are very territorial and spend most of their time in one or two core areas of their territory, where food is plentiful. Mink are often two feet in length, making them a formidable opponent for any cat who attempts to hunt them and a danger to kits or untrained apprentices.

Location: mink prefer to live near water, making them a common sight throughout DawnClan and near the DawnClan-SunClan border.


Muskrat

Description: a 15-30 inch long semiaquatic rodent with an adaptable lifestyle and diet. They are covered in short, thick brown fur. Their long tails are scaly and dragged across the ground when they walk, which makes them easy to recognise. They will not hunt cats, but can get aggressive when their nests are threatened.

Location: Found throughout DawnClan’s territory.


North American porcupine

Description: a large rodent covered in a coat of quills, which they can make stand up when they’re threatened. When these quills become stuck in an attacker’s flesh, their barbed shape makes them difficult and painful to remove. They also emit a strong odor to warn away predators. Porcupines will not attack cats unless threatened, but some daring cats may underestimate their defenses attempt to hunt these animals.

Location: porcupines live in mixed forest areas, which makes them a relatively common sight in DawnClan and MoonClan.


Opossum

Description: an opportunistic marsupial that grows to the size of a cat. They have white-grey fur, prehensile tails, and small ears and eyes. They are omnivorous and have been known to attack cats and can be dangerous when attacked. However, often when they are threatened they mimic the appearance of a rotting animal by fainting and secreting a foul-smelling fluid.

Location: found throughout the territories, especially in NightClan.


Raccoon

Description: these 15-30 inch mammals have a greyish coat with a thick underfur, a striped tail, and white “eyebrows” over a black mask over their eyes. They are very intelligent animals who are well-adapted to a variety of lifestyles, including living in two-leg areas. Raccoon and cat conflicts usually come about as a result of competition over food sources. Raccoons are primarily scavengers and will steal hidden prey or even attempt to break into the camp. Due to their size, endency to carry disease, and sharp teeth, raccoons can be dangerous opponents to even well-trained warriors.

Location: found throughout the territories.


Red Fox

Description: Red foxes are the largest species of fox and the most well-equipped to adapt to living alongside humans. Their tail is longer than their bodies and very fluffy, while their body is long in comparison to their short lengths. They have narrow, elongated skulls and limited sexual dimorphism. Their fur is dense and silky, usually a reddish-brown in color, highlighted with red patches. They usually live in small family groups and have an omnivorous diet. While cats are not their prey of choice, they will hunt and kill cats when available.

Location: Foxes are found across the territories, but are especially common along The Fox Place in SunClan’s territory and along the forested edges of Nightclan’s territory.


Striped skunk

Description: a stout, short-limbed animal with a conical head and long, thickly furred tail. Their forefeet have five long, curved claws adapted for digging, while their hind claws are shorter and straighter. Their fur has a black base and a white stripe extending from their forehead to the tips of their tails. They have two scent glands containing a foul-smelling musk which can be sprayed at attackers from several meters. Skunks are not an immediate threat to a cat, but can spray them when attacked, which would make it difficult for cats to hunt due to the lingering smell and can blind cats.

Location: skunks are found throughout SunClan, DawnClan, and MoonClan.


Wild boar

Description: While boars are furry, dark grey, pig-like animals who are known for being aggressive and scavenge for food. They are social animals who live in female-dominated groups. While a boar will not attack a cat on sight, if a cat foolishly attacks an adult or their offspring, they are likely to be killed.

Location: found across SunClan and occasionally located in DawnClan and MoonClan.


Wild turkey

Description: A large flightless bird with greyish-green legs and black body feathers, featherless heads, white and black striped feathers on their wings. fan-shaped tail and a high degree of sexual dimorphism. Males are much larger than females, with brighter feathers, while the hens are duller and smaller. While a turkey will not attack a cat on sight, if a cat foolishly attempts to hunt an adult, they are likely to be killed.

