How Should I Introduce a New Chinchilla?
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:
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:
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.