The Origin of the Cat Family

Basement Cat is one of the created cat kinds.
Basement Cat was feeling affectionate and came up to see me, helping me get in touch with my inner felines. The purr machine works quite well. Interestingly, the some of the great cats purr as well, and do other things that we see in Felis catus (domestic house cat), including play with a ball. Sometimes Basement Cat thinks she's a panther or something, acting like the hiss is a roar. Her big cousins do the hiss thing, too. Here's a divergence: most domestic cats are not fond of water, but tigers are very fond of it.

Proponents of life evolving from a common ancestor have had it mighty difficult to classify the cat family members. "Early" cats according to evolutionary mythology were classified into two lineages, but without significant justification. Cats existing today are able to hybridize, which is one of several reasons that biblical creationists say that cats probably are members of a single kind, in this case, called a holobaramin. Creationists do believe in speciation, as that is one of the created mechanisms for diversity, adaptation, and repopulation after the Genesis Flood.

Unlike Basement Cat sitting on my leg, the following article is not cute and fuzzy. It contains some serious science. I'm presenting this "hard science" for people who want some technical creation science in addition to the lay-level material that I usually present. And I love cats.
Based on previously reported hybridizations, cats have long been considered to belong to a single basic type. However, there has been discussion concerning whether great cats and small cats might represent independent sister clades. Recent DNA sequencing data confirm that such distinctions are not fundamental in nature and that all cats share a common genetic ancestry. More recently described hybridizations between great cats and small cats, along with various other studies described in the present article, further support the hypothesis that all cats belong to a single clearly delineated basic type. The Nimravidae (paleosabers), the Machairodontinae (neosabers) and the genus Panthera, each underwent a prominent radiation during the tertiary period. All three taxa represent cat-like placental carnivores, and they may all have arisen from the same basic type.
If you're ready to read the rest (expect to take about half an hour), click on "The family of cats—delineation of the feline basic type". Note that the authors are creationists, but use the standard terminology when referring to the geologic column.