Wondering whether you need to adopt 1 or 2 chinchillas and if chinchillas do better in pairs is completely normal.
When I first adopted my chinchilla, I was curious about the same thing.
Do chinchillas do better in pairs?
I have now been raising my chinchilla for the past 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic:
No, chinchillas do not necessarily do better in pairs. Some chinchillas are very social and will pair and socialize well with other chinchillas in the same cage. Other chinchillas may not do well in pairs. It’s possible your chinchillas will not get along and cause harm to one another.
I was shocked by this information as well.
To be completely honest, it’s what caused me to write this blog post.
I was thinking back to when I first adopted my chinchilla from the breeder.
It looked as if having multiple chinchillas sharing the same cage was the best option.
After speaking to the rescue/ breeder, I learned a lot about this topic.
This post is designed to share with you if chinchillas do better in pairs and how to know what the best course of action is for you and your chinchilla or maybe you and your future multiple chinchillas.
Here is how I intend to break down this brief 6-minute read about 2 chinchillas being kept in pairs:
- Do Chinchillas Need To Be In Pairs And Should Chinchillas Be In Pairs
- Can Chinchillas Live Together?
- Is It Better to Have A Pair of Chinchillas?
- How to Introduce 2 Chinchillas to Being Bonded and Paired
- 3 Scenarios and Questions About Chinchillas Living Together
- Can Two Female Chinchillas Live Together?
- Can Two Male Chinchillas Be Housed Together?
- Can You Put a Male and Female Chinchilla Together?
- Related Questions About Chinchillas And The Need To Be In Pairs
- Chinchillas Can Do Better In Pairs But Not Always
Do Chinchillas Need To Be In Pairs And Should Chinchillas Be In Pairs
Like I stated previously, Chinchillas don’t always do better in pairs.
Often, it can be the exact opposite.
It depends on each chinchilla you are trying to pair together.
Some chinchillas do great together for many years.
They will love each other, interact, and remain friendly with one another.
Other chinchillas never successfully bond or pair together and they can be aggressive with one another.
This can cause various issues such as fur slips.
A chinchilla that does not pair well with another chinchilla may spark the chinchillas to fight.
This can also lead to biting and other issues if it goes unnoticed.
It’s essential as a chinchilla owner to introduce your chinchillas slowly and too keep an eye on the situation.
However, if the two chinchillas you are trying to pair do work well together, this is advised and it is great to consider giving your chinchilla a new friend to live with and go through life with.
Chinchillas are incredibly social animals and having an additional cage mate can help keep them remain “socially active.”
I also have a guide about learning how to socialize your chinchilla’s that you can see here.
With an educated chinchilla babysitter hopefully.
Now that we know that sometimes having your chinchilla’s in pairs is great and sometimes it is not, I want to begin moving into the basics of having 2 chinchillas living in the same cage.
Can Chinchillas Live Together?
Yes, two chinchillas can live together and in many circumstances, this is only going to make your chinchilla’s happier.
In general, bonding chinchillas, if done correctly, results in long-lasting relationships between two chinchillas.
Sure, sometimes they are going to have a mood or two where they do not want to interact but in general, chinchillas love to be around other chinchillas.
My advice is that although 2 chinchilla’s can live together, that you bond them slowly and correctly and do not rush the process.
This will result in a much better relationship and ensures your chinchillas have time to adapt to their new environments and get used to having a new chinchilla around.
One of the most significant considerations you will need to keep in mind when having 2 chinchillas live together is going to be the cage.
I want to move into those details next.
Chinchilla Cage Considerations For Having 2 Chinchillas Live Together
Owning multiple chinchillas and pairing them means a few things.
First, your old smaller cage (if this is what you had) needs to go.
Chinchillas need plenty of room to jump, climb, and get crazy in their cage.
To ensure you follow the recommended guidelines, you can read my post about the best chinchilla cages here.
If you are thinking about having 2 chinchillas or pairing 2 chinchillas, I have two very significant purchases you need to be considering.
First, the Dual Level Critter Nation 2 Cage is a must for pairing 2 chinchillas (Link to Amazon).
It is the cage I currently use and I have been using it for 4 years.
It is excellent, has plenty of space, and would hand down be the easiest cage to use for a pair of chinchillas.
Secondly, I highly recommend investing in one of the best chinchilla playpens.
This can be great for pairing 2 chinchillas due to not needing to chinchilla proof the room.
Additionally, it is going to force your pair of chinchillas to interact closely together in a smaller space which can help the bond grow much faster.
Not to mention, it is going to make it easy on you to manage your pair of 2 chinchilla due to the space being limited for a short amount of time while the bonding process is underway.
I have been using the JesPet 61 inch (Link to Amazon)
I also purchased this chinchilla playpen about 4 years ago and have used it countless times, been through several moves with it and it still works perfectly.
