Getting Another Chinchilla... Or Two

Sondra asks...

Pikachu is my one and only chin. My husband said that one of the girls at his work has a friend who is moving and can't bring her chinchillas with her. Also, the female is pregnant and so the owner said I could have one of the babies. Well, that fell through, because her brother took in the chinchillas.

I had my heart set on getting another chin, especially a baby, and the fact that it was my hubby's idea! So you can imagine how heartbroken I was when I found out I wasn't getting one. So I've been searching at humane societies and rescues. Eventually I was referred to this person who rescues chinchillas and I was going to adopt this male named Oscar. When she sent me a video of him, it showed him next to his buddy that she said he always snuggles up to. Being the big moosh that I am, how could I possibly adopt him and seperate him from his buddy? Well I can't and told her that, so she offered for me to adopt both of them.

So, here is my dilemma, if I get two more chins, my husband will kick me and them out on the curb, so I can only get one more. So do you think I should just forget it and look elsewhere or go ahead and adopt both? (I know my husband would get over it).

Infolific answers...

You definitely don't want to break up the bonded pair which it sounds like you already agree with. From what you described, I would keep looking for a lone chin.

Introducing two chins to your one chin at the same time could turn out to be quite difficult. You might get lucky, but the introductions that I've done have always been a little rough for the first few weeks and they were always individuals.

And I'm sure you thought about this, but if you do decide to go for that pair, make sure you have enough room for them. Is there enough room outside of the cage for all three to run around? Would you want to add another wheel to the cage? And you might need to clean more often with 3 chinchillas which means taking more time out of your day.

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23 Comments

  1. I agree, when looking into adding new chinchillas into your home you must always be prepared for the worst. Which means the chinchillas may not get along, or even if they do at first something can happen to affect that. The key is the answer is yes to add more to your family, make sure you have enough items for everyone and take your time. Do not rush it and you will be ok, and you can always ask questions to those who have had experience with this before. Good Luck!

  2. Over the years, we have introduced both young chins and rescued chins to our chin family. It is always a little tough going for a week or so as they become used to each other, but eventually they bond and become good buddies.

  3. Hi. I ran across this site while looking for information to my Chins behavior. We have had Lacy since she was 8 weeks old, she is now 10 months. We have tried unsuccessfully introducing her to another friend a couple times, and yet Lacy was completely dominated and beat up kind of bad once. We finally decided to try a couple months later with a 9 week old baby. She's very sweet, they both are. After some intro time with cages next to eachother, etc, we let them into the chinchilla play area together with both my husband and I ready to break up any violence quickly. Well we watched them and after only about 15 minutes Lacy went up to the baby and made a cooing sound. They both tilted their heads sideways and sniffed eachothers noses and before long the baby was crawling all over Lacy. This went on for a couple minutes with both of us hovering closely. Then Lacy went about her play time and the baby started making the same cooing noise and Lacy went running to her. She again started crawling all over her and they started what looked like 'grooming' eachother. I was very close since it looked like biting but it was not. I guess I am asking if you think I am just very lucky this time around and they are bonding very quickly or is the baby maybe looking to Lacy as a mother figure? Should this behavior be trusted? Thank you so much for your time. Jenn H.

    • I'm not experienced enough to say "trust it" for sure.... I do know that females will bond. It sounds to me as if you've hit a great combination and I'd bet you'll be fine... Someone with more experience might say you'd have to wait for the younger female to reach maturity and see if she changes. We've had 2 male chinchillas over the past 5-6? years... I've never read or heard of any problems like that.

  4. I have two chinchilla's which are one years old both female, I have recently rescued two more chinchilla's from pets at home which have already been in a previous home my initial intention was to get a white male but when i went in to pets at home ( i didn't plan on getting them from there but when i saw there little sad faces i had to help them!) they had four chinchillas in there, 2 boys and one male and female in separate cages, i wanted to get the two boys but then as they went to get them out one was dead (one of the reasons why i hate that stupid hell house of a shop) and obviously they didn't want to sell me the other one (but if all goes well i will get him soon) i got the male and female which are roughly the same age as mine, I want to put them all the same cage eventually do you think this is possible? i let them out every night for a few hours (I let them out separately but they see each other in the cage and go and sniff each other they do not make any aggressive sounds but they do seem keen to get to know each other!) i am too frightened to let them out together i have had them for almost a week now what do you think is best for the chinchilla's? my new chinchillas are in the standard chinchilla cage which I brought from pets at home (which is far to small for them) but my old chinchillas have a chinchilla palace of a cage it goes from the floor to the roof (i'm not sure how big that is) and it is about 4-5 foot wide. can any one help me?

  5. I recently got a second chinchilla female to be a companion to my first, however, they do not get along. At one point I let them run in my bathroom together and the first female bit the second. I've been looking online at small-animal harnesses/leads. The problem in the bathroom was that the baby could not run away and was chased, so if I could get one, then the older female couldn't chase the younger one if things went wrong. Also, in the hopes I wouldn't have to purchase anything, I've been reading on how to bond chinchillas. Chinchilla Planet's suggestion was to leave one in her cage and let the other run. I've been too afraid to do this in case it is a. possible to bite between the bars, and b. the baby clutches the bars, leaving her fingers exposed to biting. Any advise?

  6. HELP!!!!!! I adoppted 2 chinchillas a week ago. When I woke up today the femail had had 2 kits and it seems that she killed them. She had blood all over mouth, chest, and paws. is this normal for a mother chinchilla to kill her young?

