Is this even the right question?
Or should we be asking if chinchillas even like to be pet at all?
If you’re a new chinchilla owner, that’s probably what you’re thinking right now.
But don’t worry. Your furry little pet will come around.
Chinchillas are naturally skittish and it takes them a while to get used to a new environment.
Once they do, and they learn to trust you, they become more friendly. And then they will want you to pet and cuddle them.
But only if you do it right. Otherwise, you’ll lose all that trust you just built.
So keep reading to learn where chinchillas like to be pet and everything else you need to know about petting your chin, to ensure it enjoys it just as much as you do.
- 1 Where Do Chinchillas Like To Be Pet?
- 2 How To Pet Your Chinchilla
- 3 Where To Pet Your Chinchilla
- 3.1 Make Sure You’re In A Comfortable Setting
- 3.2 Gain Your Pet’s Trust
- 3.3 Don’t Pick It Up Forcefully
- 3.4 Start With The Head And Back And Be Gentle
- 3.5 Play With Your Pet Chinchilla The Right Way
- 3.6 Do Chinchillas Like Being Held Or Cuddled?
- 3.7 Do Chinchillas Like To Play With You?
- 4 Where To Pet Chinchillas: Final Thoughts
Where Do Chinchillas Like To Be Pet?
Chinchillas usually like to be pet on their head and back.
If you have a chinchilla at home and you’re not exactly sure how to pet your furry friend, don’t worry. We’ll guide you on how you can show affection to your small, friendly ball of fur.
How To Pet Your Chinchilla
If you’re worried about how your chinchilla will respond to being pet, you should know that these rodents are generally very affectionate and playful.
Even so, you’re probably being extra careful because you’re worried you might end up aggravating your pet. Or you’ve heard a supposedly ‘true’ story of how a friend’s pet chinchilla almost bit their hand off.
Well, we’re here to enlighten you about these fluffy little animals and explain how they’re pretty much harmless, if you don’t hurt them, scare them, or set them off in some other way.
The key to understanding how to pet your chinchilla is to not intimidate them with sudden movements. As prey in the wild, they are naturally fearful of sudden movements.
But that is completely understandable, isn’t it? I mean, if a person 10 times your size approached you suddenly and grabbed you, you’d probably feel scared, too. But if that giant approached you the right way, you’d be more likely to be ok with it. So let’s see how to do that.
Where To Pet Your Chinchilla
Before we even get into the best places to pet your chinchilla, we should cover how you can make our pet as comfortable as possible. That will help ensure it is as receptive a possible to your touch.
Make Sure You’re In A Comfortable Setting
You want to make sure you are in a setting that is comfortable for your chinchilla, and there are no external triggers that may intimidate your furry friend. This is because an unfamiliar setting with unfamiliar faces might scare your chinchilla and have it on edge, even before you try to pet it.
Gain Your Pet’s Trust
Another important thing to remember is that you need to gain your pet chinchilla’s trust, so that it feels comfortable allowing you to pet it. This step isn’t limited to chinchillas. It goes for any other pets, too. This includes other rodents like the viscacha or the degu, as well are mammals like cats or dogs.
When you first meet them, it’s common for pets to feel scared of you. It’s important that you slowly gain their trust and be patient with the process. Try not to rush things and let them take their time getting used to you.
Don’t Pick It Up Forcefully
Once you’ve gained your pet’s trust, you can easily walk up to it without worrying about it feeling intimidated by your presence.
When approaching your chinchilla to pet it, observe its behavior. If you see that it’s trying to get away, don’t try to pick it up forcefully. Instead, let it get away, work on building a stronger bond, and try again later.
Start With The Head And Back And Be Gentle
The best place to start petting your chinchilla is its head and back. If you see that your chinchilla isn’t backing away as you extend your hand to pet it, then very slowly reach for its head and carefully and gently caress it.
The most important takeaway here is to gently pet your chinchilla. You don’t want your massive hand to crush the little thing, so try to keep a steady hand and lightly pet it on the head.
As you stroke its head, you can slowly make your way to its back. Since chinchillas are pretty small, you’ll have to be extra careful not to put too much pressure on its back.
Lightly stroke its back with slow movements instead of fast and heavy ones.
The head and back are the safest places to pet a chinchilla. Your pet will show visible signs of discomfort if you try petting it somewhere it does not like to be pet. To prevent it from feeling uncomfortable, try to look for cues that show if they’re feeling comfortable or not.
Play With Your Pet Chinchilla The Right Way
There are ways you can make your pet chinchilla feel comfortable and playful around you. We’ll give you some tips on how you can help make it a playful friend.
Let It Smell You
Just like cats and other creatures, chinchillas also feel safer if you let them smell you. This way, your scent will start to grow familiar, and they can make sure you’re not a threat. Since chinchillas are naturally prey, they simply want to make sure you’re not a predator.
Bribe Your Pet With Some Tasty Treats
Just as with some humans, the quickest way to get on an animal’s good side is to give it some tasty treats. Psychologists have been using classical conditioning techniques like positive reinforcement for years, and they have proven to be particularly successful in animals like hamsters.
Giving your pet some treats continuously over an extended period of time will let it know you’re not a predator. It will reassure it that you’re a friendly presence.
Make Your Pet’s Cage Playful
The more playful your pet’s cage is, the better the chances that your pet chinchilla will be playful around you.
Do Chinchillas Like Being Held Or Cuddled?
It is important to note that every chinchilla has different personality traits, just like humans. However, most chinchillas are social creatures and enjoy affection. But only once they feel comfortable wit you.
You’ll find that most rodents are normally fearful and scared of humans. But chinchillas are social and curious creatures, and they can be social with humans as well.
But it will take a while in the beginning, to get your chinchilla to like being held. You first need to get it feeling comfortable with you, which means building a bond.
And even once you’ve done that and your pet likes being cuddled, like most animals, it will feel vulnerable when it is being held. That’s because it can’t run away once it is in your hand.
Chinchillas also have a very small body frame and have very fragile ribs that can break if you put too much pressure on them. Chinchillas do not have floating rib cages (that is a myth), but they do have two pairs of floating ribs.
So it is important to be very careful when handling chinchillas. Always keep a gentle hand when holding your chinchilla.
Do Chinchillas Like To Play With You?
Just like most other pets, chinchillas like it when you play with them. In fact, you really should be getting your chin out of its cage every single day for 3 minutes to an hour of playtime.
Chinchillas often find themselves being entertained by their surroundings, so we encourage you to make a friendly and playful environment for your pet. Add fun things to your chin’s cage so that it can enjoy itself when alone, but also make the room where you let it out to play fun.
And don’t forget to make it safe, too. You need to fully chinchilla-proof the room, or get something like a chinchilla playpen for playtime. Basically, you want to make sure there are no dangers to your little rodent, like electrical cords, open doors or windows, or things that could fall on them.
Where To Pet Chinchillas: Final Thoughts
Before you even try to pet your chinchilla, you need to give it time to get used to its new surroundings and to get used to you. It needs to trust you first, which means you need to build a bond with it. You do this by spending time with it, but never cornering or pressuring it. Learn how to bond with your chinchilla here.
Once it feels comfortable with you, you can pet your chinchilla. To begin with, you should only pet it on the head and the back. Eventually, you may be able to pet in on the belly or under the chin, as well. But you need to make sure it is comfortable with you petting its back and head first.
And some chinchillas will never enjoy being pet. It is rare, but they are all different and some simply won’t like it. The important thing is to never force your chinchilla to do something it does not want to. Nothing breaks their trust and destroys the bond you have built faster.