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Anyone got chinchillas?

(5 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Fri 26-Aug-11 18:36:21

dd has started asking about one, she's 10yo. I've said that we'll need to wait till one member of our current zoo dies as we have more than enough animals at the minute.
So am doing some research at the minute.

Any advice gratefully received.

How friendly are they? When dd let's it out the cage for a run around will it be ok in her bedroom with the door shut or is it likely to disappear under her bed/wardrobe and be hard to extract? Are they incontinent like rats as I don't want it free ranging round her room if it's going to wee everywhere.

Are they really ok just one on their own or is it best to get two?

Carrotsandcelery Sun 11-Sep-11 11:02:20

I used to have a chinchilla and he was lovely. I let him out of his cage when I got in at night and he followed me around the flat, jumped on the edge of the bath when I was in it, got up to all sorts of mischief really.

He also completely wrecked the place - they chew absolutely everything - wallpaper, sofas, phone cables, wooden furniture etc.

They are also not keen on children - they prefer deep voices and relative calm around them. They are quite nervous creatures.

They are also very difficult to tame. I lived alone at the time so had a lot of attention for him but that said I wouldn't say he was totally tame.

They also live a long time so be prepared for a very long term commitment if you go ahead.

I don't know about keeping them in pairs. I have seen them in pairs at petting zoos and in pet shops.

It will vanish to the darkest quietest reaches of your dds room as they feel safer there.

Mine didn't wee outside its cage but it did poo. Their poos are dry and easily hoovered up but it is still something to consider.

They also fling sand everywhere when they bath, which is charming to watch but not so much fun to hoover out of the carpet.

Personally, I wouldn't recommend them as a pet for a child.

BoattoBolivia Fri 30-Sep-11 23:52:14

My dsis had one years ago, when she was about 10. We all hated it for all the reasons above and it nearly killed my dad when it chewed through the cables to the video machine and he touched them.
She never managed to tame it, it chewed everything and unfortunately has to be put to sleep after a nasty incident involving her standing on the arm of the sofa to get a book down and not looking before she jumped off.
It looked cute though!

AhsataN Thu 20-Oct-11 15:41:19

chins are fab i have five and one of pairs had babies this morning so i have seven now. i would keep it in a guarded area to let it run because it will chew. they are very friendly when handled correctly and love human attention. if you will be out for long periods it would be nicer to have 2 for company. my son is 23 months and strokes and picks mine up.
they need a large cage with lots of ledges and toys you can buy i second hand cage relatively cheap. they are very noisy at night so best kept in communal area rather than a bedroom.
don't buy from a pet shop as they don't care what quality they sell. buy from a breeder they are half the price. IE pet shop £80+ and breeders £40+
pictures on my profile.

SmallZooOwner Sat 22-Oct-11 21:01:46

They are lovely! But a big commitment because:
they are specialised to look after and get treatment for if they are poorly, you need a local vet who is recommended for their care.
they are easier to socialise to humans as a single pet but you needs to devote a couple of hours a night to spend with them/supervise them out of their cage.
like rabbits they can have poor teeth, some will simply through no fault of your own will need to be put to sleep before they are 2.
they will be destructive and sucidial but entertaining, endearing and a highlight to your house. They like jumping into the unknown mine tried the toilet, under the floor boards (they are mostly fur so can get into VERY small gaps), mugs of coffee etc.

If you get them past teeth issues and look after them you should estimate life expectancy to around 12-15 years but can easily go to 18!

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