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Before getting chinchilla question

Discussion in 'Chinchillas' started by Flower_girl, May 15, 2020.

  1. Flower_girl

    Flower_girl PetForums Newbie

    May 15, 2020
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    Hi, yes I'm new here, and would like to ask a few stuffs about chinchilla

    Skip this part if you want, this is just my rant

    I live in Japan now, and will return to my home country (Indonesia) after another 2 years, but I've been interested in chinchillas as pets

    So I asked the chinchilla community in Indonesia about guidance on chinchillas care, and they replied with
    "Are you going to buy the chinchilla??"

    I replied with "uuhhh... not until I do a fair research about it and maybe it'll be another 2 years, for me to return to Indonesia and adopt a chinchilla"

    The community staff seems annoyed with me and answered with "well, then just ask the questions on the day you want to purchase the chinchilla, which is another 2 years"

    There are several internet informations about chinchillas but I kinda want to listen from real experience, so yeah, please help me out

    I'm sorry if I'm annoying by asking 2 years prior adopting a chinchilla

    So here's the real question

    1. Is chinchilla safe for allergic people??
    I'm actually a bunny-lovers, but due to my allergy I can't have rabbits, tho I'm mostly fine with dogs, cats, sugar gliders, hamsters, and other animals beside rabbits. I heard that chinchillas don't shed as much as rabbits. They bath in dust bath, but I heard that the dust that they use is safe for my allergy (I'm allergic to house dust btw), is it true that chinchilla is allergy safe?? I've never handled chinchilla before since it's rare to see one in my place, and chinchilla communities in Indonesia is pretty stingy from my experiences, they sometimes won't let you touch the chinchilla unless you're going to purchase them.

    2. Can you free roam chinchilla??
    Some webaites stated that they can free roam chinchilla, some said that a cage is a must. But let's say I use play pen or devoted one specific room to be use for the chinchilla, is it safe?? Or a cage is still needed??

    3. Potty training
    Yea, like the previous question, some chinchilla can be potty trained, some can't, I want to know your experience on chinchilla, do you guys potty train your chin or are they considered clean animal that knows where to litter?? Coz some website stated that their chinchilla poops and pee everywhere. If, if the chinchilla stay in 2-story cage, and the bedding is on the lower part of cage, will they urinate there or just urinate everywhere on the upper part of cage??

    4. If free roaming chinchilla is allowed Is there any advice to chin-proof your room so that chinchilla can free roam??

    5. If I live in a humid and hot area, should I use the ac 24/7 for the chin?? Coz you know, Indonesia is frikin hot and humid.
    My sister used a cooling pad for her dogs, can those cooling pads be used to for chinchillas??

    6. Do ruby eyed chinchilla get sick easily??
    I've always been an enthusiast on albino animals, but I heard that they get sick easily, I was just wondering, of what I should be cautious of if I want to own a ruby eyed chinchilla

    7. Do Chinchillas bond? And can they respond when their names are called
    The community in Indonesia said Chins are hard to bond animal. I'm not sure if it's true, most people in Indonesia kept their pets in cage including rabbits and dogs. From what I saw in the community's instagram, they kept it in a 1 story cage, like in the picture I showed, and they said that it'a better to keep the chin locked inside. Is that why it's hard to bond with??

    8. Can chinchillas travel??
    Most breeders in Indonesia prefered to sell the animals that they breed online, and this appliea for chin too. The community that I asked previously said that I could just order the chin online from them, that way I'll save up the transportation fee, but is it okay?? I actually kinda want to see my chin first before adopting, should I?? Or should I just adopt it online?? Is it safe for chin to travel on vehicles like that??

    9. Is it better to have female or male chinchilla??
    I knkw both needa to get spayed and neutered, but I want to know your opinion on which gender is the better one to have

    10. DIY chinchilla cage??
    I'm actually an artist, I love crafting and creating stuffs. I want to DIY my chinchilla cage if free roam is not a choice, but some said that it's not safe. Is there any reason why and any suggestion on how to make the diy cage safe??

    That's all for now, I might bother you guys for a while if I get more and more interested in chinchilla and intended to adopt one, so... please don't get annoyed or mad

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  2. Arny

    Arny PetForums VIP

    Jul 29, 2017
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    Hi and welcome

    1. It depends what you're allergic to. Its rare to be allergic to the chinchilla itself but very common to be allergic to their dust, hay and woodshavings.

    2. No this would not be safe. Chinchillas are still quite close to their wild counterparts that live in rock crevices so find comfort in smaller areas.
    They are at risk of heat stroke or drop in blood sugar from too much activity so its often recommended they only come to run around for short periods, say 20 mins or so.
    Yes a playpen would be recommended to reduce the chance of the chinchilla chewing something they shouldn't or hiding in a tight spot you then can't reach.

