Return to Home Page
Chinchillas --Are they right pet for you?
Chinchillas are intelligent, cute and naturally clean. They make wonderful pets just as hamsters and guinea pigs do. We have found them to be sweet, loving, comical and very personable. All of our chinchillas appear to enjoy human contact and always run to their cage doors at the sound of our voices. Of course, they hope we have a sweet treat, but just as often they enjoy a scratch or hug. Many of our chinchillas put their heads up to our hands so we can scratch behind the ears, or stand on hind legs so we can scratch between the paws. Some of our male chinchillas even flirt and do little dances for us, wagging their tails. They can be such comedians!
Chinchillas are not born tame. They are not all alike and do have feelings. Chinchillas have a variety of moods and personalities just as humans do. Taming them takes time and patience because your chinchillas must learn to trust you before you can establish a relationship. Chinchillas have excellent short term memories and will remember if you hurt or frighten them. It is always best to reflect on this when approaching their cage or trying to grab them.
When people see a chinchilla in the pet store, they envision this cute ball of fluff that can sit quietly on their lap or perch on their shoulder. This is the exception rather than the rule. A breeder saying that a chinchilla is "hand raised" or "held since birth" does not guarantee a tame chinchilla for you. Chinchillas respond to each person differently. The relationship you observe between the chinchilla and the breeder may be different than the one you are able to cultivate with that same chinchilla. We have many chinchillas we’ve raised and even hand-fed at birth. They will come to us, never struggle when we pick them up, never bite; but would rather run free than sit still. We have others that will sit on our shoulders or in my laps for as long as we will let them. Still others will sit quietly while we scratch them for up to a half hour, but will scamper away if we go to hold them. We recognize we have a different relationship with each chinchilla and we accept them the way they are. Having close to 150 chinchillas, we think it is fair to say we have a large cross-section of personality types. Every chinchilla is different. Some are hyper, some are laid back, some are more cautious, some are more aggressive. It is important to learn and recognize the type of personality your chinchilla has and respect that in establishing a relationship.