Chinchillas are interesting animals not just because of their unique appearance, but also because of their behavior. Chinchilla behavior is very complex and even the most experienced chinchilla owners will tell you that they are still learning new things about their pets.
How high can my chinchilla jump?
Chinchillas can jump up to 6 feet, not only are their jumps massive compared to their size but they are very coordinated and jump to a precise spot no matter how small or narrow the landing surface is. This allows them in the wild to escape predators and cover wide distances in search of food and shelter.
Most interesting about their behavior are the strategies they have developed in avoiding predators and surviving in the wild. You can divide these strategies into two groups: tactics in avoiding the enemy such as being mostly active during twilight hours, hiding, being very agile, quick and jumping extreme heights; and the other group, which are the defense mechanisms like spraying their enemy with urine, the “fur slip” and biting.
Small animals are usually at the bottom of the food chain, which makes them easy targets to predators. Chinchillas are prey to various types of snakes, birds of prey, mountain lions, cougars and so on. This is why they have evolved multiple defense strategies and why they have long hind legs, which make them quick, agile and excellent jumpers.
Why does my chinchilla jump?
Chinchillas’ great jumping skills help them get delicious food in the wild, such as fruits, leaves or even bird eggs that are only available on top of a tree.
Jumping is a big part of a chinchillas life not just used in the wild but also at home, through jumping your chinchillas expresses its excitement, joyfulness, contentment and the most sure sign of your pet being happy is a certain type of jumping called popcorning.
Popcorning is a certain jump-twitch that your pet chinchilla expresses when it is joyful and happy; it is always a treat to see your pet’s mid-air twerk. The term “popcorning” comes from the resemblance of the chinchilla’s movement – springing from all fours into the air and twitching like a popping corn kernel.
Chinchillas jumping safely at home
It might take some time for your new pet chinchilla to start jumping at your home, first it will investigate the floor and lower levels of furniture and shelves, then it will start jumping onto pieces of furniture and jumping off the walls.
Because jumping is very important to chinchillas, you would need a cage that will allow your pet not only to move around freely in the bottom of the cage but also to jump from shelf to shelf. This does not mean that you would have to install a 6 feet cage but your pet’s home should include multiple levels, so that it can get as high or as low as it wants to.
Chinchillas can take massive jumps and leaps so do not be surprised when your chinchilla leaps from your coffee table to the slim top rail of the next-room’s dinning chair, as we said they are very precise in jumping and landing.
Chinchillas can also jump from high places, although this behavior should be avoided at every cost as your pet might injure itself when landing, even resulting in a broken limb.
Always have a watchful eye on your pet so that playtime stays an enjoyable experience for the both of you.