Introducing Two Chinchillas

Chinchillas that didn't grow up together may not get along upon first being introduced. This might surprise some people since chinchillas are sociable in the wild.

However, all is not lost. It is possible to get two chinchillas used to each other's company. When we were introducing two chinchillas from different breeders we used a tried and proven technique. We put the newer chinchilla in a spare cage we had. We kept our older chinchilla in her original cage. We kept the two cages side-by-side so that chinchillas could see and smell each other at all times.

Then, every night we would let each chinchilla out of her cage for a period of time, but never both at the same time. We left it up to each chinchilla to approach the other. Of course, with the cage bars in between them, there was no fear that they would hurt each other.

After a week or two, we allowed both chinchillas to leave their cages at the same time. The first few times we did this, the chinchillas would chase each other which we stopped as quickly as possible.

Again, a week or so after releasing both from their cages we noticed that there was less chasing and less fighting. The number of "incidents" continued to decrease over time. About 3 to 4 weeks into the process, we moved the newer chinchilla into the older chinchilla's cage. They slept in the same box, shared the same water bottle, and ate from the same dishes.

And as further proof that this system works, we repeated everything again with a third chinchilla with same results.

We believe in providing as complete information as possible, so we want to also make you aware of the neutral zone technique. Those that use the neutral zone technique actually disagree with the approach we described. We leave it up to you decide which approach to take.

two chinchillas

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117 Comments

  1. Hey :) my two boys (Ben and jerry) are twin brothers white and silver tov... Both loving and beautiful in every way!! But unfortunately... Jerry passed away about 2 weeks ago... At the tiny age of 18months :( Ben seems to sleep a lot now and seems really lonely... My friend has had a similar situation with her ebony tov... And would like me to try him (smudge) wih my boy Ben... I have a huuuge cage which I may be able to divide but side by side is not an option as I have a huuuuuuuge degu cage next to my boy at the minute an no room for a spare... If worst case scenario of total rejection happens my friend said he can stay with her no problem. But we're both hoping for happy bonded chins... My friend intends on helping with intros as she's the trusted chin parent on his part.. But intro time is not a luxury we have... Any suggestions on the best process to use? Like I said I am able to split my cage to two levels thanks guys

  2. Hi I have two males who have recently become friends, I also have two females who are sisters, would it be ok for me to seperate each pair nd put a male with a female and also with he others, or would this be dangerous as they are already in a pair?

    • Why would you want to if happily bonded?

  3. I have a cage of three chinchillas which I rescued a while ago, who seem really interested in my previous chinchillas who we already owned before we adopted them. Although my family are content with keeping them in separate cages, would I be able to let both sets of chinchillas out at the same time? I am worried that the rescued chinchillas could almost gang up on my two. Should I just stick to letting them out at separate times or would I be able to let them out together (which would be a lot more convenient for me)?

    • Chinchillas can be very social and are arguably more happy when they have other chinchillas to play with. However, some chinchillas will fight and you'll need to separate them if that happens. There's no real way to tell ahead of time so your best bet is to let them out and stay close to observe behavior. I'll assume you've already considered the implications of mixing genders!

  4. I have a female chinchilla, and have had her since july she isn't super attached to me but seems really lonely on her own. so i decided to get her a male companion. my problem is that my female has a 2 level cage (2 levels and on each level is a shelf about half the size) i was wondering if u could put my baby boy underneath her on the first level of that would complicate things? and also if they get along off the bat can i leave them together or still need to follow the steps? an other option i have is i have a little cage i could but him in for the time it takes for them to get along but it isn't very big, would that be ok? thank you!

  5. We have a female chinchilla thats about 6 months old and we just went and got a male today. We had a seperate cage for the male and put the cages close together for them to smell each other and stuff for awhile. Then we let them botoh out of their cages and they were fine for a little bit. They just met nose to nose and sniffed each other. Then my female started jumping on the male kinda aggressively and then my male shedding some fur. Is that normal for a female to act that way towards the male???? And what should I do to get her to not do that because we want them to breed??? Any tips???

    • Your female needs to be ATLEAST 8 months old before you breed her.

  6. I have 2 male chinchillas same litter, separated them for one night and when I placed them together the following day the were fighting and I don't know what to do.

  7. We have had our chin, Furby, for about a year now. He is almost two years old. We recently got a new chin, Spike, who is only about 10 months old. We put them together in the same cage from day one (with a second cage in the waiting in case they did not get along). The girl at the pet store said they should get used to each other in a month or two. But our older one is so stressed out by the youngster that he is shedding fur and won't even take his favorite treats any more. We don't want to get rid of Spike or separate them. Furby has been much less lonely since we got Spike but we have no idea how to decrease the stress level for Furby. Any suggestions?

    • You NEVER put them together from the getgo. Separate them at once, put the new one in a spare cage, and sit it next to the other one. You're lucky they didn't kill each other yet.

      • They haven't been violent at all. They only tried to mate each other for a couple of days. But that stopped when they figured out they are both boys. They have gotten much better together. They are playing some. They are still sleeping on separate shelves. But it has gotten much better. Thanks for the info. I will definitely keep it in mind if we ever get another one.

  8. I don't know how current this site is, first time being on here but I figured I'd share my story. I've had Chandler for over a year, and he was really bonded to me until I got my female a couple months ago. Yes, I named her Monica. I took my time introducing them to eachother, their cages were side by side and I'd switch them into eachothers cages for a day or to every couple of weeks. They're getting along perfectly well now, they're actually all snuggled up as I'm typing this, the only thing is that now Chandler likes his lady more than he likes me. Just something to keep in mind if you're really bonded to your Chin and you get them a mate, they're most likely going to prefer the other Chins company to yours, should they get along.

