How do multiple chinchillas bond

Toby the chinchilla

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My family may or may not be getting a second chinchilla. If we do then I wanted to know how they would bond. Ours currently is about 11 years old and the new one, we don't know yet. But probably a similar age. Also how big would there cage need to be. this is the cage we have now, with more platforms and a spinning wheel, is this big enough?

 

Amethyst

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How long has your current chin been alone? If it's been a long time, like more then 5 years, there is a real chance they wont want a cage mate, and are use to living alone. However if you want to try first you need to quarantine the new chin from your current one for 30 days, that means different room not just a different cage. That allows the new chin to settle in and for you to get to know it, as well as for any illness to show itself before exposing your current chin. After the quarantine period you can move the cages into the same room, at that point there are different ways of bonding, the cage inside cage, side by side cages, bonding during playtime, as well as the smoosh method. Personally I prefer doing cages side by side so they can see and smell each other, moving the cages closer as they calm down over weeks, as well as doing playtime in a neutral area. The process can take days, weeks, months, or even years, and they may never get along. You can't really rush it since you are building a relationship and just like humans not all chins get along with all other chins. Once they are good side by side and during playtime clean the cage you plan to put them both in (to remove the scent so it doesn't smell like any one chin's territory), put them both in the cage and watch for any signs of an issue.

The other methods like the cage in cage one is were you put one in a tiny cage inside the other chin's cage so they can smell each other but can't reach each other, you switch who is in the tiny cage every couple hours. The smoosh method is fastest, but personally I find cruel (but some people and breeders swear by it), you cram both in a tiny carrier too small for them to move so they can't fight, and hope they bond over the shared traumatic experience.

A double critter nation is big enough for two, but as I mentioned you will need to have another cage at least at first for quarantine. After quarantine, if you have to, you can just split the CN into two cages and work on bonding them just during out of cage time. Once they are bonded then you can open up the whole cage to both, if they don't bond then a single unit is big enough for a single chin.
 

Toby the chinchilla

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How long has your current chin been alone? If it's been a long time, like more then 5 years, there is a real chance they wont want a cage mate,
So to answer your questions its a little different. With his previous owner toby lived with a dog for maybe 7 or 9 years. Now hes been alone with us for 2 almost 3 years but we dont know how he was with the dog
 

Amethyst

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So to answer your questions its a little different. With his previous owner toby lived with a dog for maybe 7 or 9 years. Now hes been alone with us for 2 almost 3 years but we dont know how he was with the dog
I meant alone as in the only chinchilla, used to living in the cage by himself. I'm guessing the dog wasn't living in the cage with him. 😉 So if the only companion he has ever had since being weaned has been a dog in the same house then he is likely use to being on his own, which can make bonding him with another chin more challenging. I'm not saying it's not possible, but it would be like someone in their 60s (an 11 year old chin would be around 60 in human years) living their whole life alone then having a room mate move in. Some might love the idea of having someone, others are pretty set in their ways and wont like it at all, and everything inbetween.
 

Toby the chinchilla

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Ok thank you so much for the informations. I always feel bad leaving after he done playing. He only gets about 30 minutes of human interaction a day, then he stays in his cage for the remaining time. I figured it might be nice having a friends in the long run but maybe he is a lonewolf 🐺
 
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