How Should I Introduce a New Chinchilla?

Melinda writes:

Hi there - I have a four-month old female grey and I am looking for a female companion for her. I have a potential chin that I am looking into adopting and she is about 8 weeks old (there is another one I could adopt that is about 3 months). The breeder said because they are both so young, it is ok to put them in the cage together after having changed the bedding - is this ok or do I absolutely need to buy another cage first?

And we suggest:

Melinda,

Because they are young you should have it easy when it comes to introducing them. However, there's no way to tell until you try. You'll know within minutes if they're going to get along right away or will need to be introduced slowly.

Not sure what you can do to avoid buying a second cage. Can you get a loaner from the breeder? Or put some kind of wire divider in your current cage?

Melinda stops by again with a follow-up:

Thanks for your advice! I got a loaner cage from the breeder and I've been working on the two girls. I tried letting them out together at the same time, but they started fighting and chasing, so I stopped it and have been letting them out individually. It's been a couple of days and I let them out again together and I've noticed a significant decrease in chasing and fighting.

My slightly older chin Rosie keeps trying to jump on Isabella, which I know is a dominance thing. They touch teeth when they first meet with no problems, but do I have to worry about Rosie jumping on Bella if Bella doesn't make any distressed sounds?

Our follow-up answer to Melinda:

Melinda,

Glad to hear that the breeder was willing to help you out. Maybe the breeder will make note now that age doesn't guarantee chinchillas will get along. You should see a decrease in fighting as time goes on. If you're not already doing so, keep the cages as close together as possible.

If there are no distress sounds, no loss of fur, or biting, I wouldn't worry about one chin jumping on the other. It too should slowly stop.

Finally, our chinchillas have been together for many years and get along fine. However, we sometimes hear some odd sounds as if they're squabbling. This usually happens for us in the morning as they're settling in to sleep. Almost as if one chinchilla is hogging too much of the house :-) Just wanted to let you know in case you experience the same thing.

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32 Comments

  1. I have a 6 month old chinchilla. Well she's about 6 months and I've had her for 2months now. She's really hyper, but gets lonely I think. She doesn't mind being tickled when she's in her cage but when shes out she runs away from any movement. I'm thinking of getting another chinchilla, but I've heard I should get another female. What age and how should I introduce them? I don't know if i can get another cage so I don't know. I've heard it will be really good for my chinchilla now because she probably won't be as timid if she has a friend.

  2. I have a 2 year old male chinchilla named Kiwi. I love him to death, but he looks lonely because I'm not always there. I was thinking of getting another one to give him company but I'm not sure if I should get a male, female, young or old. Thanks!

  3. Hi, I have a five year old male chinchilla and was concidering getting another one. I have read that he is compatible with both genders but i would like to know if there is a better choice between genders for him. And what age would work, around the same age as my male or younger (juvenile?) Thanks, Alex+Chili

  4. I have an 8 month old female & I am wanting to get another girl I have found a breeder. I haven't the slightest clue when they will be born or how far along she is.Will it be harder to introduce them the older Pebbles ( my 8 month old ) gets? Also if you have any good advice on the intro or anything about pairing let me know. :)

  5. Hi, I have a 3yr old standard male chinchilla called Cheeky and I've had him on his own since he was 4 months old with a rare couple of visits to my friend who had 2 females. He was fine meeting them but when he was with both females they bullied him, he was fine with 1 and then the other which I thought was pretty normal. Recently I bought a 2yr old charcoal female named Cinders and I have them in seperate cages. When I got Cinders I let her out on her own so she could get used to her new surroundings and she was intrigued by cheeky in his cage, but every time she went up to his cage, he threw himself at the bars and tried to bite her through it. The same thing happened last night when i let cheeky out on his own, he tried to bite her through her cage. Is this normal and how can i try to get them to get along? Please help

  6. hello and i have a chinchilla called milly and she is about 3 or 4 years old and she is a girl and my friend has a chinchilla called elliot and hes a boy and he is younger then my chinchilla i tryed to put them to gether but my chinchilla went to bite hes noes or i dunno but she was kkeep on runing away from him so shud i try again me cause me and my friend want like a thing where she can bring her chinchilla up mine wen she comes and they can play together ?? is that posibul

  7. I have a gray male chinchilla and he looks lonely I wonted to get a white female is It ok to put them in a big cage out in my barn next to my rabbits and chickens.

  8. Vanessa as long as you have a big enough cage they should be okay. Just give them a little time to get to know each other.

