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[P]
Chinchillas: The perfect pets for modern people

By theboz in Culture
Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 12:25:27 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

When most people think of pets, such things come to mind as dogs, cats, goldfish, hamsters, parakeets, and other common animals. Some people may also think of more unusual animals such as wolves or macaws. However, in our society we strive for the unique. Many people have been known to have pet pythons, lizards, and even some large cats. These animals are very high maintenance and require a lot more resources and dedication than traditional pets. However, there is one pet out there that is unusual, yet familiar, and easy to care for all at the same time. This creature is known as the chinchilla.


Chinchillas were originally found on the slopes of the Andes in South America. They were named after the Chincha tribe who hunted them for their exquisite fur and for their meat. Their fur eventually became the royal clothing of the ancient Incas, and commoners were forbidden to wear it. The name "chinchilla" was not given to the animals until the Spaniards came and discovered the animals that the Chinchas had so prized.

On first glance, a chinchilla looks like a result of genetic research. They appear to be part mouse, part rabbit, and part squirrel. Touching a chinchilla's soft fur brings home the understanding of why the fur of these animals was prized by the ancient Chinchas. Their fur is some of the softest of all pets. They are also very mellow and don't mind being handled by humans once they mature. Also, they can live anywhere from their teens up to about 25, so these pets can be a good companion for kids since they often live longer than dogs.

Caring for a chinchilla is very easy. They require most of the same things as hamsters, guinea pigs, and other similar pets. Simply provide them with their own special food, water, bedding, a cage, and play with them when you can and they will be happy. One unusual thing is that they like to roll around in dust. It helps keep their fur soft, so you can buy special chinchilla dust to really make your pet happy.

Chinchillas range in prices from moderate to expensive. You can find some for as low as $75, all the way up to nearly $400. However, you may be able to find one cheaper if it belongs to someone who either no longer wants to care for one, or they had two that accidentally bred. It helps to keep your eyes out for a deal. One dealer with a decent reputation can be found here, here, or here but there are many out there and it's good to shop around.

So now you have all the information you need to go out there and buy a chinchilla. They are cute, easy to take care of, and unusual pets that can bring you years of fun. Join in on the chinchilla club and see what owners there are saying if you want further information.

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Related Links
o first glance
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o here
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o Also by theboz


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Chinchillas: The perfect pets for modern people | 67 comments (55 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
but don't you have to feed them? (nt) (1.90 / 10) (#5)
by khallow on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 01:55:31 PM EST


Stating the obvious since 1969.

And clean them ? (N/T) (2.00 / 5) (#6)
by Betcour on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 02:01:45 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I hear they need sex as well (3.12 / 8) (#7)
by Slobodan Milosevic on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 02:03:07 PM EST

nt

---
"Where else do you have deposed Eastern European dictators commenting on the politics of open source? Nowhere, that's where."
--grouse on why he loves kuro5hin.org
[ Parent ]

Easily fixed (2.33 / 3) (#37)
by Hektor on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 01:37:42 PM EST

Just use duct tape ...

[ Parent ]
Apparently... (1.00 / 2) (#53)
by decaf_dude on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 10:15:01 AM EST

They're better in that, too, than hamsters: they don't split easily ;)

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
Split? (N/T) (none / 0) (#64)
by cstokes on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:52:48 AM EST



[ Parent ]
When you fuck them... (n/t) (none / 0) (#65)
by decaf_dude on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 12:51:22 PM EST


--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
also (2.66 / 6) (#8)
by pb on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 02:08:55 PM EST

Guinea pigs make wonderful pets, much like chinchillas.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
Loud (3.00 / 2) (#11)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 03:24:25 PM EST

I have to disagree.. I find guinea pigs to be loud and messy. They make this squeaking noise all the time. They're also not the brightest of animals.. basically they're noisy rabbits.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
not all of them... (3.00 / 2) (#17)
by pb on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 04:34:19 PM EST

Some guinea pigs are very silent, while others are very noisy; they vary greatly from pig to pig.  Similarly, some are very skittish, while others can be quite friendly.  They have distinctly individual personalitis, and they're incredibly cute.

