I think one of the reasons there were few cats around is because they used to eat them. And once in a while the restaurant feline catches would grab an feline they could find and take them back again to the restaurant. I remember seeing cats in glass exhibits out the front of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and today they suspended eating felines. So cats are now not on the menu and now there are felines everywhere. Most of them started off in someone's house and got thrown away, since several are very friendly. Also they have 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 a really problem because they have got tile floor surfaces and real wood furniture.
If this frame of mind towards cats dates back generations the other can realize why historians say the Dark colored Death were only available in China. Where there are rats and no cats then your rats dominate and that could have been a precursor for the disease to get near to people. Now whenever i get back to China you may still find rats playing around however, not so many in the real estate estates. There are lots of down by the river. Also they employ a efficient rubbish clean up system that retains the metropolitan areas very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is collected everyday. That could also keep the rat human population down. And with so many discarded felines running around the rats don't possess much of the opportunity. I've never seen this but I suspect the government picks up a whole lot of felines. There used to be colonies of stray cats surviving in some places but now I don't see them any more.