    3. Its less straight forward than teaching a rabbit. They are generally clean animals so wee in one place and so people take advantage of that and place a toilet there.
    They do not have the ability to control their poo.


    5. Yes you would need air conditioning if temps go above 21 Celsius or so. 24+ and high humidity is very uncomfortable and you risk them dying of heat stroke.

    6. No. Chinchillas do not come in albino. The beige mutations do have red eyes but there are no associated health problems with this.

    7. I have seen them be clicker trained but it takes a lot of patience! They do recognise people though.
    They don't really bond to you though, they'll happily get used to anyone in time.
    They don't like being restricted (and caught) so often won't sit still to be held for more than a few minutes.

    8. Yes chinchillas travel quite well but it would be good if you could meet the breeder and get advice from them.

    9. I have more males that are happier to be held but there isn't a huge difference between the sexes.
    They certainly don't need to be neutered and it would not be advised.

    10. I would buy the cage. Often diy cages are very dangerous, being far too tall without whole levels to break up the space.
    Chins need length over height.
    You could customise the inside with making wooden houses and ledges etc.

    I will say our care (uk) could differ dramatically from Asia.
    I think there's a good Singapore chinchilla owners fb group but don't know the name.
  3. kirksandallchins

    kirksandallchins PetForums VIP

    Nov 3, 2007
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    I agree with all the above points.

    I don't have chinchillas now, but when I stopped breeding I had my males castrated so that they could remain with their "wives". The day following the operation it was as if nothing had happened to them

    For pets it would be easier to buy two of the same sex. I always preferred females to males, but I've heard they can be more difficult.

    Unless you are brilliant at DIY, buying a cage is easier. They need to a minimum of three feet long for a pair. I loved the cages that had dividers in the middle, it gives more space for the animals, but if they fall out they can be split up.

    I know you're not in the UK but if you Google John Hopewell or Paul Spooner cages it will give you some idea of what a good cage is.
  4. Bjarki the Hooli

    Bjarki the Hooli PetForums Junior

    Nov 2, 2017
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    I am not a chinchilla expert; I only post this because as a first time owner I had an awful amount of learning to do and despite doing my research I found problems I did not expect.

    3.Toileting, as mentioned in other posts, is tricky. I have trained my chin with a clicker to do things like getting into his cage and his carrier or jump on my lap while sitting on a chair, something relatively easy to do. Toilet training is another matter: my chin used a corner of his cage for about two years until he decided that, being a boy, he could do it anywhere he wanted. Fortunately the "anywhere" is limited to the cage. He free roams (under strict supervision), between one and two hours a day and never sneaks a pee outside the cage; if he want to go, it is back to the cage and once the deed is done, he is out again like a shot.

    7. Chin bonding: the million dollar question. Mine recognises words, understand hand signals if close enough (their vision is not the best) & plays with me elaborate & ever changing games. Yet, despite a remarkable level of communication, I do not think he gives a hoot whether I come or go; in fact he seems to be fonder of his minder than he is of me. In my experience, if one looks for the famous "unconditional love" from a pet, then a chin is not it. But if you are happy with a devilishly cute creature that is a constant surprise and makes you laugh at its endless sense of mischief, then chins are just the thing.

    One question that did not come up but as owner of a lone chin I see as crucial (and I am sure the experts will agree with me on this): unless the chin you get has been attacked or proved aggressive towards others, one chin alone is not a good idea.

    1. Because they are social animals if you get only one chin you'd for ever wonder whether it is happy alone or it would be happier w1th a mate (an introductions are another big issue). In the meantime you are the other chin who has to learn chin language, teach the chin a bit of yours and even if this goes well you end wondering whether your acting deserves an Oscar or your chin prays "lord, take away this ham acting".
    2. A lone chin requires an awful lot of attention, which means A LOT..
    3. Finding a minder, daunting at best, it's made even worse because. a),you need to find someone who will give your lone chin the amount of play time & attention it needs. b)most of the minders you find are those that come to your house, clean the cage, feed the chins and at let them out for a play while checking his or her phone: if you have only one this does not work at all.

    Because chins are such remarkable individualists they are not pets: they are planets which would surprise you & make you fall flat on your face in equal measure. . Or like the rose in The Little Prince, both extraordinary& frustrating. The fact that we are all here means that they are well the trouble but in addition of having to put in all the work one has to accept with equanimity that,regardless of how smart one is or how high in one's profession, in planet chinchilla is one is often left feeling like a right fool.
    #4 Bjarki the Hooli, Jun 21, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2020
    Tiggers likes this.
  5. TabulaRasa

    TabulaRasa PetForums Member

    Apr 1, 2016
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