I would never even consider declawing one of my feline companions, and I think that if other cat lovers understood the extent to which this amputation surgery maims and causes serious physical and psychological pain, they wouldn't do it, either.
According to Christianne Schelling, DVM:
"Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's 'toes.' When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period. And remember that during the time of recuperation from the surgery your cat would still have to use its feet to walk, jump, and scratch in its litter box regardless of the pain it is experiencing."
As Jennifer Annis writes, in "Soft Paws An Alternative to Declawing Cats," in today's Greenwood, SC Index-Journal, cat people who are worried about the damage that claws can wreak on furniture and furnishings have other options, including scratching posts and vinyl claw caps called "Soft Paws." And of course, good old-fashioned nail trimming, which I admit (from personal experience) may be easier said than done.
But it's worth any hassle if it means sparing your cat the agony of having part of her toes ripped out. If your cats could talk (and I know they can!), they will thank you for keeping them whole.