  9. I have two male chinchillas and they're about the same age. I love both of them but they dont seem to like each other at all! The older one keeps attacking the new one and pulling out the new one's fur. We really don't want to get rid of the new one but we don't want either one to get hurt. We tried putting their cages next to the other one's but they just won't cooperate! Please help! They are both really sweet animals.

  10. I currently own a female chinchilla which I have owned for 11 years. She has always lived on her own and is very happy and healthy. I have recently found two male 2 year old chinchillas which have lived together for this time and are available free to a good home. I would like to give these chinchillas a great home with me, but I'm worried about the two males fighting between themselves over my female chinchilla. I will have two separate cages for the two boys and my female and I don't plan to mate from my female. Will the two males end up continuously fighting over my female chinchilla?

    • Yes, they will. They will be able to smell the female and instincts will win out in the end. There are lots of examples of this happening to people on chinchilla forums. Please don't do this unless you can keep the cages in separate rooms.

  11. hi, i have two male chinchillas that i would like to put in the same cage. i have had both chinchillas for about a year but haven't really tried to go to the next level in introduceing them. i did do little things like letting them use the same dustbath and putting there cages close together so they could see eachother. the last time i played with them the younger chinchilla named bongo seemed interested and non agressive. my older chinchilla who i've had for a longer time however chased and grabbed some fur off bongo. does this mean that they will not get along? the older chinchilla was making anoyed nosies but not barking at bongo at all.

  12. I just got a new chinchilla an I am not sure if my original chinchilla is going to take to her....they do not bark at each other but the first meeting was not a success...any tips, they are both friendly enough apart?

  13. Im getting a baby boy chinchilla soon (8 weeks old) and he is very nice, and loves every one and every thing. He has a very large cage (30 cubic feet) which someone told me that was enough for 4 chins, maybe even 5! But i want to get him a friend, There is another baby male chinchilla of the same age (8 weeks) but from a diffrent breeder. Both have never been in the cage, or in the house even. If i get both males and put them in the same cage, whats the chances they will get along? i cant have another smaller cage by the cage, becouse of the shape of my room. The cage will have lots of dens, and 4 wooden shelves plus two hammocks, ect.

    • I also have two chinchillas. They have been separate for 3 years, but always below and above eachother. I have tried to let them roam around the room and they have been perfectly fine. My advice for you is to buy a brand new cage that neither of them have every been in before and too put them in at the same time. Also make sure that you buy all new stuff including dust baths, food bowls, water bottles, and hiding houses. Make sure to also buy cold pads, toys and other things that they can chew on and keep them from fighting with each other. If this is not done then they could become territorial. Cleaning their things will not work. I have done this and my chinchillas, ChiChi and Milly, have been fine. They now do things they have never done together before like sharing the same food bowl, sleeping together and even playing together The first night that you put them in the cage make sure too pay attention to how they act towards each other. At first they may make strange sounds at each other and even do little standoffs, but DO NOT under any circumstances separate them. If you do this they may treat each other as enemies. And it is possible that they will be jealous of each other and try to attack each other if put together again. I know that sounds hard to believe but they have great memory and if you do something to make one mad he or she will remember that and there for it will take months to earn their trust back. Also make sure to try as hard as you can to have the same breed, such as a northern chinchilla with a norther chinchilla, or a fancy chinchilla with a fancy chinchilla. One more thing is to make sure to get the same gender together, but females are generally more likely to get along. The males may fight for domination. Well good luck!

  14. i have two chinchillas that refuse to get along i tried everything :( now i have to let one at a time rome my room they nibble everything but when they burrow under the covers and fall asleep with you its all worth it anyone got a for sure method to get these little buggers to get along my male i had first and is much older than my female they fight through the cages the male chases the female around ripping her hair out the one time i tried to let them free

  15. I have one male chinchilla whom I love very much. I try to give him the very best of care and spend as much time with him as possible, but am afraid that he is not getting enough companionship. I would love to get him a chinchilla friend, and I'm prepared to put in the time to help them adjust to one another. Lately, however, I've read horror stories about chinchillas getting sick for no reason when another one is introduced. I know better than to get an obviously sick chinchilla (patchy coat, watery eyes, etc;) but I'm afraid that there may be some less obvious warning signs that I'm not aware of. Any tips?

  16. I just bought a baby chinchilla and a week after she left her mother I rescued an older female chinchilla. It has only been a couple days but they took to each other from the very start and sleep together and everything. My only concern is that the older female may be pregnant as she was kept in another cage with a male previously...could this be a danger for my younger one?

    • Just put the younger one in a seperate cage till the older one has the baby because they wolf be very protective ...

  17. i have two chinchillas .. the first chinchilla i had was male ..after 5 months keeping him with me i felt that he trusted me so i thought of getting other chinchilla ... i went to the store and got a female .. i came home and i introduced them to each other ... and i realized that the female began to itch .. the second day the male began to itch too ... but when i had him before i did not see him itch .. only when i got the female he began to itch ..................................... what do i doo?