They certainly can be messy, but they're quite docile compared to rabbits, which can be rather pesky.  However, guinea pigs are very good at what they do, which generally involves eating, hiding, and finding safe paths between the two places. (this is how they survive in the wild--memorizing the lay of the land so they can quickly run between their food source and their hidey hole in case of predators)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Every time I hear "Chinchilla"... (3.33 / 6) (#9)
by graal on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 02:43:57 PM EST

I think of the brown Cookie Monster in "Hardware Wars".

--
For Thou hast commanded, and so it is, that every
inordinate affection should be its own punishment.
-- St. Augustine (Confessions, i)

I think this is a really good article (4.81 / 11) (#12)
by jann on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 03:27:02 PM EST

but it could be extended a bit. Consider a re-post including practicle chinchilla recipies, creative chinchilla cooking etc.

Not to mention (4.50 / 4) (#36)
by rusty on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 12:12:06 PM EST

Some links to coat and stole sewing patterns, so you and your descendents can love your chinchilla for a long, long time.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Cats (1.77 / 9) (#13)
by godix on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 03:39:54 PM EST

Can they kill cats? Dogs will get rid off neighborhood cats for you, can this thing? If so I'll take 10 please.

No (3.50 / 2) (#19)
by DarkZero on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 04:47:55 PM EST

A chinchilla is a rodent that is roughly one third the size of a cat.

[ Parent ]
well... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
by cstokes on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:50:42 AM EST

...gremlins are about 1/10 the size of humans yet they killed many a human in both of their movies. (Sorry these things just remind me of gremlins for some reason.) Cameron

[ Parent ]
maybe... (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by cashrefundman on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 05:25:33 PM EST

the cat could choke on it when eating its head.

[ Parent ]
Yelling 'ad' is the new 'troll!' (2.75 / 12) (#14)
by Work on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 03:52:28 PM EST

Whats with these people calling this an ad? If I write about a particular thing im a fan of, then link to a site which happens to sell said thing, does that make me a spammer?

Come on people. Get over your irrational advertising hatred. It's clouding your judgement.

Is replying to editorial comments in topical...? (2.00 / 1) (#30)
by haflinger on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 12:45:41 AM EST

See my rant.

For the record. There's nothing wrong with advertising. If you hate advertising, leave k5, it's a part of the site. However, advertising is advertising, stories are stories. They are two different things. This is not hard to comprehend.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

my experience with a chinchilla. (4.89 / 29) (#15)
by spidergirl on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 03:53:00 PM EST

Mm, chinchillas .. tasty little things.

Kidding, really.

Anyway, I owned a chinchilla for a few months and thought I'd share my own experiences;

Cons (bad news first):

1. They shit a -lot-. I am still finding shit behind beds, couches, et cetera. So, yes, you can have them run around, but be prepared to pay the price. On the other hand, they're hard, dry little pellets.

2. Their scream. It sounds like someone mauling a squeaky-toy while strangling a cat, through an airhorn. They scream at the smell of blood, too. So for you other chicks, move the cage out of your room every month or so ;).

3. Nocturnal. They will nap all day and refuse to interact with you, so they can run around their cage and squeal at night. Another good reason to not keep the cage in the same room you sleep in.

4. Shedding. If the bugger doesn't completely trust you, it will shed massive clumps of that soft, fluffy fur when you attempt to pick it up. Or whenever it feels like it.

5. St-u-u-u-u-pid. They will run into things and hurt themselves, trust me. About three weeks into owning the critter (before I learned it was a -really- bad idea to let it run amok in the house), it charged full-blast into something? on my floor and I ended up with a one-eyed chinchilla. Just think about the joys of giving a frightened rodent eyedrops and medicine three times a day, for six weeks.

