If this attitude towards cats dates back generations then one can realize why historians say the Black colored Death were only available in China. Where there are rats and no cats then the rats dominate and that could have been a precursor for the condition to get close to people. Now after i go back to China you may still find rats running around however, not so many in the real estate estates. There are many down by the river. Also they have a very efficient rubbish tidy up system that maintains the metropolitan areas very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is collected everyday. That would also keep the rat people down. And with so many discarded pet cats running around the rats don't have much of the opportunity. I've never seen this but I suspect the government picks up a whole lot of cats. There used to be colonies of stray felines moving into some places however now I don't see them any longer.
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 kitty they may find and take them back again to the restaurant. I remember seeing felines in glass displays out the front of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and today they prohibited eating felines. So cats are actually not on the menu and today there are pet cats everywhere. Most of them started off in someone's house and received thrown away, as a general rule are very friendly. Also they have got this thing about tummy 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 got tile flooring and wooden furniture.