  18. Okay so, I have two chinchillas, both male. The first one, Chinchie, I adopted from a person who could no longer take care of him. I spent many months gaining Chinchie's trust and decided he could use some company.. So I went to the store and found my additional chinchilla, Nibbler. Once I got Nibbler home, I introduced him to Chinchie and they instantly became friends, it was great! Then not even two days later Nibbler starts sneezing.. So I took him to the vet and they treated him with two shots (I'm not sure what they were) and gave me some antibiotics to administer at 2 milligrams twice daily until the bottle finished..I went home from the vet, found a spare cage, cleaned it, and put Nibbler in it separate from Chinchie... A week went by and the bottle was nearly finished, Nibbler hadn't sneezed in a while so I put him back in the cage with Chinchie and now Nibbler is sneezing again.. What do I do?? :(

  19. i just bought my chnchilla a month and a half ago. i love her so much and i wanted to get another chinchilla. when we bought her there was one other chinchilla at the store from the same litter, but it was a boy and my baby is a girl. we wanted to stick with just girls because we dont want babbies. i am very scared about spending the money on another and finding they dont get along together and end up bringing her to the humane society or have to buy another cage. i love my baby and am scared that the 2nd one will hurt her. my baby chinchilla is calm and has never bit anyone, well execpt my brother. do u think the people at the pet store will be ok if i bring my chinchilla to meet the new one as we pick one out or will they not alow it. i heard chinchillas need a big cage for jumping. i used to have a guinea pig, but that cage is smaller. i do sopose i could fit 2 shelves in the guinea pig cage. is that ok for a couple weeks or so u say. i worry alot and am very carfull after the death of my guinea pig who caught a draft on the way to get his nails clipped. PLEASE HELP!!! Thankyou, jerry

  20. Hi. I currently have a chinchilla that I've had for about 2 years named smokey. Last week, a friend of mine told me he's getting rid of his Albino Chin and he wants to know if I want him. The problem is that the white chinchilla is a little fiesty. He sometimes nips at my hand, so I'm a little afraid of trying to introduce him to the calm Smokey... I'm not sure what i should do !

  21. I've had my first chinchilla for about 3 years and recently rescued a new one about a month ago. I'm trying to to introduce them, but during the first week the cages were too close together and the new baby's foot got bitten by the older chin. I've read that if either is injured to completely stop introduction and give up. Is this true? I'd really like to hear from someone who has introduced 2 chinchillas after they'd bitten each other. I've had the cages side-by-side, traded their cages so they eat and play in each other's houses, used cage inside a cage, and I'm on the neutral environment now. They fight constantly, but I've only put them together twice. Should I continue or give up? How often should I put them together? every day? every week? After how long should I start to see improvement and when is the time to completely stop for good? please let me know if you have any insight!!! Thanks so much!

  22. I have had my old chinchilla since april, and have since introduuced a new chinchilla. we have them in seperate cages, and at firdst they fought alot when we brought them out together but we are in the second week of the process and we do find they are fighting less and playing and chattering more. however, after being out together for any period of time, one gets annoyed with the other and starts biting. i think over time they will quit fighting when they become more accustomed to eachother =)

  23. i have just successfully introduced my 2 chinchilla's and in under a week. i used a variety of techniques, seeing what is best for the chins, i personally found putting them side by side in there cage worked well, also i made them swap cages to get used to the smell and to sleep in the others bed, and eat the others food. we would always let them out together, there were a few little fights, but we would soon break it up. They then began nosing each other, looks a bit a bit like kissing, and chattering a lot, however when we separated them, they would be at the side of the cage trying to get to the other chin. but we carried on letting them out together, making them use the same sand bath and such. they then began to jump on each other, however the chinchillas that was being jumped didnt run straight away, i have 2 males, i think they just needed to check if the other chinchilla was male, and now they are getting along happily. hope this helps, good luck

  24. I need some advice on introducing my two chinchillas. I got one in September and then got another in January and they have been in separate cages since. Whenever I put them together on the floor the one i got in January, Baloo always bites my other Jack. I need some advice! Whenever I put them in the same cage Baloo always chases and bites Jack he pees all over the cage! PLEASE I NEED SOME HELP thank you Beth

  25. i just got a new chinchilla and i want to no how to ease them together theyve been in seperate cages for about 4 weeeks.

  26. Hello, My name is TJ. My Girlfriend and I have had a male chinchilla for 2 years now. We recently decided to get him a fellow chinchilla. So we bought another male as well as another larger environment. When we introduced the two together they began sniffing each other and the new younger male went about his business checking out the new environment with no problem at all with the older male. The older male seemed excited and accepting of the younger male and was interested in the new environment also. However, he began sniffing and following the younger male around and then it happened....He started trying to mate with the younger male rapidly. Everytime I would seperate him he would began sniffing again and hop on him again. We really want them to live together and we have no idea how to prevent this. Can anyone please help us? We really want them to enjoy each others company in this big environment we have for them.

  27. Hi! I've had chinchillas for a few years now. I started off with only one, and she gave birth a few months after we got her. We had no idea she was pregnant at her time of purchase, so it came as a great surprise to us. When we found out the baby was a boy, we considered buying a new chinchilla to mate with him. We did so, buying what we think was a young female chinchilla. We tried introducing the two, however it never worked out. In 2006, both my mother and son chinchilla passed away. Now I'm wondering if perhaps the chinchilla I have left is lonely. We also have 4 cats, which she seems to get along with (though she isn't ever outside of her cage when they're around), and she seems generally content, but I noticed that the last time I let her out to hop she became fascinated with a cat toy which she must have thought was a chinchilla. She hopped around it and made noise, and it just touched my heart. My question is; would my older chinchilla get along with a newer chinchilla if I were to buy one? Or do you think she's happy by herself? She's always been a quirky, sweet, little girl, but sometimes I do sense that she is a bit lonely having nothing but cats around. Help would be greatly appreciated!

