How Can I Tame My Pet Chinchillas and How Long Does It Take?

I've recently bought two pet chinchillas, they are adorable. I'd like to try and tame them. They are allowed out to run around for at least two hours every night but getting them back in their cage is a bit of a nightmare. How do you do about taming a chinchilla and how long should it take before they trust me enough to allow me to pick them up and put them back in the cage?

Ann Marie Prince's answer:
I love my chinchilla, I am researching on how to train and handle him. The first thing I do when I get home from work is pet my cat, Allee talk to her while I give her treats. She greets me at the door every time I go out, she thinks she's a dog.

I then go to Chico, my chinchilla. I talk to him and pet him through the cage and after a little chit-chat I open his cage and pet him some more. Sometimes he gets nervous. I walk away leaving his cage opened and this is when the fun starts. He'll come out and run around, while Allee watches. She also thinks she's his mother. Then they'll play together — Allee is a very calm cat and is declawed. Then it's hide and sit for awhile. Chico hides and Allee sits. It is so cute watching them. This is usually for about 45 minutes. When Chico is tired he will go back into his cage by himself and take a nap. That's when I close his cage. When it's lights out I put on his little night lite and pet him good night. Allee is thrilled cause she gets to sleep on my bed. All is good!

Brittani's answer:
I have two Chinchillas, and one thing I have learned the hard way is you should never let ur chinchilla run around for more then 45 mins. If you do the can become exhausted and/or dehydrated. One of my chinchillas actually had a stroke, thankfully we got to the vet in time and they nursed her back to heath, but the vet said the stroke was caused by exhaustion because they were out running for too long. As for picking them up by the tail i wouldn't do it Because like some have said before they can detach their tails and they won't grow back. My aunt had a chinchilla when i was little and she accidently grabbed his tail and he detached it. About a week or so after that happened he died because his tail got infected.

My suggestion is to let your chins out the same time every night and put them back the same time every night. After a while they will learn the schedule. I'm not going to guarantee it will work, but it works for my chinchillas.

animalluver's answer:
What you need to know is that with a singular chinchilla, they will depend on you for companionship. So if you don't have time to pet them, scratch them, play with them, and give them dustbaths, a companion is a good thing. However, it is best to get one while they are both young, so it will be easier to bond them. If you got her from a breeder of even a petstore, you could try contacting him/her to see if any of her littermates are still available.

matthew's answer:
Ok I don't know who said hold them by their tail but give up your chinchillas if you do that you shouldn't own them until you learn how to handle them. Second, two hours is WAY to long trust me I have had to find out the hard way. Chinchillas need a schedule. Let them out at the sametime everyday set a timer and put them up at the sametime. After a few days, maybe a week they will begin to try and get into the cage by themselves and once they get in there they will sleep for a few hours. Ours do like to play little games if we get up to put them up. Running in circles and making us Chase them but never far from the cage.

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  1. I bought one of those plastic expandable tunnels (Petco, around $15). My two chins - I take them out of the cage by placing the tunnel at the door and then when they’ve gotten into it (one chinchilla at a time), I place the tunnel-with-chin in the play yard to let him out. Then, when play time is over - same process to put them back into their cage. It had previously been SO difficult getting them out and back in by hand. One of them likes to be held - but catching him was the tricky part. The other one would practically sprout wings and fly if we could even capture him by hand. The tunnel-transport process has made playtime much more enjoyable for all of us...and the one chin that absolutely despised hands? We’ve made great strides during playtime now, where he lets us pet him and occasionally pick him up! Not having the chase & catch scenario has helped tremendously.

    • That is such a great idea! I don’t think my Sydney is ready for play time yet. She still snatches treats from my hand, but she knows her name. When I call her she comes to me. I got her 3 weeks ago and with such a busy schedule. I must make time to bond. Any advice would be much appreciated.

      I forgot to say I am a first time owner. We are still bonding.

      Thank you!

  2. I have had my two chins now for two months. I really want to say thanks to the helpfull info I have gotten today. Fievel and Yoda have playtime in the bathroom for now. I sit and chqt to them....and get treated like their jungle gym!! Lots of fun and games..... I dont take them out at the same time every day...bit will try to from now on. Thanks again!!

  3. I recently was invited into a home with a chinchilla. We let him run around for a short time then it was dive and try to catch (from the owners perspective). I figured-why go through all that hassle. So heres what i did. If u have a hard time catching your chinchilla, simply take a small blanket or sheet to throw on him/her. Walk up, gently take it and put them back. That way stress of the chinchilla and yourself is limited. And you can give it a little love. Goodluck!

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