New Chinchilla Owner please help!

Abzgatez

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Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Messages
7
Hello!
I purchased a chinchilla about a month ago who I named Houdini. I got him from a high school kid who kept him in basically a hamster cage. His fur was matted and since I got him he's in (what I call) a palace, an enclosure taller than me with multiple jump platforms and such... He gets dust baths every two or three days, I'm giving him everything to the book according to Google. I'm being very patient and I'm attempting to making one of those chin spin wheels without paying $100.

He's warmed up to me a lot, but he will still shoot pee at me. I haven't held him since the kid I bought him from put him in my arms.

I would just like some advice on earning Houdinis trust and making sure he's happy and living his best life!

Thank you, I sincerely would appreciate any advice.
Abbey


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ticklechin

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This may sound weird, but can you take pictures of the chinchillas privates? Male chinchillas really cant spray well, its usually the females that can hit a bulls eye. If the chin was abused and with a teen it most likely was in my experience with rescues, its going to take awhile for the chin to trust you, they have long memories. 6 months or longer would be more realistic. When the chin sprays you don't react, I know gross but if you stop what you are doing, the chin got what it wanted, if you don't stop the chin will figure out that does not work anymore.
 

mercynursie

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Agree with Dawn. I have all males and none of them spray! They just do the funny foot shuffle and dribble on themselves. They engage in a lot of self pleasure and even have a romantic relationship with fleece pillows!
 

Amethyst

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Bonding with a chin takes time, and since it came from a bad situation I can take months or even years to fully trust you. Some things you can do are just sit by the cage and talk, sing, read aloud, etc to the chin to get it use to your voice, open the cage and just set your hands inside to let the chin sniff, climb, and jump on you. You can also try giving it a chew stick every time you go by the cage and the chin is awake, you can give treats sometimes too, but they should be a once a day at most thing. You have to go at the chin's pace, you can't rush the process, you are basically forming a friendship and that doesn't happen overnight. Chins are not only prey animals, they are also very smart for a rodent (about as smart as a 2 year old human) so they aren't going to mindlessly trust you, you have to prove you are trustworthy. Also keep in mind, most chins aren't cuddly, out of the over a dozen I've had over the years I can only think of 2 that were actually cuddly and maybe 4 that were ok with being held for any length of time. Most will be ok with being petted and climbing on you, but being held probably triggers their fight or flight reflex. Not to mention the human body temp is high, (chins need temps below 75F, most humans are about 98F) so being held is probably uncomfortable for them.

Also keep in mind that there is a ton of misinformation and/or outdated info out there on the internet. I would double check the info you have about the chin with info found here. The most common and dangerous misinformation is that chins can have fruits and veggies, they really shouldn't, they can't properly digest them and it will lead to diarrhea, and overtime liver and kidney failure from the sugar. They also should not have seeds, nuts, animal products, or sugary human foods. I mention this because a lot of chinchilla food sold contains junk (seeds, nuts, fruit, and veggies), and that will drastically shorten your chins life if fed. A chin can live 15-20 years or more, were as one fed a junk food filled diet has an average lifespan of less then 10 years.

If you could post a pic of the cage we could also help with making sure everything looks good and possibly give suggestions. Its best to post on a photo share site then link it here, the forum pic attachment thing doesn't work most of the time.

(I use "it" to refer to the chin since as others have said males rarely can spray pee, they mostly dribble, where as females can pretty accurately spray pee about 5 feet. So it's most likely a female.)
 

Abzgatez

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Nov 5, 2017
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Hello! It has been a WHILE since I posted this initial query! Since then, I have discovered that my baby is ACTUALLY a lady. No thanks to the dumbass kid I acquired her from. He definitely lied about ever taking her to a vet,

She is doing great now! Especially since I stopped looking for hair rings ;-p

Seriously though, I have had her since late 2017 and after combing out her matted fur and giving her a normal “cage” (I call it her duplex) and a wheel (chinspin) she is a FEISTY LADY! And I love her so much! We still are not at the point where I can pick her up, and I understand that might never be the case... and that’s okay! She loves scritches and ear rubs and belly pets, til I get the kackackack! And I know to stop!

Today she did start raising her butt when I was giving her scritches, I wonder if this is due to trust, and also maybe being in heat? It’s a new act for Chinchi! I’ve not seen her do this before...

