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Old 04-18-2017, 11:30 PM United States
CrimsonBIue CrimsonBIue is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Colorado
Age: 19
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Default Chinchilla Questions


My name is Jasmyne, and though I am not a current Chinchilla owner but I am actually looking to buy one. I know they are a long term commitment, so I have some questions I am very curious about. I have researched a lot about getting a Chinchilla, and I have everything I would need to buy tracked down for one, including appropriately sized cages, a bunch of wooden chews and also toys to keep the size of their teeth down and for entertainment, exercise wheels, hideaways, cloud dust bath, an exercise pen, and found some unneeded stuff I would like to get like a little Chin Cat-Bed for example. I have researched a lot about them, like what they should and should not eat, diseases they can catch, and how to care for them. I even looked up a Chinchilla veterinarian which is close by to where I live. Even though I have done this research I do have a couple questions that were kind of hard to find answers too? I would appreciate any help, advice, personal experience, or if you have a link to information written by a doctor on these subjects I would greatly appreciate it!

From everything that I read, Chinchillas each have their own unique personality, but can they be successful service animals? I will be looking at getting a kit, as I have read that will cause Chins to be more friendly and I would love to get a White Mosiac Chin from a breeder. (I will not be buying from a store so don't worry, I do know about the issues with Pet Shops. :'00). But I have extreme anxiety issues, and intense sadness swings, and after my grandparents passed away, it has been much worse. I would love to register my ten-year-old cat, but he has a lot of emotional problems and I do not think I will not be taking him when I move out. I have looked up many forums, and the majority of people have said yes, but I wanted to see if experienced Chin owners had anything to say on this. I would mainly be looking for an animal to cuddle, groom, and focus on when I am feeling upset. I am a night owl, so I do not mind that they are active at night either haha. That is a segway into my next question, however! I know that Chinchillas shouldn't have collars or harnesses as it can cause stress and hair loss, but can they go into pet safe travel bags? As I said before, I get extreme anxiety around people and sometimes I shut down so I would probably like to take it with me for short trips. :'0 From what I've seen it's okay depending on the Chin and how long, but I can't find any specifics for what I am looking for.

Thank you for looking at my post!
- Jasmyne S.
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Old 04-19-2017, 01:01 PM Canada
Amethyst's Avatar
Amethyst Amethyst is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,188
Chinchillas: 2

I would say no to them making good service animals, and from what I am reading you are looking for an emotional support animal not a service animal anyway. Though once again I would say no to making a good emotional support animal outside the home. Chinchillas are not outside pets, they require a very specific environment. Chins are also prey animals, and a lot can scare them, most do not like to be around crowds it can scare them. They can be good for company inside the home away from people though. If you want to know the adult personality and are looking for a specific personality I would go with an adult chin not a kit. An adult chin can bond just as well with you as a kit. Most kits are friendly, but their personality can drastically change during puberty, so your once cuddly loving outgoing chin can become more aloof starting around 6 months old and not want to be more then occasionally petted. One of the crankiest chins I had we got as a kit, she was so sweet as a kit, but as an adult was moody and didn't like being held anymore, we could still take her out but no cuddling or holding for more then a minute or two. Keep in mind most chins do not like to be cuddled or even held really, out of the over a dozen chins I've had, I think maybe 2 were actually cuddly. Most just tolerate being combed at best, but unless you are showing the chin, most don't even need to be combed at all. You are right no collars or harnesses, not only the issue of stress and fur loss, but they could break the chin's neck and/or ribs. The way a chin is designed a harness tight enough for it to not slip out would likely crush it's ribs and puncture a lung. Chins can't be walked anyway so a collar or harness would be worse then useless. They can't be trained to not chew (they have to all the time) so you could never trust it to walk around on the ground outside without eating/chewing everything anyway. Also any travel carrier needs to be metal so it can't chew out and well ventilated so the chin doesn't over heat. Something like this So really not very practical to be walking around with. Chins don't have the ability to throw up, so if it gets motion sickness it can die. You would also have to make sure you never go anywhere, including a car with it that is not going to be low humidity and below 70s F, so nowhere not air conditioned if it's warm or humid out. You would have to also stay in on windy days since a draft can make them sick. They also have sensitive respiratory systems, so nowhere that anyone is smoking, there is pollution (car exhaust, etc), or chemicals (perfumes at the mall for example). Also unless you are lucky enough to end up with an extremely laid back chin (very unusual), you need to stay away from any barking dogs, other animals, or loud noises that might scare it or try to hurt it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that chins poop every 30-60 seconds, so you need to make sure all that poop is contained, and that you aren't out long or the chin will be sitting in poop and possibly pee too.

Honestly, I think a better option would be to get another cat, or a dog. Both of those would be a much better option since they can easily go out with you anywhere that allows pets (an emotional support animal is NOT a service animal), and they enjoy cuddling and grooming. Also a cat or dog can be potty trained, so you wouldn't be having to worry about poop or pee falling out of carrier everywhere you go.
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2 Chinchillas: Bazil and Wicket
10 Cats: Mystic, Coon, Rascal, Lucky, Mittens, Shadow, CJ, Tiger, Tux, and Nessie
3 Dogs: Bear, Loki, and Blaze
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