Chinchilla Care

How To Discipline Your Pet Chinchilla   


When you want to discipline your chinchilla, you have to be mindful of how you do it. Give a new chinchilla time to adjust by keeping maintenance and interaction to a minimum.  Please note that they are not responsive when you verbally berate, hit, or smack them in anger.  The physical actions can result in wounds and abscessing.  The physical actions don't serve a purpose because your pet already has a sensitive body.  Chinchillas are already fearful and chewing them out verbally will do nothing but escalate the situation.  The negative verbal actions are not effective at all. Move slowly and speak softly around your chinchilla. 


Since they are fearful, when their owner treats them as such, they start to feel withdrawn and stressed out.  Like a human, they can feel your hostility and anger.  In turn, they will become more defensive.  You should never blow in their face to punish them.  The germs from your air can transmit onto them.  They are susceptible to catching a virus, the cold or the flu. Limit interaction to the evening as that is when chinchillas are naturally more active and therefore more receptive. 



When a chinchilla gets hostile, they will spray urine.  They are acting out on their need to withdraw.  They still feel defensive, and you may not know why.  The withdrawals won't start until the root cause of it is revealed.  When the owner finds out what the problem is, the pet will feel better and can be safe in their habitat. 


They will definitely make a change when they sense that you are not trying to put them down (degrade).  You will have to spend time giving them lots of love and patience.  This scenario is reminiscent of what humans go through in relationships.  Women, for the most part, want respect.  If their boyfriend or husband can't or won't give it to them, then they won't be happy campers.   


Offer chinchilla a treat (a small piece of a raisin) when it approaches cage bars. Once taking treats from your hand through the bars of the cage, offer treat through open cage door. Once taking treats this way, place treat on open hand to entice chinchilla to step up onto hand to retrieve treat. Place treat on forearm and allow chinchilla to climb onto hand. For the treats themselves, try National Geographic, Forage Mix Chinchilla Treat size: 10 Oz . When your chinchilla is comfortable with your hand, lean in toward cage and allow chinchilla to climb onto arms, and keep offering treats. Once chinchilla is comfortable climbing on you, try gently placing hand over back to pet chinchilla. Avoid chasing or grabbing chinchilla to get it back into cage: allow it to hop back on its own (entice with a treat) if at all possible. Handle your chinchilla regularly to keep him or her well socialized. 


As long as you show your pet genuine love, concern and compassion, they will respond to you with a more accepting reaction.  When you give them a warning, do it in a stern, but loving manner.  Don't get in the habit of just saying "no" all the time.  Doing this will just take your pet back to square 1.  That's not a good idea.  On the other hand, there are some chinchillas that have no personality and tend to be harsh, abrasive or moody.  These kinds of pets are very vocal.   


 If you have a pet chinchilla that is withdrawn due to owner neglect or abuse, it may be helpful for them to have their behaviour rehabbed.  This type of rehabilitation can help your chinchilla to change their tune.  You have to be very mature to take care of an exotic animal such as a chinchilla.  Just remember that you have to be even-tempered, calm and non-threatening.  You also have to have patience because changes just don't happen overnight.  You'll have to look past it and do your part to help in the change.  The chinchilla is scared and they may pretend to be threatening, but they're really not.   


You must continue to love them, be compassionate, gentle, constantly give them assurance and lots of affection.  In time, they will change to the loving pet chinchilla you want them to be.