Between Ferrets and Chinchilla, would a friendship work out? Don’t ferret it! I will be ratting out these two for you, tell you all their little secrets. You’ll get to know out all about having them as pets, raising them alone and with other pets, as well as what makes them perfect for you!
Not to disappoint you, but ferrets and chinchilla are no match made in heaven. Don’t be fooled by ferrets’ innocent appearance, they are, in fact, predators, domesticated with time, but predators nonetheless. Housing them with chinchillas, prey animals, is putting a dog with a bone. Not a good idea, for the chinchillas at least.
What Happens if They Are Brought Together
A ferret, mischievous but with predator instinct, will play hide and seek with the chinchilla. Its rough play will not sit too well with the chinchilla, and will probably lead to more than a few scratches.
Aside from the physical harm, a ferret’s presence, and mere smell, will get a chinchilla’s stress level skyrocketing. An anxiety-induced chinchilla will either run and hide, try miserably to defend itself, or start turning away even from food.
Aside from that, empty patches of fur will start appearing on your pet’s back from its nervous chewing on it.
A Ferret’s Companion of Choice
Ferrets take a special liking to cats. To tell the truth, they like them a little bit too much. Ferrets love playing and teasing cats to the point that cats struggle for a breather.
They also get along well with dogs after some training and dominance assertion on the ferret’s side. As for rabbits, ferrets seem to enjoy taking them for a ride, while rabbits attempt to flee for their life.
Your best bet, however, is simply pairing them or putting them in a group of their own kind. They can be kept with ones of the same, or of the opposite sex, doesn’t really matter. They relish in each other’s company and love to huddle together in their sleep. In addition to your care and attention, your tiny friend shall strive for nothing more.
A Chinchilla’s Companion Of Choice
Chinchillas, too, are sociable creatures that like to live in groups. They just rather stay with their kind. Living with predator animals, like cats and dogs, is a bit of a nightmare for chinchillas, although not impossible. You just need to be very cautious and alert to their body language to notice any signs of discomfort.
A better option would be keeping chinchillas and other pets apart. Chinchillas dearly appreciate their alone time and their stay in their cage. This might be a little sad for owners who enjoy having their pet by their side all day long. However, it will work well for you if you’re dividing your time between more than one pet.
Aside from the danger Chinchillas face as small prey animals, they are also prone to catching diseases from other pets. Rabbits and guinea pigs carry germs while rats and mice carry mycoplasma, all of which could be passed on to the chinchilla. Even turtles could infect it with salmonella. Basically, between catching diseases and getting bitten, chinchillas aren’t big fans of housemates from different species.
[Related Article: Do Chinchillas Climb Trees Like A Monkey]
Loneliness Kills Or Thrills
We did mention that both ferrets and chinchillas enjoy the company of others of their kind. But what happens if a ferret’s mate or a chinchilla’s mate dies? Do any of them mourn to the point of death?
Fortunately enough, the answer for both animals is no. As much as they value the company of others, they survive the deaths of loved ones. As long as the affection they get increases on your end, it compensates for their losses.
In some cases, changed behavior would indicate depression. If so, you might want to introduce a new playmate, slowly, to give them time to get along. This will have the animal’s spirits up again in no time.
Are Ferrets A Danger Only To Chinchillas
If you’re wondering whether a ferret is too much of a predator to be a tame pet, trust me you have nothing to worry about. They, nevertheless, pose a real threat to your furniture, so make sure to ferret- proof your house before bringing it home.
Ferrets do tend to bite and nip on your hand but they only do it playfully, or in some cases, out of fear. A ferret is not the most gentle biter, but its bite is not really considered dangerous. Unless, of course, the ferret is unvaccinated and passes a virus to you.
Training your ferret not to bite does not differ much from dog training. You only got to use treats as rewards for calm behavior and timeout for any rough play.
Do Chinchillas Bite
Despite Chinchillas’ size and weak nature, Chinchillas’ bite is terrible! It might not be fatal but it is considered to be worse even than a cat’s bite. Advantaged with two long and large front teeth, it sure doesn’t hesitate to use them.
Chinchillas bite you if you are invading its space or cornering it. It will bite to warn you, and to give itself the chance to escape. Other than that, its bite could be because the environment is not too suitable for it. A crammed cage, or a foe’s presence, could be what’s getting on the rodent’s nerves, and your poor hand might still end up on the receiving end of its rage.
Your response should be to terminate the cause of distress. Get a bigger cage and separate the chinchilla from the other pets. Reacquaint it with yourself and make sure it gives you the go first before any interaction.
Body language, such as making uncomfortable sounds, or standing up on its hind legs means that the chinchilla is feeling threatened and needs you to back away.
If Not Both, Then Which?
As we already agreed, raising both chinchilla and ferrets is not the smoothest of ideas. So, if you have to choose, which makes a better pet? To help you make up your mind here is a few more facts on each:
|Natural habitat||Forests, parks, villages and farms.||Rock crevices and burrows.|
|Chances of escape||Wouldn’t miss one.||Don’t mind the cages.|
|Special care||Wax accumulates in their ears. Clean once a month.||Chinchillas need to take dust baths to clear away the dander, prevent parasites like fleas,and keep their fur silky. That’s done two to four times a week.|
|Friendliness||Big fans of cuddles.||Prefer their space, but gets more cuddly with time.|
|Outdoor exercise||Goes on walks with a harness.||Doesn’t do walks.|
|Lifespan||5-10 years.||15-20 years.|
|Litter training||Easily trained.||Not all are trained, and cannot be trained to defecate in the litter box.|
|House proofing||Love exploring and biting furniture, house proofing is a necessity.||Love to explore too so house proofing is needed.|
|Sleep cycle||Nocturnal cycle. Animal is active in times of dusk and dawn.||Awake from dusk till dawn.|
Although at first glance you will see more similarities than differences, the nature of each animal stands like a barrier between them and should not be overlooked.
If you’re thinking of raising more than one pet at once, then ferrets should be your choice. Their playfulness with dogs and cats will add a lot of amusement to your life. However, if you are looking for a pet to spend long, exciting years with you, then chinchilla is definitely the one for you!