I think one of the reasons there were not many cats around is because they used to consume them. And once in a while the restaurant cat catches would pick up an pet cat they could 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 suspended eating cats. So cats are now not on the menu and today there are cats everywhere. Most of them began in someone's house and got thrown away, as most are extremely friendly. Also they have got this thing about abdominal worms. And in those days China was not as modern as now so abdominal worms would have been a problem. Fleas are not really a problem because they have tile flooring surfaces and real wood furniture.
If this attitude towards cats dates back generations the other can realize why historians say the Black Death started in China. Where there are rats and no cats then your rats dominate and that could have been a precursor for the disease to get near people. Now after i get back to China you may still find rats running around however, not so many in the housing estates. There are several down by the river. Also they have a very efficient rubbish tidy up system that continues the towns very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is collected everyday. That would also keep carefully the rat society down. And with so many discarded cats playing around the rats don't possess much of a chance. I've never seen this but I suspect the government picks up a lot of pet cats. There used to be colonies of stray cats living in some places but now I don't see them any longer.
Cats and mankind have been living in harmony for quite some time but that has not always been the truth. There have been times when felines have been almost destroyed in the name of God. And what took place the Black Fatality 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 felines were revered as Gods and many were mummified to last for eternity. As the felines guarded the grain warehouses and wiped out the rats and mice that fed on the grain. Therefore reducing famines, which were the curse of Egypt. It was illegal to kill cats in those days, like cows in India today.