Do Chinchillas Need to Be in Pairs? {How to Pair Chinchillas}

We had one chinchilla and needed to know how to pair chinchillas because we quickly brought home another. Do chinchillas need to be in pairs?

We wondered this question for a while and discussed it with members of the chinchilla community. We received mixed results.

So we decided to write an article about everything we learned to explain, “Do chinchillas need to be in pairs?”

Do Chinchillas Need to Be in Pairs?

No. Chinchillas do not need to be in pairs, but they would benefit from the added attention and sociability that they are used to in the wild.

Chinchillas live in groups in their natural habitat and by getting more than one chinchilla as a friend or family member, their overall health and behavior may improve in many cases, but it is not absolutely essential to do so.

Can Male and Female Chinchillas Be Kept Together

Male and female chinchillas can be kept together, but caution should be exercised to prevent unwanted breeding. Chinchillas are social animals and can live in pairs or small groups.

If you decide to house a male and female chinchilla together, you need to be prepared for the possibility of them reproducing.

Chinchillas have a relatively long gestation period of approximately 111 days, and they can breed throughout the year. Unless you have the intention and resources to care for chinchilla babies (kits), it is strongly recommended to keep males and females separate or have them neutered or spayed to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

If you do choose to keep a male and female chinchilla together without the intent to breed, closely monitor their behavior. Introduce them gradually and ensure they have enough space, hiding spots, and separate feeding stations to minimize potential conflicts.

It’s important to watch for signs of aggression, dominance, or any signs of stress or discomfort in either chinchilla. If any issues arise, it may be necessary to separate them for their well-being.

Can You Have Just 1 Chinchilla?

Yes. You can have just one chinchilla, but you must also provide enough caregiving and attention as the primary family member. Many animals enjoy close contact and chinchillas are no stranger to cuddles and affection.

Some chinchillas may want to have more space and privacy. You will find out more about your chinchilla’s personality with time. They will dictate what they want from you.

Sometimes they will approach you and other times, they will wish to back away. You should provide them with adequate hiding spaces and enough space for them to feel comfortable.

How Many Chinchillas Should I Get?

Chinchillas can live alone, but if you wish to mimic a natural environment, you should try to get more than one. If you can get two chinchillas at a time they may live happily together and share one cage.

They do not have to be the same sex,  but if you make sure that the male is neutered, they will not breed and there will be less aggression. They will bond together as family members instead of one constantly chasing after the other to satisfy their meeting urges.

Do Chinchillas Have to Have a Partner?

No. Even though chinchillas are very social animals, you can still keep them on their own. If you keep them in single-sex pairs,  they’ll have company and companionship.

You may notice them snuggling or cuddling together during daytime naps. If you notice that your chinchillas are becoming too aggressive with each other, you might need two cages side by side.

Can You Keep 2 Chinchillas in the Same Cage?

Yes. You can keep 2 chinchillas in the same cage. There are chances that they will fight and as they try to establish their hierarchy between them.

Many chinchilla caregivers prefer to keep chinchillas in separate cages next to each other to avoid these issues. After some time together they can form a bond and live more peacefully together,  but it all depends on their own unique personalities and their ability to warm up to each other.

Keep reading more to find out how to bond to chinchillas together and introduce them to each other the safest and most friendliest way possible.

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Can Adult And Baby Chinchillas Live Together?

Yes. An adult and a baby chinchilla can live together. At first, you can separate them and slowly get them used to each other. It is easier for a parent chinchillas to live with their own babies.

If you’re introducing a younger chinchilla with an older one in your home, apply the same techniques that we mention below for introducing them with each other.

Split them up into separate cages at first and bring them closer together in a neutral environment so they can get to know each other before adding them together in the same cage after a few weeks.

Can I Leave My Chinchilla Alone for a Week?

You should not keep chinchillas alone for a week. It is best to ask someone to take care of your chinchilla or stop in once in awhile. Chinchillas enjoy company as they are social animals.