6. Chewing. They need hay, and blocks of wood to chew on. If you let them out of their cage, no matter HOW much you think you have them trained, they will chew you furniture, and they love the taste of books.

7. Escape artists. See all of the above for why this could be a problem.

8. Long life. Will you still want this monster a few years down the road? Unlike rats or mice, chinchillas can easily live 5 years.

Pros:

1. Relatively easy maintenance. You feed them hay (yes, alfalfa hay) and pellets.

2. Practically no smell, from the feces and urine.

3. Fairly inexpensive to keep, despite initial high costs.

4. They don't get fleas or ticks. No joke; their fur is too fine and densely packed. So when the bubonic plague returns, we can trust the chinchillas.

5. Cute .. fuzzy. They can be quite affectionate after they get to know you.

Other notes: Don't use cat litter with those 'smell good' crystals - the chinchillas will eat the crystals. Not good.

The dust-gray chinchillas are the 'standard' types, and by far the cheapest. The exotic colors can run easily into hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
My chinchilla was a gray male, dubbed Dante. I bought him for $40 from a family moving away, and ended up selling him to the caretaker of a day-care center several months later, when my family insisted I get rid of him.

I hope anyone thinking about purchasing one will consider these points before getting one ;). Dante was an interesting experience, after raising sheep, cats, parakeets, rats, ducks, chickens, emus, llamas, and all the other animals I can't remember offhand.

I will second the noctournal and screaming part (4.40 / 10) (#24)
by Skippy on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 07:29:53 PM EST

Many ages ago when I was in high school I cared for the schools chinchillas over the summer. The little fuckers will wait till 11:00 or 11:30 and then proceed to produce the most god-awful racket you've ever heard. It sounds like maniacal evil laughter on helium. Scared the bejeesus out of me the first time they did it.

# I am now finished talking out my ass about things that I am not qualified to discuss. #
[ Parent ]
Mogwai? (n/t) (1.00 / 1) (#45)
by jaymz168 on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 09:56:42 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I never owned a chinchilla, (3.00 / 3) (#42)
by lesha on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 06:40:47 PM EST

but a have a girlfriend with similar traits.

[ Parent ]
I think it was just yours... (none / 0) (#54)
by spiralx on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:08:37 PM EST

... none of ours have been that bad.

They scream at the smell of blood, too. So for you other chicks, move the cage out of your room every month or so ;).

None of ours ever did this when myself and my ex had them in our room. In fact, while they do occasionally call out most of them are reasonably silent. Well, apart from the crashing noises as they ping round their cage at 2 in the morning ;)

They will run into things and hurt themselves, trust me.

None of ours ever have...

Escape artists. See all of the above for why this could be a problem.

They've never even come close to escaping from our cages, which are proper chinchilla cages. They are tricky little buggers when you let them out, being so fast and jumpy, but in their cages? Not a problem.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

can we breed them (none / 0) (#60)
by Shren on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:49:23 PM EST

to take on the ecological niche of rats?

[ Parent ]
May be a generational thing. . . (3.00 / 5) (#20)
by IHCOYC on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 06:25:27 PM EST

. . . but chinchilla farming (for the fur) was apparently a well known get-rich-quick scheme maybe forty years ago. It came up occasionally in the sitcom reruns I grew up with.

The USA seems so awash in even more dubious schemes today that the joke is probably DOA today.
--
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelćis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy

I believe... (none / 0) (#56)
by spiralx on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:20:17 PM EST

... it still is. Chinchilla ranches do exist, probably becuase chins have the softest fur of anything I've ever felt. A quick search on google gives this and this which would indicate the fur trade is still alive and well.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

I used to own a chinchilla (3.80 / 5) (#21)
by bobjim on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 06:52:49 PM EST

It was free, a young one from my Aunt's breeding pair. I called her Smoky (being grey), but she ended up being called Chinky (not entirely PC, but what the hey). I was too young to really appreciate her. Plus, I had lots of books in my rooms. Books around a chinchilla end up with many, many teeth-marks.