  28. Thank you for all the replies - much appreciated. I will continue to try these different methods and hope that one of them works! Thanks again All.

    • Dear Laura, i try to help people as much as posible. you're welcome :)

  29. Dear Laura, There are more ways, after hearing your distress I desided to serch the web. I found three more ways to help. You have three more couses you can force two chinchillas into getting along by placing them in a small confined area, in the small area, the chinchillas will not have enough room to fight and will become used to each other. Many pet owners have found this way to be ineffective and result in stressed chinchillas. Pushing two cages together has worked in many cases, There are some negatives to this method though, one chinchilla can still display dominance over the other, regardless if they are in the same cage. A chinchilla may see its neighbor as a threat and attack when they are in a shared play area. The cage within a cage method is somewhat self-explanatory, a small cage is placed inside a larger cage, there are a few precautions when setting up this method, most importantly, if the chinchilla does not trust or is not comfortable with the owner, it will have a hard time bonding with another chin. Also, the cages must be cleaned thoroughly to remove any scents. this is the most effective way to introduce two chinchillas.

  30. Hello - I have two male chinchilla's, Albert (coming up 2 years) and Sidney (11 months) who I envisaged would be some company for Albert. I have tried introducing them many times since I got Sidney from a breeder 6 months ago. It has been near-on impossible to make them get along for longer than a couple of hours. I kept them in separate cages to begin with, then moved them to one cage that is split into two. It used to be Albert who chased Sidney, but now it seems Sidney goes for the older one - although, there are never any injuries, just seems to be chasing and fur biting. They do still get let out for a run together sometimes and it can be fine, but it never lasts long. I was hoping that they could live in one cage together at some point - is there any hope? Has anyone got any other suggestions??

    • Dear Laura, There is a nother way.Try this, put them in different cages. Then put the cages close to each other, but not so close that they can fight through the bars. Then do this for a week or two, don't let them out at the same time. Then after the time is up you take them out and swich cage. Leave them in the other cage for one hour. Ifthis dosen't woke then try agin with different floor stuff.

  31. Hi! I have 2 male chins... Cheeko I've had for a little over a year (hes 3) and I've had Ramone (7months old) for 2 months now... I'm trying to get them together... but for some reason anywhere we go Ramone chases and pulls at Cheeko's hair. We put them in neutral locations and we would sometimes (at first) push their cages together and they would jump back and forth from the cages... they were less aggressive when the cages were together than in a neutral location...(it also has been awhile since we pushed their cages together) .. i was wondering what anyone suggests about getting them together? Any other ideas??? PLEASE let me know... i love both of them and don't have the room to keep them separated for much longer... i had someone tell me to put vick's vapor rub? on their noses to mask each others scents? Does anyone know if this is toxic?? it sounds to me like it would be bad for them (i haven't even attempted it) If anyone can help i could really use it! Thanks a bunch Angela

    • try cinnimon on their noses... i've seen that on several sites (the vicks sounds too dangerous to me)... it seems like i lucked out with my girls i kept their cages next to each other for a while, then every now and then i would switch which cage they were in, i made sure that there was a ledge on each cage that was even with a ledge on the other cage so they were able to get real close to each other... and i would put them in a neutral spot every now and then... eventually they would just sit next to each other on the ledges with just the wires between them... thats when i finally put them together and they have been together ever since.. though i have heard it's harder to introduce males to each other than females.. oh and the one before this one.. you really never know until you try, but i'd becareful about that because if it doesn't work then you'll either have two cages with a chinchilla in each cage or you'll have to try and relocate one of the two

  32. sorry i forgot to mention he is 3 years old will it make a difference is he to old to lean to love???? please resond soon

  33. I just bought my fist chinchilla a mounth ago and I love him to death but I would love to get a seccond 1 some day but the breeder said other chinchillas don't like him and he doesn't like them so she kept him in a corner by himself will this work on a chinchilla that has been said to not like other chins?

  34. I have two chinchillas; a three year old female adopted from a Humane Society and a one year old female who was born and raised in a rescue. I got the one year old to hopefully be a companion to the three year old. They are in a two-story Ferret Nation cage wth wire covering both sides of the opening between the stories s they can sniff at and see each other but not do any grabbing or biting. I switch their positions frequently so each one spends time on both the top and bottom of the cage. After about three weeks , they no longer attempt any aggression through the bars. However, if I release them into a neutral play area, I invariably have chasing and hair-pulling. Things usually start out OK, they sniff noses and then go their separate ways. After a bit, Ginny, the older girl, kecks at Piper, the younger girl, if she gets too near, and sometimes sprays her. Piper will usually retreat, but if she charges, Ginny will run. Piper does about 90% of the hair pulling. I have tried this four or five times now, with several days between the trials. If there is improvement, it is *very* slow. There don't seem to be any injuries from the chasing, just lots and lots of pulled fur. What should I do? Is there hope that they will get along?

    • Try this cris, Commonly seen as the most effective way to introduce two chins, the cage within a cage method is somewhat self-explanatory. A small cage is placed inside a larger cage. There are a few precautions when setting up this method. Most importantly, if the chinchilla does not trust or is not comfortable with the owner, it will have a hard time bonding with another chin. Also, the cages must be cleaned thoroughly to remove any scents.

  35. yeah, it's still effective, as long as no injuries are existent. fur pulling and urine spraying are not injuries. missing digits and serious bites are

  36. Hi, I have a two-year old female chinchilla and I've had her for four months. I just bought another female to keep her company that is 3 months old. When they first met, everything was fine but in time, one of my chinchillas sprayed a stream of urine in the other chinchilla's direction. Now I'm really concerned they won't get along. Can this method still be effective?