  9. I have had my chinchilla for over a year and i just got another one and I'll just keep this runon sentence because I don't know what to do theya re not getting along at all. The person I got it from said she meets new chinchillas all the time and she is fine with it but they hate eachother aaaaa I do NOT have another cage whatsoever and I'm freaking out and any reply sometime soon would be awesome what they are doing is rubbing their butt on the floor and rubbing their teeth and making weird sounds. How will I make these gladiators chill?

    • The teeth chattering is normal for chinchillas to do. My two boy chinchillas fight a lot because of food dominence and territory. I'm not sure of the butt thing but I'd keep and eye on them. If you start noticing weird things that they are doing i'd talk to a vet about it Maybe they would be able to help. Hope the advice is helpful! Good Luck with them!

  10. we hav had a girl chinchilla for a year now and we just got a boy one but when we got them out togather the girl was fighting and attaching th boy he seemed fine with her but she not wot shall i do???????

  11. HI EVERYONE I have 2 male chinchillas, i first bought one at the age of 3 months and a half, about 10 days later i went and bought another male (his genetical brother), i introduced them slowly and now they get along PERFECTLY WELL, and are very comfortable in my house. They are almost 6 months old now. I was told about this shelter in which there are abandoned or forbidden animals that try to enter mexico (i did not know that chinchillas were forbidden here), they told me they could get me chinchillas if i can proove i can take care of them. My question is: is it a bad idea to get one or maybe 2 more male chinchillas? Would these new ones affect my actual chinchillas? I would love to have more, and i would have so much care at introducing them. But i have some concerns, i believe that the new chinchillas may have been at custom houses and could have been affected by the environment. If it were possible to have 1 or 2 more male chinchillas, for what signs should i look for to know if they are "healthy" to bring home... and about what age should i try to find them? About the same age as the actual ones? Maybe younger? THANK YOU VERY MUCH EVERYONE

    • Okay, so I might be getting a chinchilla for Christmas. But, the only way I can get one is if I don't need to get another cage. My chinchilla right now is about 9 months old. She's a girl. I'd be getting another girl, so would they get along? I think they would. But, just incase what do I do if they don't? I mean I'd have Christmas break, and if they didn't get along I'd watch the all week, and work with them. I don't wanna end up givng on away! What should i do to try to make them get along, when I do get the chinchilla? Please email me, because I have no idea how to get back to this website, It just randomly popped up. (woka4445@aol.com) & I do have another one. Woka4445 is my main one, and I check that one more.

  12. I have two boy chinchillas. They get along great because one of them is the dad and the other is the son. I was thinking of bringing them to my school because one of the teachers there has two boys also. I kind of wanted to see if all four boys could get along together in the same cage. Any advice as to what I could do?

  13. I have a 10 month old male chinchilla and I want to get him a friend. Does it matter if they are both males or if one is a male and the other a female? I want to get the right companion for him. Also, I have seen that most people say they should be kept in separate cages and taken out daily for "play dates." How long should they be kept in separate cages before they can both be put in the main cage?

  14. I have a 10 month old male chinchilla and he seems lonely. I was looking into getting him a friend to keep him company. I don't have a preference about getting another male or getting a female. Would the introduction be better if they were both males or if there was a male and a female? I also have been reading that they should be kept in separate and come together to bond each day. About how long should they have "play dates" before they can be put into the same cage?

  15. I have one chinchilla who is 1 year old and it is a female. She looked lonely so I got her a male...and another female. They are all from the same breeder so I didn't think there would be a problem. But my new chinchillas, (the boy and girl) are only 6 weeks old. I try to put them all together but the girls get very protective of the boy. I want them all to get along but at the same time, don't want them to get hurt. Also, the male and 6 week old female share a cage. The male keeps trying to mate with her. Should I move the 6 week old into the 1 year old females cage to prevent babies at such a young age? Even though the girls don't get along? Please help.

  16. I just got a Male Chinchilla who is 5 yrs old. I already have 2 feamle chinchillas that are 1 yr. They are both sisters. The male is from another breadder. Anyway, I have tried introducing them several times in the past month. One of the females visiously attacks him without giving up everytime she gets near him. And he just tries to get away never defends himself at all. And my other female is always nuzzling with him and being just as nice as he is. And then after they have their time together. the other female will attack her in the same way. Which after she has lost hair and started becoming shy of being around my male. Its kind of like the other is punking her and caring her from being around the male. I really want to have them all in one cage. I have 1 very large cage big enough for all of them. And at the time haveing to put my male in a smaller guinnee pig cage. Which I am not happy with at all. Please tell me that there is something that I can do. O do I need to find a home for the misbehaving female?