One day we were playing with her. She was on my bed and she had what looked like an epileptic fit. I don't think this is very common with chinchillas, but it was the most frightening thing to watch. After jerking around for a while, she'd pass out and half an hour later she'd be fine.

My parents didn't like the gnawed skirting boards, furniture and walls. And I didn't really have time to look after her properly, so eventually we gave her away. For a few weeks I couldn't sleep because there was no sound of her bouncing around her cage (it was, however, a big cage).

When I have a house with a room I don't mind being chewed up, I'm going to get myself another chinchilla, because aside from all the problems those teeth can cause, the sand everywhere after bathing and the little, hard, brown pellets everywhere... aside from all that, they're really, really nice pets.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.

more offensive chinchilla names (none / 0) (#59)
by Shren on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:46:47 PM EST

Earmuff.

[ Parent ]
Baaah, DOGS RULE! (2.00 / 4) (#22)
by thelizman on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 07:02:29 PM EST

Chinchillas are okay if you like half-rat/half-rabbit mutants for pets (and they're yummy too). But give me a good dog like a Rottweiler or an English Bull. Actually, give me one of each. I miss my English Bull...*sniff*. One day, I'll die, and he'll be sitting there waiting for me...drooling profusely, but waiting nonetheless.


--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
Dogs suck (4.00 / 3) (#38)
by Hektor on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 01:49:19 PM EST

No - if I could get ANY pet I wanted, it'd be a female sibirian tiger - the biggest feline today.

Sick and tired of the neighbours dog, that comes into your garden to take a dump? With a tiger you don't have to worry any more, and it won't need to be fed for a week.

Sick and tired of the Jehovas Witnesses, that drops by every few weeks? With a tiger you don't have to worry any more, and it won't need to be fed for a month.

Can't get up in the morning? Train your tiger to expect food every morning at 6:30 am, and you WILL get up or be eaten.

Don't want to shave every morning? Dip your face in cream every morning and have the tiger lick it off.

And it's the ultimate pick-up line ... "wanna se my tiger in my bed?"

[ Parent ]

Heh...go for it... (3.00 / 2) (#39)
by thelizman on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 03:28:15 PM EST

You likely be shit out the other end of that tiger one day when, having spent all your money trying to feed the tiger and still not sating her, she looks at you like meat on the bone...well...you are meat on the bone...nevermind...
--

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
[ Parent ]
Actually... (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by bobjim on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 09:31:04 PM EST

Female Siberian tigers whilst huge, are not in fact the largest modern feline. Ligers tend towards giganticism, can stand 12 feet tall on their hind legs and weigh half a ton. They are also the answer to the question "What do you get if you cross a male lion with a female tiger?" Admittedly they're not very many of them around, but they're still damn cool.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
[ Parent ]
Hmm ... (3.00 / 1) (#46)
by Hektor on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 10:17:39 PM EST

I was under the impression, that Ligers weren't able to breed, also, since they don't really share habitat anywhere else than zoos, I have a hard time imagining that there would be any tiger/lion hybrids in the wild ... but I could be wrong.

[ Parent ]
It's complicated... (3.00 / 1) (#50)
by bobjim on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 07:52:49 AM EST

Ligers can't breed with other ligers or tigons, but they can breed with tigers and lions producing ti-ligers and li-ligers. I don't believe that ti-ligers and li-ligers can breed, but this is an area of science that is classified unethical, so no-one really knows too much about it.

Interestingly, it's possible, albeit quite speculative, that Lion/Leopard crosses may rarely exist in the wild.