  37. Hi I have two male chinchillas that get along great and live in the same cage and are about a year old. I just got a new 4 month old male chinchilla that I am keeping in a cage right next to them for the time being. They are both alright with the new chin, but they are starting to fight with each other. Is this their way of showing the new chinchilla who is most dominant or what? I'm not sure what to do.

  38. I have a chinchilla that I recieved as a gift a year ago, and I think he's 1 1/2 now. I am not always able to play with him as much as I know we both would like, and he always seems down, so I was thinking of getting him a friend. I have found a 2 year old male that I was looking into buying. After reading up on how to introduce them, I have a few questions. The cage I currently have is not a wire cage. It's metal with plexiglass doors and a wire top. Will the chinchillas be able to get used to eachother's smells despite this? Also, I am worried about losing the bond I have with Charlie if i get him a friend. Do chinchillas still want human attention once they have someone else to play with? Lasly, The cage i have now is 4 feet by 3 feet and has 3 levels. Will this be big enough to house two chinchillas in?

  39. peace to all chinchilla lovers you guys rock! :-) ;-) B-) :-)>

  40. My 7 month old chinchilla is seriously refusing to let me handling him I keep thinking maybe I'm handling him wrongly or he just doesn't like me the sake of it. So i'm just asking if u could giv me some advice of how to handle him without making him stressed.

    • Don't worry, My chinchilla used to be like that.... just like people they have personalities.... When approaching him with your hand, curl it up and let him come to you... be patient... let him sniff you and even take a nibble. don't try to pick him up directly. and award him with a treat, perhaps a raisin each time after you try to make contact. Try experimenting with different ways to scratch him behind his ears... (different strength) It took me quite a while to realise my chinchilla likes it "rough"... I was really afraid at first that i might hurt him but then i saw some movies on youtube of ppl "massaging" their chins... so I tried and he really loves it, our relationship has really improved since. hope I was helpful, GOOD LUCK... and remember -- Patience....

  41. Hi, I have a 5 year old male chin. I'd like to get a playmate for him. I have thought about another male chinchilla or a guinea pig. What are your thoughts on introducing another chinchilla or a guinea pig? Thanks!

    • Know that getting a second chinchilla might not work out, but there's a good chance that if the introduction is carried out well, it will. Separate species are generally not advised due to differences in food. Guinea pig food is different than chinchilla feed, and the chinchilla /will/ go for it.

  42. Hi, i have a male chinchilla that is about 7 months old.He is with us 5 months.Since last 4 weeks we tryin' to introduce another male chin(beige-10 months)For a first week we keep them in a 2 seperate cages side by side and let them out of cages one after another.After week we decided to let them go out together.First time my first one attacked the new one, but day after the new one keep chasing my first chinchilla everytime theyre both outside their cages.And it is not just chasing (fur from my very first one was everywhere).Since that we tried to use a vanilla drops(put a drop into a nose of each other to make them smell the same), we were trying to flip the new one upside down to let our first one to smell his belly etc. just to let him know then there is nothing to worry about, our first chinchilla never bites.Yesterday after 4 weeks of letting them out together and living in seperate cages side by side new one still chasing and attacking my first one.What should i do now?

  43. Hello, My wife and I got a young chinchilla last year and named her Aquila. She was always really sweet and treated us immediately like family. We were so pleased, that after a while we decided to get another chinchilla to keep her company because we thought that it would be the best thing and so, a couple of months ago, we brought Nimbus home. I was foolish and I immediately put Nimbus into Aquila's cage. I hadn't done enough research and I didn't realize that chinchillas needed so much time to learn to acclimate themselves to each other. So, immediately there were spats. We removed Nimbus at once, of course, and put her in her own cage but we kept the cages close together. We've since done a lot of research and have tried lots of suggestions for helping the chinchillas learn to like each other, but it hasn't seemed like anything has helped. In fact the opposite has happened. The fighting has seemed to increase. We try to moniter them closely and we try to give them time together to get them used to each other, but to no avail. What can we do? Please please help. David and Becky

  44. Hi, I got a female baby chinchilla as company for my nearly 2 year old female chinchilla and after a few days they wern't fighting or anything through the bars (the big one just ignores the little one) so i put them on the floor. they were ok but the big one seems to chase the little one just abit and the little one jumps all over the place so i don't know if they are fighting or just playing. there is no noise really maybe a low like clicking noise but i don't no when i should put them in the cage together as i'm afriad the big one might hurt the baby i'm also afriad they will never make friends because of the age diffrence! Please help i want to make sure my chinchillas make friends!

  45. Chris Celnar

    Maddie, Introducing chinchillas can easily take a few weeks. Ours started of fighting before they finally settled in together. Move slowly and be as patient as possible. I wouldn't let them run around together for a little while since they're starting off so hostile. Good luck!

  46. Hi. I have a question. I have one female chinchilla and shes about one and a half years old. I recently bought another female. The new one is still a baby and is very social. My problem is that my older chinchilla has never been very social and introducing them is concerning me because the older one tries to run out and attack the little one. I have them in one large cage that is seperated in the middle so they cant get at eachother. Its only been a few days but I am worried if the age and size difference is going to be an issue.

