Chinchilla Bonding – What You SHOULD And SHOULD NOT Ever Do!

Chinchillas are such a wonderful pet. Most people have no idea how lovable, clever and smart these little animals are. This is not a pet to purchase if you are not a long-term commitment person because a chinchilla has been known to live as long as 35 years. Most chinchilla house pets have a life expectancy of 15-20 years. You want to be sure that this pet will be loved and tended to for all these years. This is a new family member, and it will need regular care and attention.

Proper Chinchilla Bonding Involves:

  • Healthy, Regular Habits for eating, sleeping and playtime.
  • Vet Care when needed.
  • Being Gentle And Calm
  • Let him out to run in a safe room
  • Never Chase your chinchilla!
  • Love Him!

Healthy Habits

Chinchillas really are a special little pet. They have a cheerful disposition and are ready to play upon seeing you. To maintain good health, a chinchilla should be on a regular schedule for eating, sleeping, time out of the cage for playtime, etc. You’ll need to spend at least 2 or more hours daily with your chinchilla. The more time you spend with your pet, the better the pet and your bond.

Vet Care

Chinchillas are low maintenance and have no foul odors if maintained properly. Chins don’t require shots from your vet. It is a good idea to know of a vet that can treat your chin if it should get ill or have an injury.

Chinchilla Bonding 101

When you get your new chinchilla home set the cage up right away with food and water. Then take the chinchilla and place it in the cage. Let the chin explore its new home and take a nap until the evening. Baby chinchillas need reassurance. They need to know you love them and will care for them. They are a baby so treat them like a baby. Do not leave a baby chin alone the first evening when you bring it home. You need to be there when it wakes up, around 6-7pm. Take it out of the cage even if it squawks at you. Pick it up cuddle it and talk softly to let it know everything is ok. If you put on a large overshirt and place the chin inside between your shirts, it will feel secure. When a chin can’t see you, he thinks you don’t know where he is so when hiding in the shirt this provides security but the chinchilla can hear your voice, your breathing, and your heartbeat and can smell you. This creates the chin to get used to you and bond with you. Sit in your favorite chair, watch TV, read, work on the computer. Let your chin run up and down your sleeves, peek out at you from the neckline, run down your back or nap. Do this for one hour daily for three days, and your chin will think you are the greatest thing in the world!! During this time do not let your chin have free run time. When the chin comes out of the cage, you want it to be excited to come out to be with you. If you let your chin run loose before it is bonded to you, it will look forward to coming out of the cage to be free not to be with you. I like to see people wait for 2 to 3 weeks before giving floor runtime. Allow the chin to run on your lap and the sofa but avoid the floor for a couple of weeks.

Ready To Run

When you are ready to let your chin run lose, you need to be sure the area is chin proofed! Be aware of electrical cord and low lying furniture. You can roll up a towel or stuff a pillow in front of dressers etc. so the chin can’t go under where you can’t reach to retrieve him. Beware of lazy boy chairs and the springs underneath. Most people like to let them run in the bathroom it’s small and easy to chin proof or a hallway that you can close doors and block off. SPECIAL NOTES: Be sure to remain seated while letting your chin run around. It is very easy to step on or kneel down on a chin at play. Close the toilet seats, chins look up and only see something to jump up on not knowing the lid is up. Wet chinchillas are susceptible to pneumonia which is life-threatening.


Chinchillas are chewers their teeth grow throughout their life and must be worn down so be sure to provide safe, non-toxic branches, pine blocks or pumice stones for your pet. Also, remember when your chin is out playing watch that those electric cords are not accessible because they will chew them! Tape up wires or local hardware stores care plastic tubing with a cut up the side to place your wires in to prevent damage.

Chin Psychology

Chinchillas can be trained to use a litter box and can be trained to go back in their cage upon demand. When you get your new chinchilla to spend a lot of time carrying him around with you. Don’t let him (her) run free until your sure your pet trusts you (about two weeks). During this time when you put your chin back in its cage after the door is closed make a crinkling sound from the treat package then give the chin a treat. When you are ready to let your chin out for free play be sure to give it enough time to really play (at least an hour). Never trick or tease your chin they are smart and have a long-term memory, and they won’t trust you. Never chase your pet to put it in the cage. Chin psychology is needed! Slowly approach your pet then luring it into a corner, casually talk to it, wave your left hand around slowly to get its attention and gently with your other hand scoop up your pet. If you fail, try again but don’t get upset with your pet and frighten it. Dropping a towel or small blanket over your chin puts the chin in darkness, causing him to stop and calm down. Then gently while talking to him pick up the covered chin and gently return him to his cage.

Is that True?

Yes, it is true chinchillas will lick your face or lips as a sign of affection. Yes, they learn their name and come when called if you are always patient and gentle with them. And be sure to rub behind their ears, under their chin, and on their chest because they adore this!

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