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 a serious danger to Nurseries because they have been known to steal kits, and even kill them. Badgers share much of the same prey as cats.
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.
When Silver Stripe is trapped in a rabbit burrow and frets that she hears paw steps coming toward her, Black Ear exclaims that it is a badger. Spotted Fur stops White Tail from trying to save his sister, but the kit worries about the badger. Willow Tail reassures him that the tunnel is too small for a badger. After Silver Stripe is rescued and the cats head back to the camp, Willow Tail slows, and Moth Flight wonders if she heard a badger or a dog. Back at camp, when Slate is retold the story of how Silver Stripe was stuck in a rabbit hole, Black Ear exclaims that they thought a badger would eat her. Spotted Fur reassures her that it was just a rabbit hole, and too small for badgers.
After Moth Flight is almost hit by a monster on the Thunderpath, and Wind Runner chastises her for her many mistakes, Moth Flight thinks that she is a danger to her Clan, and wonders what would have happened if Silver Stripe had been killed by a badger.
When Moth Flight and Micah need to share a nest while in the RiverClan camp, Moth Flight thinks of how Dust Muzzle had always teased her that sleeping with her was like sleeping next to a badger, and she warns Micah that she snores.
Foxpaw boasts that she isn't afraid of badgers. Blizzardwing says that she's dumb if she's not scared of them.
Later, Raggedpelt encounters a huge badger. Yellowfang arrives just in time to save him from it. The badger has children. When Cedarstar sends out a patrol to drive out the badger, when they find the badger gone, Yellowfang's Clanmates congratulate her on showing the badger how fierce ShadowClan warriors really are. Inside, Yellowfang feels relieved they don't have to harm the cubs.
Willowpelt goes on a border patrol with the Clan leader, Firestar, Sootpaw, Ashfur, and Thornclaw to Snakerocks. 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.
During a Gathering, when some elders are seen talking, Crowfur asks if they remember the thaw in a certain leaf-bare, where the river in the gorge rose nearly as far as the badger sets.
Later, when Fireheart, Sandstorm, and Brackenpaw go hunting, they hear a kit wail, and Fireheart sees three cats beneath a bulky black-and-white animal. He picks up the scent of a badger, and, with its paw, the animal reaches into a gap between two rocks where Cloudkit cowers. Fireheart goes to help and scratches the badger's side, and the badger rounds on him with snapping jaws, although Brackenpaw leaps from the side and claws its eyes. The badger whips its head to where Sandstorm had bitten one of its back legs and it kicks her off. Fireheart comes back and claws the badger's flank, causing blood to fall onto the snow, and the badger growls but backs away, and as Sandstorm gets to her paws and advanced, the badger turns and lumbers up the ravine.
Fireheart asks Cloudkit what happened, and the kit answers that they were all playing, but that he suddenly couldn't see any of the others, and then there was the badger. The warriors look at Brackenpaw's injuries, and Sandstorm wonders what a badger was doing out in daylight. Fireheart guesses that it was hungry. Back at camp, where the cats had been searching for Cloudkit, Fireheart explains that there was a badger that they drove off. When Fireheart goes to take Brackenpaw to Yellowfang, Sandstorm offers to get their prey, and says that they wouldn't want the badger to get it.
When Fireheart visits Brackenpaw in the medicine den, he says that Tigerclaw shouldn't have punished Cloudkit because it wasn't his fault that the badger attacked him. Later, after Fireheart tells Bluestar about the scent of rogues, Cloudkit tells him that he will show the other kits where good moss is found, and Fireheart warns him to watch out for badgers.
When Bluestar explains to Fireheart how she gave up her kits, Fireheart asks what she told the rest of the Clan, and the leader responds that she made it look like they had been taken from the nursery by a fox or badger.
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.
When Hollypaw, Lionpaw, Breezepaw, and Pebble are in the intruding cats' camp, Breezepaw says that they don't want to fight in there, so they will just scare them out by yowling like a whole bunch of badgers is chasing after them. Pebble is confused by what they are, and Breezepaw explains that they are big scary animals with teeth.
A group of injured SkyClan cats run into the gorge, and Sharpclaw informs Leafstar that they met a badger, and obviously didn't want its worms and grubs, but it threatened them anyways, and turned on them. He explains that they managed to drive it farther into the woods, but all of them got hurt, and Ebonyclaw has a bad bite on her leg. Leafstar is worried that one badger has hurt them that much.
That night, Leafstar and Sharpclaw discuss their new hunting patterns, and Sharpclaw notes that changing them has put them in competition with badgers and foxes. The next day, Leafstar announces to the Clan that patrols will have eight cats in them. Sparrowpelt objects to this, but Petalnose counters that the only other option would be to become prey for foxes and badgers.
"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!"