After recently finishing Yellowfang’s Secret, I’ve started to consider the idea that leaders and deputies should be bound by the same non-mating restriction as medicine cats. The claim in the books for this restriction is that medicine cats must love all cats in the clan as their kits, therefore being able to treat all of the cats the same and take care of their clan without bias.
But how are leaders and deputies any different? They too have responsibilities and power that require them to act without bias. They must be fair and just in making their decisions, which can be just as interrupted by having kits and a mate as with a medicine cat. After all, just as a medicine cat might be more concerned over their kit than a more seriously injured cat, a leader might give a deputy position to an undeserving kit or mate of theirs, give their kit or mate special privileges such as making them a warrior or apprentice early, and showing bias when making decisions regarding who is to blame for an incident and such.
This is clearly shown in Yellowfang’s Secret regarding Raggedstar’s treatment of his son as leader. He makes his son a warrior earlier than usual, always listens to his ideas and treats him like a senior warrior despite his young age, appoints him as deputy when there are better cats for the position, and is unwilling to believe anything bad about him. Raggedstar refuses to believe that Brokentail would ever do anything bad until it is much too late. This is all because he had a son. Yes, this was from a forbidden romance in the first place, but the presence of a son should have forfeited him the deputyship.
Another example of a good reason for this restriction to be placed on leaders and deputies could be with Firestar. He treats his daughters with somewhat of bias throughout his time, for example by being completely forgiving to Leafpool despite her breaking the code. Bramblestar does the same by taking Squirrelflight as his deputy. Others may believe that she was worthy of the deputyship, but even if I could see that as true, it would still appear to me that she was chosen simply because she was Bramblestar’s mate and he wanted to make up with her. By appointing her as his deputy he showed that he truly trusted her again and blah blah blah.
A leader’s bias can be extremely damaging to a clan. The decision to banish a cat, blame a cat for a murder, etc. often come down to the leader and it’s nearly impossible for them to act fairly if their kits or mate are involved. Leaders, and by default deputies, should be just as loyal to one cat in the clan as another in the same way as the medicine cat. And if that isn’t seen as true, then a medicine cat is at least no more worthy of this restriction than their leader or deputy.
Anyways, that's my opinion, now what do you think?