C.A.Ts and H.O.As

OnionSoup went on a bit of a rant said

We’re currently HOA free, but our last house was in a neighbourhood with a real whacko HOA (the kind that drives around 8am the morning after the night of a tropical storm to take photos of shutters that fell off in the storm and send a nastygram threatening legal action against you for having damaged shutters).

One of the crazy policies was that cats had to be on a leash. It didn’t actually say that, but HOA allowed two pets per house that could be a cat or a dog. They also specified “pets must be on a leash at all times outside”. Common sense would probably dictate that meant dogs, but no, we got written up for having a cat outside that wasn’t on a leash… it actually wasn’t even our cat, it was a stray.

My parents are in process of buying a house, the house belongs to an HOA that has similar wording to the one we escaped. This one says if pets leave your property they should be leashed. Is it reasonable to assume that they don’t expect cats to be leashed and that our last HOA was just bat-crazy? Or is this a common thing that I’ve somehow not been aware of until now, that HOAs expect you to have your cats on leashes if they go outside? How likely is it this HOA will go after my parents for having cats outside?