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Can chinchillas live with other species?

Chinchillas are incredibly social creatures. In their natural habitat in the Andes Mountains, chins live with up to 100 other chinnies. So what happens when chinchillas live with other species? Read on to find out!

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The Answer

Having your chinchilla live with other species is a no-can-do. Just don’t do it.


As an exotic species, chinchillas have unique husbandry requirements. If your chins live with other species, it is terrible for them and bad for fido, fluffy, etc. according to the RSPCA:

  • Chinchillas are prey animals, and predator animals like dogs and cats will recognize them as such.
  • Other animals cause chinchillas distress.
    • Birds are noisy. They can disturb your chin’s daytime rest.
    • Off-putting smells. While another pet may not smell awful, it can be offensive to your chins.
  • Chinchillas can cause other animals distress.
    • Other animals don’t understand chinchilla body language as they're not generally around chins.
    • Dust particles from your chin’s dust bath can wreak havoc on other pets’ sensitive respiratory systems.
Chinchilla next to hiding box

What do chinchillas need to be happy?

  • At least one chinchilla friend. If your pair is mixed gender, ensure your male is neutered before putting the chins together.
  • Their own quiet, climate-controlled room, below 80 degrees. Chinchillas are susceptible to heatstroke. 
  • As big of an enclosure as possible. The minimum cage size for a pair is 30 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 36 inches tall.
  • Food, water, plus a nesting box and hiding spot for each chin.
  • Wash your hands before interacting with your chin. If you have other species in the house, they may have parasites or worms. You don’t want those creepy crawlies to bother your chins.
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While this blog may be disappointing to some, we know you want to do what’s best for your furry, feathered, and scaly friends. So, we've got answers if you’ve got questions on how to care for your chinchillas. Just click here to talk to one of our helpful Customer Service Team members or email us. We’re grateful for our valued customers and want to support you in the best way possible.

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

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