Post # 1
We have been doing research into getting a chinchilla! What has your experience been like with yours? I’ve read that they are an ideal pet for those who are gone during the day but home in the evening – have you found this to be true?
Also, after the intial start up cost for everything, what would you say your average cost is per month for food, dust, treats, etc.? Any tips, things you wish you knew before getting one, reasons I shouldn’t get one, or reasons why you love them would be appreciated too.
Post a picture of your little fluffball too if you have one!
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
All I can say is be careful getting one from a pet store… I got a chinchilla a few years ago from a store that was a mom & pop, had a girl who worked there who bred chinchillas and I thought they were reputable enough, but the little cutie I got turned out to be 8 years old instead of 6 months old, with a cataract in one eye and a heart murmer. He succumbed to gastric stasis about 10 days after I got him and it was heart breaking. Definitely go to a breeder if you can, and research well (which it sounds like you are!).
Post # 5
I have a chinchilla!!! He was born 9/9/99, and I’ve had him since January of 2000…so, he’s getting up there (13 this year!). They are definitely long-term pets, and since they are more recently domesticated than, say, dogs or cats, and since they are prey animals, they can be skittish if not handled a lot when they’re young. My chinchilla is kind of a grumpy old man, and doesn’t much like being held, although he will sit still begrudgingly. I had a college roommate who also had chinchillas, and hers were much lazier and therefore much easier to hold and pet than mine. I got my chinchilla from a local breeder; I do second the comment about not getting your chinchilla from the pet store. Since they are rodents, they’re about as responsive as other rodents…not as smart as rats, but about as responsive as guinea pigs…but a LOT faster!
Here is my little guy!
Post # 6
@Mrslawyer2bee: Average cost is quite low…I only have to buy him food once every 3 months or so, and I buy rabbit food instead of specialized “chinchilla food” (which is basically rabbit food with unnecessary treats in it…I give him treats separately, so treats in his food aren’t needed!). He only needs a large bag of sawdust once every 6 months to a year or so. He is definitely a nocturnal animal…way more active at night! He also loooves his wheel 🙂
Post # 7
@elysion: That’s so sad 🙁 I’m sorry you had to go through that!! We have been looking into various breeders and found one about 2 hours away that we are going to go check out soon to see if we like them. I think they are reputable but I will definitely do more research to make sure!
@chipmunklove: So cute! Good to know that the cost is low. It seemed like once we got over the initial costs for everything it wouldn’t be that much. Since they need attention every day, is it ever okay to go away for a weekend and leave them alone? Would you recommend getting one or a pair? Everything we’ve been reading says something different. Thanks!
Post # 8
I don’t have a chinchilla…I just came into this thread hoping for pics:) They are so cute!
@chipmunklove: Your chin-chin is a-freaking-dorable and I LOVE your Totoro avatar!
Post # 9
So cute!! More pics please!
Post # 10
@Mrslawyer2bee: They’re totally fine being left alone, as long as you won’t be gone for weeks on end (think of the icky cage!) and leave them enough food. They really only need lots of handling when you first get one…say maybe for the first few months. After that, they’ll be fine. It’s really more of a bonding type thing. As for food, 2-3 handfuls usually lasts my guy about 4 days or so. As to the pair thing, in general with rodents it’s recommended to either do pairs of female-female, male-female (with the anticipation of babies– my college roommate’s chinchillas mated and she had 3 baby chinchillas!), or just a single male or female. The male-male pairings can get a bit territorial and start fights (unless raised together from babies, and even then it’s iffy).
And of course, more photos!
In the last pic he is saying hello to my college roomie’s hamster, who you can kind of see in his ball.