Are Chinchillas Cuddly?

Chinchillas are extremely cute and friendly animals, which is part of the reason why they are such popular pets. 

But just because they look adorable doesn’t necessarily mean they love being held. It is important to learn about this if you have a chinchilla or want to get one in the near future.

Do Chinchillas Like Being Cuddled?

Chinchillas don’t enjoy being handled a lot, as they are naturally timid creatures. These animals are accustomed to being pursued by predators in the wild, so they are very defensive in general. Even those who have owned the same chinchilla for a long time might not be able to handle them on a regular basis, or for long periods.

Is it Okay to Cuddle my Chinchilla?

It is okay to handle and cuddle your chinchilla, provided you do so properly and for not too long. As we will discuss below in this article, there are a number of things that you should keep in mind. Just because these animals don’t love being handled frequently doesn’t mean you can’t cuddle them at all.

chinchillas in hands

How to Handle Your Chinchilla

It is crucial that you know how to properly handle your chinchilla before you try to do so for the first time. As we mentioned above, these animals are very timid. This means that you will have to be slow but deliberate in your movements.

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When you pick your chinchilla up in its cage, you’ll want to do so by the base of their tail. Make sure that you have a firm yet gentle grip on them.

When you are holding your chinchilla, you’ll want to keep a light grip so you don’t accidentally drop them. Keep your hand under their belly so you are properly supporting them at all times.

Tips for Handling Your Chinchilla

There are a number of very important tips you’ll want to follow when handling your chinchilla. These tips can help you establish and maintain a strong bond with your furry friend.

1. Don’t Handle Them a Lot for the First Two Weeks

You’ll want to avoid handling your chinchilla more than necessary for the first couple weeks after you bring it home. Your pet will need some time to adjust to its new environment. They are likely to be on edge for at least the first week or two, so you don’t want to add to their stress at all if you can help it.

Once your pet adjusts to its new environment, you will notice it becoming increasingly friendly and amenable to being handled. Trying to handle them too soon after you bring them home is a big mistake that you’ll want to avoid.

2. Pay Attention to Signs of Agitation

It’s also a good idea to pay close attention to your chinchilla’s body language and verbal cues when handling it. If you notice any signs of agitation, you should put them back in their cage immediately.

If you continue to handle your pet despite noticing clear signs of agitation, you could get bitten. Keep in mind that these animals do not typically like to be handled for more than 30 minutes or so at a time.

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Another reason that you don’t want to cuddle your chinchilla for too long is that it will overheat. These animals are definitely prone to overheat, and they can suffer heatstroke pretty easily.

chinchilla and kid

3. Make Sure There Are no Other Pets Nearby

When you take your chinchilla out of its cage for some one-on-one interaction, you’ll need to make sure that no other pets are nearby. This is especially important if you have any cats or dogs in the house.

If your dog is hovering around while you are holding your chinchilla, they will likely get nervous and stressed out very quickly. This might make it difficult to get them out of their cage in the future. You don’t want your chinchilla to feel intimidated in any way when you are handling it.

4. Don’t Wake Them up for Cuddles

You should never wake your chinchilla up to cuddle with it. In fact, it’s not a good idea to wake them up at all unless you absolutely have to. This will put unnecessary stress on your pet, which is never a good thing.

It is very important that your furry friend gets a good amount of rest each day. While you might be tempted to wake it up for some cuddle time, this is not a good idea. You are only going to agitate them, and they definitely won’t be in the mood to be handled.

5. Be Careful About Letting Other People Handle Them

It’s not always a good idea to let people your chinchilla is not familiar with handle them. This could cause your pet to become very stressed and agitated within seconds.

Before you decide whether or not to allow a friend or family member to handle your pet, you need to do a couple of things. Consider your chinchilla’s general personality. If they are pretty laid back, this might not be an issue. You also want to make sure that the person knows how to properly handle the animal.

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Conclusion

  • Chinchillas are fairly timid creatures that are used to being hunted, so they don’t naturally love being cuddled.
  • When you lift your chinchilla out of its cage, grab it by the base of its tail with a firm but gentle grip.
  • When holding your chinchilla, put your hand under its belly so all of its weight is fully supported.
  • Do not cuddle your chinchilla for more than about 30 minutes. These animals overheat and get agitated easily.
  • You shouldn’t attempt to cuddle your pet for the first week or two after you bring it home.
  • Pay attention for signs of agitation while you are handling your pet. If it starts making a screaming noise or squirms around a lot, return it to its cage.
  • You also don’t want to have any pets nearby when handling your chinchilla, as this could make them anxious.
  • If you let anyone else handle your chinchilla, make sure they know how to do so properly.
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