  17. Hey Chinchilla Planet, I have a male chinchilla that is about 8/9 months old. I'm thinking about getting a companion and I have laid my eyes on a female chinchilla, but she's about 3 months. How should I introduce them together, should I not let them see each other until the female is 8 months? What should I do?

    • What I would do is, because the female is so young, I would wait 'til shes at least six months. You should have another pen or choose one of the cages, and let them play together. Do it at least once a day so they will enjoy coming out of their cages and excited to see each other. This will strengthen the chinchillas bond with each other.

  18. Hi i just got another chinchilla about four months and my other one is about 10 months and i put them together right away and they started fighting so i seperated them how do i get them to stop fighting and will they ever get along

  19. hi i have 2 female chinchillas and i want a baby chinchilla but im afraid they might pick on it my chinchillas are very friendly and i think they would get a long with it but i dont really no how to introduce them to it and my chinchillas are 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 and i have enough room for another one in the cage that i have for mine but the only other cage i have is guinea pig cage that is from my wrist to my shoulder long and from my elbow to my fingers long what do i do?

  20. i`m sorry about your chinchilla being lonly,you should buy A new one that is the same age as it. they perobly will get along after time. All you have to do is let them see each other and benear each other for a little while and they should be able to get along with each other. I wan`t A chinchilla what would you advice for me to get as in female or male and what kind of chinchilla is best??

  21. Hello there I have a chinchilla that is a year now and i just got a new chinchilla that is about 3months. My older one has tryed fighting with the baby one. and everytime i bring him near hes cage (the new one,. near the older ones cage) he like flips out. will they become friend in time? Or will it they never get along ?

  22. Chris Celnar

    Randi, Sorry to hear that one of your chinchillas got hurt. It does complicate the introducing process as you suspected. It would seem to us that if your two chinchillas weren't getting along before the accident that they won't afterwards and so you'll have to take it slowly. However, in the long run there shouldn't be any issue with an injured chinchilla coexisting with a non-injured one. Although it's impossible to be 100% safe, the most common injuries are due to wire cage bottoms and wire wheels. Such surfaces that allow a chinchilla's foot to slip through will inevitably lead to injury at some point.

  23. Hi i was in the process of introducing my 2 male chinchillas. we were about 3 weeks into it when the newest one had an accident. (he got his foot caught in his ramp to go to the 4th story) well we are having to keep him confined in a 1 story cage until he heals. his splint comes off in a week, but there will still be a bit of recovery time before i can let him out on daily runs again. well anyways after such a long break from the introductory process is it safe to just start over? even if the 3 weeks we were introducing they were still not getting along? also for the rest of the newest ones life his leg will be straighter than other. and that will make running and jumping more difficult. should i maybe just keep them seperate? so no injuries can occur?

  24. i have a male chinchilla and he is almost one year old but he doesnt like people he doesnt like to be held or played with at all, i feel bad because he is always in his cage alone because he doesnt like to be played with. he has a very large cage it is about 5 feet tall 3 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet deep with 4 different levels. i want to get him another male so he isnt alone all the time but it dont know if hes to old or how to do it?

  25. Chris Celnar

    We don't think your chinchilla is to old for a friend. The new chinchilla can go in to a smaller cage since it is temporary. That's what we did. The age of the second chinchilla shouldn't matter too much as long as he is fully grown i.e. not a baby.

  26. Hello, I have a male chinchilla that is 3 years old. I would really like to get another one and put them in the same cage. Is he too old to introduce a new one? I know that it would be best to keep them in seperate cages and slowly let them interact. Does it matter what size the cage is that I put my new chinchilla in? And should I look for an older chinchilla or a younger one to introduce? Thank you so much!

  27. Chris Celnar

    Hannah, You don't need two chinchillas, but they do seem to enjoy having company. We have two chinchillas that are both females and they get along just fine.

  28. Hi i have been wanting a chinchilla for a while now and i might be getting one soon.Is it best to get two chinchillas that are females or just one female.I dont want to have stress about them fighting. What shuld i do????

  29. I am planning to get me another one so my chinchilla Charley can have a friend to play with. Thank you for that information we probably would have just stuck them together and hoped they get along.

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