Are Chinchillas Aggressive

While considering adding a pet to our family, it is important to think of how the pet is going to interact with young kids. Having a family with young children was something we wanted to make sure we considered for how well they would get along with small curious children, if you are considering a chinchilla, you too may be wondering this now.

Are Chinchillas Aggressive? Yes, chinchillas can be aggressive. There can be many reasons for this. It can be fear, anger, stress, discomfort, pain, boredom, territorial, and maybe medical reasons. The strikes are usually quick and short. The attacks are not fatal to humans but can be toward each other.

The stress causing them to act out maybe that a smell close by is irritating to them. It could be a fan you have running is making a noise that is driving them crazy. It could be that you need to leave a TV on with a low volume so they have something to catch their attention. Pinpointing the problem is sometimes difficult.

Their aggression can come in many forms. It can be barking at you, lunging, kicking, and even biting. Their bites can be very painful, and draw blood. Unless you let it become infected, they are not life-threatening to humans. With each other, they will pull hair and can become aggressive enough to kill each other. The females are the more aggressive.

Fear and pain are instincts that will cause most animals to become aggressive. Even humans respond to this in a negative way. If they start feeling yucky because they haven’t had a dust bath they can become very agitated and aggressive. What might seem like a petty reason for them to be aggressive is: If you have them on a schedule, but you get delayed and are a couple of hours late feeding them.

If trying to introduce a new chinchilla there may be a territorial problem. These fights between chinchillas can become fatal. It is best to keep them in separate cages beside each other and see if they will learn to get along before putting them together. Make sure that your cage is big enough to house 2 chinchillas, or there will be more of a chance of territorial problems.

Do Chinchillas Bite?

Yes, chinchillas do bite, they also nibble, and you can easily tell the difference. A chinchilla has poor eyesight so they do a lot of nibbling to familiarise themselves with things. This nibbling feels weird but isn’t done to hurt. And so long as you wash your hands before handling your chinchilla it will not usually last long. 

When a chinchilla bites you, he does so to hurt you, and make you back off. Chinchillas have very long and sharp teeth, so these bites do hurt. They are also usually on the hands which bleed easily. The bite usually gets the desired reaction for the chinchilla. You leave them alone, and go and take care of your wound. 

If your chinchilla does not have a habit of biting and this is something new, you will want to find out the cause. If he has become injured or sick you will need to get it to the vet. 

Do Chinchillas Attack?

Yes, Chinchillas can and do attack. While I didn’t find anything about them viciously attacking humans. I did find a few times when a child hurt them or an adult cornered them and they attacked. These attacks were usually short. A lot of the human attacks, were when they were reaching into the cage, and more often into the hiding house. 

However, there were many accounts of chinchillas attacking each other. Some of these attacks ended fatally. Many things can contribute to chinchillas attacking each other. Fear, stress, territory, mating, there is any number of reasons. Some of these attacks even happened after the chinchillas were together for a long time doing fine with each other.

Now that you know for sure that chinchillas can and do attack on occasions, I will tell you some sure signs to watch for before your chinchilla gets to the point of attacking. It may help prevent the problem from worsening.

Chinchilla Stress Signs.

Signs of stress can come in a number of ways. It usually starts vocally, however, some chinchilla parents don’t realize what the sounds mean. Stress can progress and be biting, fur slip, urine spray, teeth chatter, fur chewing, hiding in, chew on, or pacing in their cage, acting lethargic. These are only some of the things that are common signs of stress. 

Barking at you or at other chinchillas on an ongoing basis is something of concern. It is a sure sign that something is bothering your chinchilla. A squealing sound can indicate that your chinchilla is in some kind of distress. This could be pain or some other internal discomfort. 

Biting can have many meanings but it’s a sure sign that your chinchilla needs some sort of attention. It could be as simple as it feels the need for a dust bath and hasn’t gotten one. It is more likely that something is hurting or frightening it. You need to address this right away so that it doesn’t become a habit.

Fir Slip always follows some type of trauma. While fur slip doesn’t hurt your chinchilla, the area may be sensitive, so you will want to be extra careful. The fur will grow back. However, you need to address the problem that caused it. 

Teeth Chattering usually occurs as a defensive scare tactic. This will usually happen before a urine spray or a lunging bite. The chinchilla is usually standing up in a defensive stance. This is a sure sign that your chinchilla is feeling trapped or scared. Or in some way feeling uncomfortable. 

Urine Spray Is not only disgusting, it is a way to keep you at a distance. They can shoot urine several feet away. If they start doing this you will want to find the problem fast and do your best to stop it. You may need to consult with your vet for advice for a solution. 

Are Chinchillas Good With Children

No chinchillas are not a recommended pet for children, especially small children. There are a number of reasons for this. First off is the noise. Children are usually noisy to some extent. This noise will be very stressful to the chinchilla. 

Chinchillas are considered nocturnal, so for the most part they will be hiding and sleeping when your child is up and wanting to play with them. This will either cause the child to keep the chinchilla disturbed and stressed, or the child to get curious and attempt to get at it when your back is turned.

Children are not naturally gentle, they are not good at sitting still and watching. This can lead to injuries to your chinchilla. Even if they are a gentle child there is always a chance of a momentary squeeze of excitement. Their attention may get diverted easily, this could be tragic.

Then there is the biting. A child could be devastated by the bite of a chinchilla. Their teeth are long and sharp. They also have a strong bite. The fingers of a child are small and could be damaged permanently by a swift hard bite from a chinchilla.  

This will let you know that chinchillas, can have some very difficult times. And habits that may be difficult to figure out. It may take some time to know just what the problem is that is causing your chinchilla to act like it is and to fix it. These pets are quite temperamental. 

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

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