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Old 10-09-2017, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
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A friend of my sister had a chinchilla a number of years ago. Cutest thing I've ever seen. Soft of course. It seemed very nervous but do they get used to being handled by people. Are they similar to having a pet rabbit. I think I read somewhere that they are expensive as rodent type pets go because difficult to breed and only have one or two per "litter". Is this true?

Anyone out there have one for a pet?
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Old 10-11-2017, 02:17 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
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We've had a chinchilla for 2 years now. He is a nice little guy. They are not expensive at all as far as I am concerned. Ours only requires food, some treats, hay. His cage was almost $250 and that was the only time we splurged really.
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Old 10-13-2017, 08:40 PM
 
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Check on whether they are diurnal or nocturnal. Rabbits are diurnal, which makes life easier for most people (unless they are night owls).

I knew someone who was hiding a bunch of chinchillas in a dark basement, lit only by grow lights. He got the critters for a horrible reason, and they must have led horrible lives in there.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Here and now.
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I have never had one, but I do know something about them, and they are not like rabbits. They are more high-strung than rabbits, not "lap pets," and have more specialized needs. They are largely nocturnal, or, more accurately, crepuscular (most active at dawn and dusk.) They require a large, multi-level cage, a high-quality food formulated especially for chinchillas, and a small enclosure to take dust baths (never wash a chinchilla with water!) They will use a wheel, if you get a large one and introduce it when they are young. They are prone to over-heating, if you live in a warm climate and do not keep your house reasonably cool.

As to cost, you are correct. Chinchillas are not nearly as prolific as rabbits. Gestation time is much longer, over 3 months, versus one for rabbits, and 4 is about the largest litter, 1 or 2 babies the usual. Either animal will enjoy time out of the cage, but the room must be carefully pet-proofed (true of any pet, really), with special attention to anything that might be chewed, like electric wires. I would also be careful of anything that could damage a chinchilla's large, rather protruding eyes.

They can get used to being handled, but you have to be patient, and they never really enjoy being restrained. They are adorable, but not necessarily the best first small pet, and not a good choice for young kids, who often lack the patience to build a relationship with an animal that may not relish lots of cuddling, or who may be too rough.

Last, but not least, if you are considering a chinchilla, make sure you have lined up a vet who knows how to treat them. Not all vets are well-versed in the special needs of exotic pets.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:42 AM
 
Location: Here and now.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Check on whether they are diurnal or nocturnal. Rabbits are diurnal, which makes life easier for most people (unless they are night owls).

I knew someone who was hiding a bunch of chinchillas in a dark basement, lit only by grow lights. He got the critters for a horrible reason, and they must have led horrible lives in there.
Ugh. I remember those TV commercials about chinchilla farming from childhood. Are people still really pursuing this "get-rich-quick" scheme?
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:51 AM
 
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I thought about getting a chinchilla before I adopted my bunny. After doing some research, they are nothing alike and chins appears to be more demanding to care for than bunnies. They need a lot of vertical as well as horizontal space to roam, and this amount of space requires them to be outside of their cage for a significant of time. A large cage with lots of vertical space when not being supervised is a must, so you may need to build your own cage as most pet stores don't have that size available.

Secondly, chins do better in homes without small children or other predatory pets, like cats or dogs (Ones that bark a lot). Anything that grabs, screams, barks, sudden movements... It makes them nervous and stressed.

Bunnies are a lot of work too. They also need a quiet place to get away but they are more trusting of people than chins, especially the major difference between the two is that bunnies are domesticated, selected and raised for fur, meat, show and companionship for hundreds of years. Chins were mostly raised for fur and even though they can make great pets, it will still take a few more decades of selective breeding in order for them to be considered a pet for beginners.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
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They do sound somewhat difficult. I've always wanted a Guinea pig but have always had cats so that has always out of the question. It's just wishful thinking about getting another kind of pet someday because I will probably always have a cat and don't want to have a conflict. Love dogs but are just too high maintenance for me.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Here and now.
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Originally Posted by Izzie1213 View Post
They do sound somewhat difficult. I've always wanted a Guinea pig but have always had cats so that has always out of the question. It's just wishful thinking about getting another kind of pet someday because I will probably always have a cat and don't want to have a conflict. Love dogs but are just too high maintenance for me.
Do you have a room you can designate as a cat-free zone, even on a part-time basis?
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Old 10-19-2017, 12:16 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzie1213 View Post
They do sound somewhat difficult. I've always wanted a Guinea pig but have always had cats so that has always out of the question. It's just wishful thinking about getting another kind of pet someday because I will probably always have a cat and don't want to have a conflict. Love dogs but are just too high maintenance for me.
Speaking of traveling and guinea pigs, reminded me of one I pet sat a few years ago. A young family was hired to take care of a small local B&B for the winter off season, but they had a guinea pig and the B&B's owner was highly allergic to pet dander. They couldn't have her with them while staying there. Someone gave them my name for a possible place to keep it.

The guinea pig's name was Pickles (who knows why). Her family was devoted to her. Instead of the usual "disposable kid's pet" easily given up when it became inconvenient, she went everywhere with them. They spent much of the year on their long liner fishing boat and Pickles came along. They told me stories about having to tie her big storage tote home down in rough weather. She was an incredibly socialized pig with a huge personality. She had definite opinions about the world, and was a genuine pleasure.

Before I knew these folks I suspected that once Pickles arrived I wouldn't see them again. Well, the kids, parents, or both showed up every weekend with fresh bedding, tidbits of favorite foods, grass, fresh timothy hay, and they cleaned her tote, played with her, etc, without fail all winter long. They knew all about her nutritional needs too. She was about 4 at the time, but lived to be about 10.

If it wasn't for having to deal with bedding and bulky food, maybe a guinea pig would be an OK travel pet.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:47 PM
 
Location: Here and now.
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Originally Posted by AllisonHB View Post
Speaking of traveling and guinea pigs, reminded me of one I pet sat a few years ago. A young family was hired to take care of a small local B&B for the winter off season, but they had a guinea pig and the B&B's owner was highly allergic to pet dander. They couldn't have her with them while staying there. Someone gave them my name for a possible place to keep it.

The guinea pig's name was Pickles (who knows why). Her family was devoted to her. Instead of the usual "disposable kid's pet" easily given up when it became inconvenient, she went everywhere with them. They spent much of the year on their long liner fishing boat and Pickles came along. They told me stories about having to tie her big storage tote home down in rough weather. She was an incredibly socialized pig with a huge personality. She had definite opinions about the world, and was a genuine pleasure.

Before I knew these folks I suspected that once Pickles arrived I wouldn't see them again. Well, the kids, parents, or both showed up every weekend with fresh bedding, tidbits of favorite foods, grass, fresh timothy hay, and they cleaned her tote, played with her, etc, without fail all winter long. They knew all about her nutritional needs too. She was about 4 at the time, but lived to be about 10.

If it wasn't for having to deal with bedding and bulky food, maybe a guinea pig would be an OK travel pet.
Was this intended for the person who wanted a small pet to take on the road? That was a different thread, this one:

Caged/Small Pet Satisfaction?
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