Chinchillas

HankyPankyRoe

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
115
Just a quick question.................

We've had many furry critters over the years and are thinking about getting a Chinchilla. Are they easy to care for? Someone mentioned to me they are more prone to getting sick and require alot of vet visits.
 

skippy

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
927
meh, i had 2 that turned into 3 and i couldn't get rid of them when i wanted so i just donated them to my LPS.

they're cute but not really cuddly, they spray urine on the walls and as a defense, they poop like machines, they chew holes in anything that they can reach through their cage and they're up at night chasing each other all over the place and generally making a racket.

other than that they were pretty cool though;)
 

1Lord Of Ants1

Arachnobaron
Joined
Sep 9, 2010
Messages
312
My friend has a 7 year old male sugar glider, it's really friendly and is quite entertaining. I haven't heard a lot of great things about chinchillas. Male gliders do have a bit of a musky/fruity odor though, smells weird, but not bad.
 

Crysta

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,475
I had a chinchilla for the longest while, but their cage would always have the amnonia smell to it..
Im happy with my flemish giant :D

nov 27th


today


I think Sivka Buns gained a few pounds lol
 

HankyPankyRoe

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
115
Thanks for the info! We had a giant flemish, and she was great! The cat's were terrified of her. If they came too close to her she would grunt, stomp and if that didn't work she would go after them. It didn't take them very long to learn who the boss was.

Our 150 pd Dobbie learned quick too. I just don't to get another animal, that in the long run, I will end up taking care of. He/She would be a Christmas present for my 16 year old daughter. I'm a firm believer that once you get them, they are yours for life.

I much more enjoy my Tarantulas, Snakes and Frogs. Easy to care for and no odor:)
 

Crysta

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,475
If you want something for life, i'd get something abit more social. The chinchilla I had was interesting, but would rather run around then be petted, etc.
Buns is way cooler :)
Or you could get her a giant rat for a pet, since they only live a few years
Chinchillas live 15-20+ years in captivity :) so if you're daughters ready for a pet to live that long, I can say go for it. But if not i'd reccomend something with a shorter natural lifespan.
 

jt39565

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
179
Hedgehogs are really cool though, I've had several, and if you get them young they are cuddly.
 

Rick & Brandy

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 9, 2009
Messages
45
Get one! I highly recomend it! That are awesome!! As for the cage smell, there is Bi-odor you put it in their water and it realy helps! Not alot of work, feed and water and do their sand bath once a day! I have 2 right now but would not hesitate to get another! They are like everything else and no 2 will be the same! Kasher ( my older one) is so lovey and Kewpper ( the baby) is a little tattle tail and very vocal! So much fun!
 

RoachGirlRen

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 8, 2007
Messages
994
A chinchilla should not get sick often if it is being cared for properly; I suspect your friend either didn't have the best husbandry or purchased a poor quality specimen. The main ways people run into issues are high heat, high humidity, lack of dust bath, and poor diet - all of which are husbandry problems.

I had a chinchilla as a child. They are not a pet for everyone, and they do have highly specified care needs. Most lack a cuddly temperament; they rarely object to being petted but would much prefer to explore, play, chew, dust bathe, eat... basically any other behavior before sitting down for a session of snuggles.

Chinchillas are very prone to diabetes and other diet related illnesses; their diet needs to be MOSTLY timothy hay (fed ad lib), and a fortified pellet with NO stupid little fruit and seed bits (they will rarely eat more than 1/4c a day). They can only have very small ammounts of fruit/veg/greens/etc. - at most a teaspoon a day - and only of low sugar, high fiber varieties. Dried herbs, rose hips, etc. make for a better treat than the all popular raisin, which can cause serious health problems if fed more than a few times per week.

Do not underestimate the problems caused by humidity and heat for chinchillas. They need a COOL, DRY environment - not a cool, damp basement, not a warm, dry bedroom. Beyond the room, the housing and care itself should be conducive to the temp/humidity needs. This means that the enclosure should not be one that will hold humidity if a water bottle leaks (no aquariums), the substrate should be absorbent and should never get so laden with urine as to be wet, the room should have a cool stable temperature, and for goodness sake don't BATHE them unless it is a dust/sand bath.

Speaking of which, a dust/sand bath is important to coat health and is a vital source of behavioral enrichment. So make sure it happens and happens often. Other important enrichment is climbing, jumping, and chewing. This means a large and chew-proof enclosure with plenty of shelves to climb and bound onto, plus plenty of safe wooden chews. Really, if you think mice/rats/hamsters chew a lot, you've not seen anything yet. And I do want to emphasize a large enclosure, especially if you can't give large ammounts of supervised out of cage play time. Chinchillas are very active and not content to run on a wheel all night like a hamster. They are smart, active, and like to dash and leap.

If you want to observe a really cool pet and have the space and money for a big enclosure and an endless supply of chewing toys, I'd say go for it. But if you're looking for a cuddly fuzzball to hold and pet, skip on chinchillas.
 

HankyPankyRoe

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 8, 2008
Messages
115
Thank You everyone for all the input:) I will take everything into consideration before making my decision!
 
Top