I would think that being quadrapedal without any spines or physical anatomy stopping someone from mounting it would count as "appropriate anatomy." I mean while having a longer, more flexable spine without as much support as some animals that can be ridden might not make it an ideal mount, it is plausable. Other than not having a mane to hold onto; maybe it will need an appropriate harness.
A panther should be able to handle the weight of a forest gnome; with a base weight of 35-40lbs. Leopards can carry animals weighing up to 3x their body weight into a tree to eat, and male leopards can weigh up to 200lbs. They are the stronger climbers of the pathers, but still a fair example. Tigers are the larger and stronger of the panthers and and weigh between 150 and 675lbs (Siberian). A 150lb tiger may look a little funny or have trouble with a 40lb gnome and gear, but the larger ones should be able to 'theoretically' handle it.
In the end of course, it is the DMs call, but I dont think it can be ruled out based purely on anatomy and physics.