So holds a Pennsylvania appellate court in Commonwealth v. Crawford, where the defendant tried to turn ordinary cats into “gothic cats” in all sorts of unpleasant ways. The court doesn’t say that all animal piercing and tail removal is necessarily a violation of animal cruelty laws, but that these particular piercings (and dockings) were; and in the process it concludes that the statutory ban on “maim[ing], mutilat[ing], tortur[ing] or disfigur[ing]” was not constitutionally vague, at least as applied to this particular behavior. I’m not an expert on cat behavior, but I’m inclined to think that the court’s conclusion is quite right.
Note also the spelling error on page 3, line 5. (Yes, I can see how it could theoretically be explained as a deliberate joke, but I doubt that this is what was going on.) Thanks to How Appealing for the pointer.