Do Chinchillas Get Along With Cats? Tips for families who want to own both!

Can I get a Chinchilla if I already have a cat? Do Chinchillas get along with cats? Today I am going to discuss the same based on expert's advice!
a chinchilla and a cat laying on bed

If you’re a pet owner, one issue you need to weary off is the compatibility of pets, even though this, to some extent, depends on the pet’s attributes. This is the case when you own a cat and chinchilla because cats are natural predators, whereas chinchillas are rodents and are, therefore, prey.

But if you want to own both of these pets, the question running in your mind right now is, do chinchillas get along with cats?

This is a question many pet owners ask themselves, and if you fall into this category, you’re in luck. Here’s a detailed article on the compatibility of chinchillas and cats to make you better informed on whether owning these two pets is a good idea.

Do Chinchillas Get Along with Cats

Chinchillas and cats can get along just fine, but this depends on your cat’s personality and demeanor. You should thus not be surprised if a cat and chinchilla bond as companions or friends.

Even though your chinchilla and cat might get along just fine, it’s advisable never to leave these two pets unsupervised or unattended when interacting with each other.

With that said, for your cat and your chinchilla to get along are two different things you must consider before getting these two pets living in the same house.

This is important because these two pets have brains that are programmed to act differently. This is because cats’ instinctive desire is to hunt down rodents while chinchillas tend to be more reserved and usually love hiding.

Therefore, before you can even test whether your cat and chinchilla can get along, the first thing to do is establish each of these species’ personality traits.

The most crucial behavior factors about cats you need to know about them is that they are:

  • Have a more erratic behavior
  • Not stressed easily
  • Not shy or timid
  • Naturally, hunt down rodents
  • Viewed as a mammal and predator

On the other hand, the personality traits of the chinchilla are:

  • Get stressed easily
  • Naturally prey in the wild
  • Prone to overheating
  • Shy, scared, reserved, and timid

With such divergent personality traits, it’s now evident why your cat and chinchilla might struggle to get along just fine. However, it’s still possible for these two pets to get along, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll find the chinchilla cuddling on the lap of your cat.

Can chinchillas and cats Live in the Same House?

Yes, cats and chinchillas can live in one house. Nonetheless, this can be achieved by only slowly introducing these two pets to each other. By doing so, you’ll be giving your cat and chinchilla ample time to get used to each other behaviors and smells.

For these two pets to live in harmony with each other, patience and constant supervision is necessary. This will be possible if your cat has a mellow and calm personality and isn’t so much interested in hunting, meaning it’ll most likely ignore the chinchilla.

If your cat does this, there’s a high likelihood of it ignoring the chinchilla, which in turn doesn’t get so stressed by the cat’s presence.

However, if you have an overly active cat, it might not be a good idea to have these two pets live in the same house. This is the case even if the chinchilla is caged as your cat might opt to stare down at the chinchilla or reach down the cage. This will be a traumatizing experience for the chinchilla, which your cat views as prey.

How to Encourage Cats and chinchillas to Live Together?

Although cats and chinchillas might not coexist peacefully at first, there are ways of promoting this to happen. All this time, as you do this, never make the mistake of leaving these two pets unattended because your cat might start startling or hunting the chinchilla.

In addition to this, the chinchilla may choose to hide, seeking safety from the cat, thereby making it hard to locate.

Here are useful tips you should follow to ensure peaceful coexistence between these two:

  • Give your chinchilla space from the cat, which sees it as a prey. You must always do this even after these two pets are acclimatized to each other and coexist peacefully. Doing this is vital because your cat’s natural hunting instinct might kick in at any moment. Therefore, you need to make sure your chinchilla is safe in the cage placed in a different room your cat can’t go into.
  • Give your cat and chinchilla enough time to get used to each other. You should do this by giving your cat ample time to become used to the new smell while making sure your chinchilla remains in the cage. This is important because your cat might terrorize your chinchilla even when it’s in the cage by either hissing at it or staying very close to the cage.
  • Always keep an eye on your cat even after your chinchilla and cat have started getting along. This is because cats have an innate hunting instinct. You should thus monitor it at all times to make sure it doesn’t hunt down your chinchilla.
  • You should also play your chinchilla in your cat’s presence. Doing this is a sign to your cat that the chinchilla belongs to you and is a part of your family. As a result, this will make your cat less likely to attack the chinchilla.