Seriously, consider both of those purchases if you want to pair chinchillas.
It is going to save you a lot of headaches and take care of the process much faster for you.
You always need to remember…
If you have two chinchillas sharing a cage, you need that much more space.
Chinchillas will also soak their bedding in the bottom tray of the cage with urine.
What used to be cleaning the cage for 1 chinchilla has now doubled Its workload on you.
It will be even more crucial for you to remain diligent and to keep your chinchilla’s cage clean at all times.
Double the poop and double the pee will most likely mean you need to be cleaning the cage with at least a full sweep out daily.
If you end up purchasing the Critter Nation Cage, consider purchasing Piggy Bed Spread Fleece Liners (Link to Amazon) for your pair of chinchillas.
The ability to wash these in hot water a couple of times a week is going to make the cleaning process 100x easier.
Not to mention, they smell better and look much more stylish in the cage.
Full cage cleanings will probably need to take place every week or more often depending on how dirty it gets.
Chinchillas don’t smell so this will not become a cause of concern when trying to bond or pair multiple chinchillas.
Is It Better to Have A Pair of Chinchillas?
This far into the post, you are likely beginning to form your own opinion and thoughts about having multiple chinchillas.
You probably may still even be at a point where you are thinking, do chinchillas do better in pairs or not?
I wish I could give you a better answer than I have thus far, but unfortunately, this is the way it is with chinchillas.
It entirely depends on the chinchillas.
It will depend on your chinchilla’s background and social skills they have developed since birth.
A lot of this depends heavily on the breeder you got your chinchillas form.
Chinchillas are smart animals and can adapt quickly but sometimes, pairing chinchillas does not work out for the best.
This is also one of the reasons that it is not always advisable to pair two chinchillas from a pet store such as PetSmart or Petco.
Often, individuals state that pairing chinchillas from pet stores is much more difficult.
This is likely going to be due to the amount of socialization they have already been exposed to since they were a baby chinchilla.
How to Introduce 2 Chinchillas to Being Bonded and Paired
I wanted to give you a few tips for bonding your chinchillas correctly if you do opt to have two chinchillas living in harmony.
First, take things slow.
If you have 1 chinchilla now or plan to purchase 2 at the same time, let them warm up slowly to each other.
The best way to do this, in the beginning, is to make sure to keep bars between them in the beginning.
Attempt to have separate playtimes for a few weeks.
During this time, allow one chinchilla to head over the cage naturally, say hello and begin introducing themselves.
It’s essential for them to get used to the scents, noises, and visuals they are picking up from one another.
After a few weeks of completing this slow introduction period, you can begin allowing both chinchillas to play together.
If things go well, you can start considering the possibilities of your 2 chinchillas eventually becoming cage mates.
If at any time during this process, your chinchillas begin displaying any form of aggression towards one another, use caution and make sure not to move onto your chinchillas sharing the same cage.
Chinchillas can get feisty, so overall, it’s not worth risking harm to your chinchillas.
Trust me, one chinchilla has plenty of favorite things to play with, and they will be just fine on their own if you dedicate time to getting them out of their cage and interacting with them each day.
Be sure to pay attention to your chinchilla’s body language.
If they are barking at the second chinchilla, maybe you need to slow things down.
Trust me, chinchillas have a way to make noise and let you know how they feel about situations.
Pay attention and make adjustments if need be.
Can Chinchillas Get Lonely If They Are Not In Pairs?
Yes, chinchillas can get lonely.
They can even get depressed.
Chinchillas will get lonely without another chinchilla around and without interaction from the owner.
If you don’t have a second chinchilla for your chinchilla to socially interact with, you must make sure to take time every day to communicate and get your chinchilla out of the cage.
You can learn how to get your chinchilla in and out of the cage here.
You can also learn how to get your chinchilla to enjoy being held here.
Learning both of these tactics will make the process of pairing 2 chinchillas much easier for you moving forward.
Chinchillas are incredibly social animals and need some form of interaction with humans or other chinchillas.
3 Scenarios and Questions About Chinchillas Living Together
Often, when chinchilla owners are beginning this process, they have three unique scenarios that they envision.
This is based on the chinchilla’s sex and if the pairing and bonding will ultimately work.
I wanted to take the time to explain all three of these scenarios to give you a better idea of what to expect.
Can Two Female Chinchillas Live Together?
Yes, two female chinchillas can live together.
If they are properly introduced and bonded, two female chinchillas can be happy sharing the same cage and interacting together.
2 female chinchillas also have the potential to not get along with one another.
Proper and slow introductions are critical to making 2 female chinchillas living together flourish.
Can Two Male Chinchillas Be Housed Together?
Yes, two male chinchillas can live together. 2 male chinchillas living together in the same scenario as two female chinchillas living together.
When 2 male chinchillas are properly introduced to one another, they will be happy and friendly sharing the same cage.