Also, if anyone has any tips for me maybe one day being able to hold her, that would be awesome! But I also understand her boundaries and get that that might not image.jpgever happen. She will always be my silly little pooper, she’s a nugget. I will post pictures of her duplex so you can see her situation.
Thank you all for your time!
Abbey

PS: sorry about my spackled walls, I need to paint
 

Abzgatez

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Nov 5, 2017
Messages
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Also, I open her little fence every night so she can run around and jump up on my bed (and shit everywhere) and hop off the walls. I think when I get a new dresser it will need to be metal. She’s such a butthead but I love her so much! I like to make cardboard tunnels and hide rosehips and chinchi cookie treats for her. I LOVE HER SHE IS FEISTY
 

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Abzgatez

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Nov 5, 2017
Messages
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Also, yes her name is officially Chinchi... very unoriginal but my last pet was a rabbit named Buns. I have no excuse for my lack of originality. Anyway, I can show pictures of my Chinchi!
LAST QUESTION: is there a reason she scoots her butt on wet towels? What is that about
 

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yspm10

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Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
12
Hello! It has been a WHILE since I posted this initial query! Since then, I have discovered that my baby is ACTUALLY a lady. No thanks to the dumbass kid I acquired her from. He definitely lied about ever taking her to a vet,

She is doing great now! Especially since I stopped looking for hair rings ;-p

Seriously though, I have had her since late 2017 and after combing out her matted fur and giving her a normal “cage” (I call it her duplex) and a wheel (chinspin) she is a FEISTY LADY! And I love her so much! We still are not at the point where I can pick her up, and I understand that might never be the case... and that’s okay! She loves scritches and ear rubs and belly pets, til I get the kackackack! And I know to stop!

Today she did start raising her butt when I was giving her scritches, I wonder if this is due to trust, and also maybe being in heat? It’s a new act for Chinchi! I’ve not seen her do this before...

Also, if anyone has any tips for me maybe one day being able to hold her, that would be awesome! But I also understand her boundaries and get that that might not View attachment 20678ever happen. She will always be my silly little pooper, she’s a nugget. I will post pictures of her duplex so you can see her situation.
Thank you all for your time!
Abbey

PS: sorry about my spackled walls, I need to paint
Hello! It has been a WHILE since I posted this initial query! Since then, I have discovered that my baby is ACTUALLY a lady. No thanks to the dumbass kid I acquired her from. He definitely lied about ever taking her to a vet,

She is doing great now! Especially since I stopped looking for hair rings ;-p

Seriously though, I have had her since late 2017 and after combing out her matted fur and giving her a normal “cage” (I call it her duplex) and a wheel (chinspin) she is a FEISTY LADY! And I love her so much! We still are not at the point where I can pick her up, and I understand that might never be the case... and that’s okay! She loves scritches and ear rubs and belly pets, til I get the kackackack! And I know to stop!

Today she did start raising her butt when I was giving her scritches, I wonder if this is due to trust, and also maybe being in heat? It’s a new act for Chinchi! I’ve not seen her do this before...

Also, if anyone has any tips for me maybe one day being able to hold her, that would be awesome! But I also understand her boundaries and get that that might not View attachment 20678ever happen. She will always be my silly little pooper, she’s a nugget. I will post pictures of her duplex so you can see her situation.
Thank you all for your time!
Abbey

PS: sorry about my spackled walls, I need to paint
Hello,
Great looking chinchilla and cage setup. Well as far as bonding I think when you have her out on the play pen you can buy treats to try to get close to her. I recommend Pandamonium pets from Etsy. A lot of people buy from them and it’s not like stuff you usually get from stores where its unhealthy for your pet. Goodluck
 

Chinmama

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ZZ loves to be on me, not necessarily being held. More like using me as a jumping platform. Marble hated for me to pick her up, but would jump on me and sit and let me pet her in a semi hold position. If that makes sense. lol. Each chinchilla is totally different. You may just have to learn to appreciate that she pays you attention, and take the little moments of love she offers.
 

Im Hyung Soo

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Jun 1, 2019
Messages
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Aw, such a cutie~ She kind of reminds me of my own, just that my little Miki is lighter in color and some other things. She doesn't like to be directly be picked up either but she loves attention and will hop out of her cage if I sit near it with the door open though she also likes to run to the door when I enter the room. Oddly enough though she likes to be held but not picked up so I sometimes just scoop her up while she's sitting with me and she doesn't mind that, that and she knows she'll always get a treat for being an adorable well behaved chinny, heh. But yeah, not every chinchilla likes to be held and some never will but i'm sure you'll love her anyway~
 

Abzgatez

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Joined
Nov 5, 2017
Messages
7
Thank you for your responses!

yes I definitely have the urge to scoop her up and show her that it is affection and safe affection at that... but I do not want to upset her either. I would like to be able to handle her and for her to understand that it’s safe to be picked up more so for if I need to examine her for any problems that might arise in the future (i.e. fur clumps, checking feet pads, if something seemed to be sore? etc... whatever) just for her own well-being. The bonus would be my ability to hold her, but if she doesn’t want to, that’s fine! As far as I know, she’s probably around 3 years old, but with unreliable information about her youth, who knows.
I will definitely look at pandamonium pets for chinchilla stuff. I did just find the Standlee Hay Company on amazon and their hay is SO CHEAP compared to pet stores and also very nice, green, fresh.

again, if anyone has any idea about her desire to scoot her butt on wet towels... I just would like to know what that is about? Honest curiosity.
Thank you all again for your responses!
Abbey and Chinchi
 

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JamaisVu

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Jan 7, 2012
Messages
51
Hello!