All the cool science is unethical. I'd like science to be used to create hideous monstrosities that were never meant to exist. For my entertainment. And then set them to battle in a special arena. It'd be like robot wars, except more organic and expensive.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
[ Parent ]

Why monsters? (1.00 / 1) (#52)
by Hektor on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 09:00:00 AM EST

We all know, that what we want is a hybrid of Sarah Michelle Gellar and a tiger ... *purr* ...

[ Parent ]
I think I'd prefer: (none / 0) (#61)
by bobjim on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 06:28:29 PM EST

Alysson Hannigan and a lemur.

Don't ask me why.
--
"I know your type quite well. Physically weak and intellectually stunted. Full of resentment against women." - Medham, talking about me.
[ Parent ]

Not so much fun (3.00 / 1) (#48)
by cpt kangarooski on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:28:14 AM EST

My cousin has a male Siberian tiger, actually. It's just one of very many unusual animals at his house -- he's also got lemurs (they bite), monitor lizards, and I think a bobcat. It's all related to his job, raising these things so that they can later be rented out to movie studios and such. Anyway, the tiger is dangerous. You can't play with it, since it'll form a habit of doing so, and disembowel someone when it's full grown. And even at a young age (last time I saw it it was the size of a small dog), it liked to be given stuffed animals to play with. Where play is defined as ripping the head off and pulling out the stuffing. I'd suggest passing on the tiger. Find something that doesn't think of you as its next meal or a chew toy. ;)

--
All my posts including this one are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.
[ Parent ]
I won't be eaten (1.00 / 1) (#49)
by Hektor on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:44:19 AM EST

I simply don't taste that good. This message was brought to you by the opponents of bathing!

[ Parent ]
Those are cute (1.60 / 5) (#23)
by skim123 on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 07:22:03 PM EST

But not nearly as cute as my dog. Of course, while dogs can be so cute they can also be quite gross.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


Chinchillas are dogs? (2.25 / 4) (#25)
by MactireDearg on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 08:43:05 PM EST

Really? I'm from the Southwest and ran into tons of them growing up. Always thought of them as rats, especially after all the news stories about them getting eaten by snakes. ;-)

Kidding, well, half-kidding anyways. Personally I prefer my dog, he's a 135lb Greater Swiss Mountain Dog.

If you must make mistakes, it is more to your credit to make a new one each time. - Unknown

Are they like hamsters? (1.95 / 22) (#26)
by Patrick Bateman on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 09:36:33 PM EST

Specifically, can I tape up a chinchilla, slather him in axle grease, and shove him up my ass?

---
I have to return some videotapes.

Not quite. (2.00 / 1) (#40)
by jtown@punk.net on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 05:12:34 PM EST

You're thinking of gerbils.

[ Parent ]
gah (1.87 / 8) (#28)
by Estanislao Martínez on Sat Jul 27, 2002 at 11:51:48 PM EST

these things stink like hell.

--em

Uh huh (none / 0) (#57)
by spiralx on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:22:23 PM EST

Out of all of the animals we've ever owned, chinchillas smell the least. Are you sure you just weren't smelling one that wasn't being cleaned regularly?

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Uhh (3.33 / 3) (#32)
by Funky Fresh on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 02:00:57 AM EST

What's the fun in having a pet that sleeps all day, and rattles around in it's cage at night when you're sleeping?  I really don't get it.

Sleep? At night? (3.66 / 3) (#33)
by axxeman on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 05:32:29 AM EST

I suppose you could, theorethically. But why would anyone???

Being or not being married isn't going to stop bestiality or incest. --- FlightTest
[ Parent ]

Anyone with a 9-5 job, for instance (n/t) (3.33 / 3) (#41)
by bwulf on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 05:13:39 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Some corrections (4.00 / 3) (#43)
by Rogerborg on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 07:14:40 PM EST

    One unusual thing is that they like to roll around in dust. It helps keep their fur soft, so you can buy special chinchilla dust to really make your pet happy.

