There is always an adjustment period.
Any time you get a new pet, it will take some time for it to adapt to its new environment in your home.
That’s only natural. But some animals adapt much more quickly than others.
So do chinchillas adapt to their environment quickly?
Rodents generally do, but they are also naturally frightened and skittish animals, since just about everything in nature wants to eat them.
Chinchillas are no different. Your new pet will be very frightened when you first bring it home.
But if you do things right, it will have no issues adapting and will likely do so fairly quickly.
What do I mean by “do things right?”
Keep reading to learn how you can help your chinchilla adapt to its new environment, along with a more detailed answer to the main question.
- 1 Do Chinchillas Adapt To Their Environment?
- 2 How To Help Your Chinchilla Adapt To Its Environment Quickly And Without Stress
- 2.1 Do Your Research In Advance
- 2.2 Allow Your Chinchilla Plenty Of Space To Warm Up To Its New Environment
- 2.3 Ensure Your Chinchilla Has Plenty Of Space To Roam In Its Cage
- 2.4 Give Your Chinchilla 10 To 14 Days To Adapt To Its New Environment
- 2.5 Allow Your Chinchilla Out Of The Cage When It Is Awake
- 2.6 Respect Your Chinchilla And Its Wishes
- 3 Chinchillas Will Adapt To Their Environment: Final Thoughts
Do Chinchillas Adapt To Their Environment?
Yes, chinchillas adapt to their environment. If you have an adequate sized cage and allow your chinchilla to get used to its new environment on its own time, which includes sounds, visuals, and scents, it will adapt quickly and soon begin to flourish.
Now you know your new chinchilla will have no problem adapting to its new environment, as long as you don’t rush it.
But we need to point out what we mean by not rushing it, along with a few other things you can do to ensure your chinchilla adapts quickly and has a comfortable and happy home for a long time to come.
How To Help Your Chinchilla Adapt To Its Environment Quickly And Without Stress
I recommend a breeder whenever possible, but nothing is necessarily wrong with using a pet store either.
The first thing you need to do when adopting a chinchilla is to talk to someone who genuinely understands chinchillas and ask as many questions as possible.
Do Your Research In Advance
Understanding a chinchilla’s behavior and temperament is critical at the adoption phase. You can either do this through your breeder or rely on blogs such as this one here at Planet Chinchilla to guide you through the process.
It’s essential to do this so that you can begin understanding how the chinchilla has been raised and what you need to do to make the transition into its new home comfortable.
Other chinchillas may give you more of a challenge to socialize. Now, I completely understand that you can’t always get two, and you may not be ready for that, but it is useful to know this information regardless of the situation.
This will help guide you to how you interact with your chinchilla during its first few weeks in your home.
Allow Your Chinchilla Plenty Of Space To Warm Up To Its New Environment
Try not to overdo interaction time with your chinchilla in the beginning. Don’t overstimulate your little rodent. Simply get it home and allow it time to warm up and get used to the sounds, sights and scents around the home.
Chinchillas need time to get comfortable and used to their new environment and their cage. If you already have another pet, like a dog, do not to allow these two animals to interact. At least not without supervision.
But even with supervision, your chinchilla and your dog really shouldn’t be interacting and playing with one another.
Additionally, it’s crucial you have cool enough temperatures in the room you choose to use for your chinchilla. Ideally, the room should also be way from all the commotion in the home.
Finally, never forget to fully chinchilla proof a room before allowing your pet out. Playtime in a non-proofed room can be dangerous for your chinchilla. Having a room it can run free in will help it adjust and get used to its new environment even faster.
Remember that all the sounds in the home make a difference, too. This could be your air conditioner kicking on and off, or your four-year-old son screaming at certain times of the day.
It is best to limit such frightening sounds as much as possible. But obviously, you can’t eliminate such things. The good news is that after a few weeks, your chinchilla will no longer be scared and will be prepared to begin interacting with you much more often.
Ensure Your Chinchilla Has Plenty Of Space To Roam In Its Cage
When you decide to get a chinchilla, one of the first things you need to buy is cage. This is where many new chinchilla owners make a big mistake right off the bat.
