A state appeals court has ruled that cities can prohibit the declawing of cats, a procedure critics say is cruel and unnecessary.

In a 2-1 ruling Friday, the appellate court in Los Angeles said banning declawing for house cats does not violate state law. California prohibits the declawing of captive lions and tigers, but it does not ban the surgery for house pets.

The case stemmed from a 2003 city ordinance in West Hollywood that prohibited city veterinarians from declawing cats on the grounds that it causes "unnecessary pain, anguish and permanent disability."

The appellate court reinstated the West Hollywood ordinance, the only ban of its kind in California, reversing a Los Angeles judge's decision that overturned the ordinance in 2003.

Justice Dennis Perluss, writing for the majority, said West Hollywood can "set minimum standards for the humane treatment of animals within its borders."

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in 2003 condemning cat declawing and filed legal briefs supporting West Hollywood's case.