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Chinchilla Care - Handling

Chinchillas should be always held gently but firmly. The best way to hold them is by also holding on to their tail by the base, never by the tip because a chinchilla's tail can break. To get a chinchilla used to you, you need to be very gentle at first. If they are used to their cage, place your arm inside the cage and allow the chinchilla to sniff you and touch your arm. This will help it not be frightened of you. At first you may want to give it a treat to get it used to you, and to tame it. This helps too. If you allow your chinchilla to run about your house, never chase it or grab it roughly when picking it up. Either leave its cage door open, or use a treat to entice it to come near you, where you can pick it up. If you ever grab a chinchilla roughly or chase it, the chinchilla will be scared of you, and will never come near you for it to be picked up.

If a chinchilla ever nips you when you are holding it, do not get mad at the chinchilla, hit it, or drop it. Some chinchillas do not know if you are food (especially if your hands smell like food) and do not realize that what they are doing is wrong. Always make sure your hands are clean before handling them, so they do not mistake you for food. If they still bite, it is probably because they don't want to be handled, and it is always best to put the chinchilla back in its cage, or not to handle it at that moment. For more common reasons as to why a chin may bite, click here.

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