If you are thinking about getting a chinchilla but you already have cats, you’ll need to know a few things first. 

Chinchillas are very easygoing animals, but they aren’t compatible with all household pets. Before you let them spend time together, you’ll have to get the facts.

Can Chinchillas Interact with Cats?

It is generally not a good idea to let your chinchilla interact directly with any of your cats. The fact is that cats are natural hunters, and they very well might see the chinchilla as prey. While not all cats are the same, this is a pretty big risk to take.

There is always the possibility that your pets could form a deep bond with each other. There are numerous factors to consider, so you don’t want to simply throw them into the same room together. Allowing your cat to spend time with your chinchilla isn’t necessary out the question, but it’s something you’ll have to be careful about.

Compatibility

Chinchillas and cats are very different animals in terms of their overall temperament. This is just one of the reasons why it’s not usually a good idea to let them interact with each other.

Cats are typically bold creatures with at least some natural hunting instincts, especially when it comes to rodents. They don’t get stressed or frightened very easily. The behavior of cats can be extremely unpredictable.

The average chinchilla is very timid and can become very stressed without much provocation. These animals also have a tendency to overheat fairly easily. It doesn’t take much for them to run away or hide out somewhere so they feel safe again.

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Once you look at the personality traits of these two animals, you can see how putting them together in the same space might not be the best idea. It is very likely that your cat will intimidate the chinchilla, probably to the point of extreme stress. These animals were simply never meant to get along based on their very nature.

white cat

How to Let Your Chinchilla and Cat Spend Time Together

If there is going to be any chance of your cat and chinchilla spending time together peacefully, you will need to follow a few important steps. Keep in mind that there is still a distinct possibility that this will go very wrong.

1. Consider Your Cat’s Personality

Cats vary quite a bit in terms of their overall personality. You should consider what your cat is normally like before trying to introduce them to your chinchilla. If your cat is typically very relaxed and doesn’t exhibit a lot of hunting or predatory instincts, you can probably move forward through this process.

If you have a cat that displays a lot of hunting behavior or can be very aggressive, you should avoid letting them spend time with your chinchilla. Use your best judgment and really think about what your cat is like.

2. Introduce Them to Each Other Slowly

It is imperative that you introduce your chinchilla to your cat very gradually in a series of steps. First you’ll want to simply let the cat spend time around the chinchilla’s cage so it can get a good look at them.

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Next, you can take the chinchilla out of its cage and hold it up to your cat for it to see and smell. It’s a good idea to repeat these steps at least two or three times. This will help with establishing an initial connection between your pets.

chinchilla in hands

3. Let Your Pets Interact with Each Other

The final phase of this process involves simply putting your two pets in the same room together. Make sure that the door is closed so that your chinchilla doesn’t escape if it decides to run away.

You might want to keep your cat on a leash for the first interaction just in case. Keep a very close eye on both of your pets, and be ready to swoop in if conflict begins to ensue. You should be able to tell very quickly how things are going to go within the first couple of minutes.

If you notice your chinchilla acting in a very anxious manner, you should take them back to the safety of their cage immediately. You don’t want to put any unnecessary stress on them. This initial interaction should only last about five minutes or so. You can let your pets spend more time together if this interaction goes well.

4. Never Leave Them Alone Together

It is never a good idea to let your cat and chinchilla spend time together in the same space if you aren’t there to supervise them. There is no telling what could happen, even if they seem to be getting along great with each other.

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Your chinchilla could easily get injured if your cat’s behavior takes a sudden and unexpected turn. There is always the chance that they will injure the chinchilla without meaning to.

5. Kittens

Many people allow their chinchilla to spend time with their cats while they are still little. A small kitten poses much less threat to your furry friend than a fully grown cat, but you should still watch them closely when they play together. By introducing your chinchilla to your cat while it is still young, you will increase the chances of them forming a close bond.

Conclusion

  • It is generally not a good idea to let a chinchilla and a cat interact with each other, but there are exceptions.
  • Cats are bold creatures that naturally hunt rodents, while chinchillas are very timid and easily frightened.
  • Before you let your two pets spend time together, consider your cat’s personality.
  • If you have a cat with strong hunting instincts, you shouldn’t try to introduce it to your chinchilla.
  • Start off slowly by letting your cat see and smell the chinchilla while you are holding it in your hands.
  • When you do put your pets together in the same space, consider keeping your cat on a leash.
  • Keep a very close watch on them just in case something bad happens.
  • It is never a good idea to leave these animals alone in the same room together.
  • When you start introducing your chinchilla to your cat when it is still a kitten, it is more likely to establish a deep bond with it.
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