Scary behavior..?


New member
Nov 4, 2017
3 months ago, my chinchilla finnegan was born! I’ve been his best friend, and my family has grown to love him to pieces!

About three days ago, I notice some odd behavior. First, he was oddly warm 5-6 days ago and it worried me, he hid under his little jumps. I covered his cage and he came out, so I assumed it was the new light I put in my room.

The next day, he acted strangely but wasn’t warm anymore.

The day before yesterday, Yesterday and today, he’s acted like he doesn’t know me. He’s also starting digging at his puppy pad and ripping it up. When I go near his cage, he sticks his nose out and if I let him sniff me, he bites me.
When I stick my hand in the cage, he starts circling it and sniffing and trying to bite. I’m extremely confused and worried about him. He has food, water, hay and all his toys. I let him run around the room but since he started acting odd, I don’t let him out, just out of fear that he’ll hurt himself.

I don’t have money to see a vet, so does anyone have any ideas? Experienced any of this???


Staff member
May 7, 2012
Ok there are several things, first, how warm is the room? When he was warm did you turn on or turn up the AC? Or depending on where you live, turn off the heat? Or offer him chilled tiles to lay on if the room was an ok temp? Also how humid is it in the room? Even if it's below 70F in the room the chin can still overheat if it's around 50% humidity or higher. You don't really want to be covering the cage, that limits ventilation and can make overheating worse. He should have at least a hiding house to get away from light if he needs to. Also just so you know light should not be shining down directly on the cage, it would likely cause too much heat.

If you are using puppy pads they should not be at all accessible to the chin, they contain chemicals that are poisonous. If he ate any of it he needs to go the vet, though could still likely die. Is he eating, drinking, pooping, and peeing ok? Any change in those could signal a gut issue. If for example he swallowed plastic or absorbent material from the puppy pads even if the chemicals in it don't kill him right away it could still cause a blockage that needs emergency surgery to remove.

At 3 months old you really don't want to be allowing out of cage playtime, they can easily overheat which will cause issues including permanent brain damage. Also kits don't regulate their blood sugar as well as adults and can have a dangerous drop in blood sugar and have seizures, go into a coma, and/or die. It's better to wait until they are older, and closer to full size.

Another possibility for the sudden behavioral change, is puberty. It normally takes place around 6 months though, so he does seem a bit young. Puberty also does not explain him being warm.

Any sudden unexplained behavioral change should be checked out by the vet. Chins are good at hiding illness so when you actually notice something is off something is seriously wrong. Maybe you can ask your parents for money to see a vet, or depending on how old you are see if you can take out a loan or get a credit card or apply for a vet credit card. Ideally you should have a couple thousand set aside, either in credit or a savings account or a combo of the two for emergencies.

Since money seems to normally an issue you really might want to seriously look into rehoming the chin with someone that can afford to take care of him (if he survives). This is the second time you have posted that you don't have money for a vet. I realize life happens, but if you were sick or injured would you or your parents just say, "oh well I can't afford to see a doctor"?


Well-known member
Apr 14, 2009
modesto CA
A vet visit would be best since we can't see the actual behavior but it sounds like he is bothered with something, could be hormonal or environmental but one thing I would look for is a hair ring, I had one who got one at 10 weeks, a big hair ring. Young chins are also dumb and hurt themselves and being prey animals can lash out when in pain so I would really reconsider not taking him to the vet.