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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Tell me how much you love your pet chinchillas.

This post got rather long, feel free to skip reading it and just respond to the title!

I guess I should start off by explaining, I don't have any pets right now but I've been planning for the past few months to get a pair of chinchillas once we are settled into our new house. (We had a fire last fall and have been waiting on insurance, etc., but we have finally got the process of buying a new house going. I made the decision to wait until we were settled in before adopting any pets, because I know that as stressful as moving is for humans, it can be a terrible stress for animals too.)

So I've been doing my research on which feed is best, what sort of cage is best, what sort of toys are appropriate and beneficial, etc. I'm trying to be responsible about this. I'm prepared to spend around $500 on everything I will need, before even counting the expense of the chinchillas themselves, and I think this is a pretty reasonable estimate but if it turns out I need more I can make it work. In the new house we will have a spare bedroom that I will chinchilla-proof, that they will be able to play safely in, although I still plan to supervise them while they're out of the cage.

I've chosen chinchillas for a number of reasons, apart from the obvious facts that they are superadorable and supersoft. I want an animal that is not free to roam all over the house and make all sorts of smells and messes hidden in places I may not find them right away; the chinchillas will live in this spare bedroom and not in the rest of the house, although I may also put a playpen in the living room and bring them in there occasionally. I want an animal that is fun to play with, and to watch them play, and I think a chinchilla fits this too. Ideally I want a pet that will cuddle with me a little, and while I understand that some chinchillas never like to be held and that I won't necessarily get this aspect from chins, I also know that it's kind of hard to get this from any small animal so it's not like I have a worse chance with a chin than another animal that would fit the other requirements. I have also done a lot of research on the care that chins need, and I can afford to spend that much time taking care of them.

Less specifically, I want a pet because I've always had pets (mostly cats, a couple of dogs) my whole life and I love having a creature that loves me unconditionally. I find it fulfilling to be able to create and maintain an environment that gives the animal the best quality of life possible, there's no better feeling than cuddling with a happy pet or watching them play. I also need more hobbies in my life, I have too much spare time at the moment and it leads to depression, and I think that a pet is a perfect hobby to add to my daily routine, it's something that will take up some time and be very emotionally rewarding. I don't like dogs very much, I'm a little intimidated by the big ones that jump up on you and I don't want to take care of or train a dog, it doesn't appeal to me. I'm kind of turned off to cats at the moment, after having a roommate with the worst cat I've ever known, and my dad has two cats with behavioral issues and I know he would be irritated if I adopted new cats instead of lifting his burden from him. Plus cats need to be able to roam the house freely, and I think it's ideal to have cats in a country setting where they can go in and out as they please like the cats we had growing up that were so happy, but this isn't plausible for my situation right now. I had a rabbit for a while, but she had a bad personality because she had not been handled properly in her youth and I adopted her as an adult. She was mean to me and destructive of her cage as well as any area she was allowed to go out and play in. I really think she was just a bad rabbit, not that it was her fault or anything, but it's soured me to rabbits anyway. I had a roommate with ferrets and she refused to confine them, and they went all over our apartment and pooped their nasty poop on every single corner of every single room, and I don't think I want to deal with ferrets either (I know that it would have been better if they had been confined to one area to poop all over, but I just don't want to scrub ferret poop off of anything - another benefit to the chinchilla, easy to clean poops!). I could go on, but basically I haven't been able to find out about a pet that I think would suit my situation as well as I think a chinchilla would.

That said, I was talking to a friend last night and he was saying that small animals are all bad pets because you can't really love them, they don't do anything cool, and they just cost money and take up space. I don't think this is true, but it was disheartening. And I know he gave the same advice to his girlfriend who ignored him and got a ferret, and ended up thinking he was right because she didn't like her ferret. So he's sure that he's right and he was trying to convince me, and it just made me want some reassurance.

Based on my circumstances, am I right in thinking chinchillas would be good pets for me, or does it sound like I don't know enough to make that decision? Or am I basing it on some bad information or ignorance of some other aspect? And please tell me I'm right in believing that a properly handled small animal can be a great pet that you are happy to have!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 05:15 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Age: 34
Posts: 1,530
Your idea about a chinchilla being just as cuddily as other small pets is all wrong.
To mention a few, GP's, rabbits, rats and some species of hamsters would be a far better choise when it comes to a pet that likes to be around you in that way.

Other than that, it sounds like you have a pretty good idea about chins.
For the most part, they do not think it is cool to cuddle. If you get the animal from a good breeder, you will most likley get an animal, that thinks you are pretty cool to jump around on, and they will get on your nerves with bad habits, if you let them get away with it
They are quite intelligent little buggers.
Most of my females have this very annoying habit of trying to open the cage door. If they live in a cage where they have the chance to open the door, they will do it, and they will keep on doing it. Especially one of my females is very clever that way. She tries out all the weak points in a cage, so it can be quite difficult to keep her in.
One of my other females eats the bottom of every cage, if she gets the chance. She knows that's a sure way to get out of the cage at some point.

Here you have some pics of my animals

When it comes to the playpen, you should be aware that the average chinchilla can jumb about 50 cm above the ground. If they have the chance to run and jump, and maybe even jump against some thing, they can get way higher.

I'm not sure about that whole "they do not do anything cool" thing your friend talks about. If someone only wants the animal because it can do something cool, a robo pet might be the way to go...

Some of the more exotic animals out there might be a problem, if you want something you can handle. That's not the case with chinchillas though.
They might not like it at all times, but most chins will let you handle them as much as you need to. Like taking them to the vet an so on.

Actually, mine do not like when the vet handles them (they are a bit rough at times), and then they really want to go back to me or my boyfriend for some comfort.
One of my girls actually hides when i take her out, and there's strangers around. The first thing she does is dig into my blous, so she can get away - After a few minutes she doesn't mind other people though But she prefers her mom ^_^


I apologized if my english is not correct
Owned by chinchillas since 1997
Breeding since 2005

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 03-01-2010, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Mid-Michigan
Posts: 7
Thanks for your reply, Chinchi. What I really meant about cuddling is that even though I wish I could get cuddly chinchillas, I know that's probably not going to happen.

Thanks for your information, I hadn't thought about them being able to jump out of the playpen and I will have to measure how tall the one I have is and reconsider.

Also, your chinchillas are super cute!
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