My wife and I recently moved down to TX from WI. Back in WI, our pet needs were amply met by us visiting her parents who owned dogs, cats, horses, llamas, chickens, rabbits...you get the picture.

After moving here, we are SORELY missing those interactions. There are a couple of problems though:

  1. We both have demanding jobs and often work 10 or more hours a day (but I come home for lunches)

  2. I'm on immunosuppresants so the pet can't venture into wild areas or I run the risk of getting seriously sick. Kitty litterboxes pose the same problem

Its been a constant struggle. We want to be responsible pet owners that love and tend for their pets regularly, but cannot figure out what to do. Help please! Regards, H&V

  • 1
    Get involved with an adoption agency. They need people to interact with animals on many levels.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 8, 2016 at 3:15
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    Any special reason you limit yourself to cats and dogs? Rabbits or Parrots sound quiet fitting to your lifestyle and desires for a pet as well, as long as you keep them in groups, which you should anyway. Just make sure they have an interesting environment, and they should happily interact with you, as well. Just not 100% sure about immunosuppressant-issues with either...
    – Layna
    Mar 8, 2016 at 6:52

2 Answers 2


As suggested by a comment from @Layna, house rabbits may be a good choice. My wife is immunosuppressed and cares for our 3 rabbits, plus several foster rabbits. In any case you will want to talk to your care provider before making a final decision.

They are generally between cats and dogs in the behavior. They are intelligent and each has a unique personality. They use a litter box, can be trained (much like a horse) and are crepuscular (active in the morning and evening). The will happily live in your home with no desire to go out.

We have several posts about them The web page http://rabbit.org/ is the national house rabbit society page and also offers lots of great information.


I think cats are better suited to your lifestyle given that you will be out of the house for long periods of time, and your immunosuppressant requirement. A cat can be kept entirely indoors, and so is fairly unlikely to pick up random diseases, and cats are generally much better equipped to be alone for ten or more hours a day. As to your concern with litterboxes, I'm guessing picking up after dogs would have a similar risk for you, so with either pet, I'd say your wife should be primarily responsible for that part of pet care.

However, I emphatically don't recommend getting cats if you plan on having children. With your compromised immune system, she would definitely have to take care of the box, but she would not be able to do this if she were pregnant, due to the risk of pregnant women getting infected with toxoplasmosis, which is a parasite cats carry which can cause birth defects.

  • 1
    A parasite cats can carry. Valid concern but let's keep perspective.
    – keshlam
    Mar 8, 2016 at 6:07

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