Question about getting new chin

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MinatoandChili

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Hi everyone! I have a 2 year old chin, Minato, who’s been with me since March . I’ve noticed that he likes to be lazy most of the time (I’ve bought an appropriate sized running wheel that he hasn’t touched at all) and I thought getting him a buddy would be good for him. Going back to a couple of months ago, I got Minato a friend. I noticed over the period of following months that they didnt get along AT ALL. I had them in separate cages and never introduced them (1) because it was too early to introduce them and (2) because of their behaviors. Ever since, they both showed negative behaviors against each other. For example, they both would pace back and fourth as if they were stressed because I never seen them act like that. They would make noises such as warnings that I’ve looked up and I’ve been told they are not the best noises for chinchillas to communicate. Overall, I saw a different personality in both of them as they couldn’t stand each other’s presence. I tried to warm them up with time, but I felt I was damaging them both emotionally by having each other present each day. I decided my best choice was to rehome my other chin who I recently had and kept Minato since he’s been the longest with me. I made sure the lady I rehomed the chin with was safe and well-informed. My question to you guys is: would you think its appropriate to introduce a chin to minato again? I would say no, but I wanted advice from others because I want to see if theres a possibility he could adjust to a new one. Although his interaction with the chin wasnt going well, it was some time ago which is why I wanted to see if its enough time to meet a new chin. I say no because I think that some chinchillas like being alone. I dont want to force Minato into liking other chins or being emotionally drained just because of my liking. I just want to know if there are others who’ve gone through the same experience but had their chin get use to a new chin. Could it be he didnt like the personality of the other chin?

Also, I have an appropriate sized cage for a new chin. I have two cages if I choose to introduce another one, but after they are well-introduced I do have a cage (where minato lives) that fits two. Thank you!
 

Amethyst

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First, chins are kind of like people in that just like not all humans get along with every other human, not all chins get along with all other chins, so it is possible you just picked the wrong chin to be his friend. The personalities need to mesh for a bond to work.

I'm a bit confused, did you introduce them at all? If so could you give a bit more detail on how you when about the introductions and attempted bonding with the other chin? Was there ever any blood drawn? fur slips? or just chasing and barking? and if so was Minato the attacker or the victim? Or did you just give up before ever actually trying to introduce them? Also they were both for sure males right? I know sometimes people get confused about chin's gender.
Just having another chin in the same room shouldn't cause stress to either chin, unless you actually had a male and female, in which case it can cause the male to stress out because can't get to her. (to be clear it's not common but can happen)

If you didn't actually introduce them at all other then being in cages it's really hard to say if he would prefer being alone or if having a friend would be better. I guess you could look at was he lunging and barking at the other chin from his cage? or was it mostly the other chin barking at him from his cage? or both were barking at each other? Also how close were the cages to each other? It's best to start them as far away as possible so they slowly get use to each other, then over several weeks as they get use to being in the same room move the cages closer until they are just a few inches apart. The whole process can take weeks or even months, and you can't really rush it, if they start to act stressed take a step back move the cage back to where they were ok even if that means different sides of the room.

Some other things to keep in mind, it takes most chins at least a week to settle in to a new home, up to a month is not uncommon especially if they didn't come from a good home before you got them. That is one reason the 30 days quarantine is advised when getting a new chin, which I assume is what you meant by it was too early to introduce them? Not only a different cage but a different room can allow the chin to settle in without having to also stress out about another chin nearby. So they were both settled in different rooms before you brought them into the same room, but then started acting stressed in the same room? Am I understanding that right?
 

MinatoandChili

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Messages
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First, chins are kind of like people in that just like not all humans get along with every other human, not all chins get along with all other chins, so it is possible you just picked the wrong chin to be his friend. The personalities need to mesh for a bond to work.

