Austin City Council bans declawing of cats for 'aesthetic' reasons

Cat scratching post

AUSTIN ( -- The Austin City Council on Thursday became the first city in Texas to ban the declawing of cats for "aesthetic" reasons, or for a pet owner's convenience.

The ordinance follows two years of public input, commission meetings, and discussions with area veterinarians.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. If the surgery was performed on a human being, it would be the equivalent of cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.

The ordinance still allows for declawing to be performed when a veterinarian determines it to be medically necessary, such as a need to remove cancerous nail bed tumors.