Parents leave him an orphan after the strong gravity kills them, raised by the natives.
The cat people are space pirates and he becomes one as well.
First story opens, his one-man ship breaks down but he is saved by human mercenaries and befriends them. The last story features an ancient machine where people go out on this big metal mesh and their consciousness is separated from their bodies, so they can explore space at will. It's euphoric and most who use it never care for their bodies, so they wither and die.
Could be from 60's, 70s or possibly 80s.