Tips for introducing a chinny buddy?

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Well-known member
Jan 7, 2012
Hello everyone.

As I posted recently, my Kumo passed 2 weeks ago now.

One of my biggest concerns in all of this was Susu, my other chin, as they had been together basically her entire life. Even though Susu always seemed to be more of an independent little chin, she and Kumo often cuddled and he often sought her out so I was worried she'd be lonely and I ordered a chinny buddy in hopes it might help.

I was super excited when it arrived and once she woke up and was more active, I brought it out and offered it to her to check out. I figured it might take a few days before she fully warmed up to it. She seemed very interested at first, sniffed it tugged at the ears....and then all of a sudden seemed super spooked and ran and hid from it. I took it out of the cage, waited another day, and offered it again...this time she didn't bother checking it out as much, just went to hide. As a disclaimer, she had a very similar reaction when Kumo died (he died at home, so I waited for her to discover the body a few minutes after before I took it out of the cage...not sure if that was the right choice, but I was a crying mess at the time). She sniffed his body, looked at me as if expecting something, and then went and hid in fear. She came out when I was starting to take the body out and I gave her a chance to check him out again and she again ran and hid.

I don't know if she thinks the chinny buddy is Kumo again, if she thinks it's a new chinchilla and got spooked, or if maybe I'm expecting too much too fast....any tips?

Or any suggestions to help her cope?

She's eating and pooping normally (I'm carefully monitoring intake, feces, and weight) but she hasn't warmed up to me as she used to and sometimes seems a little nervous of me. She'll come for treats and accept pets but doesn't seek me out and doesn't really want to play if I'm around. She's always been a pretty independent chin, but now even more so. When I was nursing Kumo she'd often react nervously and hide when I was hand-feeding and would watch as I handled him, but for that whole month she still would come and want to play. Not sure if she just doesn't feel like she has to compete for affection anymore, if she blames me for Kumo, or if she just doesn't understand what happened to him and needs time...

I'm torn between giving her space, wanting to give her company/comfort, and fear I'm just projecting my own thoughts onto her...but I miss playing with my chin and just want her to be happy.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 7, 2012
I would give her some more time, chins do grieve just like humans do, and just like humans you can't really rush it and there is not real set time frame. I would say at least a month though is reasonable time. It sounds like she is a bit spooked by the chin buddy, she might have thought maybe it was another chin, then thought it was dead or something when it didn't respond. I would think it would be very similar to having a life size doll suddenly sitting in your house lol. Maybe try getting her use to it by just having it out when she is having out of cage time, or even just set it outside the cage but near by so she can see it for a week or so before putting it back in the cage (or sooner if she seems ok with it when out of the cage).