I'm a bit confused, did you introduce them at all? If so could you give a bit more detail on how you when about the introductions and attempted bonding with the other chin? Was there ever any blood drawn? fur slips? or just chasing and barking? and if so was Minato the attacker or the victim? Or did you just give up before ever actually trying to introduce them? Also they were both for sure males right? I know sometimes people get confused about chin's gender.
Just having another chin in the same room shouldn't cause stress to either chin, unless you actually had a male and female, in which case it can cause the male to stress out because can't get to her. (to be clear it's not common but can happen)

If you didn't actually introduce them at all other then being in cages it's really hard to say if he would prefer being alone or if having a friend would be better. I guess you could look at was he lunging and barking at the other chin from his cage? or was it mostly the other chin barking at him from his cage? or both were barking at each other? Also how close were the cages to each other? It's best to start them as far away as possible so they slowly get use to each other, then over several weeks as they get use to being in the same room move the cages closer until they are just a few inches apart. The whole process can take weeks or even months, and you can't really rush it, if they start to act stressed take a step back move the cage back to where they were ok even if that means different sides of the room.

Some other things to keep in mind, it takes most chins at least a week to settle in to a new home, up to a month is not uncommon especially if they didn't come from a good home before you got them. That is one reason the 30 days quarantine is advised when getting a new chin, which I assume is what you meant by it was too early to introduce them? Not only a different cage but a different room can allow the chin to settle in without having to also stress out about another chin nearby. So they were both settled in different rooms before you brought them into the same room, but then started acting stressed in the same room? Am I understanding that right?
Hi Amethyst! I want to start off by saying I got a female and male. (1) I got a female just because the lady who sold me her was in a rush to give her up and (2) I didnt think it’d cause much trouble. I researched and got opinions from some vets in Los Ángeles and visited some websites. The thing is, I didnt get a clear understanding that females shouldn’t be introduced to males or more clearly; they have different behaviors than male on male. Now I know that I should’ve adopted a male chin. So I’m gonna now talk about how I introduced them. The first month, I kept them in different cages. I kept the cages far apart as I read to bring the cages a little closer each week (but not too close because its easy for them to fight as a certain distance). I would then let one chin out at each time to explore each other. In the beginning of this, I would create a barrier for my chins to not get close enough to bite or hurt each other.I would create an obstacle far enough for them to look at each one. This is when I noticed Minato was becoming really aggressive. As well as the female. He would run to each side of the cage and just make noises that seem to come out of frustration. He usually doesn’t make noises unless he doesn’t want me touching him or he has a nightmare. He didnt have any fur slip, didnt have any blood, but I could see that he would just be frustrated at her. He wanted to always explore around her cage but to me it seemed out of anger. As to the female, she did the same except she had fur slip. So basically, they both shared similar behaviors. There was one day where I was with my husband and tried to introduce them. Minato kind of jumped at the female, but didnt bite. I immediately separated them and never allowed them to come to close contact because I was scared. I checked the female for any injuries but she was fine as it was more of a jump scare. I want to also mention that in the beginning of keeping them in separate cages, minato didnt seem to care about the females presence. But towards the end of them being with each other, that’s when he started to get mad. Meaning, first she didnt like him, then Minato didnt like her. Lastly, I’m not able to keep them in two different rooms only one. So they were in the same room. Im just confused why Minato acted as if he didnt care at first but then changed up. Could you let me know what to do in this case besides the female and male vs male on male. I understand the gender roles it plays on behavior, but would it be best to just keep minato alone? I just thought to get another chin to make Minato happy but I dont want to stress him out or harm the potential chin.
 

Ernie G.

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Messages
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Sounds like Minato may like to live alone. I've thought about getting a cage mate for my chin but he seems to do fine by himself. Of course with me giving him lots of attention.
 

MinatoandChili

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May 2, 2022
Messages
47
Sounds like Minato may like to live alone. I've thought about getting a cage mate for my chin but he seems to do fine by himself. Of course with me giving him lots of attention.
Yea that’s what I came to a sense too. I dont work and im doing school online so he gets all the attention.
 

