With a little patience (and bribery) you can get your chinchilla comfortable with handling.
Time Required: variable
- Give a new chinchilla time to adjust by keeping maintenance and interaction to a minimum.
- Move slowly and speak softly around your chinchilla.
- Limit interaction to the evening as that is when chinchillas are naturally more active and therefore more receptive.
- Initially sit next to cage to acclimate chinchilla to your presence.
- Offer chinchilla a treat (a small piece of a raisin) when it approaches cage bars.
- Once taking treats from your hand through the bars of the cage, offer treat through open cage door.
- Once taking treats this way, place treat on open hand to entice chinchilla to step up onto hand to retrieve treat.
- Place treat on forearm and allow chinchilla to climb onto hand.
- When your chinchilla is comfortable with your hand, lean in toward cage and allow chinchilla to climb onto arms, and keep offering treats.
- Once chinchilla is comfortable climbing on you, try gently placing hand over back to pet chinchilla.
- Avoid chasing or grabbing chinchilla to get it back into cage: allow it to hop back on its own (entice with a treat) if at all possible.
- Handle your chinchilla regularly to keep him or her well socialized.
- Getting a 3-4 month old chinchilla that has been handled will make taming much easier.
- Use lots of treats and work in small steps; make sure your chinchilla is comfortable with each step before proceeding to next.
- It is best not to allow your chinchilla freedom in the room until he/she is used to handling.