Location: Wild turkeys primarily roam the meadows and clearings of MoonClan.


Wolves

Description: a large canine species with a broad snout, short years, and a powerful build. Their coloration is highly variable, ranging from black to white, to mottled grey and brown. They are highly social animals who live in family groups of a mated pair and their adult offspring. They are highly territorial and unless run off, will only leave their territory in the event of a severe food shortage. However, wolves are very fierce and large, meaning that cats have little hope of running them off except in cases of clans banding together to chase off a pack.

Location: Wolves are very rarely seen across the territories, but when they are, they are in SunClan, DawnClan, or MoonClan.


Fish


Longnose gar

Description: a large fish with a slender body, olive scales, and one dorsal fin near the end of the back. The gar has a long, narrow snout and a mouth lined with razor-sharp teeth, which can be dangerous to cats who attempt to catch them or accidentally stray near them while swimming. They can survive out of water for hours, granted that their body remains moist.

Location: found in weedy or rocky areas of the river, especially under Snake Gorge.


Snakehead

Description: An invasive species of fish with an elongated body and a snake-liike head and face. They are capable of surviving on land for up to four days and can grow to four feet in length. While they are very unlikely to kill a cat, their teeth can cause nasty and infection-prone bites.

Location: found throughout the river.


Bugs


Bald-faced hornet

Description: a stout-bodied hornet with white, rather than yellow. They are mostly black, with a pattern of white bands on the edges of their body segments. They are extremely aggressive if their nest is disturbed and sting repeatedly. While the stings are dangerous only if too many are received or if a cat is allergic, the stings will swell painfully and may become affected.

Location: These hornets prefer to build their nests on high-up places, and are thus found throughout NightClan, MoonClan, and DawnClan. While they are far rarer in SunClan, bald-faced hornet nests are occasionally built in the Abandoned Barn or along the Sky Rocks.


Black widow

Description: A shiny black spider with a red or orange hourglass shape on their abdomen. They build webs of irregular, sticky fibers, and prefer to nest near the ground. Black widows are extremely venomous and can result in cats’ deaths.

Location: found throughout the territory in rarely disturbed areas.


Bumble bee

Description: a fuzzy black and white bee common throughout the clans. They rarely sting and are generally docile, but their stings can cause swelling and allergic reactions in certain cats.

Location: found throughout the clans.


Cow Killer

Description: A fuzzy red and black striped solitary wasp that is occasionally mistaken for an ant. Their bites are extremely painful and cause swelling, but are not generally dangerous unless a cat is allergic. As well, cow killer wasps do not attack unless disturbed.

Location: found in the meadows and clearings of the clans, especially in SunClan’s territory.


Eastern Buckmoth Caterpillar

Description: Eastern Buckmoth larvae are brown and black caterpillars covered in stick-like hollow spines attached to a poison sac. When a cat is stung, they will experience a painful rash and an upset stomach. The full grown moths are harmless.

Location: These caterpillars abound on oak trees and leaf litter during green-leaf.


Firefly

Description: a beetle capable of producing bioluminescence during twilight on their abdomen. They are brown in color, with sunflower-seed like covers over their wings. While fireflies cannot sting or bite, they are toxic if eaten. Kits, in particular, may be enticed to try, and experience symptoms ranging from nausea to even death.

Location: Fireflies are found throughout the territories during early green-leaf twilights.


Ladybug

Description: A small red beetle with black spots. Ladybugs are not aggressive, but if a curious kit attempts to eat them, they can cause chemical burns to the cat’s mouth or digestive tract.

Location: found throughout the territories.


Mud Dauber

Description: a wasp with bright legs, a needle-thin waist, curved antennae, a dark body, and a less aggressive nature than other related species. If a cat does enrage them to the point of stinging, the sting will swell slightly and may be dangerous if the cat is allergic.

Location: found throughout the clans, especially around the Abandoned Barn in SunClan territory.


