How to Stop Your Chinchilla From Biting

Written by brenton shields
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How to Stop Your Chinchilla From Biting
Most chinchillas like this one will typically only bite when stressed. (Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images)

Chinchillas are small mammals known for their soft fur. They are often sold as pets, but it should be known that they are not for beginners. Chinchillas require strict care and specialised cleaning using chinchilla dust. They also may have the tendency to bite and chew. Some chinchillas will chew at their fur, giving them a raggedy appearance, while others will bite their cage wires or even their owner's fingers. Stopping a chinchilla from biting is a matter of patience and providing alternative biting options, but every animal is different and some may be more susceptible than others.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Lava blocks
  • Chew toys

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Give the chinchilla a larger cage. Biting their own fur or the wires of their cages could be a result of stress brought about by too small of an environment. A proper cage shout be 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep at the minimum for a single animal.

  2. 2

    Spread some lava blocks and chew toys around the cage. The chinchilla may be biting as a result of boredom.

  3. 3

    Blow gently into their face if they bite you. This is unpleasant for the animal but will not harm it. The action will condition the chinchilla to associate biting you with the unpleasant sensation and thus keep them from doing it.

Tips and warnings

  • Some pet shops may recommend Bitter Apple spray to ward off biting. This can be used on furniture or cage items and makes things taste unpleasant. However, according to some chinchilla owners, this method does not phase them.
  • New chinchillas may bite their owners out of curiosity, not fear. Expect a new chinchilla to bite now and then until it becomes acclimated to you.
  • Sometimes biting will be the result of fungal or bacterial infections. Bring your pet to a veterinarian immediately if you suspect that it may be sick.

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