Pet chinchillas are becoming more common than ever. No wonder people love them with their beautiful coats, playful nature, and cute, plump bodies. But like it or not, keeping more than one chinchilla may not always be possible.
That’s why I often get asked, do chinchillas die of loneliness as pets? If this has been a concern for you, don’t fret; it’s not possible. As long as you provide proper care and abundant affection, your chinchilla will live a normal, happy life.
Does this mean that they shouldn’t have cagemates? Well, that’s what I’ll answer in this article. Let’s see!
The Social Behavior Of Wild Chinchillas
Mother Nature knows best, right? Inspecting the social behavior of wild chinchillas can give us a better idea of what would and wouldn’t work with our pets.
Wild chinchillas typically live in medium-sized colonies. But of course, they like spending time alone every once in a while.
During the mating season, females remain with a single mate. And since chinchillas are matriarchal, females usually show aggressive behavior against other females, especially during the mating season.
But even when they’re aggressive, chinchillas rarely fight each other. They often suffice by showing their anger or resentment by urinating, growling, or chattering teeth. That confirms that chinchillas do value social life.
Can Chinchillas Live Alone
If you want the best for your pet, you should definitely consider keeping at least 2 chinchillas in the same cage. But let’s not fool ourselves; this isn’t always feasible. You may not always have enough budget, ample space, or sufficient time.
Does this mean that chinchillas will be left to die alone? Not necessarily. Single chinchillas can live a perfectly happy life if you provide them with 2 things: toys and affection.
Affection is pretty self-explanatory, right? Just like any pet, chinchillas enjoy petting, holding, playing, etc. However, they only accept this inside a specific time slot.
Chinchillas Prefer the Night
Owing to their nocturnal nature, chinchillas like to sleep during the day. They typically start their day at dusk, reach the peak activity in the night, and sleep by the dawn. Being familiar with their schedule is crucial because, just like humans, they’ll get upset if you try to hold them during the day.
If you come to think of it, this schedule may be way better for you than any other pet. If you work from 9 to 5, you’ll be back just before your chin wakes up, and you can play with him until your bedtime comes.
The Best Toys To Get For Your Chinchilla
After you sleep, your chinchilla will have plenty of time to spend alone. Providing enough toys is crucial if you want to keep stress and destructive behavior at bay.
As rodents, chinchillas love to chew. I like the Kaytee Perfect Chews because it comes with wood balls, pears, a log, and a block. Better yet, all these parts are painted with vegetable-based dyes that can never hurt your precious friend.
Instead of serving hay passively, you can stuff it in the Ware Hay Ball. This should stimulate your chinchilla both physically and mentally. I also like the attached bell since it can help you train your chinchilla to do some cool tricks.
Can You Let Them Outside The Cage
Chinchillas are super curious animals. If you let them roam around your house unattended, you might be leading them to their demise! They can chew wires, shatter fragile antiques, drown inside the toilet, you name it!
They can, however, enjoy an affectionate playtime with you in a chinchilla-safe room. In fact, you’ll have to do that on a regular basis if you decided to keep a single chinchilla.
How Long Can Chinchillas Be Left Alone
Ideally, try not to leave your chinchilla alone for more than one day.
If you’re going on a trip for a couple of days, try to ask a friend to go and check on your chinchilla every day. If possible, your friend should time the visit to be in the evening in order to find the chinchilla awake.
Pregnant chinchillas, on the other hand, shouldn’t be left alone — they might develop some complications that need immediate attention.
The Final Word
Do chinchillas die of loneliness as pets? No, that’s absolutely unlikely. Single chinchillas can live a happy life as long as you provide enough care and affection.
Remember, chinchillas don’t like messing with their circadian rhythms; let them sleep during the day and play with them as much as possible in the evening.