Chinchillas are social animals and can enjoy living with others. Sometimes chinchillas naturally accept one another immediately and other times they need a little adjustment time. Rarely, two dominant chinchillas will not get along no matter what. It is always best to start with a slow introduction process when planing to cage two or more chinchillas together. Here are some suggestions-
* Many people like to put the cages side by side for a while. Always allow a new chinchilla time to adjust to a new home before starting the introduction process.
* Always have introductions in neutral territory, that is, do not put one chin in the other chin’s cage and do not have a bunch of accessories out that may smell like one chinchilla
* A little chasing and mounting is okay but any signs of biting or wrestling is not and you need to separate the chinchillas immediately
* When your chinchillas are comfortable running around together, you can test their reaction by keeping the door open on the cages (provided they are in the same area and accessible to chins). If both chins are okay with the other exploring their cages, you can move onto seeing if they will get along while caged.
* When caging chinchillas together, put them in a neutral cage; one that has been thoroughly washed and rearranged with clean accessories. Never put a chinchilla in a more dominant chinchilla’s cage!
* Always have a backup cage, even after your chins are living together peacefully. They could change their mind at any time or you may need to separate them due to illness or injury.
* To help avoid fights while living together, have multiple food dishes, water bottles, and hide houses-these things are most likely to cause fights
* Dust and hay are great distractions and can be useful during introductions.
* There are no rules about males or females get along better; 2 males can get along just the same as 2 females. And remember if you put a male and female together, even if only for “playtime” you could end up with babies so if that is not your intention it’s best to stick to same sex pairs.
* The process is the same for introducing multiple chinchillas, be sure to watch closely and make sure no one is being bullied as sometimes already bonded chins will gang up on a newcomer.
With a little luck and patience, your chinchillas will become best friends and cage mates 😀
This is a typical (pretty positive) introduction-
This is why you need to introduce them in neutral territory; dominant chinchillas will attack-