“Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female.”
It might seem obvious to people today to suppose that tigers are cats. We classify them as part of the cat family. But what does this mean in practice?
Genesis 1 explains that all animals were created according to their kinds. In creation science, we refer to these kinds as baramin – a word made from the Hebrew words for “created kind”. God brought two of each baramin to Noah for the Ark, and after the Flood, these animals would have multiplied according to their kinds.
The cat family comprises of two subfamilies – small cats (felinae) and big cats (pantherinae). Small cats include domestic cats, lynxes and cougars – the largest of the small cats. Pantherinae include lions, leopards and tigers.
We know that if animal species can interbreed, then they must be part of the same baramin, and, hence, had common ancestors on the Ark. There are numerous hybrids existing within the felinae, and well-known big cat hybrids – such as the liger, a lion-tiger cross. Hybrids between the two subfamilies are rarer – possibly because of physical size differences – but they do exist. One of the best known is a cross between a cougar (felinae) and a leopard (pantherinae); the biggest small cat with one of the smallest big cats! Taken altogether, this evidence of hybridization tells us that all cats – big and small – are part of the same baramin – the cat baramin – and are all descended from a single pair of felines that were on the Ark.