  47. Hello, I'm hoping you guys could help me out. I've got 3 chins, Coca Puff, Kelda and the unnamed baby, now Coca Puff I've had for a little over 2 years, Kelda about 8 months. Both Coca and Kelda are females and seem to fight ALL the time *they are still in separate cages* Kelda had her baby but now the baby is about 3 months old. I would love for them to all get along and play together, but its doesn't seem possible with Kelda. She sprays urine, knocks her food dish over all the time, knocks their little hidaway upside down. Seems to me she is irritated or unhappy, but I cannot figure out why, cage is large enough, she has things to chew on, I let her and the baby out several times a week. Any advice?

  48. Chris Celnar

    Shelby, If you don't have time for your pet, you should find another home for it. It sounds like you have other interests so why put yourself in a tough situation by trying to do everything?

  49. Im 14 yrs old and i got my first chinchilla about 2 months ago. He (Puffin) is about 6 months old. Since Im a teen, lol, i spend alot of time with my friends and stuff so I let puffin out of his cage, its in our guest room with just some boxs and a bookcase puffin likes to wedge himself in between. We i let him out at 4 to like 11. He can go back into his cage whenever he likes. The thing is I dont spend alot of time with him, its hard to make time, but I love him and dont want to give him away. Also it would be too hard to buy another chinchilla and cage and stuff since im using all my own money. Im afraid he might be lonely and not likeing his home with me, what do I do? Please help! Any advise or stuff is needed!

  50. Chris Celnar

    Andra, We've read similar things about separating males and females after the female has given birth. However, we've never gone down the path of breeding chinchillas so we don't have much as much experience there as we do in other areas.

  51. i have a question regarding two of my chinchillas. The oldest boy and girl seem to always be in heat and have had 4 babies in the past 5 months. i have read on a diffrent website that after giving birth chinchillas have to be separated for at least 3 days so the girl doesnt reimpregnate. i was just wondering if that is true. and my chinchilla just had 2 babies about 2 weeks ago.. is it possible that shes pregnant again?

  52. Chris Celnar

    Kelsey, We're sorry to hear that your chinchillas aren't getting along. We haven't had that problem and so we don't have a solution for you. We'd be inclined to give it more time. It could be that your 7 month old is at the age where it becomes necessary to determine a place in the "herd".

  53. I have two chinchillas, a standard who is a year, and a tovwhitemosaic who is 7 months. I introduced them successfully in June. They were getting along fine, snuggling together but never really acknowledging each other during playtime etc. It is September and tonight when I let them out they were fighting! making grunting noises, defense sounds and standing on their hind legs. no fur was lost but they did chase down each other. it was 4 am, do you think their tired of each other or just tired and cranky? Its weird...theyve been doing really really good. Now they seem to hate each other again.

  54. this is about intoducing 2 chinchillas but i didnt know what category to put it under.soo.Do chinchillas smell bad? If they do is there anyway to get rid of their smell?

    • No, chinchillas don't smell bad unless you don't give them baths frequently. As you should know, chinchillas use dust for baths not water. If you do use water it would ruin there coat. Chinchillas also smell bad when you don't clean there cages or they have some type of disease. I have 3 chinchillas and they have never really smelled bad. Hope I helped you out a little. :]

  55. Thats what my fiancee is possibly wanting to do. Though most likely. Shes getting this silver one from the pet store and wants me to get the black one. So I was just asking about the cage situation since we werent all to sure and I was iffy about putting them together right when we got home.

  56. Chris Celnar

    Ryan, Young chinchillas should get along fine, but are you looking to breed them by keeping them in the same cage?

  57. My fiancee and I are getting a 6mo old male chinchilla this weekend. Thing is, she wants to get a 6mo old female too. So my question is, is it possible for the two of them to be in the same cage, or would it be best to just get a second spare cage just to be safe?

  58. I have a 7 year old male chinchilla. Is he too told to introduce and mate him with a female?

  59. How often do chinchillas go into heat?

  60. Hi Sarah, My boyfriend and I bought a female chinchilla and couple of weeks later we got a male chinchilla to put in the same cage; we were told that they would definitely breed if neither were fixed. We decided to get our male neutered since it is easier to do the male then the female, it was kind of expensive, I think around $150 and we had to separate them for about a week or two until he had his sutures removed. The only thing I would say is find a vet that is familiar with neutering chinchillas because they do not do well under anesthesia and do not do well with pain either, so you definitely want to find someone that knows what they are doing. I hope that helps you…

  61. Hello, I just bought a female violet chinchilla that is 3 months old. I have an older male chinchilla that I grey. I am concerned that once they are able to live with one another they will breed. Is there is anyway to keep this from happening? Thank you. Sarah

  62. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can get a large chinchilla cage from?

  63. No, we are not planning on breeding them. We had the male chinchilla neutered a couple months ago.

  64. Chris Celnar

    Katie, You could be up against a gender issue or just a personality issue. Female chinchillas are the dominant sex and are often more aggressive than males. However, females can get along with females. Our female chinchillas are living proof of this. Are you planning on breeding chinchillas or are you taking measures to prevent your chinchillas from having babies?

  65. Just a quick question... I have two chinchillas that have been housed together since August '06, one is a male and one is a female. We just recently bought another female chinchilla and she seems to get along fine with the male but goes after the female when she has the chance. I was just wondering if anyone knows if it is common for it to be harder to introduce two females or if it is a bad idea to introduce a new chinchilla to a male and female pair that have been housed together for 8months? thanks for the help.

  66. Chris Celnar

    David, You should first decide whether you want to have chinchillas at all. While a second chinchilla will keep the first one company, it will require more time from you when it comes to cleaning. Chinchillas are social by nature, but they can do well on their own too. As for cage size, the bigger the better. There is no such thing as too big a cage so get what you can afford and fit in your home. The gender of your new chinchilla should match that of your current one.

