Chinchilla Companionship

Chinchillas are social animals so keeping chinchillas in pairs is important for their emotional wellbeing.

Companionship for your chinchillas

Chinchillas are a very social species and should not be kept on their own. Keeping them in single sex pairs provides them with companionship and it means they can snuggle up with each other at nap times. Make sure you buy or rehome your chinchillas at the same time as they’ll already be friends. It can be difficult to introduce chinchillas to one another later on.
c companionship

Bonding with your chinchillas

Chinchilla owners have to earn – and keep – their pet’s trust. It may take weeks for your chinchilla to know you well enough to let you pick them up. You’ll see the best results if you move slowly, have lots of patience and visit with your chinchillas at the same time every day to create a routine. One frightening capture or grab could ruin your chance to make friends with this highly-strung pet. 

First days

The first few days in a new home can be very stressful, so you should give your chinchillas time to get acquainted with their surroundings before you approach them. Remember, that they are naturally more active in the evenings and night. When you feed your chinchillas or change their water, approach their environment slowly and directly. Speak to your chinchillas in a soft, comforting voice, but do not try to touch them. It is best for them to get used to your voice while you’re still across cage bars from each other. With time, your chinchillas will be more comfortable and may come up to the side of the cage to greet you when you enter the room.

Get a chair and sit quietly next to the cage. If your chinchillas come over to see what you are doing, offer them a treat or a food pellet through the bars. Raisins are a favourite treat, but you shouldn’t feed your chinchilla more than one a day (split them in halves to spread it out). Your chinchillas will likely bound away when you move your arm to bring the food up to their level, but curiosity will bring them back to your fingers. Repeat this activity every night at the same time so that your chinchilla will begin to anticipate your visits.

Palm feeding

After a few days of feeding your pet through the wires, open the cage door and place your hand on the cage floor, palm up. Make no move to try to catch your chinchilla. Allow him to approach your hand on his own. He will sniff your fingers, then bound away, and then return. Chinchillas are jumpy and energetic, but they’re also curious. After each session, reward your chinchillas for their good behaviour. Eventually your chinchillas will become more comfortable around you!

Handling your chinchillas

Your chinchillas will soon trust you enough to allow you to lift them out of their cage. Place one hand behind them and slip your other hand underneath your chinchilla’s body, supporting their full weight and lifting carefully. Hold your chinchilla securely against your chest or at your shoulder so they can look out behind you.

Never grab your chinchillas' tail or a piece of it may break off in your hand. This is one of your chinchilla’s natural defence mechanisms. Your chinchillas will also release clumps of fur if scared or handled too roughly. If your chinchillas are running around, do not chase them but let them calm down and try to slowly approach them slowly and scoop them up in your hands.

Quick tip

Chinchillas need lots of feeding hay in their diet. Hay is naturally abrasive and helps to wear their teeth down.
Product image for Excel Chinchilla Nuggets with Mint

Excel Chinchilla Nuggets with Mint

from £8.50

Did you know?

Chinchillas have lots of beautiful, thick and soft hair (not forgetting those beautiful bushy tails!). Their hair follicles contain more than 50 hairs whilst humans have around 1-3.

Do you need more advice?

To help you find the right food for your pet have a look at our product range.

You can get in touch with our customer care team who will respond in 3-5 working days. Our dedicated team of pet experts will help you make the right choice.

If you should have any concerns about the health of your pet, always consult a vet.