Like some of you who already posted, I have seen countless people who come to the adoption events I work at, rueing the day they decided to declaw.
They have their declawed cat with them in the carrier. They show us their cat's paws permanently ruined from a botched procedure. They are crying and sobbing and asking what to do now. Their cats cannot use a litter box without severe pain. Their cats cannot walk. Their cats are in constant pain. Or they are now timid and "different".
Many of these people beg us to take the cat, offer money. They say it is beyond their ability to help the cat. And also what they are not saying- THAT THEY NO LONGER WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT THEY PERSONALLY DID TO A PERFECTLY HEALTHY ANIMAL.
I say to anyone who is thinking of declawing- Can you live with the possibility of a botched procedure, a personality change, a behavior change, a crippled cat? Can you look at your cat limping, in pain, timid, every day, knowing that you are responsible? Can you clean pee from everywhere but the litterbox every day?
One of my permanent kitties is a foster girl who was returned by someone who did a declaw, and then could not live with the fact that her declawed kitty immediately became a pee cat. So she is mine.
I love her so much, but I also wonder what she would have been like if someone had not wanted to protect their furniture at her expense.