If you read these online, this might be the Firestaff series, which begins with The Tower of Sorcery:
Tarrin Kael is a farmboy from a small village with dreams of becoming one of the famed Knights of Karas. Unlike most of those who have such aspirations, he’s got enough training to hope he has a decent shot: from his father who used to be a Ranger, and from his mother who comes from a culture where everyone learns their hand-to-hand combat styles. But when a Sorceress and the Knight guarding her stop by his village, it is the Sorceress who claims him for her Tower. But trouble follows hard on their heels. Disaster after disaster plagues his journey—including being bitten by a Were-Cat, and losing his humanity—and even the Tower of Sorcery isn’t what he hopes. Tarrin is determined to figure out what’s going on. Because if he doesn’t, something’s going to succeed at killing him . . .
Tarrin is an interesting protagonist. He’s only “typical” for a few chapters, and even there, the label is debatable. He’s had enough training to make his dream of being a Knight a realistic one, but no amount of training could prepare him for the physical, mental, and emotional changes that accompany becoming Were-Cat. It doesn’t help that no one really knows much about the Were in general and Were-Cats in particular, and the person best suited to help him is someone he is convinced is going to kill him. And compounding the natural changes that go along with being a Were-Cat is the political game that has thoroughly snared him. Cats don’t like being trapped, or used, and being constantly afraid for his life and unsure who to trust is eroding his sanity.
The books can be read online here and apparently here.
Found via a search for
site:goodreads.com magic werecat staff