Chinchillas make for excellent pets and as a new chinchilla owner, you may be curious if your new chinchilla is going to get lonely by themselves in that chinchilla cage all day and what impact loneliness may have on your chinchilla long-term.
I have been raising a chinchilla for 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
So, do chinchillas get lonely? Yes, chinchillas get lonely. If you own a chinchilla, you should consider either having a 2nd chinchilla to be a companion with your other chinchillas or be sure that you have a schedule that allows for you to have dedicated interaction time daily with your chinchilla.
For the rest of this brief 2-minute post, I want to break down what you need to understand about a chinchilla getting lonely to avoid issues such as depression.
Understanding a chinchilla’s behavior is imperative to being an ethical chinchilla owner.
And will ultimately provide you the knowledge needed to keep your chinchilla happy which the rest of this post will break down for you in detail.
- Do Chinchillas Get Lonely
- Can Chinchillas Die From Loneliness?
- Do Chinchillas Need Companions?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Chinchilla’s And Loneliness
- Chinchilla’s Will Get Lonely, Ensure This Doesn’t Happen
Do Chinchillas Get Lonely
The question that this post started off with the intent to answer was simple.
If you are curious if a chinchilla will eventually get lonely.
The answer is yes.
A chinchilla needs social interaction and they crave it.
In fact, learning how to socialize your chinchilla is one of the first steps you should be taking after adopting your new chinchilla.
Whether this is with you on a daily bases or with another chinchilla in the household, it needs to happen.
They are social pets and eventually, without this social interaction and affection, you can start running into some issues (more on this shortly)
Without this affection, love, and interaction, your chinchilla will get lonely which is going to lead to boredom first.
Following the boredom, you can begin having other issues such as destructive chewing.
Your chinchilla will slowly be transitioning into a more anti-social pet which will cause problems for you in the future.
Trust me, if you want to purchase/adopt a chinchilla, you need to understand 1 thing.
It is not a pet to allow to sit in a room and be neglected.
It is unethical, and they will get lonely and eventually have complications due to neglect and loneliness.
If this was your plan, cancel the adoption.
If you plan to show love, maybe adopt a second chinchilla, and truly learn how to take care of a chinchilla, then you are on the right path and will make a fantastic chinchilla owner who never has to worry about loneliness impacting your chinchilla.
Chinchillas Are Social Animals in Their Natural Habitats
Before moving into a few more of the specifics about if chinchilla’s get lonely, I want to mention a fun fact that makes it easier to understand the personality of a chinchilla.
Think of it like this.
Chinchillas in the wild run in packs.
They are used to companions and using each other to survive, communicate, and interact with one another.
It is how they survived nearly going instinct in the wild.
Relying on one another, and always being around at a minimum, other chinchillas.
They are not an animal used to being a lone wolf nor do their minds prefer or desire this.
Chinchillas that share a habitat even grow accustomed to grooming each other by licking each other and find clever ways to play with each other and keep one another content.
Point being, either you provide the attention to avoid loneliness or have a second chinchilla help lessen the burden a tiny bit for you.
Can Chinchillas Die From Loneliness?
Alright, now I want to move in another common question that I see arise on the topic of chinchillas and loneliness.
Can a chinchilla die from loneliness?
No, a chinchilla will not die from loneliness specifically.
A chinchilla’s behavior and eating may be altered by loneliness or losing a bonded companion.
Hopefully, this makes sense to all of you reading.
Or, we can look at this from another angle.
When a chinchilla begins feeling lonely after losing a companion or a cage-mate, they will not die.
However, things will certainly change much like what happens with other pets and even humans when we lose something we love or lose our natural need for social interaction.
Loneliness may result in other issues for your chinchilla which may ultimately lead to death if it is not recognized or taken care of.
This may include things such as the following:
- Lack Of Appetite
- Lack of Water Consumption
So, what do you do on your end to ensure you are remaining ethical, showing love and helping your chinchilla through loneliness?
It is easy my friends.
Don’t be the cause of the loneliness.
If you don’t have a second chinchilla, you are not alone.
I do not even have a second chinchilla yet but I do plan to purchase an ebony chinchilla very soon.
This means that it is on you to provide the love and social interaction with your chinchilla if you choose to adopt.