Some substitutions:

  • For "unusual" substitute "vital"
  • For "like" substitute "have"
  • For "It helps" substitute "It's absolutely required to"
  • For "can" substitute "must"
  • For "happy" substitute "sane and alive"

Or you could just wait for little Squiggles to start looking and acting like a greasy rabid rat before panicking and rushing him to the vet.


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

Definitely (none / 0) (#55)
by spiralx on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:15:17 PM EST

Without a regular (two or three times a week) roll in the dust bath their fur becomes matted and greasy, and they will become miserable and prone to illness. Our second chin was five years old and had been with people that hadn't taken care of her at all... we practically had to shave her bald when we got her in order to get all of the clumps of matter fur out.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Chinchilla too much? Try a hedgehog! (3.50 / 2) (#47)
by pridkett on Sun Jul 28, 2002 at 11:07:01 PM EST

I looked at chinchilla's, they appear to be a lot of work, more work than I'd prefer to do.  But I still wanted a pet, so what did I get?  A hedgehog, and then three years later, another one.  So now I've got two wonderful African Pygmy Hedgehogs.

Pluses:

Very Low Maintence - Just feed them, clip their toenails monthly and clean their cage.

Chick Magnet - It's amazing seeing how fast ladies flock to these things.

Extremely Resilient - They're not affected by most poisons and rarely get sick.

Potty Trainable - I didn't know this when I got Brutus (my first pog), but Simba is potty trained and it saves a lot of work.

Portable - I can carry them around in my pocket.   Many people have "hedgiebags" to keep their hedgehogs in.

Bad things:

Many people are allergic to them, I happen to be one of them.  Fortunately it's only when they drive their quills into me, which means I need to wash or I get a rash.

Will almost always poop immediately after being woken up.  If you think about it, most people go to the bathroom right after awaking.

Very likely to go blind.  I've heard of dozens of people who have had pogs develop cataracts.  Brutus has cataracts right now.  Fortunately they don't need their eyes that much, being nocturnal.
--
Read this story.

these things bond to thier owners (3.50 / 2) (#51)
by Shren on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 08:19:58 AM EST

Which is, I guess, a good thing, untill you go abroad for a few months. Then it's a bad thing. A friend of mine's chinchilla practically mutiliated itself while she was gone, in repeated fits of furry grief.

Chins (none / 0) (#58)
by spiralx on Mon Jul 29, 2002 at 03:29:33 PM EST

Currently in our dining room we have seven chinchillas, all very cute. Some of them we bought, some were rescued from abusive homes, a couple are ones we bred. They do make great pets, and have a lot of advantages - they don't smell at all, they don't trigger allergic reactions in people with problems with things like cats, they're not at all vicious if handled properly, and they're incredibly easy to clean - with a proper cage you have a tray underneath the bottom of the cage which you cover with newspaper and can just slide out and empty every week or so.

However they are noisy at night due to pinging around their cages, and they do live for an awful long time (if you see that as a disadvantage) and when you let them out they will chew anything and everything.

But they're incredibly sweet and when they've been handled properly they become incredibly tame and will sit on your lap (or shoulder in the case of one of our chins) for hours. Stroking them is a luxury - I've never felt anything as soft as chinchilla fur, or even close :)

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey

Don't breed and buy, while millions die!!!!!!!!!!! (none / 0) (#62)
by gr00vey on Tue Jul 30, 2002 at 11:04:46 AM EST

www.aspca.org www.petfinder.com

Cthulhu Does Not Like Cute Furry Things (none / 0) (#67)
by CthulhuCravesSouls on Wed Jul 31, 2002 at 04:16:35 PM EST

Let me just say that I do not like cute furry things, however, chinchillas have a particularly nasty habit which I do approve of--the inability to be housebroken. These little bundles of love will poop and pee on everything, and if that is ok by you, then by all means I encourage you to consider a more macho pet, like a Hound of Tindalos or a Great Old One.

Chinchillas: The perfect pets for modern people | 67 comments (55 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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