So you’ve embarked on a pet search. If you’ve narrowed it down and you’re ready to get a chinchilla, you’re probably wondering about the differences between a male vs female chinchilla.
Which gender works best as a pet?
The answer is both! Neither gender is more fitting as a pet. Both genders bond with their human parents and when comfortable, adore affection. Both genders are curious, playful, and love to explore.
But there are some differences between the two that should be considered, Especially if you’re planning on having more than one chinchilla.
Male Vs Female Chinchilla Looks
Surprisingly when it comes to chinchillas, females are usually larger than males.
That’s not enough to tell the genders apart though. Male chinchillas have gaps in the middle of their anal regions and penises. Girls don’t have much of a gap in the middle of their anal regions. Female parts connect with the anus.
And other than those two physical features, male and female chinchillas look about the same!
Male Vs Female Chinchilla Behavior
All chinchillas can be territorial at times (just like humans don’t like strangers in their house), but females can be especially territorial when they’re in heat. They're more aggressive towards other chinchillas especially. Some need to be separated during times of aggression.
Male chinchillas tend to be less territorial and therefore can seem calmer in general. However, every chinchilla has their own unique personality. Regardless of gender, some are more high-strung and some are more easygoing.
How To Choose Two Chinchillas To House Together
Females can be aggressive towards other females but most of the aggression seen with female chinchillas is towards males attempting to mate with them.
Females usually house together very well and become a happy family.
For this reason, if you want to house two chinchillas together (which is recommended!), it’s best to choose two chinchillas of the same gender. When you have two of the opposite gender, the male needs to be fixed and this usually only works when you have siblings that have come from the same litter.
Chinchillas who have never been separated from birth are comfortable with each other and less likely to fight with each other.
However, in the human world when you have siblings that have never been separated from birth… they might fight.
When housing multiple chinchillas, it’s very important to have an enclosure that’s large. If your pets don’t have enough space this can certainly trigger aggressive behaviors. Towards their human parents as well!
How big? Truly as big as your space allows. The bigger the better. An absolute minimum living space would be 90cm (L) x 60cm (D) x 120cm (H). Just keep in mind, that more space means happier chinchillas.
Should You Spay or Neuter Your Chinchilla?
Spaying or neutering your chinchilla doesn’t have a big impact on their behavior. And the surgery is more risky for chinchillas than for other small pets. It’s not encouraged.
With rabbits, spaying females reduces the risk of reproductive cancers. However, the risk of cancer is much less in chinchillas.
Spaying is a more dangerous procedure than neutering. So if you must house two of the opposite genders together, it’s best to neuter the male chinchilla.
Chinchillas Should Live In Pairs or Trios
Get your chins checked out at a vet! That’s where you can be completely sure of the gender. Sometimes when chinchillas are young they get misgendered, so if you think that’s what has happened with your chins, separate them until you can confirm with a vet. You don’t want any accidental breeding!
Chinchillas are very social! If you’re thinking about getting a chinchilla you really should be getting two at the same time. This will make the bonding process go much smoother. And you will have two happy chins!
So the question shouldn’t be male vs female chinchilla, it should be 2 males vs 2 females! Or if you’re really ambitious you can get a trio! But remember, getting them together from the same litter is the easiest as that makes the transition to their new home with you all the sweeter!
Chinchilla research is continuously growing! If you have any doubts or concerns contact your exotic vet.
We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.