Some pets are a lot of work. Dogs, for example.
You need to take them out for a walk several times a day.
You also can’t leave them alone for too long and need to give them plenty of attention.
We think of rodents as low maintenance pets.
Is that true here, too? Do chinchillas need a lot of attention or are they also low-maintenance?
It turns out that the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Chinchillas are generally low-maintenance, but they do need more attention that most other rodents. What does that mean for you as a chinchilla owner? Keep reading to find out.
Do Chinchillas Need A Lot Of Attention?
Yes, chinchillas need attention, though less so than dogs. Chinchillas are social animals and love the company of other chinchillas. In the absence of that, they need social interaction with you for at least an hour a day.
Before considering getting a chinchilla as a pet it’s important to understand their needs. If you are unwilling or unable to spend time with your chin every day, you should consider getting more than one, so they can keep each other company.
How Much Time Should I Give My Chinchilla?
As mentioned, chinchillas need at least an hour of your time every day. Social interaction is essential for their well-being, and spending that time playing with them, petting them, or even holding them can go a long way. It is an important aspect of keeping and caring for a chinchilla.
Chinchillas are playful and love to run and jump around, so providing them with enough space to do so will help keep them active and engaged.
Apart from that, chinchillas are low-maintenance pets. While they do require attention, they can thrive with as little as a daily hour of interaction.
As a chinchilla owner, it is essential to keep them happy and healthy by providing them with the right environment, diet, and care. Paying attention to your chinchilla’s needs is crucial, because they can develop stress and various other health issues if neglected.
Do Chinchillas Like To Be Pet?
Unlike dogs or cats, chinchillas will not constantly come to you for a cuddle session. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t like to be pet.
An important factor to consider is the personality of your chinchilla. Some chinchillas are more social and enjoy human interaction, while others might be nervous or shy.
If your chinchilla is new to your home, it’s important to give it some time to adjust to its new environment and for you to earn its trust. It takes time to build a bond with your chinchilla.
You can start by offering it treats and speaking softly to it for a while every day, until it feels more comfortable around you. You should only ever attempt to pet a chinchilla that is calm.
When petting your chinchilla, it’s essential to use a gentle touch and avoid sudden movements. Chinchillas have delicate bones, and rough handling can hurt or stress them.
Begin by lightly stroking your chinchilla’s back in the direction of its fur. If it seems to enjoy it, you can gradually increase the pressure and frequency of your strokes. Always pay attention to your chinchilla’s behavior and stop if it shows any signs of discomfort or fear.
Why Chinchilla Don’t Always Enjoy Being Handled
While domesticated chinchillas are not afraid of humans, it’s in their nature to be cautious and defensive around any perceived threat. Because of this, they may feel uncomfortable and fearful when they are picked up or handled.
Chinchillas are naturally timid and wary of new experiences. It takes time and patience to gain their trust, especially if they are not socialized from a young age.
If a chinchilla does not trust its owner, it will not allow itself to be handled or touched. This is why it’s crucial to start building a relationship with your chinchilla when it is still young and impressionable.
Lastly, every chinchilla has a unique personality. Some are just never going to be fond of being handled, no matter how well-trained or socialized they are.
Just like humans, animals have their preferences and quirks. Some chinchillas may enjoy being pet, but dislike being picked up, while others may prefer to be left alone altogether.
How Often Should Chinchillas Be Let Out Of Their Cage?
Typically, chinchillas should have some form of playtime or exercise every day. As mentioned, aim for at least an hour a day to spend playing with your chinchilla outside of its cage.
However, letting a chinchilla out of their cage for too long can be dangerous, because they are curious and can get into trouble fast. It is essential to always keep an eye on your pet when it is out of the cage and to make sure the room it is in is chinchilla proofed. Alternatively, you could do what I do and use a play tent for your daily playtime. It just makes things easier.
How Much Attention Do Chinchillas Need: Final Thoughts
Chinchillas need at least an hour of attention per day. You should let your pet out of its cage and spend time with it in a chinchilla proofed room or a play tent. You don’t have to actively play with it the whole time, though.
If you are busy, you can do some work inside the room or tent, while keeping an eye on your pet. Just don’t let it go unsupervised. And it would be nice if you could spend at least a little bit of that time actively interacting with your pet. They treasure this time together.