How Can I Tell If My Chinchillas Will Get Along?
I have a chinchillas that's a year and a half old (male). But i want to get a 2nd one. But i do not want to go spend a lot on another one then have them not get along. Is there a way to tell if they will get along?
There is no way to tell immediately if your chinchillas are going to get along. Although social herd animals who can deal better with stress when with a companion, chinchillas can also fight to the death. You need to be careful in bonding your chinchillas. There are some good techniques to use in order to help them get along:
1. Put the two cages near enough each other so that the chinchillas can see and smell one another, but not so near that they can bite. If there are no signs of aggressive behavior, then you can move on to the next step.
2. Let one chinchilla (preferably the younger or less aggressive one) out to run, keeping the other in its cage. They will be able to sniff each other at a closer rate, but the shy one will be able to leave if anything goes wrong.
3. Have a helper hold one chinchilla while you hold the other and slowly bring them close to each other. If a chinchilla begins to make warning noises, makes any sudden movements, or starts scrambling around on your hands, immediately retreat. If not, eventually get them near enough to tough noses. I've found that with hostile behavior, giving both a treat beforehand helps, as both chinchillas are then in the process of chewing when they meet and don't have any room left for biting.
4. Find cardboard boxes that are high enough to prevent escape and allow standing room, and wide enough for comfort. Take the chinchillas out and put them in separate boxes. Take them into the car and sit with them in the back with a helper. Since chinchillas, hate the car, they will likely be miserable and start to make noises. I do not advise this step for those who's chinchillas have been known to get aggressive when upset. Take the aggressive chinchilla and begin to carefully lower him into the other one's box. If nothing happens, place the aggressive one inside. The two chinchillas can bond through their misery.
5. Finally, if that works, take the two chinchillas out and let them run in a NEUTRAL territory. Get two treats and put them in a shallow container. Maneuver it so that it is always in the middle of the two chins. When they meet they will have to choose between fighting and treats. Hopefully, they will choose treats. If not, remove them immediately and go back to whichever step you see fit.
6. Now they are ready to go into the cage together!
Sarah Kay's answer:
Remember that two chinchillas can get along for years and one will suddenly turn on the other. Be watchful once you have your chinchillas together. Also, after the quarantine period and once your chinchillas play well face-to-face (probably after about two weeks of cages being side by side), you should have neutral territory play time and it can be made easier with a couple of little tricks. You can trim the chinchilla's whiskers (they are the way chinchillas show dominance and WILL grow back) and put a little vanilla on their noses so that they are less likely to act violently towards each other when out.