Most badgers have the same basic physical characteristics. They have short, stocky bodies with short limbs and tail. Males and females generally have the same head-body length; this usually falls between 56 and 90 centimeters (22.05 to 35.43 inches). Badgers weigh an average of 11.7 kilograms (25.79 pounds), though females can weigh slightly less than 11.7 kilograms. Their skulls, while can vary in different subspecies, have the same massive, triangular shape. Their teeth are well suited for its omnivorous diet, including flat molars, small incisors, and very sharp canines.
Badgers are easily recognized by their distinguishing black-and-white markings. They have white covering their entire ventral side; under their tail and their neck are included in this. Badgers are most recognizable by the two black stripes that start at their nose, run vertically through their eyes, and up to their ears. The white flash that separates them starts at the nose and ends at the base of the back of their heads.
Badgers are very adaptable, which allows them to live in a large variety of environments. Badgers are able to live in the environments that all of the Clans, including SkyClan live in both the Forest Territories and the Lake Territories. These habitats include dense woodlands, both coniferous and deciduous, grasslands, and riverine habitats; which cover all the habitats shared by the Clans. They make setts that are hidden or covered by trees, shrub, and rocks. Badgers also prefer moderately moist and dark dens. Earthworms live in these conditions, and are a badger staple.
In addition to earthworms, badgers also eat much of the same prey as cats. They eat rodents such as mice and shrews, and lagamorphs like rabbits. There are, however, some differences between the diets of cats and badgers. Badgers are known to eat insects both large and small. They also eat crow-food and carrion. Badgers have been occasionally observed eating birds and reptiles. Being omnivorous creatures, they also eat various kinds of fruits such as pears and berries.
Relation to Cats
To the Clans, badgers are clumsy and bad-tempered black-and-white animals. They are very easily recognizable to cats. They present much danger to Nurseries because they have been known to steal kits, and even kill them. Badgers share much of the same prey as cats. It can be inferred that badgers can ocassionally cause prey shortages for the Clans.
Badgers can trample victims with their enormous paws and have a deadly bite. Badgers have extremely sharp or blunt claws that can kill a cat. It is nearly impossible to escape the grip of a badger's jaw. A sane warrior should never try to take on a badger by themselves, no matter how experienced they are.
Only one badger, Midnight, has been friendly towards cats. Midnight helped the cats on the journey to the sun-drown-place and wanted to warn the Clans of her relatives that wanted to harm ThunderClan.
Willowpelt goes on a border patrol with the Clan leader, Firestar, Sootpaw, Ashfur, and Thornclaw. After a few moments, they scent a badger. While no one is looking, the badger confronts Sootpaw, rearing up, about to crush him but Willowpelt knocks her son out of the way in time for him to live, sacrificing herself for her son in the process. Her death is described with her shriek being cut off by a sickening crunch as the badger snapped her neck.
During a training session, Lionheart and Tigerclaw are examining Ravenpaw, Graypaw, and Firepaw's hunting crouches. Tigerclaw scolds Ravenpaw for having a lopsided crouch which, Firepaw proclaims, is due to his injury. Tigerclaw merely explains that injuries are a part of Clan life and he is ashamed of his apprentice for being shown up by a kittypet. To lighten the mood, Graypaw jokes that he is more lopsided than a one-legged badger.
When the three apprentices are sent out hunting, Firepaw and Graypaw fight each other, each thinking his opponent was a different cat from who he really was. Graypaw comments that that was his best stalking crouch, while Firepaw tells him that he stills stalks like a lopsided badger. Firepaw and Graypaw resume hunting together, and come across a fox in the bushes. Firepaw recalls how he was following a fox when he and Graypaw first met. Graypaw hissed that it was most likely following him. He notes that when it comes to stealing kits, foxes are just as bad as badgers. Graypaw ends the conversation about badgers by telling Firepaw how Halftail earned his name; a badger had bit it off.
Fireheart and Graystripe are traveling through WindClan's camp to see if there's any sign of where they went. While they're searching, they come across some RiverClan cats, chasing after rabbits. Graystripe calls them poor hunters, but when their voices grow louder, the two friends dash into a badger hole and hide. A badger doesn't make any big appearance in this book, but Fireheart says they have a disgusting scent.
Cloudkit is almost trampled by a badger. Luckily, while Brackenpaw, Fireheart, and Sandstorm are hunting, they hear Cloudkit's cry for help. When they find Cloudkit, he is cornered by the badger. Brackenpaw helps Fireheart fight off the badger when it turns on him, and they manage to drive it off, but Brackenpaw's shoulder is injured by the badger's blunt claws.
A patrol consisting of Thornclaw, Ashfur, Brambleclaw and Squirrelpaw find a badger living at Snakerocks. Later, the six questing cats (Brambleclaw, Squirrelpaw, Feathertail, Stormfur, Tawnypelt, and Crowpaw) meet Midnight, a badger who, unlike most of her kin, is friendly towards cats, and can speak their language. Midnight is also able to talk with StarClan, like a medicine cat. Midnight tells the cats that their home, the forest, is going to be destroyed by Twolegs, and that they must convince the other Clans to travel into the unknown to find a new home.
Blackclaw and Hawkfrost of RiverClan drive a badger out of their territory. Squirrelflight, Brambleclaw, and other cats drive another badger out of ThunderClan territory. A group of badgers attack ThunderClan in revenge, killing Cinderpelt and Sootfur, and injuring many other cats. Midnight also briefly appears in this book, at the end of the attack, along with WindClan reinforcements and also when she mentions to Crowfeather and Leafpool that her kin are planning to attack.
During the Daylight Gathering, Breezepaw and Lionpaw both fall in to a collapsed badger set, and are almost buried alive, although no real badger shows up.
"They're bad-tempered, lumbering animals. They're less likely to raid the nursery than a fox, but they have a vicious bite. How do you think old Halftail earned his name? He hasn't been able to climb a tree since a badger bit his tail off!"