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Anyone have a pet chinchilla?

                                   We've been thinking of getting one for a bit. They are so cute.

                  But I've read they can be a little finicky. Any first hand experience with them?   



Asked by ss_mom at 5:05 PM on Jan. 26, 2011 in Pets

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Answers (5)
  • My cousin used to have two. They are very cute! She used to walk hers on a leash in the park. Their names were Mimi and Fifi- they were sisters.
    I would just make sure you know what you are getting into going in because they aren't low maintenance. They have a pretty long lifespan (some can live more than ten years!) They are very active- they can run like crazy, and aren't always cuddly lap pets. They need a large cage because they are so active (my cousin had a big two story cage for hers.) They need a quality chinchilla food, roughage like hay, and dust because they take dust baths. Find a vet beforehand- having owned exotics before I can tell you it's hard to find a vet in a pinch, and having a knowledgeable vet vs a novice vet can make the difference between life and death for an exotic animal (unfortunately I am speaking from experience.) Just know going in what to expect to make sure it's a good fit for you.

    Answer by Freela at 10:44 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • lol - just that they will bite!

    Answer by neebug3766 at 5:15 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • No! But I want one!!

    Answer by BansheeQueen at 6:13 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • My friend has had a few of them for years. I wouldn't call them "starter" pets, so I don't know if you have a lot of experience with exotic pets or not, but anyway...they're cute, but they aren't particularly cuddly or lovable. They smell kind of bad (like most rodents do) and the cages require a lot of upkeep. It can also be difficult to find a vet who knows how to treat them. They will breed like crazy if you don't spay them. I have no idea how old your kids are, but my friend's son accidentally stepped on one of theirs a few months ago, crushing it, but it didn't die right away. He was pretty traumatized, as the whole family was. The chinchillas are kind of sneaky like that--her son is a very kind and responsible 12 year old, so it wasn't like he was being careless. I guess that's a whole lot of negative. The positives that I see are that they are kind of playful and the kids enjoy handling them.

    Answer by vicesix at 7:44 PM on Jan. 26, 2011

  • Thanks. I think maybe for now, I'll stick with something that requires less special care. :-)

    Comment by ss_mom (original poster) at 6:15 PM on Jan. 28, 2011

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