  67. Hi~ I have had one male chinchilla for three years through college and he has been a great pet. I've started working and I am not home as much as I was before. I am thinking about getting another chinchilla to keep him company... Is this a good idea. Should I look for a male of a female? How big of a cage do I need? Thanks for all your help!

  68. Chris Celnar

    Stacie, It sounds like you need to separate them. Look for signs that the scared one has calmed down and then go through the introduction process again using separate cages. But be prepared that they may not get along again. We don't have a quick fix for this one. Sorry and good luck!

  69. I have never had any fights between them. It is all just chasing now. One of my chinchillas are so scared of the other one though, when I do the cage intro he runs around crazily. Is there any way to ease his tension about the other chin? He runs even when he's not being chased. I've been trying for a month now.

  70. Just wanted to say thanks for the heads up and give you an update. I think my little guy is getting used to me. He still doesn't want much to do with me but at least I know he isn't afraid of me at all. Everytime I put my hands in his cage he pushes them out of the way to climb up on my arm b/c he wants to play. I'm ok with that. Some chinchillas just don't think they need their people. I will be getting him a friend though. Thanks , Eric

  71. Chris Celnar

    Stacie, It's hard to say if your chinchillas will eventually get along. How long have you been trying? Also, have you noticed an improvement in behavior or has it been as violent as you describe throughout the introduction process?

  72. Chris Celnar

    Eric, You could try to introduce another male chinchilla. There's no way to know ahead of time if two chinchillas will get a long though.

  73. Chris Celnar

    Brittany, Yes, you can put 4 chinchillas in to the same cage as long as it is big enough and as long as they get along. You'll probably need to spend some time letting them get used to each other though.

  74. Hi! I have two chinchillas and I am trying to get them used to each other. After having their cages side by side for awhile, I let them out together for a playtime. One of my chinchillas will lunge at the other one causing him to fur slip. Today he got a mouth full of fur. Is this signs that they will not get along or do we need to keep working with them? Thanks!

  75. Hello, I have a male chinchilla that is about 1 year and 6 months old. I have had him for about 8 months. I let him out to play everyday and try to interact with him he only tolerates me. I've tried to be a very good companion for him but I think that he just doesn't like people. He will occasionally let me scratch under his chinchilla and behind his ears but not often. He often times seems so lonely especially crying at night. I was wondering if I could intro a new male or is it as impossible as I have read? Or will he become more accustomed to me with more time?

  76. Can you put four chinchillas in the same cage ?

  77. can you put four chinchillas in the same cage ?

  78. Chris Celnar

    Emily, Sorry about the late response. We've been traveling visiting family and friends during the holidays. It sounds like your chinchilla is just still uncomfortable with you. We recommend that you continue to spend time with your chinchilla so that it grows up used to being handled. As for a second chinchilla, it's not necessary to get one. Chinchillas can do quite well on their own if you can spend enough time with them. In the wild, chinchillas are social creatures even though they can have territorial disputes.

  79. I recently bought a baby chinchilla (10 weeks old).We have had him for about a month now. During the last week he has started grunting a lot, I read that this is because of loneliness. Short of buying him a companion, what can I do? We take him out for playtime if not every night, every other.

  80. Chris Celnar

    Bryan, We recommend following the same type of process as described above - keep the 2 new chinchillas in individual separate cages close to the cage of the 2 older chinchillas. Introduce all four chinchillas during supervised interaction, be sure to not allow the chinchillas to chase each other or fight. It may take a while before all the chinchillas get along and you can then consider keeping them in the same cage. With 4 chinchillas, make sure the cage is large enough for them to have enough space.

  81. I have two chinchillas that are 2yrs old and 1yr old. I am going to be getting two new chinchillas that will be in the same cage. The new chinchillas are 4 and 6 months old. Could I introduce all 4 of them at the same time, or should i introduce one new to the old 2, then the other new one?

  82. Just wanted to thank you for all your help! All my chinchillas want to do is groom each other and cuddle up! Thanks! :)

  83. Hi-it's us again. We just wanted to thank you for your help. Zoe and Smokey are getting along great, they are already cuddling with each other, it is the CUTEST thing!! Thank you so much for your knowledge and advice.

  84. Chris Celnar

    Melinda, Give it more time before worrying too much. It took ours 3 or 4 weeks to get along well enough to be left to sleep in the same cage.

  85. Hello again! I once again need to ask for some advice - I only got my other chinchilla a week ago and have been trying to introduce the two with playtime together. I thought that it wouldn't take too long for them to get along because they're so young, so I first let one out around the other's cage and then I've been letting them both out in a small area together. Yesterday it seemed like they were playing well together - they sort of snapped at each other, but then it toned down when I put out the dust bath. Today, it was all down hill and there was definitely some fur flying. Do they just need more time or is there anything I can get them to help them get along?

  86. Chris Celnar

    Sounds like everything is fine then. If they continue to not like being around each other consider using two food bowls so that they don't feel forced to fight for food. Make sure both are getting enough to eat and that one is hogging the food.

  87. No, He didn't chase her when she ran away, he just let her go. They were in the cage together this morning when I got up and I was watching them to make sure they weren't fighting, and they don't attack each other, it seems like they just pretty much tell the other one to go away. Like Zoe will be on the lower level of the cage and he'll come up to her, she won't bite him she just kind of jumps up at him and then he goes away and they go about their business.

