What are the signs of old age?

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Well-known member
Mar 8, 2012
Hello everyone! :p

The friend I got my chin from said she was probably around six years old at the time, but she wasn't completely sure as Cheech has been passed around to different homes all of her life. I've had her for about three/four years (which is apparently the longest anyone has ever had her :(), so she could be up in or near the double digits by now. I haven't notice her slowing down or anything, since almost day one she's always gotten a few hours of daily playtime and she's just as crazy and mischievous as the first time she came out of the cage. I really have no idea how hold she is, it could be anyone's guess. What are the signs of old age, though? During playtime, she takes longs breaks and relaxes, but she's has always did that (and with four+ hours of playtime, you have to expect her to take at least some breaks, lol). She's been sleeping very soundly lately, but I'm not sure if that's a sign of aging or just her being *very* comfortable and relaxed. What do you guys think?
My 17 year old ran around like a fool right up to his passing, he was a tripod so he had arthritis which was treated with a supplement and when he was around 10 or so he started having small poo, 10ml of critical care a day took care of that.
My oldest, a 15-year-old retired breeder, acts just like any of my younger chins. He is a bit easier to handle than he was when I first got him but he's active and doesn't seem to sleep more or less than the others. He does like to get comfortable though!
My old man (he's only 11 or so) is really cranky sometimes. He's also pickier about his hay and food, and lazier. I'm not sure any of those are actually signs of old age or just him. He loves to come out for playtime and has no issues getting around. He can still wall surf as high as he always did and can still make it off 3 walls before hitting the ground.
Calpurnia is 16 yrs old (give or take). She's been with me for 11 years and was a ranch chin prior to that. If anything, she's gotten younger. She didn't used to like to run around for playtime. She'd just sit on my lap and hide her head by my arm. The past couple of years though, I can't hardly keep her in her cage. If the doors open, she's ready to hop out and play. She does usually go back in on her own though when I give her the cue that time's up.

Girdy is 12 1/2 years old. She was born here and has always been a bit of a clown. She's still as active as ever and is the only chinchilla that is allowed to roam the house (with supervision). She likes to run up and down the stairs and say hello to anyone who is home. She's not one to hide; she prefers to be on the move and likes people and will sit on feet or hop in a lap (as long as you don't try to grab her).

Goliath, Sydney, and Kuiper are my grumpy 9 year olds. None of them are really big on playtime. They'll come out and hop around a short while, but its not long before they head back to their cage. Sydney and Goliath were ranch chins and they still prefer to be left alone for the most part. Goliath is pretty vocal about it, with his barks and grumbles, but he's always been that way. Sydney too has always been on the shy side. Kuiper used to be a bit obnoxious and pushy in her younger days (towards people and chins). Now she's settled down and sometimes likes to visit.

The rest of the gang is under 7 and far from old.
I have a male from a pet shop that I have had for 9 years. He was already an adult when I got him so he could be 10+ Yrs. He was neutered 4 years after I first got him because I had a cranky female that was hard to pair but she liked him. He is now alone because she had passed away. He used to love coming out and let me give him scritches, but now he just wants to be left alone. I found a new pen mate for him after the female passed and he seemed happy but then we had an incident about a month later and had to separate them. Since then he has not liked other chinnies and he is grumpy towards me. He also has cataracts and I don't think he can see all that well either.
It all depends on what was your chins normal behavior. I've not changed the brand of his pellets (Mazuri) or hay since aging. Both mazuri & oxbox are great for the lifespan of a chinchilla. I noticed he didn't need to run as long & as often as when he was young. He would stay out for as long as he could but then would be exhausted. I didn't want him to overheat himself & dread playtime for not feeling well afterwards. The only supplement I give him is Oxbox Joint Support because he was showing signs of minor arthritis in his one leg. I also take him to the vet at least 2 times a year with him being an older chin.