However, it’s possible you have 2 male chinchillas that do not get along. Especially if you rush the introduction and bonding phase.
Can You Put a Male and Female Chinchilla Together?
Yes, you can put a male and female chinchilla together in the same cage.
If you do this, you need to ensure your chinchilla is fixed or neutered.
A male chinchilla will get a female chinchilla pregnant.
If you don’t intend on breeding chinchillas, make sure your male chinchilla is neutered if they are going to share the same cage.
Should I Get Two Chinchillas and Pair Them?
This is 100% entirely up to you.
The decision to purchase two chinchillas instead of 1 comes with more responsibility.
Owning 2 chinchillas will require more thorough cage cleanings.
Additionally, owning 2 chinchillas will need more supervision when they are out for playtime or interacting in their cage.
Getting two chinchillas can be excellent but does come with risk and a few negatives.
The choice is ultimately yours.
The Story on My 5 Year Old Chinchilla and Pairing with Other Chinchillas
When I first adopted my chinchilla, I arrived at the breeder, and she escorted me down to the “chinchilla room” which was basically a climate-controlled addition to the home.
Like I said previously, she had nearly all her chinchillas sharing a cage with each other when I arrived.
I had already fallen in love with the chinchilla I wanted to purchase through text based on her beautiful gray fur and temperament that the breeder had described her as having and the pictures the breeder had been sending me.
When I arrived, she was one of the chinchillas that were not bonded or paired with another chinchilla.
This naturally made me ask the question, “why is Chili” not paired with any other chinchillas?
She explained that she had a cage mate and formerly had been paired with another female chinchilla for the past 5 months.
However, chinchilla #2 (not mine that I adopted) had randomly begun becoming more aggressive and had bitten my chinchilla on her back causing a fur slip.
The breeder had believed it was because a bigger cage was necessary and that they eventually started crowding each other’s space.
Nonetheless, the great friendship between 2 loving chinchillas had finally gone sour.
She was forced to separate them, and that was the end of that story.
Can Chinchillas Kill Each Other?
Yes, chinchillas could kill each other.
Chinchillas won’t attempt to kill another chinchilla, but chinchillas do fight and show aggression towards one another in certain situations.
If an injury is caused to one chinchilla as a result of this fighting or aggression, it’s possible for one chinchilla to die as a result of another chinchilla fighting with him or her.
Related Questions About Chinchillas And The Need To Be In Pairs
Do Chinchillas Eat Each Other?
No, chinchillas do not eat each other.
Chinchilla’s diets consist of mostly pellets and hay.
Chinchillas even when aggressive will only bite each other, scratch, or spray urine if the chinchilla is a female.
Chinchillas will not eat each other while living nor after death.
Do Chinchillas Mate for Life?
No, chinchillas do not mate for life.
While it’s possible that your chinchillas’ mate for life, it’s also possible that chinchillas will out-grow the bonding and relationship period and begin showing aggression towards one another.
When this happens, you need to separate them into their own cages for safety.
Do Chinchillas Eat Their Babies?
No, chinchillas do not eat their babies.
Female chinchillas nurse their babies like many animal species.
After a female chinchilla has her litter, the newborn chinchillas will rely on the mother chinchilla for nutrients and nursing until they can live on their own. Chinchillas do not eat their babies.
Do Chinchillas Need Another Chinchilla?
No, chinchillas do not need another chinchilla. If you have the time to spend with your chinchilla each day, a chinchilla can remain completely happy and content without another chinchilla being present.
Chinchillas do enjoy social interaction, and while a second chinchilla is a great idea, it doesn’t mean you have to purchase a second chinchilla.
Do Chinchillas Get Along?
Yes, chinchillas get along. In most circumstances, if a chinchilla was raised in a social environment, they will get along with other chinchillas without an issue.
If however, you purchased your chinchilla from a pet store or rescue and your chinchilla has been isolated for its entire life, it’s possible you get a non-social chinchilla that may display aggression or non-social behavior towards other chinchillas.
Chinchillas Can Do Better In Pairs But Not Always
Let’s re-emphasize the main question and theme of this post. Do chinchillas do better in pairs?
It’s 100% possible that chinchillas will do better in pairs.
It’s also possible that you will have two chinchillas that prefer to be alone and the only attention they need is from you.
Chinchillas make for fantastic pets, so I agree entirely and recommend having multiple chinchillas.
I always want to provide honest answers and make sure my readers are informed about what may happen in certain situations owning multiple chinchillas.
Chili and I certainly wish you the best of luck with your new chinchillas and the journey you have ahead of you.
What Are Your Thoughts About Chinchilla’s Being Better Off Or Not In Pairs?
Did you get a second chinchilla or pair your chinchilla’s?
Do you have any further advice you can share with the community?
Be sure to share those 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.