I think one of the reasons there were few cats around is because they used to consume them. And every now and then the restaurant cat catches would grab an cat they could find and take them back again to the restaurant. I recall seeing felines in glass displays out leading of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and today they suspended eating pet cats. So cats are actually not on the menu and now there are felines everywhere. Many of them started off in someone's house and received thrown away, as a general rule are very friendly. Also they have got this thing about belly worms. And in those times China had not been as modern as now so belly worms would have been a problem. Fleas aren't really a problem because they have got tile flooring and real wood furniture.
Felines and mankind have been living in harmony for many years but that has not always been the situation. There have been times when pet cats have been practically wiped out in the name of God. And what happened the Black Loss of life reigned supreme for considerably longer than it will. So we will go back to the beginnings of recorded record to enough time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here felines were revered as Gods and many were mummified to last for eternity. Because the pet cats guarded the grain warehouses and killed the rats and mice that given on the grain. Therefore minimizing famines, which were the curse of Egypt. It was illegal to wipe out cats in those days, like cows in India today.