  7. I have a male chinchilla. He's probably like a year and a half and I want to get him a friend. However I'm not sure if getting another male around the same age is a good idea. I don't know if maybe im better off trying to find a female friend instead. I don't want an older one but does age matter?

    • I was told at the pet store when I bought Nugget (male) that you can have two females in a cage but not two males. I'm not sure how true that is, since everything I've read differs. Hope that helps, even if only a little.

    • I was in this same situation... We thought about getting female, but didn't want kits, or to neuter our male (That CAN be done!!) Then, I learned that 2 males can have a good bond. We were advised to get a younger male.... Did that. They never got along... Like people, not all chinchillas get along!! We lost our older male (I still mourn!! :-( ) And, now, I'd love to try to bond the younger one... If this were to happen, it would have to be a foster situation. If we got lucky, cool... If not, we can try again.

    • I've only ever had male chinchillas together and have had no major problems. It will be a little rough at first getting them acquainted, it's easier if you can put them in cages next to each other at first. If you do decide to get a female, be aware that they may mate and produce more chinchillas for you to look after.

  8. Hi Critters15 I used to have a guinea pig (Betty) living in the same cage as my male chincilla (Billy), we decided in the end after a quite a few hot summers that we should separate them due to the mess Betty made and the smell, we trailed them apart for a week and been as they both seemed ok Betty went to live with my niece and nephews in her own hutch. All went well with this and we left it about a year so as not to cause to much confusion to Billy as he did enjoy Betty's company after his brother George died, and we have now successfully put a female chincilla BooBoo in with him after a period of them living next to each other.

  9. Chris Celnar

    Ricky, We don't have first hand experience with spaying or neutering chinchillas, but we've read that it can be done. You'll want to seek out a vet that has specific experience with exotic pets. We've found that most vets aren't prepared/willing to deal with any animals other than cats or dogs.

  10. I have male chinchilla , Im interested in getting him a female , is there any way that one of them can be spayed or nuetered so that there woudlnt be any babies ?

  11. Thanks so much! I had no idea they went into that trance-like state. He doesn't have a wheel right now, but I'm hoping to score one soon, since they do run a little expensive. Right now, he has a big tube, a big round seagrass hut with holes for him to jump through, and I heard the little bell several times from the other room last night from one of his chew toys hanging from the cage ceiling. He must be getting accustomed to things. At least now, I don't have to worry overmuch. I'll definitely be getting that wheel though!

  12. Chris Celnar

    Marilyn, Two things... The first is that chinchillas sometimes go in to this trance-like state where they sit very still with their eyes open. If you approach them slowly, they don't move. You can even pet them during this state. This behavior can explain short periods of quiet. The second thing is that chinchillas can be very nervous creatures. When they hear something such as you approaching their room, they'll stop whatever they're doing and listen to the noises so you may not be able to catch them being active. Does your cage have a wheel? If it doesn't, you should get one. And if it does, try to listen for it while in another room. That's a good sign that all is OK.

  13. Chin Planet, I just purchased a sweet little male ebony chinchilla from a breeder; he was born back in September and was in a cage with two other ebony males and a pastel when I picked him out. He's in his new home now, with a whole two-story cage to himself with chewable toys, hidy places, comfortable bedding, etc. We familiarized him with the room. He loved hopping about and climbing on us, but then when we checked on him hours later, he was just sitting in one place and kind of lethargic. Could he be lonely? Is there and huge chance that getting him used to living by himself, with only us to play with during nights for a few hours, would fail?

  14. Chris Celnar

    Katarina, There's no way to know ahead of time if two chinchillas will get along. In your case you shouldn't get a female as there's no way to ensure that they won't breed. Be aware that introducing chinchillas can take a few weeks so be sure your sister is up to the effort.

  15. I have a chinchilla at home and since I'm away to college for 4 days a week, my little sister gives him company every day for an hour or two. I was wondering what would happen if I brought home another chinchilla so he wouldn't be too lonely. How many chances there are that they would fight if I get him another male? I've heard that it's more possible for them to like each other if there are two males together rather than two females. I don't want to get him a female because I don't want any cubs.

  16. Chris Celnar

    Mary Ann, It's hard to know for sure from what you've described if your chinchillas has a health problem. The first thing to find out is if the fur is attached or not. It could be that your chinchilla is just shedding some fur and so it looks longer. If possible, try gently combing your chinchilla to see if the fur falls away. Combing is not usually necessary.

  17. My chinchilla is as far as I know healthy, but in the last few months his hair is sticking out longer than others on his back end. Is this a problem with his fur or health? Is it necessary to brush or comb their hair regularly and because we don't, could that be part of the problem? We have had one male chinchilla for about a year now and this is the first concern we have had.

  18. Chris Celnar

    Critters15, We have to admit that we haven't had to deal with a situation similar to yours. You are right to be concerned though. Our best advice is to do a test separation of your chinchilla and rabbit. Then watch the behavior of each to see if they "miss" each other. Good luck!

  19. I recently purchased a chinchilla who has grown up with a bunny. The purchase of the chinchilla included the bunny which was OK because I didn't want the chinchilla to be traumatized by a new environment and the losing of a friend. I would like to separate the two so that in the future I can possibly introduce my young boy to a very attractive young girl without the bunny interfering with them. Can you give me any tips on the smoothest way to separate the two and the amount of time I should leave in between the separation and the introduction of a new chinchilla?

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