I think one of the reasons there were not many cats around is because they used to eat them. And once in a while the restaurant feline catches would grab an feline they may find and take them back again to the restaurant. I remember seeing cats in glass shows out the front of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and today they forbidden eating cats. So cats are now not on the menu and today there are cats everywhere. Many of them started off in someone's house and acquired thrown away, since several are incredibly friendly. Also they have this thing about abdomen worms. And in those days China was not as modern as now so belly worms would have been a problem. Fleas are not a really problem because they have got tile floors and real wood furniture.
Cats and mankind have been residing in harmony for quite some time but that has not always been the situation. There were times when felines have been nearly wiped out in the name of God. And what happened the Black Fatality reigned supreme for considerably longer than it will. So we will get back to the origins of recorded history to enough time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here felines were revered as Gods and many were mummified to last for eternity. Because the cats guarded the grain warehouses and killed the rats and mice that given on the grain. Therefore reducing famines, that were the curse of Egypt. It had been illegal to destroy cats in those days, like cows in India today.