That peculiar creature with cute little arms, perky ears and a squirrely tail is none other than a chinchilla
Guinea pig – um – squirrel? No! Chinchillas make amazing pets and have some eccentric behaviors to match their eccentric appearance. Here’s a look some common “chin” behaviors.
1. Twilight Fan
For chinchillas, day is night and night is day – as in, their normal sleep cycle has them sleeping most of the day and awake from dusk until dawn. In the wild, chinchillas live in burrows or in rock crevices, places that offer safe havens for them to take cover so they can get some stress-free sleep. In your home, a pet chinchilla will appreciate an enclosed sleep area, such as a tunnel or hammock, which keeps way prying eyes!
2. Eyes Wide Open
To say that chinchillas are light sleepers is an understatement. Not only are they likely to startle at the slightest noise, they are inclined to sleep with their eyes open, especially in a new environment. (Sleeping with eyes open … oh how that would have come in handy in some of my school classes back in the day!) If your chinchilla appears to be staring at you but is in a sleep pose, assume he’s snoozing and let him be.
3. Likely to leap
A chinchilla might not look athletic, but this little critter can, in fact, be a sprightly jumper. Just how far? Up to 6 feet! Take that into consideration as you go about chinchilla-proofing your house – cords resting on countertops might not be safe from a chinchilla nibbling on them.
4. Dust-bathing beauties.
Chinchillas don’t take water baths like people and other pets do. Their fur is much too dense for water and takes so long to dry that it retains moisture close to the skin, which can make it a hotbed for fungal growth. Continue reading