RANT #1: I've adopted 2 declawed cats over the years -- Gabriel was COMPLETELY unfazed by his declawing (even though he had mild cerebellar hypoplasia so his balance was already poor and the lack of claws made that a much more serious problem for him). Lincoln was a biter and it took me 2 years before he really trusted me. There is no way of knowing how much of that was related to his being declawed and how much was b/c people played w/ him w/ their hands when he was a kitten and then got upset when it hurt (duh!) and punished him.
I've certainly never heard anyone recommend against adopting a declawed kitty! The only time I do so, honestly, is if the family has small children. Declawed cats are usually more defensive (for obvious reasons) and if they are cornered or mishandled, are more likely to bite than cats w/ claws. Adults/older kids can understand this and amend their behavior; small children can't, and there's less chance of things working out for that reason.
They key is to look at the individual cat when adopting -- in this area as w/ all others. I consider claw status to be just one aspect of a cat, taken into account along with other aspects of his/her personality and history. If the shelter/foster parent says the kitty is sweet w/ people and w/ other cats, then regardless of claw status, he probably is.
Or if you're up for dealing w/ a problem cat, the shelter will revere you--people were actually sobbing at the shelter when I said I'd take Lincoln, who had been at the shelter more than a year, on and off depo for the biting, and who tried to nail me at our first meeting. I have no kids and am endlessly patient, so I had no reason NOT to take him, and doing so freed up his spot for another needy cat to get out of the county shelter and into the no-kill one.
Anyway, I can't imagine anyone saying to NOT adopt a declawed cat. However that doesn't mean that many declawed cats do not have behavior problems – they do. You can either find one who doesn’t have any problems or you can work to fix those problems. Either way, a declawed kitty has just as much right to be adopted as one w/ claws.
And actually, shelters usually find that declawed cats are EASIER to adopt out b/c people who might declaw a cat anyway b/c they care a lot about their material possessions get one this way w/out the guilt.
RANT #2: If you truly only want one cat, that’s fine.
Different strokes and all. I myself am going to keep recommending 2 b/c in most households no one is home all day long, b/c I believe that most cats do prefer company. I’ve only ever had one intro that really didn’t work out well, and I take the blame for that one entirely. It’s why I adamantly recommend against bringing a new cat into a household w/ a truly senior cat – my 17 year old Ebony had always lived w/ other cats, but at her age she didn’t want to have to adjust to a companion, and it would have been easier on her if I had waited until she had gone to the Bridge.
One of the reasons I suggest to people who are getting ONE kitten to get TWO is b/c (1) kittenhood is when it’s easiest to put 2 cats together with almost no trouble on your part whatsoever, and (2) a single kitten is pretty darn hard to live with—they need to play 18 hours a day and if they don’t have a kitten to do that with, well, you’re elected!
Having lived with 2-3 cats at a time my entire adult life, and seeing how much they love each other, how much fun they have playing together, etc., it is my opinion that it’s better for the cat to have a feline companion. That doesn’t mean everyone has to do this—esp. if you work out of the home, you may well be enough for your cat. I feel good, however, knowing that when I’m gone my cats are carrying on their happy kitty culture without me.