Just like with human relationships, you will have to earn a chinchilla’s trust before it allows you to pet them. Especially when untamed, it could take months before a chinchilla warms up to its owner. If provided with love and care shown in consistency, this lengthy period could be shortened but if you prefer an easier pet, a baby chinchilla would be more trusting.
The Dos and Don’ts in Taming a Pet Chinchilla
Unlike cats and dogs, chinchillas are more difficult to tame. They are naturally smug and ignore your cooing, calling and petting until it gets the kind of respect it wants. In order to gain the trust and respect of your pet chinchilla, here are some of the things that you should and shouldn’t do:
Use treats to coax it towards you. Chinchillas are more likely to avoid the spot where you are and do not always approach when you call. In such cases, a treat will entice them to move towards you. You will know when your pet chinchilla is no longer afraid of you when it can take treats directly from your fingers.
Speak in a calming tone or manner. Chinchillas are like most rodents; they have a tendency to become nervous with their surroundings and easily get startled. To earn its trust, show and emit calmness through your voice tone.
Keep it close to your body. Besides giving it warmth and a sense of security, keeping a chinchilla close to your body will prevent it from suddenly skipping off. If it buries its head under your arm or cover its face in your hand, let it. There is no better way to earn a pet’s trust than letting it find security in you.
Do not grab it by the ribs, squeeze or apply pressure on it. A chinchilla’s body is quite delicate and its ribcage is sensitive. Grabbing it by the ribs could put enough force to cause a fracture so avoid doing this. Instead, scooping it up by its full body starting from its bottom or rear.
Squeezing is absolutely non-exceptional. Any living thing should not be treated carelessly and sadistically. If squeezed, whether intentionally or unintentionally, a chinchilla will react by either squeaking loudly or biting your hands to get away.
Do not hold it by the tail, especially upside down and by the tip of the tail. While some pet rodents are normally held by the tail by sellers and owners, doing the same to a chinchilla could cost it its tail. It is the chinchillas’ form of defense mechanism.
Signs your Pet Chinchilla is Becoming Tame
Follow these simple tips and your pet chinchilla will warm up to you in time. You will be able to know if it is starting to trust you once it shows one or more of these things:
- Snuggling up to you.
- Lets you stroke its body.
- Follows you around.
- Searches your palm when you offer it.
- Sniffs around your clothes and body.
- Lets you touch and curl its tail.