There is no doubt that many chinchilla owners are avid animal lovers, and since these creatures are social creatures, a lot of people wonder if you can have other animals to get along with your chinchillas.
The answer to this question is a resounding yes! However, there are some things you need to be aware of when you adopt a new furry friend. Here are some things that your chinchilla may interact with on a regular basis.
Chinchillas And Other Pets
Despite the fact that different species of animals in the wild might not get along, chinchillas and other pets are generally safe to own together, if you are a responsible pet owner who understands their separate needs since pet care for each animal is different. For instance, having a cat and chinchilla would require you to have 2 different diets and grooming processes for each.
Although there are some concerns when it comes to keeping other pets around chinchillas, such as the possibility of disease, aggression, and other animals stressing out your chinchilla, you can take steps to make sure that none of these things occur and that all your animals can live together peacefully.
Can Chinchillas Play With Other Pets?
It is not a good idea and not recommended that your chinchillas play with other pets, ESPECIALLY predators like cats and dogs - to do so is not only irresponsible but could be fatal to either pet. There is an obvious danger involved in having your chinchilla play with predators, such as cats and dogs, as they can attack them even if you have a watchful eye over playtime.
No matter how well-behaved your cat or dog may be, they may still act on their natural instinct and start hunting your chinchilla. This can lead to serious injuries and even death to your chinchilla.
There are also a number of diseases your chinchilla may pick up from other prey pets, such as Pasteurella, Mycoplasma, and salmonella. These could cause a long list of complications and an expensive vet visit.
Can You House Your Chinchilla With Other Pets?
Moving back to the topic of smaller animals, some owners may wonder if it is a good idea to house all of their small pets and for them to get along in one cage together. Even if you have limited space, we cannot advise against this strongly enough.
Aside from the disease concerns mentioned above, a large consideration against housing your pets together in the same cage is the possibility of territorial conflicts.
In the case of rabbits, for example, they are usually very territorial animals, and they are much larger than chinchillas, so they will often engage in dangerous scuffles if they feel threatened by one another.
Another example of animals that should not be housed together in the same enclosure are animals that have completely different care requirements, such as chinchillas and hedgehogs.
While chinchillas need temperatures in the range of 64º to 70º degrees Fahrenheit, the ideal temperature for a hedgehog can range anywhere from 75º to 80º degrees Fahrenheit—not to mention your chinchilla potentially stepping on quills!
Can You Feed Chinchillas And Other Pets The Same Food?
While your chinchilla obviously can’t feast on your cat or dog's food, many owners wonder if you can feed small pets the same food. There are some situations where it is possible, but it is not a good idea in most cases.
When it comes to feeding your chinchilla another pet's food, we can only recommend doing so for a short period of time in emergency situations (such as evacuations) when you would otherwise not be able to get any other source of food.
The biggest concern about feeding your small pets the same diet is nutritional deficiencies. Since different animals can require vastly different diets, it’s unwise to buy one product for all of them.
In addition, there is the concern of feeding one pet something that they are not able to eat. Hedgehogs, for example, must have insects in their diets in order to survive, which is not something chinchillas can consume at all.
The recommended diet for a chinchilla is Oxbow or Mazuri pellet food and a hefty serving of Timothy Hay. Pellet food is recommended over loose blends so your chinchilla gets all the proper nutrition they need and doesn’t simply pick out their favorite items.
What to Do If Another Pet Hurts Your Chinchilla
Responsible pet owners should always be prepared in case the worst happens. It's crucial to keep your chinchilla's cage separate from any of your other animals' items to avoid territorial disputes or attacks in the first place.
But if your chinchilla does get loose and things get out of hand, here’s what you can do to ensure the safety of both animals.
In order to prevent further injury, you need to separate both animals - once they're separated, carefully inspect both animals to see if either has been visibly injured (chinchilla bites can be fairly deep, though chinchillas are less likely to seriously hurt larger animals.)
