I don't think it's totally disrespecting someones to hide a cat but I guess that just me. There are almost zero pet friendly options where i live and I know, tough biccies but in 8 years ive got a glowing rental record and my cat has never done any damage, I wouldn't keep him if he did. He pretty much sleeps 23 hrs a day and has a covered, deodorised little box in the laundry that was changed every day. At final inspections we've had the owners themselves say thank you for taking such good care of the property.
It's probably more common than people think, i know a lot of people who hide cats. I think smoking inside or on a balcony can potentially cause more damage than a cat.