Happy New Year – Did Your Chinchilla Watch TV?

From all of us here at SPS, here’s hoping you and your chinchillas had a great holiday, and wishing you all a very Happy New Year.

You might well think that the title of this blog is a little strange, but did you know that many chinnies find the TV fascinating?  And using the TV as an aid for keeping your chinchilla stimulated when you’re not around can prove to be an amazing success in many cases.

The reasons behind this are many, and include the following:

  Chinchillas are extremely intelligent.  If they end up spending many an hour alone, with no company or stimulation, then this can lead to all kinds of behavioral problems.  These can include fur biting or other kinds of anti-social actions.

—  After playtime is over, your chinnie might well spend a lot of hours with nothing to keep his interest.  And this can result in him literally becoming bored out of his (or her) mind.  Having the TV on for him to watch can provide mental stimulation, rather than just staring mindlessly at the four walls around him.  After all, there’s only so much playing with toys that you can do on your own…

—  Many chinchillas, especially ones that come from rescue centers or have been poorly treated, are nervous and worried about such things as strange visitors, noises, thunderstorms, upset to their routine and simply interacting with human life around them.  A TV, if correctly utilized, has been proven over and over again to help stressed chins re-adjust and become calmer and happier.

Much as you might find this a little daft, many chinchilla rescue centers take advantage of TVs to help nervous or badly treated chins become more accepting of humans once more.  And even if your chinnies are perfectly happy with life, it never hurts to give these intelligent little creatures as much mental stimulation as possible.

Picture by evilmonkey76 and reproduced under attribution licence courtesy of Creative Commons & Flickr

If you do want to consider using a TV to keep your chin amused, make sure you take the following into consideration:

—  Have the TV playing a channel that doesn’t show violent shows or those with loud bangs or noises.  Think a kiddie’s cartoon channel, or gentle music channel – something along those lines.

—  Keep the volume low.  In fact, it only needs to be loud enough so you can just hear it.

—  For older chinchillas, have the TV about 4 feet away from the cage (chinnies’ eyesight diminishes with age).  For younger ones then it needs to be about 5-7 foot away, due to the brightness and to protect their eyes.

We’d love to know if anyone uses a TV on a regular basis with their chins, and of any of your personal experiences.  Have they got any favorite programs?  We’d love to hear about them.

So for now, give your chinchillas a kiss from us, and tell them that the team at SPS wish them all a very Happy New Year.

Oh – and for your information, from next week we’ll be posting our new blogs every week on a Monday at 8am EST.  So be sure to sign up and have our latest info delivered directly to your inbox.

Till next time – love those chinnies.

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