Amethyst

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Hi Amethyst! I want to start off by saying I got a female and male. (1) I got a female just because the lady who sold me her was in a rush to give her up and (2) I didnt think it’d cause much trouble. I researched and got opinions from some vets in Los Ángeles and visited some websites. The thing is, I didnt get a clear understanding that females shouldn’t be introduced to males or more clearly; they have different behaviors than male on male. Now I know that I should’ve adopted a male chin. So I’m gonna now talk about how I introduced them. The first month, I kept them in different cages. I kept the cages far apart as I read to bring the cages a little closer each week (but not too close because its easy for them to fight as a certain distance). I would then let one chin out at each time to explore each other. In the beginning of this, I would create a barrier for my chins to not get close enough to bite or hurt each other.I would create an obstacle far enough for them to look at each one. This is when I noticed Minato was becoming really aggressive. As well as the female. He would run to each side of the cage and just make noises that seem to come out of frustration. He usually doesn’t make noises unless he doesn’t want me touching him or he has a nightmare. He didnt have any fur slip, didnt have any blood, but I could see that he would just be frustrated at her. He wanted to always explore around her cage but to me it seemed out of anger. As to the female, she did the same except she had fur slip. So basically, they both shared similar behaviors. There was one day where I was with my husband and tried to introduce them. Minato kind of jumped at the female, but didnt bite. I immediately separated them and never allowed them to come to close contact because I was scared. I checked the female for any injuries but she was fine as it was more of a jump scare. I want to also mention that in the beginning of keeping them in separate cages, minato didnt seem to care about the females presence. But towards the end of them being with each other, that’s when he started to get mad. Meaning, first she didnt like him, then Minato didnt like her. Lastly, I’m not able to keep them in two different rooms only one. So they were in the same room. Im just confused why Minato acted as if he didnt care at first but then changed up. Could you let me know what to do in this case besides the female and male vs male on male. I understand the gender roles it plays on behavior, but would it be best to just keep minato alone? I just thought to get another chin to make Minato happy but I dont want to stress him out or harm the potential chin.
Ok, well the biggest issue with introducing a female to a male is if she isn't spayed (you didn't mention but I assume not since is not a normal thing to have done unless medically needed since it's very risky) not only will she go into heat which can cause the male to go crazy even if he has been neutered (again not common) but if both are intact and allowed out together or caged less then 6" apart they can breed, breeding takes a split second, hop on hop off, and the deed is done, they do not need to get along to breed. Breeding is not something to take lightly, unless the female was spayed I'm very surprised vets would be so stupid to tell people to put male and female animals together. If both are fixed though then yes they can be bonded, no different then a same sex pair. In that case the issue isn't that you have a male and female, it could simply be a bad pairing or you didn't do the introduction properly.

Now for the intros when you say let one chin out, do you mean around the other chin's cage? Chins are territorial, some more then others, with females (spayed or not) more territorial then males, so if you do playtime it should be done in a neutral area away from the cages so they don't feel like they need to defend their territory, either their cage or their normal play area. Allowing another chin to come up to the cage of another if they aren't bonded almost always results in the chins getting aggressive, even if they would have otherwise been friends, as well as it's common for one or both to end up getting bit. Think of it like having a neighbor and then suddenly they are peeking in your house and doing things in your yard, chances are you are not going to be happy or friendly towards them, but if you had instead met that some person out at a park (neutral territory) you might become friends. If you really want to you can get a small cage and have one in that cage while the other is out in a neutral play area to start with, so they can get near each other but not risk injury, but really that should have been what the slowly moving the cages closer together was for. They should have been calm and ideally even sleeping and eating in their cages side by side before starting the out of cage bonding.

The way I recommend doing the bonding (with same sex pairs or male/female assuming one or both are fixed) is in a small neutral area, put some toys, hay, food, and the dust bath out to give them things to distract them. You want the area small enough that you can easily grab them should they start fighting or chasing too much, but big enough that they can get away from each other to explore on their own. Start off with just a few minutes, if things go bad more quickly then that stop, but if things go well then the next time allow them a bit longer, until you work up to a normal half hour or more playtime. Once they are good out together then you can start short periods of being in each other's cages (NOT together, one in one cage and the other in the other cage) to help mix their scents, and then finally in the same cage. The whole process can take months or even years in some cases, you can't really rush it. Think of it like building a relationship with someone, most people don't just move right in with someone as soon as they met and live happily ever after, it normally takes time and going on many dates.
 

