Ferrets and chinchillas should be able to get along, right?
I mean, they’re both small, furry rodents, after all.
Actually, they’re not.
While the chinchilla belongs to the rodent family, the ferret is actually part of the weasel family.
And they differ completely in personality, too.
One is a predator, while the other is the prey. I’m sure you can guess which is which.
Does that mean you can never have both a ferret and a chinchilla?
Keep reading to learn if ferrets and chinchillas ever get along, and if it is possible at all the keep both pets in the same home.
- 1 Do Ferrets And Chinchillas Get Along?
- 2 Can Chinchillas And Ferrets Live Together
- 2.1 Similarities And Differences Between Ferrets And Chinchillas
- 2.2 Differences In Temperament
- 2.3 How To Keep Ferrets And Chinchillas Together
- 2.4 Ferrets And Chinchillas Getting Along: Related Questions
- 2.5 What pets do Chinchillas get along with?
- 2.6 Is a Ferret or Chinchilla a better pet?
- 2.7 Do Chinchillas get along with other rodents?
- 3 Ferrets And Chinchillas Don’t Get Along: Final Thoughts
Do Ferrets And Chinchillas Get Along?
In most cases, a ferret and a chinchilla will not bond or become friends. After all, the inherent natures and personalities of both creatures fall into the predator and prey categories.
As a result, there is likely to be aggression, chasing, and bullying. The bottom line is that it is simply a bad idea to house ferrets and chinchillas together.
When it comes to determining whether two animals of different species will get along or not, it is important to consider their inherent natures and personalities.
Ferrets are inherently predatory whereas chinchillas fall into the category of prey animals. It is quite likely that a ferret could attack a chinchilla or view it as food.
That is why you may want to reconsider your decision of keeping both these animals as pets under one roof.
Can Chinchillas And Ferrets Live Together
These two species can live together in the same home, but it is not a good idea. If you do keep them under the same roof, you certainly need to keep them in separate rooms.
The presence of a predator in the same room even if in a different cage, will cause your poor chinchilla constant stress.
In order to get a better understanding of why these two animals are so incompatible, we need to take a closer look at the similarities and differences between chinchillas and ferrets.
Similarities And Differences Between Ferrets And Chinchillas
Both ferrets and chinchillas are cute and cuddly pets. But that is where their similarities end. Ferrets are a part of the weasel family (although many people erroneously believe them to be rodents). Chinchillas, on the other hand, are rodents.
In the wild, chinchillas love being a part of a group. They are social beings. Even in captivity, they prefer the company of their own kind.
On the other hand, wild ferrets are solitary creatures. As pets, they prefer being on their own and may not need company at all.
Chins are prey. Many birds and mammals feast upon them. This is the main reason why they prefer living in groups in nature. There is safety in numbers.
Wild ferrets, on the other hand, are predatory beings. They are especially vicious to small creatures like chinchillas.
Ferrets are also carnivores whereas chinchillas are mostly herbivores (technically, they are omnivores, since they occasionally eat insects or eggs). It is likely that a ferret might view a chinchilla as food.
There have been cases where a ferret has tried to kill small household pets like kittens and hamsters. It would not be surprising if a ferret were to chase a chinchilla, and even hurts or kills it, if left unsupervised.
Of course, it is also possible that such predatory behavior in ferrets can be toned down through desensitization and firm handling. Some ferrets have been known to get along with other pets like cats and dogs.
But there is a lot of effort required. And in the majority of the cases, the training has to begin from the time the ferret is young.
Differences In Temperament
It is likely that a ferret will be tough on a meek chinchilla. Chinchillas are usually docile, whereas ferrets tend to be aggressive.
Ferrets also need to roam freely and cannot be caged all day. If you were to leave a ferret roaming the house freely, it might go to your chinchilla’s cage and try to squeeze itself in. If it is successful in its endeavor, it may even end up killing the chinchilla.
How To Keep Ferrets And Chinchillas Together
Chinchillas and ferrets are very different animals and they have a predator-prey relationship. However, there are pet owners who have successfully kept ferrets and small kittens as pets, and they lived together quite harmoniously.
The first thing you need to consider before introducing a ferret to a Chinchilla is its temperament. If the ferret has always been hyper or snappy, it is best not to let it mingle with any other small pets.
It will help if your ferret has been desensitized to small pets or has been introduced to small animals like hamsters, kittens, puppies, gerbils, etc. from a young age.
This will increase the likelihood of positive interaction between the ferret and the chinchilla. Ferrets that have lived with small animals since birth will be more likely to accept a chinchilla.
It is clear that chinchillas are the docile species, while ferrets are likelier to be more aggressive. You will always have to keep an eye out to ensure that the ferret does not end up bullying the chinchilla.
Even in the case of a domesticated ferret, its natural instinct could take over at some point, making the chinchilla suddenly appear as a ‘toy’ or ‘food’. If this happens, the ferret won’t be able to help itself and may end up attacking the chinchilla.
For these reasons, the first introduction between the two animals is very important and you need to do it very carefully.
Steps To Introduce A Ferret And Chinchilla
When first introducing the two animals, you need to keep them separated, ideally each in its own cage. Make sure there is no way the ferret can escape or squeeze through into the chinchilla’s cage.
- Make the introductions gradually.
- Allow the two pets to sniff each other through the safety of their cages.
- If needed, have another family member or friend hold the ferret while it sniffs at the chin’s cage. Alternatively, put it on a leash. Do this if it tries to squeeze through into the other cage
- If the ferret does not show any aggression, let it down and allow it to sniff and observe the chinchilla within its cage.
- Even if things appear to go smoothly, be vigilant. Be alert and ready to intervene if things get wild.
- Make sure your chinchilla has a place to hide safely if it feels nervous. It should be a hiding place in its cage that the ferret cannot access.
Ferrets And Chinchillas Getting Along: Related Questions
The following are some common questions related to how chinchillas and ferrets get along. If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below.
What pets do Chinchillas get along with?
Chinchillas are social beings and a companion will make them feel happier. Ideally, that companion should be a chinchilla. They can get along with guinea pigs, rabbits and other similar animals, but they should not share a cage with any species other than their own.
Is a Ferret or Chinchilla a better pet?
Both ferrets and chinchillas make good pets as long as you can provide them with all the care they need. Ferrets need a carnivorous diet which can be expensive. This is one reason chinchillas are generally cheaper to own.
Ferrets need to roam freely and cannot be caged all day whereas chinchillas s need to be caged all day for their safety, getting only an hour or so outside to play, in a fully proofed room.
Do Chinchillas get along with other rodents?
Chinchillas can get along with some other rodents, but you should never house them together in the same cage. You can keep two Chinchillas together, as long as they are both friendly and have been introduced properly. But never a chinchilla and any other species.
Ferrets And Chinchillas Don’t Get Along: Final Thoughts
Ferrets and chinchillas are two very different animals. The most important difference is that one is a predator and the other is prey. For that reason alone, it is unlikely they can ever really get along.
Even if they do get along most of the time, you always have to worry that the ferret will briefly snap back into its natura mindset and view the chinchilla as food.
If you do want to have both animals as pets, you need to keep them separated. Keep each in a different room. If you do try to introduce them to each other, keep them both in cages and supervise the meeting at all times.