Since you can’t be home all the time, you might’ve considered getting pal to hang out with your best friend while you’re away. It’s a well-known fact that you shouldn’t put male and female chinchillas together unless they’re fixed because of very possible chance of them mating and reproducing. What about male chinchillas though? Is it possible to place them in the same cage? Will they live happily together?
Males Have a Natural Desire to Protect Their Territory
Generally, males of most species prefer not to share their space with another male, unless your cage is a very large one. It creates competition for dominance in personal space and resources, such as food and toys. Even if they get along at first, it’s likely that over time they won’t behave as graciously toward one another. The worst possible thing that could happen is a fight, your chinchillas are able to bite hard enough to create deep puncture wounds. Eventually, they might end up fighting each other to the death. If you’re determined though, there are a few thing you can try before allowing them to share a cage together.
Perform a Trial Run
A “meet and greet” could be a helpful way to introduce your male chinchillas would be to place them in separate cages a few inches apart. Don’t put them together right away, allow them to get adjusted to the smell of their new partner. After a few days, push the cages together when you’re able to supervise them; if they seem to be curious about each other you’re on the right track. If they haven’t barked or growled, you can introduce them outside of their cages on neutral territory. This way they can meet each other up close without toys, food, and water to protect from an intruder.
Slowly Invite Them Into a New Space
Place them in a neutral area and leave their cages open. Your male chinchillas should try to get to know one another, and might try to get a feel for the inside of their separate cages. If they don’t mind sharing their cage with each other, you may now move them into a larger one. When you do, you should add multiple bowls for food and water to further prevent the possibility of your chinchillas fighting. Hold off on adding toys until they’re okay with eating and drinking together. Once they’ve accepted this, you can start bringing in new toys and fun items for them to play with.
If You Notice Trouble, Separate Them Immediately
Your chinchillas may get along for a few weeks and decide they don’t like living together. Sometimes, you can reduce their territorial behavior by neutering one or both, however this does not guarantee a successful integration. If at any point you notice your chins showing aggression such as barking or physical fighting, remove one and place them in a separate cage. It’s always much better to be safe than sorry. Look into fostering, this way you can have a temporary house guest that can be returned if it doesn’t work out.