How could something so small and cute be dangerous?
You’d be surprised.
Plenty of small rodents can get quite nasty and aggressive.
Not to mention that many of them carry deadly diseases.
Is any of that the case here? Are chinchillas dangerous in any way?
In general, you have nothing to worry about with a chinchilla.
But it is possible that they become aggressive when threatened. Keep reading to learn if a chinchilla is ever dangerous and if it should dissuade you from getting one as a pet.
Are Chinchillas Dangerous?
No, chinchillas are not dangerous. If you’ve ever interacted with one, your first thought was probably “What a cute little creature!” However, they can get aggressive and they can bit, although it is rare.
And if a chinchilla does bite you, it is not going to be life-threatening. As long as you clean the wound to prevent an infection, you will be fine. So what can cause a chinchilla to get aggressive and even bite? Let’s find out.
Chinchillas are generally considered to be docile and gentle animals, rarely showing aggressive behavior. However, when they feel threatened or stressed, they may become defensive and attempt to bite you.
But don’t let that dissuade you from getting one. If you treat them well, they make great pets and will not become aggressive. They only time they may bite or scratch is if you do not handle them correctly.
A chinchilla will only bite you as a last resort. In the wild, they use their teeth as their main weapon, but in captivity there is no need for such a weapon. A pet chinchilla will only bite if it is severely stressed.
Before your chinchilla resorts to biting, it will first attempt to run away, spray urine at you, or stand on its hind legs to make itself appear larger.
To prevent biting, you should make sure that you approach your chinchilla gently. You should also make sure that your chinchilla has plenty of hiding spots in its cage, so it has a place to run to if it feels threatened.
If your chinchilla does try to bite, it is best to remove yourself from the situation and give it time to calm down. And what if it does bite? As mentioned, it’s not usually a big deal.
What Should I Do If My Chinchilla Bites Me?
Chinchilla bites can be painful, but they aren’t usually dangerous. That said, chinchillas have characteristically sharp teeth, so their bite can be quite strong and painful. Even though the bite may hurt, the first thing you should try and do is remain calm and take yourself away from your chinchilla.
The next thing you should do is clean and disinfect the area to avoid infection. Once the bite wound is thoroughly cleaned, you can apply a band-aid or dressing to keep bacteria from getting in. If your wound does become infected, make sure you visit your doctor.
Keeping Your Chinchilla Calm
If your chinchilla shows signs of aggression, it is important to remain calm and speak to it in a soothing voice. Move slowly and avoid sudden movements. That could cause further stress or anxiety. If necessary, you can remove the chinchilla from the situation and place it back in its cage until it has calmed down.
I would also recommend feeding your chinchilla treats to help calm it down . This will help put its attention elsewhere and work as a distraction to whatever is causing your pet stress.
Can Chinchillas Harm Other Pets?
Chinchillas can sometimes harm other pets. In general, chinchillas feel threatened by larger pets, because they are prey animals in the wild. That means they will look to defend themselves.
If you become concerned about your other pets mixing with your chinchilla, keep your chinchilla in a separate room to which your other pets do not have access.
Is Chinchilla Poop Dangerous?
Chinchilla poop is not considered dangerous. However, you should still handle it with caution. Chinchilla droppings can potentially contain bacteria and parasites that may be harmful if ingested. It is important to always clean up your chinchilla’s poop straight away.
Common diseases that your chinchilla can pass through its poop include salmonella and giardia. These bacteria can be harmful to humans, so make sure you’re washing your hands after handling your chinchilla, picking up its poop, or cleaning its cage.
Are Chinchillas Poisonous?
No, chinchillas are not poisonous. As mentioned, if a chinchilla bites you, there is a chance the wound could get infected, but they do not generally carry dangerous bacteria. And they certainly do not have a venomous bite.
Chinchillas Are Not Dangerous: Final Thoughts
In general, chinchillas are not dangerous. It is possible that they may become aggressive and even bite when they feel threatened or otherwise stressed, but it is a rare occurrence with most chinchillas.
That said, if you get yours from a bad breeder, it could be that the chinchilla has not been properly socialized and it has learned to be aggressive. Just as with dogs or other animals, if you teach them to be aggressive, they will be.
That said, even if a chinchilla does attack you, it is not life threatening. If it bites and breaks the skin, clean the wound thoroughly and you should be fine. Itf it does get infected,m see a doctor to be on the safe side.