AAFP Declawing Statement
"Most people decide to have their cats declawed as a matter of convenience to protect their furniture from cat scratching or to guard against injury to themselves and family members.
Many of these people, however, don’t realize the pain that the surgery can cause. Declawing is the amputation of each toe at the first joint. In humans, it would be equivalent to cutting off the tip of every finger at the first knuckle — very painful, indeed. If performed on a human, this operation would be considered a mutilation. It is as unethical as tail docking and ear clipping in dogs.
People who declaw their cats also may not be aware that the surgery can cause more problems than it solves. Cats deprived of their front claws may develop an aversion to the litter box. Their paws remain sensitive from the surgery, so they avoid scratching in their litter and may begin eliminating around the house instead.
Declawing leaves cats without one of their primary defense mechanisms, and impairs their balance and ability to climb. Many declawed cats suffer from joint stiffness. In certain cats, it may leave psychological scars that translate into behavioral problems.
Declawing is essentially done for the convenience of humans — to the detriment of the cat. You are working against rather than with your kitty if you force him to endure needless pain and put him at risk for developing negative side-effects to the surgery. " ²