They go small.
This will also help your chinchilla adapt to its new environment much faster, since it can act in a way that feels natural, instead of feeling unnaturally confined.
My favorite cage is the Critter Nations 2 dual-level cage. I tried several and it was easily my favorite. I covered it and the other good alternatives I tired in my article on the best chinchilla cages.
One of my favorite things about the Critter Nation 2 is that it has tons of vertical space and it can even be separated into two separate cages. That is perfect if you eventually decide to get a second chinchilla.
Additionally, due to the Critter Nation being the most popular cage for chinchillas, it’s easy to find fleece liners that are custom designed to fit the bed trays, which makes your life much more comfortable.
It also makes your chinchilla more comfortable and helps prevent injuries to its feet. Plus, the liners save you money in the long run, since you no longer have to keep replacing the wood shavings.
Fleece is much easier to take care of and wash when you conduct regular cage cleanings. It costs more upfront, but it is well worth the extra cost. Plus, it pays for itself quickly.
These are the fleece liners I use. As mentioned, they are custom designed for my specific cage (the Critter Nations 2).
- Designed specifically for Critter Nation Cage
- Includes: Two large pan liners (one with a notch/cut-out for the ramp opening, Two small shelf liners and three ramp covers
- Available in various designs
They work fantastic, and I highly recommend you give them a shot, if your budget permits.
Give Your Chinchilla 10 To 14 Days To Adapt To Its New Environment
Let’s assume you have the proper temperatures for your chinchilla, along with the the correctly sized cage.
All that’s left for you to do is simply allow enough time for your chinchilla to feel safe and ready to interact during playtime. 10 to 14 days should be plenty of time.
My chinchilla took about 5 days to warm up to the point that she would jump on me and interact with me during her time out of the cage.
During those 10 to 14 days, you do not need to get your pet out for playtime. In fact, you shouldn’t get it out, unless it seems eager to do so.
However, after the adjustment period has passed, it’s essential to give your chinchilla time out of the cage each day.
Outside of these few safety tips and affording your chinchilla a dust bath, you don’t have much to fret over. Taking care of a chinchilla is very easy.
If you’re not sure what a dust bath is, you’ll definitely need to know that. It is vital. You can learn all about how to give a chinchilla a dust bath here.
Allow Your Chinchilla Out Of The Cage When It Is Awake
If you really want to make your chinchilla comfortable, it’s essential that you try to interact and play with your chinchilla during the correct times.
A chinchilla sleeps more than 10 hours per day. Most of its playtime and crazy time comes during the evening and morning.
Accommodate this and don’t’ force your chinchilla awake just to play. Let it play when it is naturally awake.
Following all these directions and taking things slow is a sure-fire way to build a great bond with your chinchilla that can last for the next 15 to 20 years.
Respect Your Chinchilla And Its Wishes
Sometimes we get chinchillas that want to be held and cuddled all the time, and sometimes we get chinchillas that pick and choose when they feel like showing this kind of affection.
If your chinchilla is one of the latter, you need to respect its wishes and its boundaries. Treat it like anyone else in the family.
Chinchillas Will Adapt To Their Environment: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, it’s not going to take much more than a week for your chinchilla to warm up and adjust to its new environment.
It’s a quick process, if you don’t force it and follow the simple directions I’ve laid out for you in this post.
If you do these things, your chinchilla will begin doing new things and interacting in new ways every day that you take the time to interact with it and to get it out of their cage.
This is how it went for me and my chinchilla and I promise that the same will happen for you.
Chinchillas are wonderful pets to own and they can bring a lot of joy to your family, as long as they receive some basic care that is mostly common sense.
If you are currently on the fence about adopting a chinchilla, I highly recommend pulling the trigger and adopting one.
They are fantastic, and I know I have no regrets this far into my chinchilla parenting.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchillas and the journey you have ahead of you.
I’d love your feedback on this topic as well.
How long did it take your chinchilla to warm up to its new environment?
Did you do anything differently than what I have laid out for you here in this post?
Be sure to share any 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!