If your chinchilla had a cage mate or companion for a long time and lost their soul-mate, then you need to ensure you are either replacing that social interaction as time goes on and monitoring how your surviving chinchilla is handling it.
In my opinion, ensuring loneliness does not become an issue comes down to common sense and simply having a heart for your pet.
Keep an eye on things, show love, and take the time to interact with your pet and you will not be in a situation to worry about loneliness, depression, and the side effects that come with that with your chinchilla.
It is that simple.
Now, before beginning the stage of this post where I begin to wrap it up, I want to touch on a heavily debated topic that directly correlates with chinchillas and loneliness.
Here are those details next.
Do Chinchillas Need Companions?
Alright friends, here comes some hard truths and possibly even contradictions to what other fake or non-worthy websites publish on these topics.
No, a chinchilla does not need a companion.
However, do not be confused by what companion means.
To me, companion means that a chinchilla requires a second chinchilla to bond and mate with which is 100% false.
Now, is it a bad idea?
Absolutely not and I want to get my chinchilla her forever mate soon as well.
However, for tons of reasons that I will not even list such as budget, time to care for, or social interaction reasons, a second chinchilla is not always feasible for all of us.
Heck, I own, operate, and run a chinchilla based website and do not even have a second chinchilla.
If you can be the companion for your chinchilla and allow them social interaction, show them love, and properly care for your chinchilla, they do not need a companion.
Would they love to have a companion and another chinchilla with them?
Maybe and maybe not.
It depends on tons of factors such as your chinchilla’s age, social ability, and honestly, simple luck of the draw.
I am still nervous to this day about getting a second chinchilla because I am just not sure how my chinchilla will react.
I know she is a sweetheart and does great with me, my family, and even my 4-year-old son but that does not mean things will always work out perfectly.
It could be possible that she loves her life without a companion and loves the time with me by herself.
Yes, friends, chinchillas do get jealous.
A Companion For A Chinchilla Is An Excellent Idea For Those With Tight Schedules
Now, let’s say you are somewhat in the middle.
Your a fantastic chinchilla parent but sometimes life just gets in the way.
Maybe you have found yourself missing 2 days a week for playtime instead of 1.
Maybe you just know in your soul that your chinchilla will blast off with happiness with a companion.
Let me also assume you have the budget for another chinchilla.
If that’s the case, I’ll keep this as simple as possible.
Get your chinchilla a companion!
A companion chinchilla can offer many benefits for you, your family, and your chinchilla.
It’s even been shown that bonded or paired chinchillas are more friendly.
This does not necessarily translate into a more cuddly chinchilla.
However, they will have an easier time adjusting to human interaction than chinchillas that have been fully isolated the entire time that they have been around.
You see, when a chinchilla has all your care accounted for such as the food, water, bedding and hay, only one thing is missing.
If your chinchilla is given the ability to have their social needs met, all basic needs have been accounted for and it’s looking like you are in great shape.
When this happens, your chinchilla is likely overall more content, happy, and mentally healthy and stable.
Why I Know That Companion Chinchilla’s Can Be A Great Choice
I know it is possible and that it makes for a happy chinchilla in most situations because I adopted my chinchilla from a chinchilla breeder near me.
Chili (my chinchilla) was not even 1 year old at the time and was in a huge chinchilla cage with her cage mate.
Come to think of it, writing this post 5 years later now makes me sad that I took her away from this cage mate but I suppose the time has healed.
The breeder I adopted from had all of the chinchillas bonded in cages together.
Yes, chinchillas are prone to fight from time to time.
Simple sibling rivalry if you ask me.
Maybe you have more chinchilla barking taking place if you get a companion as well.
However, at the end of the day, a companion chinchilla for your beloved chin is another mind, heart, and soul inside of the house for your chinchilla to go through life with.
While they are not necessary if you can provide the love and attention, a companion chinchilla is never a bad idea if you ask me.
Hopefully, I will plenty of pictures of my new chinchilla when I take this leap as faith in the future as well.
The only other piece of advice I have you if you decide to get a companion chinchilla is please, please make sure to get a large enough and one of the best chinchilla cages possible.
I will not dive into details on this post but I have been recommending the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon) for 4+ years now and it still ranks my #1 choice for 1 chinchilla or two.
It is fantastic.
