In a study published October 2001 JAVMA by Dr. Gary J. Patronek VMD, PhD., he states that declawed cats are at an increased risk of relinquishment.
That one I find very very hard to believe as the declawed cats are much much harder to find around here in any rescues. There are literally thousands of cats in this area looking for homes. We do free spay/neuters through Cats Anonymous by the hundreds each time but the numbers are still out of control. It is NOT the declawed cats that are finding their ways into shelters around here. Maybe where you are from things are different.
Again, I didn't have my cats declawed, I am dealing with the damage from this cat and my other one came to me without claws but from my very limited experience with cats in my home, the declawed cat had no more problems physically then the one with claws, she just didn't damage anything while she was here.
It is odd how from area to area it is different. There are tons of vets here that will declaw cats and many who recommend it. The ones involved in rescue with me in fact are recommending it. I think from their perspective it is better to have a cat in a home with no claws then one looking for a home that doesn't exsist for it while keeping it's claws. I have seen several kittens in the clinic right after having it done and they were bouncing about their kennels chasing little toy mice around. They didn't appear too much worse for wear.
Again, I am not saying it is the best scenerio, I don't think it is but we don't live in the best scenerio. I would rather see a cat go through the proceedure if it can get them a loving home with people who care about it then to see it die in a shelter or be tossed out into the cold just because it has claws and the people either have no interest in dealing with it or don't know how to deal with it.