Bonding with your Pet Chinchilla
6 Tips to Bonding With Your Pet Chinchilla
Chinchillas make great pets, and each one has their own
unique personality. If your chinchilla
is given lots of love and attention she will want to be petted and played with
by her owner. A Tame chinchilla will let you scratch under her chin and the top
of her nose like a cat. An exceptionally tame chinchilla will even purr and sit
calmly on your shoulder while you walk around, like a parrot. The more you interact
with your chin the stronger the bond and trust will become.
Below are some tips that we found to work well in taming and building trust between you and your chinchilla
- Hang Out with them During Play Time. If you sit in the room
and watch your chinchilla play and dust, they will eventually come up to you
and check you out. Do not pursue your pet - be patient and let them come to
you, and allow them to explore your hand and arm. As the chinchillas trust in
you increases you can try stroking their back petting their ears.
- Get Eye to Eye. Make sure that you Chinchilla does not feel
like they are being attacked by Godzilla hands every time you go to fill their
water bottle or food bowl. Chinchillas are very curious, but flee if you use
quick motions. This is the way they keep safe in the wild. If you approach
their cage slowly and get down to eye
level with your Chinchilla before opening the cage door, they will be less
anxious and should begin to look forward to you coming to the cage, as it
typically means a reward of some kind.
- Chat with your Chin. Chinchillas talk to one another and
have various sounds that they use to communicate. Speaking in a calm tone to your chinchilla,
and while you are around your chinchilla, will allow them to become more comfortable with human voices.
- Try Music. Ever hear the saying that music calms the savage
beast? Well not that your chinchilla is any kind of ferocious beast, but a
little soft music or classical music can help to sooth them as well as get them
more accustomed to human sounds. I would not necessarily recommend the Sex
pistols, as your chinchilla will likely not be a fan of rock. Loud noises tend
to frighten chins and leaving rock on all day may make for one nervous or
- Hold your Chinchilla. Some chinchillas may resist being
held at first, and if they really dislike it give them time. Chinchillas live a
long time, and there is no reason to rush them. They can be picked up from the
base (never the tip) of their tail, but we do not recommend holding them this
way, and only on rare occasions when a chinchilla has escaped and we are trying
desperately to get her back in the cage will we resort to grabbing their tail.
Though it does not case harm to the chinchilla physically, I can not think of
any animals that particularly likes being grabbed by its tail, and chinchillas
do not seem to be an exception to the rule. We hold our chinchillas
against our chest so they feel safe and secure, supporting their entire weight
and making sure they are not dangling their feet. Also never grab them by the fur. If you do, you will likely end up with a wad of fur in your hand and a pretty unhappy chinchilla. As part of their natural defense, their furr pulls out when they are feeling threatened. I have heard that some
chinchillas will never like being picked up, but working with your Chin and
building trust are great ways to get to this step.
- A little bit a sweet goes a long way. Ok so the music and
the eye to eye didn't have the results that you anticipated. No healthy
chinchilla we have ever met has turned down a raisin treat. Chinchillas love
treats and hay, and may be given treats in moderation for good behavior. Much
like you would train a dog with treats as a reward for good behavior, you can
train your chinchilla. This does not mean that you should expect your
chinchilla to roll over and jump through hoops on command (but if it does
PLEASE send the video, that would be the cutest thing ever!) but they seem to
learn their names pretty well and respond to you a lot faster if you have a
tasty treat to offer!