I have 2 rescues and neither of them particularly appreciates being picked up, even after 8 years.

I have a similar set up to yours and what I did is just go and sit down inside the play pen while they had full liberty to go in and out. They started to realize that I wasn't trying to grab them and CHOSE to jump on me and just chill or play, or just come around for scritches before running off again and doing their thing. That has helped bonding tremendously. Now, even if they're playing by themselves and I walk by, I can tell when they want me to come in and play :)

They even forgive me when I have to grab them to put them in their carrier for a vet visit 😅
 

Im Hyung Soo

Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2019
Messages
7
Thank you for your responses!

yes I definitely have the urge to scoop her up and show her that it is affection and safe affection at that... but I do not want to upset her either. I would like to be able to handle her and for her to understand that it’s safe to be picked up more so for if I need to examine her for any problems that might arise in the future (i.e. fur clumps, checking feet pads, if something seemed to be sore? etc... whatever) just for her own well-being. The bonus would be my ability to hold her, but if she doesn’t want to, that’s fine! As far as I know, she’s probably around 3 years old, but with unreliable information about her youth, who knows.
I will definitely look at pandamonium pets for chinchilla stuff. I did just find the Standlee Hay Company on amazon and their hay is SO CHEAP compared to pet stores and also very nice, green, fresh.

again, if anyone has any idea about her desire to scoot her butt on wet towels... I just would like to know what that is about? Honest curiosity.
Thank you all again for your responses!
Abbey and Chinchi
Well if you want to then well just let her out for playtime and be sure to stay with her. You just need to let her walk over to you and on you so she can get more used to that and later see if she'll be willing to let you pick her up. If you want also there's this youtuber I like to watch called The Chinchilla Notebook and she has a lot of videos that are helpful for new owners. This is my first time owning a chinchilla as well and she is also about three years old so I like to check out this channel more so than others though there are certainly some good youtube channels about chinchillas. Also I've never heard of that brand but I use Sunsations for her hay because I heard about it from said channel and it's fresh and not too expensive. I normally would go straight for oxbow but it's also a little costly and Miki seems to love this brand so i'm sticking with it. I really don't know what to say about the towel thing since mine has never done that, I don't think it would be to clean herself since they can do that fine on their own and also have dust baths. Although I wouldn't really let them around anything that's wet unless they need it to cool down. Either way though i'm glad to help out. Your chin is quite the cutie, just like Miki and all others~^^
IMG_20190724_175328.jpg
 

schweppes

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Does she chew the stuff on the top of the cage? I can't leave anything up there without teeth marks appearing. I've always gone by if I wouldn't put it in the cage don't put it on top.
 

Devynthecatwithsocks

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Jan 30, 2019
Messages
39
Location
Southern California
I recsued mine and was told she would never
Hello!
I purchased a chinchilla about a month ago who I named Houdini. I got him from a high school kid who kept him in basically a hamster cage. His fur was matted and since I got him he's in (what I call) a palace, an enclosure taller than me with multiple jump platforms and such... He gets dust baths every two or three days, I'm giving him everything to the book according to Google. I'm being very patient and I'm attempting to making one of those chin spin wheels without paying $100.

He's warmed up to me a lot, but he will still shoot pee at me. I haven't held him since the kid I bought him from put him in my arms.

I would just like some advice on earning Houdinis trust and making sure he's happy and living his best life!

Thank you, I sincerely would appreciate any advice.
Abbey


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I rescued mine and was told she would never like me picking her up. After about 6 months of giving her some space and letting her adjust and get used to me she started to warm up to me more. I can now pick her up in case if emergency and I is pretty good at coming to me. I'd give it time and would stay away from picking him up. Roo still feels uncomfortable when I pick her up (definitely not has bad) but she learned (completely by herself) that if she jumps on my shoulder she can go where she wants while remaining comfortable. I'd give him time and hopefully within the next year you to will be close. One way for you two to bond is to handfeed him, offer treats and pet him. Letting him out to explore will also be good
 

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