I debated on wether or not to post and guess I'm going to add my 2 cents.
I work as a vet tech and have helped do many a declaws, and can agree that it is a painful procedure to a point.
There are now 2 types of procedures to removing a cat's claws, 1)being the old fashion way of cutting them out or 2) with a laser.
The 1st option is less expensive and best for a kitten to adolescent kitty. It can be done as early as 10 weeks old and is alot easier on the animals. I have also seen it done on older cats which seem to have a harder time with it.
The 2nd option is expensive and best for the older cat over 2 years old. The cats seem to have minimal pain and tenderness, unlike with the 1st method. There is less bleeding and swelling of the feet.
Really declawing is one's personal choice which no one can condemn a person for if they choose to have it done. Though I would never ever recommend declawing the rear. As you will see why later in this post.
I have 7 cats and all except one have been declawed in the front.
The reason the one got to keep her claws was due to her being 11 years old , having a back leg removed and my younger kitties thought it fun to terrorize her for it. Cats defend themselves with their rear claws not the front. So even a declawed cat still has it's defense if it should happen to get out. Even a declawed cat can climb a tree as long as they have the rear ones.
Again this is just my 2 cents on the subject.