If this attitude towards cats goes back generations then one can understand why historians say the Dark colored Death started in China. Where there are rats no cats then your rats dominate and that could have been a precursor for the disease to get near people. Now after i go back to China you may still find rats running around but not so many in the property estates. There are lots of down by the river. Also they employ a efficient rubbish tidy up system that retains the towns very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is accumulated everyday. That could also keep carefully the rat people down. And with so many discarded felines running around the rats don't have much of a chance. I've never seen this but I think the government accumulates a lot of pet cats. There used to be colonies of stray pet cats residing in some places however now I don't see them any more.
I believe one of the reasons there were few cats around is because they used to consume them. And once in a while the restaurant feline catches would grab an kitten they may find and take them back again to the restaurant. I remember seeing pet cats in glass exhibits out the front of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and today they prohibited eating cats. 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, as most are extremely friendly. Also they have this thing about stomach worms. And in those days China was not as modern as now so abdominal worms would have been a problem. Fleas aren't a really problem because they have got tile surfaces and real wood furniture.
Then the nine lives of the humble pet cat who only wanted to help mankind by killing rodents that carried disease took a serious convert for the worse during the middle ages. Where witch hunts and burning up at the stake were the norm. Someone who didn't like cats somehow connected these to witches and they were burnt at the stake with there owners. That they made that connection I'll never know. It started off with Pope Gregory IX in the 1232 who regarded the common house feline as diabolical. Then to make matters more serious in1484 along came the greatest kitten killer of all time, Pope Innocent VIII, who decreed something such as all cats came from hell and really should came back to the fires of hell by fireplace. Felines were mercilessly prosecuted and were burnt so they might return to the fires of hell. It is amazing any survived because if you were trapped with a kitten you were burnt jointly. I still go to cathedral and sometimes I just wonder why. And of course the Black Loss of life was in the background surviving and thriving because there were no pet cats to eliminate the rats that carried the fleas that induced the disease. Then along emerged the cat's savior King Louis XIII of France, who in the 1630s repealed the law and cats once more started to live. However they were still hated and wiped out for many generations from then on. I don't know if the Black color Death subsided but cats once again shielded mankind from the diseases carried by rodents. As well as the famines due to mice plagues.