  88. Chris Celnar

    What happened after Zoe ran away? Did the male chase her or simply let her go? If Zoe was chased, you should considering keeping them separate and following the steps outlined on this page for introducing two chinchillas. We always advocate slow introductions because as Nikki pointed out above, you won't be there during the day to intervene if necessary. It is always safer to witness a few playtimes where there is no biting, chasing, or fighting.

  89. Hi Katie and Brian My name is Nikki and I will try to understand your questions. I am a owner of two standard blue gray chinchillas. Gizmo is a little older than Zazu but we got them at the same time. Zazu loves to chew on Gizmo... as a sign of loving him as a brother! But this is a nibble it sounds like a bite between your pets! If you ask me, take the new chinchilla and put him in a separate cage and when play time comes let them both out to play at the same time. That way you can watch them play around and if they try to harm one another you are there to help. If you leave them in the cage together who knows what will happen. You'll come home to a seriously injured chinchilla! As they start getting to know each other then put them in a cage with each other and let them be.

  90. Hello Again. We went back to the store we bought Zoe and purchased the black velvet male they had. We let them interact at the store and they seemed to get along fine, now that we have them home the new chinchilla seems to be a little more lively then Zoe is. Zoe is very on edge and every little thing scares her. He has been trying to hump her and went up to her and bit her ear. She didn't bite him back but squealed a little bit and then ran away. Is this something that we should be concerned about and keep them in seperate cages or is it normal play like behavior? Thanks again for your advice.

  91. Chris Celnar

    We don't think there's too young an age to introduce chinchillas. As long as they've been weaned from their mother, they should be good to go. Of course, you need to decide if you can handle two of them. Two chinchillas need more room than one, eat twice the food, and create twice the mess. However, we think pairs are happier than singles especially during times when you can't spend as much time with them as you'd like. We don't have an answer on the neutering question for you. We've only ever had females (on purpose) and never needed to look in to the matter. It's a good question for a vet though. If the vet doesn't know, then find another vet.

  92. Do you think that it is too soon to get another one? Zoe is not comfortable with us completely yet, she still seems to get frightened quite easily... I thought that it might be easier to get another one now since they are both only about 13 weeks old but like I said before, this is our first time with chinchillas, so any advice is GREATLY appreciated!! Also, do you know what age you can get the males neutered at? (sorry for all the questions!!) Katie & Bryan

  93. Chris Celnar

    Katie & Bryan, In answer to your first question, chinchillas pretty much never stop with "number 2". Every pellet that goes in pretty much produces a pellet out. Add in the hay and any other foods and you can see why it never stops. The good thing is that it is dry and doesn't smell so you don't really have to clean every day if the effort becomes too much. A large cage will also buy you some time. The second question is a little tough. Your reasoning is sound that since they were once together they should be fine again together. But chinchillas are funny sometimes so there's no way to know for sure if they'll need time adjusting to being brought together. However, we're confident that they would ultimately get along in this case. Welcome to the world of chinchillas!

  94. Hello, We just bought our first chinchilla (Zoe) 2 weeks ago, and she is still a little skittish around us, but I am sure she just needs time. I have two questions though. 1-It seems like she goes to the bathroom a great amount each day. We clean her cage first thing in the morning and by the time we get home from work the bottom and all the levels of the cage are covered. Is this normal for chinchillas to go to the bathroom so frequently? 2-The place we got her from gets all of their chinchillas from the same breeder and they have a beautiful black velvet male chinchilla that we would like to get. They were in the same cage at the store and never had any problems with fighting. Do you think that they would be okay to be in the same cage together since they were together not to long ago? Thanks for any help you can give us! Katie & Bryan

  95. Chris Celnar

    Cody, The behavior you are noticing is OK. It is just that way chinchillas figure out who's the "boss". As long as neither chinchilla is hurt, you shouldn't worry.

  96. Hello. I just got a new chinchilla that is about 6 months older then my younger one. It seems like they are getting along but the older male always jumps on top of the younger male. I do not know if they are just playing. Most of the time it happens the younger chinchilla makes little noises.

  97. Chris Celnar

    Nikki, We recommend keeping the animals in separate rooms and ensuring they cannot come in contact with one another. Your brother will need to carefully observe the chinchilla to see if it is stressed from sensing another animal in the house.

  98. My brother is thinking about getting a hedgehog for his pet. Will it be very bad to have a hedgehog living in the same house as a chinchilla? (they will be is seperate rooms though!)

  99. Chris Celnar

    Simon, It is normal for one chinchilla to be more dominant than the other. As long as neither chinchilla is being harmed, you shouldn't worry. However, you should make sure that the shy chinchilla is getting enough food and treat. Consider using two dishes so that each can eat at the same time.

  100. Hi. I have two chinchillas and they're about the same age i.e. around 1 year old. One chinchilla is getting bigger than the other one and always eats treats or gets into the bathhouse first. The other is sort of shy and does everything last. They're also brothers. Is this normal?

  101. Chris Celnar

    Hando, Unfortunately there is no way to know if chinchillas will get along with each other. In the wild they are social and in captivity they are generally social too. Keeping the cages close together so that each chinchilla can see and smell the other chinchillas will help them get used to each other. However, you should also let them out of their cages so that they can interact. At first, they may not get along and you should separate them if fighting ensues. But as they spend more and more time together the fighting should decrease until it disappears altogether. Please be sure to monitor them while they are out of their cages during the first few weeks until you're sure they are all getting along. We also recommend that they initially be let out in a small area where you can quickly separate them in case there is fighting.

  102. My daughter has three chinchillas from the same litter all born at different times. Will they fight or get along? She does not want them to hurt each other. Will keeping their cages close to one another acclimatize them to each other?

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