Stink bug

Description: A half inch long, green or brown beetle with a trapezoidal shape and the capability to emit an unpleasant smell. Stink bugs aren’t toxic enough to kill a cat, but eating one can cause excessive drooling and some vomiting or an upset stomach.

Location: found throughout the clans.


Tiger Moth Caterpillar

Description: a fuzzy caterpillar with a red stomach, a black back, and white spines. When a cat comes into contact with their spines, they are likely to acquire a painful rash.

Location: found throughout the clans, especially in the densely wooded portions of MoonClan and DawnClan.


Yellow Jacket

Description: A wasp with yellow and black stripes. They are extremely aggressive and will sting repeatedly. Their stings are incredibly painful and can swell up and become infected, or cause an allergic reaction.

Location: These wasps live along the edges of forests and prefer to nest near the ground.


Sources:

  • http://www.insectidentification.org/insects-by-type-and-region.asp?thisState=Michigan&thisType=Bee,%20Ant,%20Wasp%20and%20Similar
  • http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10370_12145_12201---,00.html
  • https://www.allaboutbirds.org/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fauna_of_Michigan#Mammals
  • http://www.dnr.state.mi.us/spatialdatalibrary/pdf_maps/fish_atlas/maps/
  • https://www.drmartybecker.com/petconnection/do-bug-eating-cats-bite-off-more-than-they-can-chew/
  • http://pets.thenest.com/predators-house-cats-8588.html

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7 Comments

Reply Kingfish
3:23 PM on July 29, 2017 
Wow, I didn't know we had access to so many predators! I thought half of them were more mountain range dwelling.
I've always been curious about the large cats; do they speak the same as the domestic ones, or have their own language?
Also, HOLY COW! They have black bears meandering about? D:
Lastly, I honest to goodness laughed when I saw fireflies under predators, because I thought of a giant firefly showing up, blinding the queens and stealing a kit, who is laughing the whole time because it's being picked up by a giant sun with wings.

I love the list; this is very resourceful.
Reply Liger
5:06 PM on July 29, 2017 
Just imagine the absolute destruction and death if a wolf pack and a few black bears were living in MoonClan's territory
Reply Ember
12:51 AM on July 30, 2017 
Kingfish, I might have overlooked something, but as far as I could tell with (admittedly Wikipedia and google search based) research, all of these would reasonably be found outside of Detroit.
For the purpose of this site, we?re saying that the large cats don?t speak the same language as our domestic cats. It doesn?t make too much sense, but that?s just a can of worms I don?t want to open, so we?re sticking to the rule that our cats can?t communicate with other species.

Shadecloud, let?s be thankful that both of those would be exceedingly rare in the clan territories.
Reply Mockingdeath & Co.
2:28 PM on August 3, 2017 
Wow this was awesome to read! Like King said, I didn't expect to have that many predators. The Gars caught me off guard. I've only seen one and they are scary looking.

If there is a large predator i.e. cougar and wolves we should probably clear it with you if it's meant to be part of a plot. Not just randomly have them show up in the clans territory.

I just want to make sure members know.

The "sharp tooth" in the books didn't communicate with the tribe cats (to the best of my knowledge) so I think it's normal for that to be the case.
Reply Ember
6:17 PM on August 3, 2017 
Yeah, and considering how developed the area around the clans is it wouldn't be realistic for the larger, more dangerous predators to be making frequent appearances. A good rule of thumb is that if it would raise two-leg interest and be a problem for more than a patrol of 4 or 5 cats, the potential enemy animal interaction should be brought up on the Plot Planning Page before you go ahead and roleplay it.
Reply Ripple
8:36 AM on August 5, 2017 
Thanks for the informative guide Ember!
I'm curious to know if you thought about adding humans to the 'Mammals' section when making up the list(?)
Reply Ember
3:40 AM on August 7, 2017 
Hah, I didn't think about that, but I just might add it.