Pets 101: Do Chinchillas Like to Be Held?

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    If you skim through any list of the world’s cutest pets, you’ll likely find chinchillas somewhere on it. Chinchillas will provide you with cuteness overload every single time you look at them.

    The chinchilla personality is also every bit as cute as a chinchilla’s looks. It’ll make you want to pick up a chinchilla and cuddle with it as often as you can.

    But, do chinchillas like to be held? If you’re thinking about getting one of these small pets, you should know the answer to this question. It’ll let you know whether or not it would be a good idea to try cuddling with one of these exotic pets.

    We’re going to answer the question, “Do chinchillas like to be held?”, in this article so that you know how to handle a chinchilla when you welcome it into your home. Discover more about just how affectionate chinchillas are below.

    Do Chinchillas Like to Be Held?

    Based on their appearances, you might guess that chinchillas would like to be held. But in reality, the quick and easy answer to the question, “Do chinchillas like to be held?”, is “no.” Most chinchillas aren’t going to respond well when you first try to pick them up and hold them.

    Why? Well, the truth of the matter is that most chinchillas are naturally skittish and get scared more easily than other small pets. In the wild, they have to be on the lookout for everything from foxes to owls, so their first instinct will be to try to squirm away from you when you attempt to hold them.

    You should try not to take this too personally. Just because your new chinchilla doesn’t want you to hold it doesn’t mean it doesn’t want to have anything to do with you.

    Can You Get a Chinchilla to Enjoy Being Held?

    After hearing that the answer to the question, “Do chinchillas like to be held?”, is “no,” you might be second-guessing the idea of getting a chinchilla in the first place. But before you do this, we have some good news to share with you.

    A chinchilla might not like being held at first. But over time, you can get a chinchilla to calm down so that you can hold it. In fact, you might be able to get your chinchilla to a point where you’re cuddling with it on a regular basis without it trying to run away from you.

    You will, however, need to be very patient and earn a chinchilla’s trust slowly before it will allow you to pick it up and hold it for more than just a few seconds. Here are several ways in which you can make a chinchilla comfortable enough to let you hold it:

    • Consider creating a playpen area where you and your chinchilla can interact
    • Pick up your chinchilla and hold it for short periods of time at first
    • Provide your chinchilla with the right foods and water and make somewhat of a spectacle of it
    • Give your chinchilla treats routinely when you’re interacting with it
    • Talk to your chinchilla every day so that it gets to know you

    You should also be aware of the fact that it can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks for a chinchilla to feel comfortable in a new setting. So you should try to steer clear of taking all of these steps as soon as you bring a chinchilla home. You’ll be so much better off when you let a chinchilla get settled in first before you attempt to hold it at all.

    What Is the Right Way to Hold a Chinchilla?

    Once you’ve given your chinchilla time and space to get settled in and get familiar with its new surroundings, you can start trying to pick it up and hold it. But you’ll want to take the right approach to doing this to ensure you don’t scare your chinchilla too much.

    So, what is the right way to hold a chinchilla? It’s not all that complicated. But you will need to see to it that you don’t make any sudden motions that might scare your chinchilla.

    For starters, you’ll want to make your way toward your chinchilla very slowly so that it sees you coming. If you try to pick up a chinchilla without it seeing you first, it’s almost always going to get spooked and run away from you.

    When you get close enough to your chinchilla, you should then pet it softly so that it knows you don’t mean any harm. You might notice that your chinchilla will begin to relax and even warm up to you when you take the time to pet it.

    From there, you can go ahead and pick up your chinchilla. You should use two hands when you do this and offer up more than enough support for your chinchilla. You can pull the chinchilla close to you and cuddle it close to your chest to let it know that you’re expressing your affection to it as opposed to preparing to do something bad to it.

    The only real mistake you can make is if you were to start moving around too quickly with a chinchilla in your hands. This might scare the chinchilla and cause it to try to jump out of your arms. But you should get a positive reaction from your chinchilla as long as you’ve worked your way through each of these steps.

    How Can You Tell When a Chinchilla Doesn’t Want to Be Held?

    When you’re approaching your chinchilla and preparing to try to pick it up and hold it, you should keep an eye out for any signs that might suggest it doesn’t wish to be held. These signs will indicate that your chinchilla is stressed out and isn’t going to respond well to you trying to cuddle with it.

    Here are some of the signs that might be on full display when a chinchilla would prefer for you to keep your distance:

    • It runs away from you
    • It makes a strange sound
    • It sprays urine

    Chinchillas will also do something called “slipping fur” when they feel as though a predator might be trying to catch them. They’ll actually lose some of their fur in an attempt to “slip” away from this predator. If you see this happening, you will want to back off and wait for a better time to try to hold your chinchilla.

    Will a Chinchilla Bite If It Doesn’t Want to Be Held?

    Generally speaking, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about a chinchilla trying to bite you when you go to pick it up. Even if a chinchilla is clearly agitated when you attempt to do this, they’ll still usually try to let you know this by running away to show they’re not in the mood to be held.

    But if you force the issue, there are some chinchillas that will resort to biting those who try to hold them. It’s another reason why you should pay close attention to the signs that might show that a chinchilla does not wish to be held.

    You might also want to look into what you can do to get a chinchilla to stop biting you if it’s doing it all the time. While most chinchillas will only bite people when they’re scared, there are some that will also bite for other reasons. They could, for example, be sick and biting because of it, in which case you’ll want to look into practicing better chinchilla care.

    Will Some Chinchillas Hate Being Held Forever?

    More often than not, you’ll be able to have some control over the answer to the question, “Do chinchillas like to be held?” Your chinchilla might not like to be held at first, but over time, you can get them to warm up to it. Before long, your chinchilla might even start to look forward to you holding it in your hands.

    But unfortunately, there are also some chinchillas that will never quite come around to the idea of allowing you to hold them. No matter how patient you are, they’ll continue to push you away when you attempt to hold them.

    If this is the case, you can keep trying and practice patience. You might eventually be able to get better results down the road.

    But you should also avoid trying to force the issue. There will be so many other ways that you and your chinchilla can show affection for one another without you having to hold them in your hands.

    Take Baby Steps When You’re Trying to Hold a Chinchilla

    Even though the answer to the question, “Do chinchillas like to be held?”, is almost always “no” at the beginning, you might be able to convince a chinchilla to let you hold them down the line. The key is to take things as slow as you can to make your chinchilla feel comfortable.

    You should also make it your mission to take great care of your chinchilla so that you’re able to build up trust with them. This is another thing that’ll increase the chances of a chinchilla allowing you to hold it.

    Read this article to get tips on caring for a chinchilla.

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