Hitchemus Tigers, although similar in appearance to the tigers of Earth, were actually reptilian, their skin being made up of hundreds of tiny scales, each with three spines on them, according to the research of Besma Greive. They had symmetrical, tridigital paws, with a thumb on either side of the paw, and were capable of imitating human speech and mannerisms, so much so that eventually they learned to play instruments.
The intelligence of the tigers came in cycles of smart, dumb, smart, dumb, until, as it was found out, a smarter generation would come in order to discover the Stela and bring the weather system under control. All this was found out by Anji Kapoor through research at the library and taking ideas from Besma's notes.
Directly from Besma's notes, she said that the tigers are prone to losing moisture, so they bathed in water for a long time. She also mentioned that they were not mammals because they had no milk ducts on their underbellies. (PROSE: The Year of Intelligent Tigers)