Im new to this site and need help chinchillas world

Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum

Help Support Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum:

Jennforbes

New member
Joined
Feb 5, 2022
Messages
1
So can anyone please help me. I got a pair of " female " chinchillas about 3-4 months ago, the lady had 2 lil girls qnd said the girls never payed attention to them ,she said 1 was 6 yrs old the other 7 yrs old. I brought them home it's just me and my 3 dogs which the chinchillas love my dogs , so it's not noisy or hectic but I swear they are NOT social I spoil them ,buy toys treats ,talk to tjem bath them but they won't let me hold them or put them in their play room to have exercise and just be free from cage what do I do.
 

Chinmin

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
290
Welcome. Please hang in there, someone may show up to help you.
 

Amethyst

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 7, 2012
Messages
2,908
Location
Alberta
First, most chins don't actually like to be held, like I would say at least 90% of them hate being held. With time most can learn to tolerate it though, like to the point of allowing you to take them to the play area or put them in a carrier when needed (like to go to the vet). It can take years to get to that point though, and if they were ignored or even mistreated (kids often don't know how to properly handle chins), it can take up to as long as they were treated that way for them to come around and trust again. So if they lived years not getting properly handled and attention, it very likely could take years for them to get over it and start to really trust you.

They aren't animals that blindly trust, you have to earn it and prove you are trustworthy, and if you do anything to prove you aren't trustworthy, like grab them or have to chase them to get them back in the cage, it can cause you to go a few steps back in the process. You say you talk to them, but do you just sit by the cage and be with them? You can sit by the cage with the door open and allow them to come to you and sniff and explore you. Do they ever come to the side of the cage to greet you when you come in the room? You can try offering a small chew toy, treat, chew stick, or hand them strands of hay ( either a type they don't normally get or some chins especially like specific parts like the seed heads for example) or even just hand them pellets. If you come and go from the room often you can split the food up too, make sure they always have hay but each time you come in the room you give them a little bit of their daily pellets so they start associating you coming in the room with good things.

Another thing, although most chins love running around outside the cage, not all chins seem to, if they have a large cage with lots of things to entertain them, play time might not be as appealing and they may feel safer in the cage or at least near the cage. Would it be possible to set up a play pen around the cage so they can just hop in and out of the cage as they want during play time? or even move the cage into the play room, even just for playtime, so they can go back in their cage if they want?
If not, they aren't like dogs that need daily exercise, so if their cage is large enough they are likely getting enough exercise in the cage. If they don't already have one you can also get them a chin safe wheel (soild metal running surface and 15-16" diameter) to use. Daily interaction is much more important, so long as you are spending at the very least an hour or two everyday with them they are likely fine in the cage most days.
 

Chinmin

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
290
That's must be tough if there's a lack of knowledge and patience before one can get close to them. Is holding them the ultimate dream for some?
 

Jawramik

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
281
Amethyst has given you some great advice. It's all about being patient and building trust.

I think it's also helpful if you can learn to put aside whatever hopes and expectations you may have had for your relationship with them, and instead let your chins set the terms and just go at their pace. I have the best luck with my chin when I let her come to me, rather than chasing her around her cage or playpen and trying to force my love on her. They're skittish creatures, but they're also very curious. If you just open up the cage door and put your hand in there for a bit, odds are that sooner or later they'll get curious enough to come check you out. But you have to let them come to you, and when they do, don't try to grab them or pet them at first, just let them check you out and don't force anything. Once they're coming up to you with no fear, then you can start trying to gently touch them (my chin loves being scratched behind her ears and under her chin, that might be a good place to start). But always let them get away from you if they want, and if they do, don't chase them or try to force the issue.

I've gotten my chin to the point where I can scoop her up without any drama, but while she will tolerate being held for a short time, she doesn't really enjoy it. So I only pick her up when I have to, like moving her between her cage and her carrier, or her cage and her playpen. The rest of the time, I just interact with her on her terms.
 
Top