(NEW YORK POST) — Chinese authorities have prevented a cat-astrophe – by saving more than 500 felines from ending up on restaurant menus.

A man identified only as Sun used sparrows and caged birds to lure stray and domestic cats in the city of Jiujiang in southern Jiangsu, the Washington Post reported.

Many of the cats were found in deplorable conditions – some near death – in cages on a truck and in a hut near a highway, the paper reported.

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