You’ve picked out your new chinchilla and brought it home. You’ve bought it a new cage, toys, treats and lots of timothy hay. You can’t wait to start playing with your new chinchilla, but wait! It doesn’t seem to want to play with you.
“It took months before we bonded with our new chinchilla,” said Drew Carter, a chin owner from York, Pa., “Since they are curious and nervous, anything new is approached with caution.”
The best way to bond with your chinchilla is to simply spend time with it. In the beginning your chinchilla will be a little apprehensive. For the first couple of days, don’t try to pick up your chinchilla. Leave it in the cage, and be present in the same room with it. After a couple of days, slowly put your hand in the cage. “Don’t grab at your chinchilla, let him sniff and nibble your hand and, over time, you will be able to take it out of its cage. It’s a slow process,” Carter said.
Once your chinchilla is comfortable with you, strengthen your bond with daily out-of-cage play sessions. Take your chinchilla out of its cage and be present in your chinchilla’s play area. “Always supervise your chinchilla during playtime,” Carter said.
Being present in your chinchilla’s life strengthens your bond. Most chinchillas don’t like to be petted, but may enjoy hopping on your shoulders and climbing on you. Make your play sessions a routine. At the same time every day, take your chinchilla out of its cage. Your chinchilla will get used to this routine, and look forward to spending time with you.
Bonding with your chinchilla takes time. Let your chinchilla come to you when it feels comfortable. When it comes to bonding with your chinchilla, patience is necessary.