Chinchillas have emotions.
And just like any other animal with emotions, us humans included, those emotions can sometimes boil over.
What happens when they do?
Will two chinchillas get so angry with each other that they begin fighting?
And if so, what can you do about it? Or should you even do something about it?
Keep reading to learn all about chinchillas fighting and what you need to do if it ever happens.
- 1 Do Chinchillas Fight?
- 1.1 How To Spot Fighting Before It Occurs
- 1.2 How To Stop Your Chinchillas From Fighting
- 1.3 Recognizing The Difference Between Fighting And Playing
- 1.4 Getting Your Chinchillas To Like Each Other
- 1.5 Can Chinchillas Kill Each Other?
- 1.6 Is It Always Better To Have Two Chinchillas?
- 2 Chinchillas Fighting: Final Thoughts
Do Chinchillas Fight?
Yes, chinchillas fight. They may fight for a variety of reasons. Pairing male and female chinchillas is the best way to reduce fighting.
But fighting and aggressive behavior may still occur. For example, a male chinchilla may fight with a female when she is in season, in order to show dominance.
One of the problems that can arise from two chinchilla fighting is the potential for injury. Chinchillas have long and extremely sharp teeth. They also have very strong jaws.
Sharp teeth plus a strong jaw is a recipe for injury when two chinchillas decide to go at it. It can cause wounds, fur pulled, or more damaging injuries.
If you ever notice two of your chinchillas fighting, it’s essential to quickly and separate the two combatants. This will prevent the situation from getting worse and help prevent fights from happening again in the future.
How To Spot Fighting Before It Occurs
As a new chinchilla owner, you may not be familiar with every sound or form of body language your chinchilla may exhibit.
Understanding a chinchilla’s behavior goes a long way to being a better pet owner.
Sure, you can read about it online on blogs like this one, but you only truly get a full understanding after years of owning your own chinchilla.
So, how do you spot signs of stress or signs that your chinchillas may be getting ready to fight?
Well, one way telltale sign is if your chinchilla has slipped fur or is missing any fur on its body. This indicates that your other chinchilla has probably decided to bite it or scratch it.
Secondly, if you notice your chinchillas standing on their hind legs in a fighting stance, this is a definite indicator that you should interrupt whatever is about to take place and separate the two chinchillas.
Often, a chinchilla may even bark or make other noises to indicate that it is in the mood to attack.
Sometimes, simple observation is all you can do when you house two (or more) chinchillas together. Eventually, you will realize that they don’t like each other and either may soon fight, ot have already fought.
Let’s go ahead and assume that’s where you are currently. You know for sure that your two chinchillas have either fought previously or they are preparing to do so.
What’s next, and what can you do to keep them from fighting?
How To Stop Your Chinchillas From Fighting
This may sound like a daunting task, but in all honesty, the solution is simple. Separate your two chinchillas for a brief period to stop them from fighting.
I have two suggestions that can work for this.
1) Pick The Right Cage For 2 Chinchillas
It is best to get the right cage from the beginning, when you first adopt your chinchillas. But if you’re already past that point, upgrading cages is not a bad idea.
The cage I use and recommend is the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage.
I recommend this one for a few reasons.
Secondly, the dual-level Critter Nation has 2 sections that can be separated if need be.
Simply pop the top section off the cage and close the doors. You now have two separate cages, and two separated chinchillas.
It’s the set up I personally use and recommend. You can view the exact fleece liners I use for my cage here.
2) Use A Travel Case Or Play Pen
Sometimes you only need to separate your chinchillas for a short amount of time for their mental states to change entirely.
This is especially true, if you have two chinchillas that are well bonded and typically don’t have issues with fighting.
Enjoy 30 to 60 minutes of playtime with the chinchilla you removed from the cage, before placing them back together. Make sure to keep an eye on them.
However you choose to handle the situation, if you are sure a fight is about to happen, you must act in some fashion to ensure that it doesn’t cause injuries or other possible issues that can arise from two chinchillas having it out with each other.
Recognizing The Difference Between Fighting And Playing
You have one more issue to deal with when it comes to chinchillas fighting.
Sometimes what may look like fighting is nothing more than casual playing and having some fun with each other.
This is very similar to two dogs playing, but growling while doing so. It can be confusing and make you want to intervene immediately.
But if they are just playing, there is obviously no need. So how can you tell the difference?
Typically, if 2 chinchillas are playing and not fighting, you will notice the chinchillas displaying a few different forms of body language.
One of these we already discussed previously.
