Do Chinchillas Like to Be Held and Cuddled? How to Pet Them

A lot of questions are surely bugging you the moment you decide that you want to own a chinchilla. Do chinchillas make good pets? Are they cuddly? Do chinchillas like to be held and cuddled?

Without a doubt, these little furry pets look so soft making us all think they love being cuddled. Sorry to disappoint you, but they generally don’t. Nevertheless, like any other animal, it depends on their personality and your technique of making them comfortable around you.

Let’s take a look at the recommended ways how to properly handle your chinchilla and be the best pet owner one can have. 

Do chinchillas like to cuddle

Chinchillas are social creatures that enjoy the company of their fellow chinchillas. They also like to be held and petted by their owners. However, chinchillas do not like to be cuddled in the traditional sense. When a chinchilla is held, it should be in a way that allows the chinchilla to move around freely. Chinchillas should also not be held for extended periods of time as they can get stressed out.

Do Chinchillas Like to be Held?

Chinchillas have soft fur, making them look like cuddly little creatures that love nothing else but food and snuggles. However, this type of rodent is very skittish, and being held is not their favorite thing.

Although some chinchillas may develop attachments to their owners especially after being away from their mom, and after they have adjusted to their new home, they are still naturally not lap pets. However, this can change depending on your chinchilla’s personality and temperament. At first, they would not recognize your smell and would hesitate to get close to you as this is instinctual. Also, because of human size, they would think that we are predators. The right technique for handling your pet should be learned so getting them playful around you will no longer be a problem. In most instances, some chinchillas take several weeks before they get comfortable with you.

Innately, chinchillas have fragile ribs. Their delicate bone structure needs gentle hands following precautionary measures rightfully. Picking up your pet has to be done by lifting them by the bases of their tails carefully and gently. 

How to hold a chinchilla safely

Chinchillas are delicate creatures, so it’s important to handle them with care. When picking up your chinchilla, support its entire body with your hands. Avoid holding the chinchilla by its tail, as this can cause injury.

To hold a chinchilla correctly, cup your hands around its body and support its hind legs with your fingers. Gently bring the chinchilla close to your chest and hold it there. If you need to put the chinchilla down, do so carefully and never let it fall from a height.

How to increase chinchillas’ cuddle time

There are a few things you can do to increase the amount of cuddle time you have with your chinchilla. First, try to handle them regularly so they get used to being held. Secondly, offer them treats when you hold them so they associate being held with something positive. Finally, be patient and give them time to adjust to being held if they seem hesitant at first.

Signs you should not cuddle to chinchilla

Your chinchilla should not be cuddled if it is showing any of the following signs:



-Baring its teeth

-Flattening its ears against its head

-Lunging forward or trying to escape your grasp

These are all clear signs that your chinchilla is feeling threatened and does not want to be held. By learning about chinchillas’ sounds you may understand your chinchilla’s language and bond easily with them. If you insist on holding your chinchilla despite these warnings, you run the risk of being bitten or scratched.

Do Chinchillas Like to Be Cuddled

Do Chinchillas Like to be Petted?

While chinchillas do not generally like being held, being petted can be an exception. Although personality differences and prior experiences may play a factor in this behavior, they surely enjoy a little bit of attention in some parts of their bodies. 

After getting a chinchilla, it may not be comfortable with rubs yet especially when it has been looked after by an inattentive person or has been in the pet shop for a long time. It’s best to wait for your pet to do the move before you pet them. Never force them to be affectionate with you for this may either hurt them or make them scared. Observe your pet’s behavior to know the best time to give it a little rub. 

How to pet a chinchilla

Chinchillas are delicate creatures, so it’s important to handle them with care. When petting a chinchilla, stroke its fur gently with your fingertips. You can also try tickling its chin or rubbing its belly, but be careful not to touch its genital area as this can be perceived as a threat. If the chinchilla seems uncomfortable, stop petting it and let it go.

Where Do Chinchillas Like to be Petted?

Among all the spots possible to receive some soft rubs and brushes, they enjoy being petted on their backs, the back of their heads, and around their necks the most. For some chinchillas, chin rub is their favorite too.

You may explore by gently touching them on certain parts. Belly rubs can be a great option too, however, chinchillas know how delicate they are so they may resist getting one from you.

What matters is that only give them touches when they give you a hint, and never force yourself into petting them when they don’t want to.

Final Words

By simply brushing their fur, giving them gentle rubs, and cuddling them, we can show how much we love our pets. But this isn’t always the case for our chinchillas. 

Making them want to be held and cuddled is a long process that requires you to be gentle and patient. For the most part, it compels you to respect their personal space as well.

Affection may come in different forms. The best thing to do before assuming that they need any of it is to learn how to read your chinchilla’s body language. Never force them to be affectionate towards you and always respect the messages they send.