Do Chinchillas Like To Be Held? Learn The Proper Manner

Chinchillas are adorable pets that love socialization. However, they are actually rodents that are prey in the wild. So naturally, they are often scared of humans. As a pet owner, you must wonder do chinchillas like to be held.

People often say that chinchillas don’t like to be held. But it is not completely true. They love to be held once they are familiar with human affection. At first, they might be scared but when you train them and build trust, they’ll love your handling.

Do Chinchillas Like To Be Held?

Do Chinchillas Like To Be Held

Chinchilla rodents are becoming more popular as house pets. Pet owners are likely to hold and cuddle with them. But they may not feel good about handling it at first. They are naturally skittish, shy, and scared easily.

These are exotic pets but more friendly and sociable. That’s the reason; chinchillas love to be held and human affection. Even they get distressed if they do not get proper attention from close people.

Chinchilla will enjoy being held in how they meet people at the first stage. If they are socialized around humans from a young age, they will be cuddly and love to be held. Their behavior mostly depends on how they are treated earlier.

Chinchillas become good friends with the people who take care of them. But you need to build a trusting relationship with them. They’ll shy and take some time to get used to you. The best thing is to let them roam around and explore the house. Once they are comfortable with you, they will love to be held and cuddled.

How To Build Trust With My Chinchilla?

Petting a chinchilla is more adorable, thanks to their affectionate nature. These furry creatures are quite different from other small exotic pets, as they often seek out your attention. They are naturally friendly, but it’s essential to start petting them with care. You need to build trust between you and the chinchilla.

So avoid sudden movements when you approach them. Instead, let your chinchilla take the lead by coming to you first. Remember, you’re much larger than your pet, so giving it the choice to initiate contact can help ease any fears it may have.

Chinchillas have a prey behavior, which means they don’t like to be chased or cornered. If they scurry away when you try to pet it, don’t force the issue. You need to be patient and let them feel safe. For future interactions, try using a treat to entice your chinchilla to come closer to you.

Once they trust you enough to approach, you can start gentle petting. Focus on stroking their head and back, as these areas are generally safe for petting. By starting with the head and back, you’re more likely to have a positive and enjoyable petting experience.

How To Train A Chinchilla To Be Held?

Building trust is easier than being held. Chinchillas are not dangerous rather they are affectionate who requires some care with patience. However, with the right approach, you can build trust and create a positive bond.

To begin the process, start by allowing your chinchilla to become familiar with your scent. Place your hand gently inside the chinchilla’s cage without any intention of touching it. This simple act communicates to your chinchilla that you are not a threat. It’s essential to be patient during this phase, as it sets the foundation for trust.

Then offer it a treat. Treats go a long way in demonstrating that you are not only safe but also a friendly presence. Gradually, as you provide treats, your chinchilla will begin to close you with positive experiences, reducing fear.

After that, you can attempt to pick it up. If your chinchilla runs away or seems scared, avoid forcing it to be held. Instead, try again the next day, continuing to offer treats as a sign of goodwill.

When your chinchilla allows you to pick it up, keep these sessions short at first, just a couple of minutes. Always set it down if it becomes frightened. Continue to reward your chinchilla with treats during these interactions.

Over time, as trust builds, you’ll find that your chinchilla becomes more relaxed and accepting of being held. Remember always to handle your chinchilla gently and provide treats as a reward for its cooperation and trust.

Don’t Break Their Trust!

Having a chinchilla as a pet is a wonderful experience, but it comes with its challenges. Chinchillas usually hold things as per their likings. In this event build trust and deal softly with them to keep the things in right place.

They are naturally skittish creatures. To build a strong bond with them, reduce the space in which you interact with it. A playpen can be a helpful tool for this purpose. A smaller space forces your chinchilla to spend more time with you and strengthen your bond.

Chinchillas live for a long time, and there’s no rush to build trust. Forcing them can harm the relationship. Moreover, you need to ensure your chinchilla has a comfortable and happy environment in its cage. A proper-sized cage filled with toys and accessories can keep them entertained and engaged.

Communication is key. So speak to your chinchilla in a friendly and inviting tone. They will become accustomed to your voice over time and less frightened when you handle them.

Building trust takes time, and each chinchilla is different. Some may become cuddly quickly, while others may take months. Stay patient, provide excellent care, and never give up on your chinchilla.

How To Hold A Chinchilla Properly?

A chinchilla may look easy to hold, but it needs to feel safe and comfortable in your hands. When approaching them, it’s crucial to do so calmly and without sudden movements. Quick motions can startle them, making them reluctant to be picked up. Maintain a composed and inviting demeanor as you approach your furry friend.

Before attempting to picking up, it’s a good idea to pet them gently. This helps relax and allows them to become more comfortable with your presence. Be mindful not to overdo it, and always respect your chinchilla’s boundaries. If they show signs of discomfort, give them space.

When you feel that your chinchilla is ready to be held, use both hands to support them fully. It’s acceptable to use the base of the tail as a grabbing spot, but do so gently. They generally do not bite, but they might try to escape if feel uncomfortable. By using both hands, you can stabilize your chinchilla and bring it close to your chest for added support and comfort.

Don’t Hold Them From Tail And Neck

Handling chinchillas requires a gentle and respectful approach. Don’t hold them from the tail. It is a technique of holding behind the tail that farm breeders are used to. These breeders are more focused on fur presentation rather than building deeper connections with the animals.

It’s important to note that catching chinchillas in this manner is not recommended, especially for pet owners. This approach does not foster a positive relationship with the chinchilla. Holding a chinchilla by its tail is not akin to holding a human’s hand.

For chinchillas, their tails are an intimate part of their bodies, much like a human’s neck. Just as we might feel uncomfortable if a stranger touched our neck, they also experience distress when held by the tail.

You also shouldn’t hold them on the neck. Chinchillas become much more frightened when held by the neck compared to being held by the tail. The only exception is when a mother chinchilla transfers her young in this manner.

Why Does My Chinchilla Shake When I Hold Him?

Chinchilla shaking during handling is a clear indicator of fear or discomfort. If you notice they are shaking every time you hold it, try reducing the frequency and duration of your holding sessions. This gives them a break and prevents overwhelming fear.

As they become more comfortable, you can slowly increase the duration and frequency of holding sessions. Try to understand their body language and when they want to back off.

Never force your chinchilla to be held when they are visibly scared. It’s essential to prioritize their pace and respect their boundaries. Thus, you can build trust gradually.


When it comes to handling chinchillas, it’s essential to prioritize their willingness, comfort, and trust. They can feel fear or discomfort when you hold them.

Since chinchillas can be socialized, they will love to be held sooner or later. So you have to make positive approaches every time to make a good bond.

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