If one, or both chinchillas, are standing on their hind legs, this can indicate that they are preparing to fight or attempting to intimidate the other chinchilla.
If you notice this, it’s best to separate the two chinchillas as soon as possible.
Keep in mind, most of these aggressive behaviors won’t display until the chinchillas have grown to full size.
When chinchillas are kits, they don’t tend to display aggressive behavior. If you notice young chinchillas interacting in this fashion, it’s almost always going to be a case of them just playing.
Outside of these recommendations, your best course of action is to simply pay attention and make sure that you are keeping your chinchillas out of harm’s way.
Getting Your Chinchillas To Like Each Other
Here’s where a bit of work and patience in the beginning can really pay off, when you own two or more chinchillas.
Chinchillas need time to adjust to each other and to become tamer in general.
A good way to allow two chinchillas to bond and get used to each other is by placing two cages next to one another for the initial days.
Let your chinchillas interact and communicate through the bars, before allowing them to live together. Allow them to get used to each others’ smells and behaviors.
Once they begin showing signs that they are comfortable with each other, begin allowing them out together for playtime.
This is a great way to ensure that you can supervise their first face to face interactions with one another. I recommend using a pop-up animal play tent to make this strategy even more effective.
A pop-up animal play tent allows for a closer space for you and your chinchillas to interact. Yes, my friends, there is plenty of room for you and both chinchillas to sit inside of the animal playpen.
I think it’s an excellent tool to get your chinchillas together in a space that forces them to get to know each other much faster.
Not to mention, you get to enjoy the bonus of your chinchillas closely interacting and learning to bond with you as well.
In my opinion, it’s one of the first things all chinchilla owners should invest in, regardless of how great of a play area you have set up and proofed for your pets.
If you decide you prefer not to continue using it after the initial bonding phases, that’s no issue at all.
I’m merely recommending using it in the beginning to get your chinchillas used to each other and comfortable with being held and handled by you as the owner.
That said, I personally use mine to this day for playtime. It makes it so much easier.
This article talks about the three best pop up animal play pens on the market. The first one mentioned is the exact model I’ve been using for more than 3 years now.
Can Chinchillas Kill Each Other?
Technically yes. Chinchillas can kill each other. But it’s not very likely.
In fact, it’s a common myth that has been spread, that males should not be housed with other males, and females should not be housed with females, due to fighting and the chance of death.
This is not true.
It takes proper introductions and the appropriate bonding phase I’ve covered previously in this post, but outside of that, most chinchillas will be very happy having a cage mate of either sex.
The bigger problem is in housing males and females together, since they can end up breeding. If you don’t want a whole bunch of new chinchillas, this is a reason to keep them separate.
Bottom line: it’s unlikely that two chinchillas would kill each other, or attempt to cause harm to one another, if they have been properly introduced and bonded.
Is It Always Better To Have Two Chinchillas?
This is the last question that I wanted to cover in today’s post.
The primary reason I’m interested in covering this specific question is that I also believe this is another common myth.
It seems to be a common belief that a single chinchilla on its own can’t live a long and happy life. They need friends.
But this isn’t true. Plenty of owners opt to only adopt one chinchilla.
It really comes down to you and the care you provide.
If you want only 1 chinchilla, you need to ensure you have time to spend with your pet for at least a few minutes every day.
Chinchillas are social creatures. They need social interaction, but it doesn’t have to be with another chinchillas. If they don’t have a cage mate, they are still perfectly happy interacting with you.
Just ensure you provide opportunities to interact.
It’s also possible that you own a chinchilla that prefers having the cage to itself, and it simply is not as social as many other chinchillas.
It really depends.
But if you don’t feel as if you have the time to spend with your new furry friend every day, it’s probably best to consider adopting a cage mate soon. And if you’re ever not sure about the gender of a chin, read about sexing chinchillas.
Chinchillas Fighting: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, yes, it’s completely possible that 2 chinchillas will fight.
I’ve seen it, and I’ve personally been to a local breeder to witness her methods and protocols for separating and monitoring chinchillas that display these aggressive behaviors.
Sometimes it’s nothing more than a mood swing, and it will pass. Other times it will require a separation of the two chinchillas.
But don’t worry too much about this. Active observation and paying attention will be plenty to ensure you keep your chinchillas out of harm’s way and living happily with one another.
Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading and wish you the best of luck with your chinchillas.
Share your thoughts.
What experience do you have with 2 chinchillas fighting?
How did you handle it, and what would you do differently?
Be sure to share those thoughts, concerns, and stories by dropping a comment below.
As always, thanks for stopping by. We will catch you next time!