Although nowhere nearly as extensively mythologized as werewolves, werecats have been a major part of folklore across the globe. Many are familiar with the Egyptian deities Bast and Sekhmet, sun protector gods that over time transformed from one being to two, with Sekhmet’s followers emphasizing the warrior and Bast’s focusing on healing and protective capabilities. Both female and both bipeds, these were early examples of what could be generally referred to as a werecat, although of course their status as religious symbols differentiates them slightly from the werecats of fiction.
In the modern era, werewolves lend themselves to comprehensive genre studies. The threat of a person losing control of themselves and becoming animalistic, thereby monstrous, has haunted many a folktale, comic, film, and urban legend. The specific terror inspired by a monstrous dog-like creature that is still somehow disturbingly human has been commented on extensively, and how they are used in fiction has had time to evolve and change and become a meta-commentary upon itself in such movies as the Howling sequels, An American Werewolf in Paris, and Ginger Snaps.
In legend, cat people are not generally gender-specific, but in genre, they are consistently female. Indeed, the perceptions of dogs as being masculine and cats being feminine appears to mostly be a construct of the Western world. Modernized takes on cat people almost always portray them as feminine and highly over-sexualized, which implies commentary about how our culture views expressions of female sexuality.