Can chinchillas live with other pets?

The chinchilla made it to the top of our list when considering adding to our family. I became very curious as to how a chinchilla would do with other pets, you may be wondering this very same thing. I hope this information helps you as it did me.

Can Chinchillas live with other pets? Yes, chinchillas are in the prey group. They do quite well with each other and other animals in this group, so long as they are not caged together. They do not do well with animals from the predatory group, such as dogs, cats, and large snakes. You can have multiple pets with a chinchilla.

You would want to make sure they were good with each other before putting them in the same cage. Chinchillas are very sociable in nature, and most will do great with another of their kind. But you do have a few that will not tolerate another chinchilla invading their territory. 

Unless you want a lot of little Kitts, keep just same-sex pairs, or be sure to have your male neutered. And keeping littermates or getting them while they are both young is the easiest way to keep more than one.

That being said, some chinchilla can thrive and do fine with you as his only friend. It is even more so you have had a single chinchilla for a longer time, it will be even more territorial. Be aware and careful before adding another pet to any household with an existing chinchilla.

Chinchillas And Dogs. 

Chinchillas are prey animals, and dogs are predatory animals. It is best to not try to have both. Dogs will naturally want to chase the chinchilla. And the chinchilla will be very skittish and scared. Even if you believe that your dog is an exception and would only want to play, they can easily hurt the chinchilla on accident. They have basic instincts that can kick in for no reason at any time. 

If you do decide to keep a dog and a chinchilla in the same house, it is best to keep them separated. Do not let the dog into the room that you keep the chinchilla in. Especially if it is out of the cage, even if you are right there in the room. The dog should have no free contact with the chinchilla. 

If you do have a chinchilla and a dog, don’t think that just because they have been fine with each other for years, that things can’t change in an instant. You never know, what is going to kick in an instinct, or when just one wrong move can be fatal.

Chinchillas And Cats. 

Again it comes down to the predator and prey. And although cats are generally smaller than dogs, they can be even worse than a dog. Especially if your cat is a mouser, they could see the chinchilla as a large mouse and a great prize. They can terrorize the chinchilla, just by sitting in the room staring at it.

Cats are known to jump on the top of the cage and stare down through it. Cats can also get close to the cage and reach a paw through the bars. They could do some real damage to the chinchilla even when it’s in a cage and the cat is in the same room. 

There have been households, that have had both, and it worked just fine. 

Cats do seem to get bored with tormenting the caged chinchilla. However, if the chinchilla were to escape its cage, the cat may get a new interest, and the chase is on. You could have an ugly situation very quickly.

While cats and dogs, seem to be asked about the most I put them at the top of the list to cover. There is plenty of other pets coming, some of the smaller animals you might think of. 

Chinchillas And Birds

You wouldn’t have a problem keeping birds and chinchillas in the same house. Unless you are thinking of some sort of large bird of prey. 

Some chinchillas are more sensitive to noise, and some birds can be very noisy, so you may have to keep them in separate rooms. Especially as they have extremely different sleeping times. 

Birds are also known to pick up parasites more easily and could pass them to the chinchilla. However, there is no real reason to not have both a chinchilla and a bird in the same house and even in the same room. Just watch to see if your chin is getting stressed due to the noise and a lack of sleep.

Chinchillas And Other Rodent Pets

Chinchillas have a very acute sense of smell, so housing other small rodents in the same room could be a problem. Especially mice and hamsters seem to have a more pungent smell than do rats and guinea pigs. Some chinchillas are very bothered by the smell and can become very stressed. The chinchilla does not feel the same kind of threat from these pets that they feel from the predatory animals, and if not bothered by the smell, they can reside in the same room.

If you keep them in the same room, you shouldn’t house them in the same cage. They each have their own traits and instincts and should have the freedom to be comfortable in their surroundings. Each has a different dietary need, and if caged together, they will inevitably eat each other’s food. This could lead to dietary insufficiencies and digestive problems. 

Rabbits are the worst, as their droppings carry bacteria that are fatal to  chinchillas. They also have a very strong kick with their hind legs, that could easily kill a chinchilla. They use their hind legs in play also, so damage can be done accidentally.

Chinchillas And Reptiles

You should never keep chinchillas in the same cage as reptiles, like lizards, snakes, and turtles. These animals need special heating lamps that may be harmful to your chinchilla. Depending on the size of the snake or lizard, The chinchilla could become their dinner. Just one quick bite from a turtle can take off a limb of your chinchilla. This is a bad combination for many reasons, and they are all bad for the chinchilla.

Do Chinchillas need a companion?

No, a chinchilla can live quite happily alone. A chinchilla will not die of loneliness. If you are giving him the attention needed, he will thrive alone. 

If you had a pair of chinchillas and lost 1, they may show signs of unhappiness or grieve for a while. You do not have to get another pet to keep him company. It may take a bit but the one left will do just fine on his own. It may be very difficult to get him to accept another strange chinchilla. 

A chinchilla will learn to know who you as his owner are. He will see you as a companion and bond with you. At first, it may just be as its caregiver. As time goes by, his bond will grow and you will be his friend. Your chinchilla will not need more than you if you are giving him the attention he needs 

Your chinchilla will learn to recognize you apart from all others. If you talk to him and call him by his name he will learn his name. Much like with a puppy, you just have to repeat his name over and over while talking to him. It will start to respond to you when you call it. With patience, you can even teach it tricks just like you would a dog. 

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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