Cats and mankind have been surviving in harmony for quite some time but that hasn't always been the situation. There have been times when cats have been practically wiped out in the name of God. And what happened the Black Death reigned supreme for a lot longer than it should. So we will go back to the origins of recorded background to the time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here cats were revered as Gods and many were mummified to previous for eternity. Because the pet cats guarded the grain warehouses and wiped out the rats and mice that given on the grain. Therefore lowering famines, that were the curse of Egypt. It was illegal to eliminate cats in those times, like cows in India today.
I believe one of the reason why there were few cats around is because they used to consume them. And once in a while the restaurant cat catches would grab an kitten they may find and take them back again to the restaurant. I remember seeing felines in glass exhibits out leading of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and now they suspended eating felines. So cats are now not on the menu and now there are pet cats everywhere. Many of them began in someone's house and acquired thrown away, since many are extremely friendly. Also they have got this thing about abdomen worms. And in those days China was not as modern as now so belly worms is a problem. Fleas are not a really problem because they have got tile floors and solid wood furniture.