Suddenly Aggressive Female??? Help!!!
Hi! I have two chinchillas, one male named Joaquin and one female named Rain. We got them almost 9 months ago (Rain from Petco and Joaquin from Petsmart) and they've been the best of friends since they've met. We're not sure their exact ages, but they're probably between 10-12 months and a year.They have a huge 7.5-foot tall cage with plenty of platforms to jump on and places to hide, and we have a play pen that we bring them out in daily so they can play with us. They're some pretty well taken care of chins.
Lately I've been concerned. Joaquin is always jumpy and active, he doesn't like to be pet (not in a nervous way, but he thinks you reaching out to pet him is a game, he runs away and them comes back wondering why you're not chasing him!), and he's constantly pestering Rain. Rain is big, fat, and doesn't move around as much as Joaquin, but she never seems to care about him jumping all over her. They're best friends after all. For the last three days or so, though, she's gotten quite aggressive and annoyed with Joaquin, never attacking or threatening him, but when he tries to play with her she'll make the angriest noise and he'll usually distance himself from her for a while. I've only ever seen them scuffle once ever, tonight, but no chin was harmed and it didn't go past them chattering a bit and Joaquin jumping away.
I'm worried about her, she's NEVER acted this way before, especially towards him. I suspect she may be pregnant, could it be a hormone thing, or should I consider separating them for a little bit? Or is this just normal behavior?
I also suspect it could be a heat thing, it's gotten pretty hot out here in Washington state, but we've done very well keeping their cage cool and making sure they've had plenty to drink.
Sorry for rambling, I'm just at a loss here, I've never owned Chins before and I'm still getting used to their behavior. Thanks for any comments!
TL;DR: Young female and male chin share large 7.5 ft cage, female suddenly showing aggressive behavior towards male. Is this normal?