Great, now let’s move onto the frequently asked questions on this topic and send you on your way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chinchilla’s And Loneliness
Do Chinchillas Always Like Other Chinchillas? Is it Possible They Want to Be Alone?
Yes, this is possible.
Some chinchillas simply define the norm and don’t enjoy being around other chinchillas.
Usually, rescues or chinchillas that learn this about their chinchillas have a few options or roads that they can take.
Option 1- You could look for a suitable and loving home for one of your chinchillas so that you don’t have two chinchillas interacting that don’t get along.
Option 2- You could keep both chinchillas but separate them and isolate them in different cages.
What Issues May You Run into If You Don’t Do This?
When I first got my chinchilla from the breeder, I sat down and spoke to the breeder owner for several hours to learn the ins and outs about chinchillas before heading home and embarking on the journey.
I had so many questions that I wanted to make sure I covered all basis.
One story about my chinchilla who is a 1-year old female stood out to me.
She showed me how she is currently housed in a separate cage but hasn’t always been.
Her cagemate before that was another female.
For the first few months, they got along great.
However, the other chinchilla began playing much “rougher” over time.
This caused the chinchilla I ultimately adopted to have many fur slips or missing patches of hair from the “rough house” style of play.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean this is the end of the world.
Chinchillas are like toddlers.
They jump, hop, lick, nibble, and just find a way to get into trouble sometimes.
It’s in their blood, and it’s their nature.
However, who knows what would have occurred if the rescue owner didn’t ultimately separate the chinchillas for my chinchilla’s safety.
Since home, I haven’t adopted a second chinchilla.
I do, however, work from home and she sits in her cage right by me during my workday.
Hearing my voice on phone calls and I also dedicate at least 30-45 minutes a day to get her out of the cage to devote playtime and interaction time with my chinchilla.
So far, she has been content and happy with the arrangement up to this point, or at least it appears that way so far.
Always take the time to learn how to get your chinchilla in and out of the cage properly after the adoption.
Do Chinchillas Mate for Life?
For the most part yes.
Like I stated before.
Chinchillas are naturally and born to be social and run in pairs or herds for survival in the wild.
However, let’s refer to my story and situation.
My chinchilla is a female that was almost 1 year old when I adopted her.
Her previous cage mate was also a female.
Females do tend to be more aggressive towards each other than male/male cage mates.
This doesn’t necessarily this will happen, but more frequently you will see 2 females that ultimately need to be separated as opposed to a set of 2 males lacking separated.
As far as male/female pairing, well I think you can guess what happens when you decide to let this take place.
Let’s just say, that you may need to plan to purchase more chinchilla cages soon.
Do Chinchillas Require A Lot of Attention?
Yes, chinchillas require a lot of attention. Chinchillas that are kept isolated or without another chinchilla companion will need even more dedicated attention.
If you know for sure, you just don’t have the time to get your chinchilla out for dedicated playtime, you should likely consider not purchasing a chinchilla.
Chinchillas for young children can also be an issue, but it could be up for debate.
For example, a chinchilla is excellent for young kids because they live for long periods and require little maintenance outside of love and attention.
On the other hand, chinchillas are fragile and without you around, and may try to run away or hide.
In addition, chinchillas can be frightened by children being loud or mishandling them.
Chinchilla’s Will Get Lonely, Ensure This Doesn’t Happen
To recap the entire point of this post. Do chinchillas get lonely?
Yes, they absolutely do, and they absolutely prefer interaction with either you, another chinchilla, or a combination of both.
However, a chinchilla will not die directly from loneliness and does not necessarily need a companion to have a long happy, and healthy life.
Providing neither will lead to a non-social chinchilla that may experience other signs or issues such as not eating, premature deaths, and acting out such as chewing their own fur or become more unpredictable out of the cage or at times even while in the cage.
It’s up to you to ensure that your chinchilla recognizes you as the owner and begins forming that bond with you.
Over time, this is only going to increase your chinchilla’s overall happiness and comfort levels in your home and make them a long time 15 plus year loveable companion.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and hope loneliness is never something your chinchilla has to deal with.
What Are Your Thoughts When It Comes To A Lonely Chinchilla?
What’s your experience with bonding or pairing chinchillas and ensuring your chinchilla never gets lonely?
Has anyone here ever experienced any issues with your chinchilla becoming lonely or acting out because of this?
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.