Cats and mankind have been moving into harmony for quite some time but that hasn't always been the situation. There were times when cats have been almost destroyed in the name of God. And what occurred the Black Loss of life reigned supreme for a lot longer than it should. So we will go back to the origins of recorded history to the time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here felines were revered as Gods and many were mummified to previous for eternity. As the felines guarded the grain warehouses and wiped out the rats and mice that given on the grain. Therefore reducing famines, that were the curse of Egypt. It had been illegal to eliminate cats in those times, like cows in India today.
I think one of the reason why there were few cats around is because they used to consume them. And every now and then the restaurant cat catches would grab an pet cat they may find and take them back again to the restaurant. I recall seeing cats in glass displays out leading of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and today they prohibited eating felines. So cats are now not on the menu and today there are pet cats everywhere. Many of them started off in someone's house and received thrown away, since several are very friendly. Also they have got this thing about belly worms. And in those times China was not as modern as now so abdomen worms is a problem. Fleas are not really a problem because they have tile flooring and real wood furniture.
If this attitude towards cats dates back generations then one can realize why historians say the Dark Death were only available in China. Where there are rats and no cats then the rats dominate and that would have been a precursor for the disease to get near people. Now once i go back to China you may still find rats playing around however, not so many in the enclosure estates. There are many down by the river. Also they have a very efficient rubbish clean up system that will keep the metropolitan areas very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is accumulated everyday. That could also keep the rat human population down. And with so many discarded felines playing around the rats don't possess much of an opportunity. I've never seen this but I suspect the government accumulates a whole lot of pet cats. There used to be colonies of stray cats residing in some places but now I don't see them any longer.