Several years ago, a resident of our community, Quail Creek, posted a suggestion through our newsletter that pet cats should be leashed (and walked, I presume) the same as dogs as required by our covenants at the time. Having owned a cat for some time and thinking the suggestion was a bit ridiculous, I phoned the South Carolina Wildlife Department to get their view of the matter.
After a bit of laughter and the realization that I was indeed serious regarding my inquiry, the gentleman answered my question regarding the leashing of cats.
If memory serves me, the Wildlife Department representative advised me that cats, feral or domesticated, are, by state law, considered to be wild animals and that leashing was not required under any circumstances either by statute or community covenants.
After losing a cat which we acquired as a kitty and kept for 14 years, my wife and I took in a feral cat which we had for 11 years, losing her last December. To even consider leashing either would not only have been cruel, it would have been dangerous for neither of our cats were de-clawed.
If cats cannot run or climb a tree when threatened by a dog, they are going to climb the nearest thing to them . If they are leashed, the nearest thing to them is the leasher, that being you. If you've never been around a cat, their claws are like razors.
But not to worry, coyotes are infiltrating our area and feral cats, at least in our neighborhood, are a thing of the past.