City limits–and I do understand them–are generally imposed with the hope and goal of preventing unlicensed (and unscrupulous) breeding practices and to discourage “collecting” which is epitomized (IMHO) by people who have animals in numbers which exceed their ability to provide proper care and ensure health and safety.
PLD and I knew a family that had, IIRC, 12 cats. They were extremely well cared for animals, well loved, and healthy. Their family’s house while cluttered (our friend’s mother saved EVERY magazine she subscribed to I think) was never filthy due to cat waste, hair, etc. They even built a large–at least bedroom sized–fenced enclosure outside including fenced top about 12’ high filled with trees and foliage, etc. so the cats could enjoy the outdoors without ever being in danger of escape or the perils that entails. Someone else may have 2 cats and have it be too many for them to reasonably handle, but I understand that the law does what it can to prevent extreme cases by keeping limits low.
Personally, I was referring in my OP to places that indicate 2 or fewer companion animals (usually cats and carry weight limits of under 25 lbs for dogs). We have 3 cats. Not what I would consider an unreasonable amount. And while they may sometimes have an occasional accident on the carpeting, they are not destructive, and we take care of any accidents asap.
We worry every time we get a note from the apartment complex about entering the apartment that we’ll get busted. We are now looking for a new apartment in a more convenient location, and I was trying to decide how common it is for animal lovers to fib about companion animals and to gauge my paranoia.
For example, it would probably be better to fib about the cats to a complex that accepts 2 cats as opposed to 1 or none permitted…even though none of our cats look alike, unless all 3 are lined up in the window together, I doubt it would be as detectable. Also, they usually run when someone they don’t know enters the apartment, and probably if we took an apartment on a higher floor, it would be even harder to notice there were more than permitted.
Does that clarify the OP a bit more?