This sounds very much as though it could be The Zero Stone by Andre Norton (which also has a sequel - "Uncharted Stars"), first published in 1968.
The young man's name is Murdoc Jern and he has an alien companion, kind of like a cat, called Eet.
One of the most familiar covers (at least to me) is:
There's a reasonably complete write-up by Judith Tarr on the ...
As per Short story about humans as beasts of burden for another race, read about 30 years ago, this is "The Silk and the Song" (1956) by Charles L. Fontenay.
It was released in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1956
It's about a group of humans who are enslaved by aliens, generations
after a disastrous landing on their planet. They ...