How to get chinchilla to playpen?

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Sep 4, 2021
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I am trying to bond with my chinchilla but he won’t let me pet him let alone pick him up. I know playtime is important but I can’t get him into the playpen unless I trap him in his dust bath. And even then I have only been able to do that once or twice a week. He has started getting more wary of the dust bath now though so I can’t take him out at all. I don’t know how to progress.
His cage is in my bedroom and I don’t think I can chin proof it so I can’t just open the door and let him decide.
Any suggestions?
 

Amethyst

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I commented on your other post, but another idea I thought of is getting fencing or pen panels to go around the cage. That way you don't have to chin proof the whole room and the chin can come out and go back in as he pleases. I generally refill the food and/or put a treat, toy, or chew sticks in the cage to get him to want to go back in the cage, that way going back in the cage is rewarded.
Here is a pic from last year of my current setup to give you an idea.

1630958394435.png
 
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Oh sweet! I’ve been thinking about getting a metal pen so he has a choice. Do you have any recommendations for what pen to get? Ive been looking on Amazon but I know the bar spacing has to be 1 inch or less so most of the dog playpens don’t work. The small animal playpens look to short though so I wasn’t sure what specifically to get.
thank you.
 

Amethyst

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Chins can easily jump 5-6 feet so most pens are not really "tall enough" if the chin really wants to get out, but a lot of chins don't realize they can jump that high. I have a couple of these pens (only one being used in the pic, but you can link as many as you want together to make a large fenced in area), https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/ware-small-animal-playpen they are short (only about 2' high) but so far he hasn't tried to escape, but I am also right on the other side of the fence so if he tried I could stop him right away. There are a few similar ones you can get on Amazon, like

Another popular option is getting panels like these https://www.amazon.com/Tespo-Playpen-Portable-Plastic-Transparent/dp/B06XTG94TH/ref=sr_1_23?dchild=1&keywords=playpen&qid=1602189427&sr=8-23&tag=forumyield-20 you can stack them 2 or 3 high if needed. That is just an example, there is more then one company that sells them, just don't get the metal wire one, the bar spacing tends to be just a little too big so chins have been known to get stuck in the bars requiring the owner to cut the chin out (dangerous and ruins the pen).

With both those type options depending on how the pen is set up you can even just clip a thin sheet to the top to make a "roof" so they can't jump out.
 

JamaisVu

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Jan 7, 2012
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I second the suggestion of a playpen around the cage.

I had the same problem you did and getting to/from play time was super stressful. The day I switched over to a play pen and gave them the option of going back to their cage was when I really started bonding with my chin.
 
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