When you have other pets in your home and you are looking to add a chinchilla is important to know what you are getting into. Some animals are just not going to get along and you don’t want to put your new found friend at risk of getting hurt. Making sure you have done all your homework before getting that new furry cut bundle of joy is going to lead you to ask the following.
Can Chinchillas Live Together With Other Animals?
Yes, chinchillas can share the same house with other animals. Chinchillas are an animal that is preyed on in the wild and as such, they have a built-in sense that is triggered around animals that are natural hunters. Some hunting animals can really stress a chinchilla even if they can’t get to them.
What you have to do is understand chinchillas and the other animal that you want in the house. You need to know the personality traits of each.
You may have to make special provisions to have different pets and understand that you are responsible for maintaining them. It is not only about safety it is also about keeping the stress level low as well.
Chinchillas naturally live in groups called herds. They are very social animals and thrive on being with other chinchillas. However, not every chinchilla will tolerate every other chinchilla. There is a process that you must go through to introduce new chinchillas to each other. And sometimes it will not work.
Siblings that have never been separated are great together. But you may not bring a new chinchilla in and just put it in the cage and everything is good from the start. You must introduce them slowly (more on this in another post). The thing is that chinchillas can and do live together well.
Dogs – How Will A Dog react To A Chinchilla?
This seems to be a very touchy subject for some. Let me put it like this, dogs naturally are hunters, and chinchillas are naturally hunted. This means that even if you have a very docile dog it will still stress the chinchilla having it around. Stress can be hazardous to your chinchilla as it can cause them to overheat.
You may believe that your dog is different and so docile that it would never hurt anything. You may also have a chinchilla that isn’t easily stressed by the dog. However, it is really hard to say what may trigger an instinctual reaction, or when it may happen.
That being said there are many stories of dogs and chinchillas being fine with each other. There are other stories of them acting friendly with each other until all at once the story changes and it is always the chinchilla that loses. It is best to never allow them to be loose to interact with each other, even if you are present.
Cats – How Will A Cat React To A Chinchilla?
This is another case where the cat is a predator. As the chinchilla is a rodent and the natural prey for a cat this is an even worse situation than the dog. If the cat has access to the room where the chinchilla cage is, they will torment the chinchilla without even touching them.
Cats are known to sit on the cage and stress the chinchilla. They will try and get them through the bars. These 2 animals are natural enemies and should be expected to act as such. A cat allowed in the same room with a chinchilla can stress the chinchilla to death. Some have successfully had both at the same time, it is not an ideal situation and I would not suggest having them both.
Now that we have covered the big ones it’s time to cover some that might be a little less obvious as to their reactions. And cover some of the small things that you might never think of otherwise. Some of these may really surprise you.
Guinea Pigs – How will Guinea Pigs React To A Chinchilla?
There is not much trouble keeping these two animals in the same house. However, they will need to have their own cages. And they shouldn’t play together. They each have their own traits and body language that can be mistaken and cause the fur to fly.
As they are both prey animals they will not see each other as a threat. However, the guinea pig is more active during the day and could disturb the chinchilla, and vice-versa at night. But you do not have to worry about what might happen if one of them happens to make an escape from their cage.
Hamsters – How Will Hamsters React To A Chinchilla?
Hamsters and chinchillas do fine together with only one small problem. Chinchillas have very sensitive noses and the hamster has a very pungent odor to their urine, this may stress the chinchilla. So you may need to keep them in separate rooms.
They should not be left out to play together as they are different and may harm each other. If you want a chinchilla to have a playmate it needs to be another chinchilla or you, the chinchilla parent.
Ferrets – How Will Ferrets React To Chinchillas?
Ferrets are carnivorous animals that would enjoy nothing more than hunting and eating a chinchilla. They are still used in some places for hunting rabbits. These two animals should never be kept in the same room with each other even in separate cages.
Even across the room and separated from seeing each other they would be able to smell each other and both would become very stressed. Although the chinchilla may be able to defend itself it would most likely end up the loser in the end. It is best to not own these two animals at the same time.
Rabbits – How Will Rabbits React To A Chinchilla?
Rabbits and chinchillas can be kept together in the same house. They can not be kept in the same cage. They have very different dietary needs and you can’t risk that they eat each other’s food. The chinchilla has such a sensitive nose that the odor of the rabbit may stress it, to the point that you have to move one to a different room.
They have different types of play and they shouldn’t be allowed to play together as one may hurt the other accidentally. They have different body language that may be confused as aggressive by the other. Keeping them together isn’t a problem but, do not expect them to play with each other.
It is clear that chinchillas are prey animals and should not be kept with a predator animal. They definitely should never be allowed to play together. Even if you have been doing so you never know when instinct will kick in and what will happen when it does.
Some animals have strong odors that will cause stress to the chinchilla’s sensitive noses, even if there is no threat of harm. So you need to consider this when deciding where in the house to put the cages of different animals.
You may need to consider the sleeping habits of some animals before deciding to house them in the same room. You do not want to overstress or deprive any of them of needed sleep. This is not good for the health and well-being of either animal.
Because of differences in the animal’s behavior and body language, you should never allow them to be loose and play together. A simple misunderstanding between them could lead to a very sad ending. It can happen so quickly that you couldn’t change the results even if you were right there.