New Chin Owner and Playtime

Chilly

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Joined
Mar 29, 2021
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11
Hi everyone. I recently got my Chinchilla last week...I read about how they need an hour or so of playtime a day but somehow missed the memo about bonding w them in cage first. He’s sweet so far will come out, sniff, allow for a little petting before going back under my dresser! But it’s a serious process trying to get him back into his cage. I actually found this page when googling “why can’t I get my chinchilla back in his cage?” 🤦🏻‍♀️ Now that I know he’s not ready to be let out and I need to build the bond how long before trying to let him out again? And any other advice would be super helpful...thanks I’m advance!
 

Amethyst

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They don't need an hour of out of cage time a day as much as they need a at least an hour of interaction a day, most can be done in the cage. Things like sitting by the cage and talking, reading aloud, singing (if you can sing) or playing and instrument (if you play), playing with him in the cage like petting him, hold chews for him to chew on, letting him climb on you, and hold him. You can also hand him something every time you come near the cage, could be a treat, a toy, a chew stick, or a bit of hay or pellets, that way he associates you coming to the cage with getting something good. How long the bonding process will take is hard to say, could take weeks or months, but for the most part it takes most chins at least a week to settle in to a new home and start to trust, up to a month is not uncommon though. That means a week to a month before they even start to trust not a week to a month before they trust you. Full trust takes years in most cases, but I would say expect up to a month before you can try playtime again.

Once you get a bond forming it's best to do playtime in a chin proofed area, like a room without anything he can get under or a playpen. There should be nothing he shouldn't chew accessible as well as nowhere he can go that you can't get him. You can block off areas using cardboard boxes or critter fencing, or use it to make a playpen area or block off an area for play. You can also use fencing around the cage and so the chin can come and go from the cage on his own, when it's time for playtime to end if he hasn't gone back himself you can make the pen smaller so it's easier to catch him or he goes back in the cage. Another trick is to use the dust bath to catch him, most chins will run to the bath and then you can scoop him up in it, most chins catch on quickly to that trick though.

Keep in mind that chins do hold grudges, so if you end up chasing him that is only hurting the bond, and could be proving to him you are not to be trusted.
 

Nan

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Jul 28, 2020
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2
Hi everyone. I recently got my Chinchilla last week...I read about how they need an hour or so of playtime a day but somehow missed the memo about bonding w them in cage first. He’s sweet so far will come out, sniff, allow for a little petting before going back under my dresser! But it’s a serious process trying to get him back into his cage. I actually found this page when googling “why can’t I get my chinchilla back in his cage?” 🤦🏻‍♀️ Now that I know he’s not ready to be let out and I need to build the bond how long before trying to let him out again? And any other advice would be super helpful...thanks I’m advance!
Thank you so much. This is extremely helpful!
Hi! I just wanted to mention that I put our chin in a great playpen while I clean his cage (his dust bath is also in there), and then I sit in there with him so we can play (well, so he can climb on my lap and I can give him scratches, which he loves). It’s called a Jespet soft-sided playpen, and I got the large one from Chewy.com. It‘s open on both ends, but has a canvas cover for the bottom and a mesh zipper-top (I don’t bother with the top since I sit in it with him, and he hasn’t yet been able to jump out of it.) It, and his cage, are both in a small room, so if he does escape, as he did when I accidentally left a cage door open, he was still contained. Just wanted to tell you about the playpen, because it’s a great way to play with him outside his cage for 10 or 15 minutes. And I do what the other poster suggested, and play with him through the bars whenever I see that he’s awake. I hope you love your chin experience!
 

Nan

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Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
2
Hi! I just wanted to mention that I put our chin in a great playpen while I clean his cage (his dust bath is also in there), and then I sit in there with him so we can play (well, so he can climb on my lap and I can give him scratches, which he loves). It’s called a Jespet soft-sided playpen, and I got the large one from Chewy.com. It‘s open on both ends, but has a canvas cover for the bottom and a mesh zipper-top (I don’t bother with the top since I sit in it with him, and he hasn’t yet been able to jump out of it.) It, and his cage, are both in a small room, so if he does escape, as he did when I accidentally left a cage door open, he was still contained. Just wanted to tell you about the playpen, because it’s a great way to play with him outside his cage for 10 or 15 minutes. And I do what the other poster suggested, and play with him through the bars whenever I see that he’s awake. I hope you love your chin experience!
(P.S. I’ve had the playpen for a few months now, and he has not chewed through the mesh sides - although he has tried.)
 

Chilly

Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
11
Oh awesome thank you so much. I will definitely look into this...this is so helpful!
 

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