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 no cats then your rats dominate and that would have been a precursor for the disease to get near to people. Now as i get back to China there are still rats playing around but not so many in the housing estates. There are numerous down by the river. Also they have a very efficient rubbish tidy up system that retains the towns very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is gathered everyday. That could also keep the rat inhabitants down. And with so many discarded pet cats 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 pet cats. There used to be colonies of stray cats residing in some places but now I don't see them any longer.
Pet cats and mankind have been moving into harmony for quite some time but that has not always been the situation. There have been times when cats have been almost wiped out in the name of God. And what took place the Black Death reigned supreme for a lot longer than it will. So we will get back to the origins of recorded history to the time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here cats 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 fed on the grain. Therefore reducing famines, that were the curse of Egypt. It had been illegal to wipe out cats in those days, like cows in India today.
Then the nine lives of the humble kitty who only wished to help mankind by killing rodents that taken disease took a serious turn for the worse during the dark ages. Where witch hunts and burning up at the stake were typical. A person who didn't like felines somehow connected them to witches and they were burnt at the stake with there owners. That they made that interconnection I'll never know. It began with Pope Gregory IX in the 1232 who considered the common house feline as diabolical. Then to make issues worse in1484 along came the greatest kitty killer ever, Pope Innocent VIII, who decreed something such as all cats originated from hell and should came back to the fires of hell by flame. Felines were mercilessly prosecuted and were burnt so they would return to the fires of hell. It is amazing any survived because if you were captured with a pet cat you were burnt alongside one another. I still go to cathedral and sometimes I just wonder why. And of course the Black Fatality was in the background surviving and thriving because there have been no cats to eliminate the rats that carried the fleas that triggered the disease. Then along came the cat's savior King Louis XIII of France, who in the 1630s repealed regulations and cats once again began to live. However they were still hated and killed for many centuries after that. I have no idea if the Black colored Death subsided but felines once again guarded mankind against the diseases carried by rodents. And the famines brought on by mice plagues.