Whereas your cat and chinchilla might eventually learn to live with each other, don’t expect them to be best friends. All you need to hope for is that your cat ignores the chinchilla.

Consequently, this lowers the stress level of your chinchilla that won’t now feel like a target, thereby leading to an environment where these two can live together in harmony.

How do you introduce a chinchilla to a cat?

You need to be careful about how you introduce your chinchilla to your cat is you really want there to be any harmonious relationship between these two creatures.

This is especially vital in the first days when you’ll be able to closely supervise your cat’s behavior around the chinchilla’s cage. Here are some steps you need to take when introducing these two pets.

  • Ensure The Chinchilla’s Cage Is Big Enough

It’s advisable to have a big enough cage for your chinchilla to jump around should they ever feel threatened by your cat. You should also consider designing hiding spots where your chinchilla can sleep or hide whenever it’s feeling tensed due to the cat’s presence.

  • Create A Suitable Sitting Area For Your Cat

You need to ensure your cat has a comfortable sitting area that’s far from the chinchilla’s cage. This means your cat gets to see your chinchilla but isn’t in a position to touch it.

You also need to make sure that this area is just as comfy as where your chinchilla is to avoid your cat from wanting to stretch inside the cage bars. Moreover, make sure there isn’t a bed positioned over the chinchilla’s cage to prevent your cat from having a post from where it might try and reach the chinchilla.

Once you do this, you can be sure that your cat won’t be able to swipe your chinchilla or its cage as they get used to each other’s company.

  • Make Sure The Chinchilla Gets Used To You First

While you might be excoriated to introduce your chinchilla to your entire family, and this includes your cat, it’s vital first to make sure it first gets used to you. If you give the chinchilla time to first get used to you and its surrounding before meeting your cat.

This gives your chinchilla enough time to be comfortable with the surroundings, with this especially crucial as they’re very social creatures.

Also note: the initial interaction shall be concise, lasting only a few minutes. You can repeat the process for a few days, gradually increasing the time frame. Please do not leave them alone at any moment as our pet’s security is our topmost priority.

Do Cats Attack chinchillas?

Yes, cats do attack chinchilla as they’re rodents, which they see as prey. Therefore, if you own these two pets, it’s crucial to have them slowly introduced to each other or else risk your cat attacking the chinchilla.

You also need to make sure your cat has a mellow personality to lower the likelihood of it attacking your chinchilla.

Over time, your cat might get used to your chinchilla and stop attacking it altogether. Nonetheless, it’s still recommended never to leave these two pets alone as you never know when your cat’s natural hunting instincts might kick in and attack your chinchilla.

How do I protect my chinchillas from cats?

The best way to safeguard your chinchilla from your cat is by placing its cage far from the reach of your cat. By doing this, you can be confident that your chinchilla doesn’t suffer any physical harm plus is safe from any stress. This ensures its overall wellbeing is guaranteed, meaning your chinchilla gets to enjoy a peaceful life.

FAQs

Can chinchillas eat cat food?

No, they can’t as they’re herbivorous, meaning they eat plenty of grasses or plants. The diet of chinchillas should ideally be high in protein and fiber while containing low moisture and fat content. This means it should comprise 35% carbohydrates, 30% fiber, 15% protein, 4% protein, and less than 3.5% fat.

Can chinchillas Get Sick from cats?

Yes, they can, as harmful bacteria can be crossed from your cat to your chinchilla, causing it a severe illness. Therefore, it’s best if you minimized contact between these two pets. Furthermore, chinchillas might suffer from stress caused by your cat, which might trigger a sickness, thereby leading to its untimely demise.

Conclusion

Pets are adorable, but having different species in your home might bring about some issues with some of them incompatible. This is usually the case for cats and chinchillas, which can be stressful for you as a pet owner. If this is a problem you were undergoing, reading this insightful article has enlightened you to understand better if cats and chinchillas can get along.