There is no line to be drawn. It is a horrible and traumatic thing to do to a cat to declaw it. It is not simple surgery and no declawed cat is ever the same. I hear some people claim they are but my medical and scientific background behooves me to believe that!! I have reads too many studies.
We - the US and Canada- are the only countries stupid enough to allow legislation permitting this cruel punishing practice. For me, there would never be a reason for such a thing. It is crippling and it is traumatic psychologically. <More declawed cats end up at shelters than any others. (35% of cats brought into to our local shelter are declawed and we live i an area with a low rate of declawing (the maritimes in not noted for having vets who believe in it,. thank God!)
With all due respect, I cannot imagine any scenario in which one would amputate toes s your furniture is OK. That is just ridiculous. If one feels that weay, do not get an animal. Buy a stuffed toy. Katherine, I am sorry your mother did that - could you not have moved out? Or made some arrangement? That is a live animal with feelings and this is a very painful surgery - often not treated well for pain -.
It is illegal everywhere except here - north America and more communities are outlawing it and I hope soon enough we will have laws against it here as well. Almost every cat I have seen declawed has ended up with problems- they become a biter oor they are more worried, they will jump high so they ensure no one can attack them. They can become fearful and they will do other things worse than chewing some silly piece of furniture.
Especially when they are more humane alternatives, I fail to understand why people do not take the time to educate themselves about it. I just do not understand anyone who would give a cat literally a death sentence because let;s face it, cats can and do get outside and how does a declawed cat defend herself against other animals or peple who will do them harm? They can't so if they happen to run into a larger animal, that's it. Now I realize most do not die but more declawed cats do die tahn do those with claws - they somehow wiggle outside and the next thing you know ,mthey havwe no clawes to climb tress or to fight that large animal who is after them. There is a very good reason they have claws.
If not death, the most common medical problem declawed cats- who usually end up being either put to sleep (such a nice sounding way of being killed) or living a life or pain, is severe arthritis. With no claws, they are forced to walk in a manner unusual to what cats should do. my vet says any vet who declaws a cat should loose their licence and I agree with her. Would we amputate a child's toes because they kicked the couch? Nop, I don't think so.
I know I am angry but I cannot abide declawing. I cannot believe any cat lover would do that to their cat and many who do it without the knowledge of its full effect are sorry later but I do wish they'd do the research first!!! I am so sorry for your cat Katherine. Please help her as much as you can - give her extra love, make her feel secure and find ways of playing - allow her paws to heal (It can take a year for them to heal properly!).
"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats" Albert Schweitzer