Cats and mankind have been surviving in harmony for quite some time but that has not always been the case. There have been times when pet cats have been nearly destroyed in the name of God. And what happened the Black Death reigned supreme for considerably longer than it should. So we will get back to the beginnings of recorded record to enough time of the pharaohs of Egypt. Here pet cats were revered as Gods and many were mummified to last for eternity. As the pet 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 get rid of cats in those times, like cows in India today.
If this attitude towards cats dates back generations the other can understand why historians say the African american Death started in China. Where there are rats and no cats then the rats dominate and that would have been a precursor for the disease to get near to people. Now when I go back to China you may still find rats playing around but not so many in the real estate estates. There are many down by the river. Also they have a very efficient rubbish clean up system that retains the places very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is accumulated everyday. That could also keep carefully the rat society down. And with so many discarded pet cats playing around the rats don't have much of an opportunity. I've never seen this but I believe the government picks up a lot of felines. There used to be colonies of stray cats living in some places however now I don't see them any longer.
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 cat catches would grab an cat they could find and take them back again to the restaurant. I recall seeing cats in glass displays out leading of the restaurants. But somewhere within then and now they prohibited eating cats. So cats are actually not on the menu and now there are felines everywhere. Many of them started off in someone's house and got thrown away, since several are extremely friendly. Also they have got this thing about abdomen worms. And in those days China was not as modern as now so abdominal worms would have been a problem. Fleas aren't a really problem because they have tile floor surfaces and real wood furniture.