Chinchillas are unique pets.
If you’ve read other articles on this site, you’ll know they are cheap and easy to take care of.
Apart from the original expenditure for the cage, etc., the ongoing costs are much lower than most pets.
And the level of care required is also on the low end.
Does that mean that chinchillas are good beginner pets?
It definitely seems like they would be. And they can be.
But there are a few issues that can make them bad for beginners. It just depends on what you look for in a pet.
Keep reading to learn why chinchillas probably are not the best beginner pet for most people, but also why they can be amazing for the right beginners.
- 1 Are Chinchillas Good Beginner Pets?
- 1.1 Reasons Chinchillas Are Not Good Pets For Beginners
- 1.2 When Chinchillas Can Be Good Beginner Pets
- 2 Chinchilla As Beginning Pets: Final Thoughts
Are Chinchillas Good Beginner Pets?
Chinchillas do not make the best pets for beginners. This is due to the patience needed to form a bond and the delicate handling skills required to care for a chinchilla properly.
Not so fast.
It is important to understand that under the right circumstances, a chinchilla can still make an excellent pet for beginners.
In fact, you can begin by reading my post about why chinchillas make good pets.
It all depends on how you approach it and your specific situation. You need to figure out a few things, before you can determine whether a chinchilla will make the right pet for a beginner or not.
That is what the rest of this post is designed to break down for you.
We’ll cover when a chinchilla can make an excellent pet for a beginner, and when it may not make sense for a beginner to adopt a chinchilla.
There are a few major reasons why they are not likely to make the best pets for a beginner. And we’re going to begin by diving into those reasons.
Reasons Chinchillas Are Not Good Pets For Beginners
The following are the big reasons why chinchillas do not make the best pets for beginning pet owners.
Not Great With Young Children
Chinchillas, while low maintenance, still need some primary care needs to be met, such as time out of the cage. Additionally, understanding how to get a chinchilla in and out of the cage is crucial.
Overall, if your kid is under the age of 8 or 9, I would not consider adopting a chinchilla, unless you are the one who will care for the chinchilla.
Even then, they are delicate animals and a careless child can easily cause an injury, or even death.
I adopted my chinchilla when my son was 1.5 years old. Today my son is much older, but he still would be utterly incapable of caring for our chinchilla without assistance from an adult.
When he is approaching the age of 10, that may be a completely different story. But only because I am making sure to teach him how to raise a chinchilla correctly.
So to recap, unless you are going to be the primary care provider for your chinchilla, it is probably not a good beginner pet for families where the children are too young to understand how to raise a chinchilla effectively and safely.
Chinchillas Need Time Socializing
This is an essential factor that you need to understand before adopting and owning a chinchilla. It is also one of the factors that can make a chinchilla too much for a beginner pet owner to handle.
Chinchillas need to be able to come out of their cages. Ideally, this should happen once per day. But it is understandable if this cannot always happen.
Some of the most challenging aspects of owning a chinchilla come in the form of handling, playtime, and care that holding a chinchilla requires.
This may be something as simple as getting your chinchilla in and out of the cage or something more complex such as allowing your chinchilla time out of the cage to play and interact.
If this is something you feel that you would struggle with, and you do not have the desire to learn about this as a beginner, it is best to consider another pet, instead of a chinchilla.
Chinchillas Live More Than 15 Years
It is common for beginners to ignore a fact like this and to then find themselves bored with their pet after some time has passed. In the end, they give away their chinchilla. Or worse, they abandon it.
For a beginning pet owner, the long lifespan of a chinchilla means that they may not make the most sense. Beginners are often not prepared for the long-term commitment required to care for them responsibly.
When Chinchillas Can Be Good Beginner Pets
On the flip side, it is also essential to understand that a chinchilla may be a good pet for a beginner, if certain circumstances are met. That is what I want to talk about next.
If You Can Remain Patient Until Your Chinchilla Becomes Comfortable
Patience is often tested with beginner pet owners. Even though I had owned several pets before adopting my chinchilla, my patience was still tested.
However, if you are a patient person and genuinely desire a chinchilla, they can make for an excellent pet.
Just remember that patience is essential as a beginner with a chinchilla, due to the time it takes them to warm up to you and build a bond with you. It can take weeks, or even months.
However, if you have this patience, especially in the beginning, a chinchilla can make an excellent pet for you. And when it comes down to it, the time they need to warm up to you is not that long, compared to may other rodents, like the viscacha, for example. See our chinchilla vs viscacha comparison for more on that animal.
Once your chinchilla trusts you and feels comfortable with you, you can pet and cuddle it. But you do need to make sure you do it in a way your pet enjoys. Read “Where Do Chinchillas Like To Be Pet?” for more on how to do so correctly.
If You Are Willing And Able To Show Love And Affection Towards Your Chinchilla
Chinchillas have emotions. As a beginning pet owner, you must understand this and be willing to show attention, love, and affection towards your chinchilla.
It is more of a requirement than anything else.
If you can do this, beginner or not, a lot of the other small details will begin to fall into place for you as a new chinchilla owner. And a chinchilla will likely make an excellent pet for you and the family.
If You Are Willing To Learn Proper Handling
This is perhaps the most essential item on this list. Chinchillas are relatively easy pets to own, but a few of the main issues chinchilla owners have are tough to overcome for beginners.
One of these is handling techniques.
Chinchillas do not always want to be held. In some cases, a chinchilla will never grow to like being held or cuddled, even in the future.
This is also one of those times when your patience will be tested heavily.
If you can keep your patience and continue to learn your chinchilla’s body language and respect its desires, you may do great owning a chinchilla, even as a beginning pet owner.
Chinchilla As Beginning Pets: Final Thoughts
The word beginner, when it comes to being a new pet owner, can mean many things.
Maybe you have owned other pets and haven’t owned a chinchilla. Or perhaps, you have never owned any pet at all.
Regardless, if you have the desire and capability to learn about a chinchilla and to show provide a safe and loving home, they can make excellent pets, whether you are a beginner or not.
They can also make unwanted pets for beginners for the reasons we touched on above. You need to use the information in this article and on the rest of this site to determine if it is the right pet for you.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla if you do decide to adopt one!
We want to hear from you now!
Do you believe that chinchillas can make good pets for beginners? Why or why not?
Be sure to share your thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again next time.