Norton (World 22)
Andre Norton (1912 – 2005; first SF publication, 1947) is a prolific author of science fiction, especially (but not limited to) young adult novels, and trading is a key element in many of her stories. (She is also well known for her more fantasy-based Witch World series.) In particular, the Solar Queen series (beginning with Sargasso of Space) chronicles the adventures of a Free Trader crew; The Zero Stone follows a gem trader’s son; and The Moon of Three Rings begins a series featuring the Free Trader starship Lydis. (The Time Traders series, while not having much to do with trading, is a great deal of fun as its heroes leap from time to time, resisting aliens intent on changing Earth’s history.) And those are just the series featuring star traders; there are many other stand-alone stories and plenty of other series.
Telepathic creatures, particularly cats, appear frequently in Norton’s stories. The Beast Master has a team of telepathic animals, including a dune cat; The Zero Stone features the birth of a new breed of telepathic cats; Star Ka’ats (and sequels) deal with a race of telepathic outer space cats; and so forth. Norton repeatedly exports telepathic cats to the rest of our galaxy.