How to Introduce Chinchillas

in Cage

So you want to introduce two chinchillas and keep them in one cage where they can live happily ever after. There are 3 common ways to go about this. The first is called smooshing, the second involves side by side cages, and the third will involve a cage within a cage.

The most controversial introduction is smooshing. In an effort to force two chinchillas to get along, they are placed in a small confined area. Within the small area, the chinchillas will not have enough room to fight and will become used to each other. Many pet owners have found this way to be ineffective and result in stressed chinchillas.

Pushing two cages side by side has worked in many cases, especially with passive chinchillas. There are some negatives to this method, though. One chinchilla can still display dominance over the other, regardless if they are in the same cage. A chinchilla may see its neighbor as a threat and attack when they are in a shared play area.

Commonly seen as the most effective way to introduce two chins, the cage within a cage method is somewhat self-explanatory. A small cage is placed inside a larger cage. There are a few precautions when setting up this method. Most importantly, if the chinchilla does not trust or is not comfortable with the owner, it will have a hard time bonding with another chin. Also, the cages must be cleaned thoroughly to remove any scents.

The idea of this method is to keep either chin from dominating. To do this, remove all toys, hiding places, sleeper huts, exercise wheels, or any other item that a chin will try to claim or use as leverage. Use only one level of the cage so a chinchilla cannot use the height as a way to display dominance. The smaller cage inside will need to be covered on the top and two sides. This allows the chinchilla to have an area where it will feel safe and will not have to worry about being attacked from behind. When the chinchillas are relaxed, the smaller cage can be opened, and the chins can share a common area.

It is important to keep an eye on the chinchillas at all times. Avoid any interaction unless one chinchilla becomes aggressive or begins to display dominance. If this happens, and it probably will, place the aggressor into the smaller cage. This smaller cage has become a timeout chair, essentially. After some time has passed and the chinchillas have relaxed, open the timeout cage. After a few days of good behavior, it is time to slowly return the toys and hiding spots.

Regardless of the method, it is important to pay close attention and have patience. It is possible that two chinchillas will not be able to stay in the same cage.

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Tim Andrews has 1 articles online

Want more information about chinchilla care and safety? Looking for ideas for a chinchilla cage? Check out this homemade chinchilla cage

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How to Introduce Chinchillas

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This article was published on 2010/03/28