Even if neither of the animals is visibly injured, it is a good idea to take them both to the vet for a check-up so a trained professional can spot any injuries and diagnose and treat them as soon as possible.
For transportation of your chinchilla, we recommend a small carrier cage like this which gives them enough room to still feel comfortable in a stressful situation.
Chinchillas And Cats
It is entirely possible to own a cat and chinchilla together. Cats will often mind their own business away from your chinchillas when they have access to a proper amount of stimulation and play, and will not harass your chinchillas.
The best thing that you can do if you are planning to own a cat and chinchilla is to find a cage that is high off the ground and provides your chinchilla with a little sanctuary away from your feline friend.
Another preventative measure you can take to keep your chinchilla and cat is to ensure that when playtime happens, your cat is behind closed doors so there’s no possibility of your cat seeing your chinchilla running around and chasing after them.
Chinchillas And Dogs
The only way we recommend a chinchilla and a dog to live together is if there’s a way you can keep the two completely cut off from one another. Somehow the same as owning a cat and chinchilla.
Since dogs tend to be more hyperactive and curious animals than cats, they will still take an interest in your chinchilla after their own playtimes and walks, especially breeds that have high hunting instinct or are bred for hunting rodents, such as terriers.
Keeping your chinchilla and dog in a place where they cannot reach each other is the best way to deal with this, and not introducing your dog and chinchilla together is the best approach if you want to have a chinchilla and a dog in the same home.
Chinchillas And Other Rodents
In most cases, the answer to this question will be yes. Due to the fact that chinchillas are very social animals, as long as they are housed in separate cages and have limited contact, it is usually possible for them to live together with other small rodents. Though there are some concerns that pet owners of these rodents should be wary of:
Chinchillas And Rats
The main concern people have when they own both chinchillas and rats is that rats have a strong odor that may cause your chinchilla to feel less secure in their home as well as lead to anxiety and stress for your pet.
Chinchillas And Hamsters
As hamsters are typically solitary animals and won't even get along with other hamsters if they are kept together, our recommendation would be to keep their cages in separate rooms or to keep them far from one another if they are kept together in the same space.
Chinchillas And Guinea Pigs
While very similar in origin, chinchillas and guinea pigs can get into some of the worst scuffles imaginable, and with the added worry of disease transfer from either animal, it’s best to ensure that they stay far away from one another.
You might also consider having other small pets like sugar gliders, gerbils, and ferrets, but with any small pets in addition to your chinchilla, make sure that they are separated in their cages, and kept a reasonable distance from one another.
Chinchillas And Reptiles
The biggest consideration against having any reptile and chinchillas to live together in the same household is temperature.
Since most reptiles are cold-blooded, they require hotter temperatures in the home, unlike chinchillas.
Ways to mitigate this large temperature difference can be heat lamps for your reptile, separate temperature-controlled rooms, and extra air conditioning for your chinchilla.
Like any other animal, it’s incredibly important to keep them separated from one another so diseases don’t spread, and neither animal is hurt by one another. And also taking into consideration a reptiles' high hunting instinct, it's not a very good idea to have these two together.
Chinchillas And Birds
While large birds like parrots and cockatoos may see your chinchillas as prey, smaller birds like finches and canaries can be great options to have as pets alongside chinchillas.
As both chinchilla and bird owners know, the chirping and squawking from birds can sometimes be stressful to your chinchilla, but chinchillas are also vocal creatures so they may sometimes respond to the birds by vocalizing back.
Keeping your chinchillas and birds in the same room is possible. However, you should make sure that any toys you hang in your chinchilla cage will not stick out and that the cage of your birds will be far enough away that your birds won't start nipping on it.
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 1994
Although you may not be able to recreate the operatic scene from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective with your pets, you are absolutely able to take steps to ensure that they can live in harmony if you want to own a chinchilla and cat or other pets in the household.
Owning multiple pets will definitely require you extra efforts to keep all of them in good living conditions and would less likely prevent issues for them and yourself as a pet owner.
Have Questions About Chinchillas And Other Pets?
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