MinatoandChili

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Messages
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Ok, well the biggest issue with introducing a female to a male is if she isn't spayed (you didn't mention but I assume not since is not a normal thing to have done unless medically needed since it's very risky) not only will she go into heat which can cause the male to go crazy even if he has been neutered (again not common) but if both are intact and allowed out together or caged less then 6" apart they can breed, breeding takes a split second, hop on hop off, and the deed is done, they do not need to get along to breed. Breeding is not something to take lightly, unless the female was spayed I'm very surprised vets would be so stupid to tell people to put male and female animals together. If both are fixed though then yes they can be bonded, no different then a same sex pair. In that case the issue isn't that you have a male and female, it could simply be a bad pairing or you didn't do the introduction properly.

Now for the intros when you say let one chin out, do you mean around the other chin's cage? Chins are territorial, some more then others, with females (spayed or not) more territorial then males, so if you do playtime it should be done in a neutral area away from the cages so they don't feel like they need to defend their territory, either their cage or their normal play area. Allowing another chin to come up to the cage of another if they aren't bonded almost always results in the chins getting aggressive, even if they would have otherwise been friends, as well as it's common for one or both to end up getting bit. Think of it like having a neighbor and then suddenly they are peeking in your house and doing things in your yard, chances are you are not going to be happy or friendly towards them, but if you had instead met that some person out at a park (neutral territory) you might become friends. If you really want to you can get a small cage and have one in that cage while the other is out in a neutral play area to start with, so they can get near each other but not risk injury, but really that should have been what the slowly moving the cages closer together was for. They should have been calm and ideally even sleeping and eating in their cages side by side before starting the out of cage bonding.

The way I recommend doing the bonding (with same sex pairs or male/female assuming one or both are fixed) is in a small neutral area, put some toys, hay, food, and the dust bath out to give them things to distract them. You want the area small enough that you can easily grab them should they start fighting or chasing too much, but big enough that they can get away from each other to explore on their own. Start off with just a few minutes, if things go bad more quickly then that stop, but if things go well then the next time allow them a bit longer, until you work up to a normal half hour or more playtime. Once they are good out together then you can start short periods of being in each other's cages (NOT together, one in one cage and the other in the other cage) to help mix their scents, and then finally in the same cage. The whole process can take months or even years in some cases, you can't really rush it. Think of it like building a relationship with someone, most people don't just move right in with someone as soon as they met and live happily ever after, it normally takes time and going on many dates.
I was thinking of taking out the cages but I could only take out one for the reason that Minatos cage is too big to take out (cant be taken apart and is wooden). I didnt think it would be a good idea to just take one out so I just left it as it was. None of them were spayed or neutured. And if I ever think its a good idea to introduce a new chin, it would for sure be a male and do more research on it, although your information informs me pretty well than YouTube videos or websites lol. Now overall after all the useful information you gave me, would you think its okay to introduce a new chin? Of course I wouldnt get him right away, I’d say it’d take me at least two months just for research and to setup their home along with research. Overall, thank you so much for the information. I rely on it so much and it just helps me out to make his home and lifestyle better!
 

Amethyst

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I'm not sure what you mean by take the cages out. If you mean in order to do neutral play time, you can either do it in another room (which I realize isn't always an option) or some people just use a playpen. That way you can make a neutral area that doesn't allow them to get near each other's cages, and you can clean it to make sure it doesn't smell like either chin and only use toys neither has had in their cage so nothing smells like it belongs to the other.

I think the bonding failed because of mistakes from bad info (getting a male and a female, not doing the intros properly, etc), so I do think there is hope he could still want a friend, if introduced properly. Since you say he is more on the lazy side make sure you pick one that matches that energy level too, look for one that is laid back and not dominate.
Since you said you are home all the time I don't think there is a rush to get him a friend though, so long as you are able to spend at last an hour or two (though ideally more) with him a day he is likely getting enough attention. Having another chin around is normally beneficial especially for those that are alone all day while the human(s) are at work. My current chin is alone, his brother passed away last year, but since I am home all the time, and his cage is right next to my computer desk where I spend most of the day he seems fine being alone. Mine is also currently around 15/16 years old so I don't think it's worth trying to bond him with another at this point in his life.
 

MinatoandChili

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You’re right. Neither am I in a rush to find him a playmate I was just curious for future times. I give him attention almost every hour of the day (besides when im sleeping) so its not as necessary to find another buddy. My condolences for your Angel chin, I know he’s watching you guys from above and happy to still be in your hearts❤️ Until you guys meet again!
 
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