Without a paired or bonded partner, they need human interaction and attention even more. Chinchillas kept alone in cages for long periods of time can develop health problems, depression and loneliness.

How Do I Know if My Chinchilla Is Lonely?

A chinchilla that is lonely may refuse to eat. They also might stop drinking. This means that they can easily surrender and fall victim to fatal consequences.

Other issues might be:

  • chewing on their own fur
  • barking out
  • making lots of noises
  • acting hyper
  • depression
  • lethargy
  • excessive hiding

Do Chinchillas Need Constant Attention?

Chinchillas need your attention. They will need more of it if you are only keeping one chinchilla at a time. They are social creatures and will develop mental or physical problems when they are lonely.

Chinchillas also needs space from you as well. If you are getting a larger cage, you are able to give them the best of both worlds. Make sure that you can give them supervised time with you in outdoor settings away from their cage each day as well.

Can 2 Female Chinchillas Live in the Same Cage?

Yes. Two female chinchillas as same-sex pairs can live together comfortably. Introducing these chinchillas to each other must be done carefully and patiently.

Otherwise if you just throw them both together in the same cage, they can get territorial and aggressive. Two females living together are better than a male and female if the male is not neutered.

Can a Male and Female Chinchilla Live Together?

Yes. You can keep a male and female pair together. If a male chinchilla is not neutered, he will wish to breed with the female as often as possible.

You must have a plan for caring for babies if this continues. You can choose to neuter the male or keep them in separate cages side by side.

Can 2 Male Chinchillas Live Together?

Yes. Male chinchillas can live together. They might fight for territory and establish hierarchy between them.

If you introduce them to each other carefully, they will enjoy living a life that is not based on territorial disputes or aggression. Keep reading to find out how!

Are Chinchillas Best Kept In Pairs?

It is entirely up to you as the caregiver to decide if you would wish to keep chinchillas in pairs.

You will find a lot of documentation and advice from experienced chinchilla caregivers who believe that keeping them together in pairs is the healthiest and happiest way for them to enjoy their lives.

This is because chinchillas are social animals and require a lot of attention. If you are able to provide that for them and then you will not have to get another chinchilla.

Do You Have to Buy Chinchillas In Pairs?

No. You don’t have to buy chinchillas in pairs. Shop owners may try to insist that you do this in order for them to make an extra sale.

It is up to you to decide whether or not your home can be a suitable place for two or more chinchillas at the same time. You must have enough room with a large enough cage for two or more chinchillas to live together.

If you do not provide a chinchilla with cage mate or a partner, then you must provide them with more attention, entertainment and bonding time together.

How to Pair Chinchillas

If you would like to know how to bond two chinchillas together, you have come to the right place. Here are some helpful tips to help you introduce chinchillas to each other:

  1. Start by putting them in separate cages side-by-side at least 10 cm apart from each other. This way they’re going to be able to know each other’s presence from the smell that is unique to each of them.
  2. They will not come into contact at first, but will accept each other’s presence and learn to be comfortable with it.
  3. Place their beds on the opposite side of their cages so they have enough safe space to get away from each other without feeling uncomfortable at first.
  4. Use separate dust baths. Do not let them share the same one. After a while you can begin to trade dust baths with each other so they can get used to each other’s scent. You can also swap chew toys and cage furniture as well.
  5. If you see the chinchillas constantly give each other attention, move the cages closer together.
  6. Now that these Chinchillas have grown used to each other after about a week or two, bring them both out of their spaces and bring them to a neutral environment.
  7. Allow them to meet together in a safe and comfortable room free of debris or harmful projects such as electrical cords.
  8. Use this time to clean their cages. If you have one cage that is larger than the other, begin setting it up for both of them to move in with each other.
  9. Make sure you have two water sources and plenty of hiding areas.
  10. You can place food receptacles and dishes that are available in more than one area. This way they will not fight with each other for the food that is available in the cage.

Good luck and Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.