AUSTIN, Texas March 4, 2021 Alley Cat Allies, the global engine of change for cats, celebrated a vote by the City Council of Austin, Texas, to prohibit the practice of declawing cats.

“Declawing is an excruciatingly painful procedure that causes lasting psychological and physical harm to cats. It would be like cutting a person’s finger off at the last knuckle,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “We thank Austin for leading the way in Texas by outlawing this cruel elective procedure. It is a commendable step that will prevent tremendous suffering for cats in the city.”

Declawing, also known as onychectomy, involves the surgical amputation of the last joints of an animal’s toes. It is a predominantly nontherapeutic surgery, meaning it provides no health benefit to the cat. Cats rely on their claws for behavioral and grooming needs, as well as self-defense, and their removal through declaw surgery can cause permanent physical and mental harm.

“We are especially grateful to everyone whose tireless advocacy over the last several years was instrumental for this positive milestone in Austin,” Robinson said. She specifically thanked the Paw Project, Dr. Katrina Breitreiter of Paw Project-Texas and David Lundstedt of the Austin Animal Advisory Council.

Plenty of humane alternatives to declawing exist to address scratching behavior, including scratching posts, deterrents and nail caps.

Austin joins a growing list of governments that have outlawed this unnecessary practice. New York state, ten other major U.S. cities, seven Canadian provinces and at least 42 countries have already acted to outlaw the procedure. Currently, legislation to ban declawing is also pending in five states. Many leaders in veterinary medicine, including veterinary associations and hospitals, have also taken action to end elective cat declawing procedures.

About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies is the leader of a global movement to protect cats and kittens. Now in our 31st anniversary year, we are joined by more than 650,000 supporters worldwide.

Alley Cat Allies believes every cat deserves to live out his or her life to the fullest. We exposed an entrenched system in which animal control agencies and shelters have been killing millions of cats for over a century. Today, the programs we introduced in the United States are mainstream.

To achieve our goals, we collaborate with grassroots advocates, animal shelters, municipal managers, and lawmakers to replace deadly laws and policies with ones that protect cats. We defend all cats by offering cutting edge education online, in person, and through one-on-one dialogue. We advance lifesaving innovations such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR), high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter, microchipping, anti-declawing legislation, and any program that best serves the interests of cats.

Our website is, and we are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.