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  #1  
Old 09-11-2019, 02:58 AM United States
Zahrii Zahrii is offline
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Default Cage/Bonding Question

Hello, I plan on getting two female chinchillas in the future. I will be buying the Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation Cage. Will I have to bond a sibling pair, or will they already be bonded? If, let's say, I've had them for multiple years, they are completely bonded, but they suddenly hate each other, is it possible for me to block off the entrance to the second level of the cage and keep them separated, one on each level? If they wouldn't be bonded, even as siblings, what's the best way to bond them? Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:02 PM United States
cboyer cboyer is offline
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Don't know about bonding, but we have a double critter nation for our chinchilla. You can separate the two levels. You can secure the ramp from one level to the second level by a latch as a temp solution, and you can buy a full pan (without the cutout) for the top level as a more permanent solution. We latch the ramp all the time to keep him in one level or the other while we clean and such.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:07 AM United States
Zahrii Zahrii is offline
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Will the chins be okay permanently living in a one story if they end up hating each other? I know they like to jump, and I'll still put ledges inside.
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  #4  
Old 09-14-2019, 05:33 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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One level is big enough for a single chin, obviously they wont be happy downsizing but it is enough room.

As for bonding two unknown chins, the best way to start is with the 30 day quarantine so you know they are healthy and allow them to settle in and you to start forming a bond. Quarantine is not needed if you got them from the same place. Once that is over there are a few ways, one is to have two cages and slowly move the cages closer to each other, so they get use to the sight and smell of the other but far enough apart so they can't actually attack. You can also try swapping cages so they get use to each other's scent too. Once they seem ok with being near each other you can try doing out of cage playtime together. Once they are ok with playtime, then fully clean the cage you plan to have them both in so it no longer smells like one or the other chin and put them both in it and see how it goes. Bonding can take weeks or months, you are building a friendship and that takes time.

Another way some people do it (I personally don't agree with it, but others swear by it) is put both in a small carrier, too small for them to move or to get away from each other, and go for a drive. The idea is they bond over the shared traumatic experience of being squished in a carrier together.
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Old 09-15-2019, 01:24 PM United States
Zahrii Zahrii is offline
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I can only afford one cage, so would the carrier squishing method still be acceptable? I heard it has a very high success rate, even though it seems a bit mean.
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Old 09-16-2019, 11:25 AM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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Ok if you are going with the smoosh method make sure you have someone else in the car with you or someone else driving so you can have someone watching the chins. Also make sure the carrier is very tiny, like this single unit carrier. Also make sure you have a second carrier (size for that one doesn't matter) just in case things go bad and you need to split them up during the ride, otherwise you could end up with two injured or dead chins. Not all chins like all other chins though so keep that in mind.

Another option is to go with the playtime method, allow them limited (just a few minutes) playtime together. Keep a very close eye on them and try to split them up before anything bad happens so they always end on a good note. You can also swap cages (one in the top unit one in the bottom) so they mix their scent. After a little while (time depends on how they are doing together, could be days could be weeks) clean the whole cage and then put them both together and watch them.

I think in your situation though if you want a pair of chins you would be better off getting an already bonded pair since you can't do quarantine without a second cage. Litter mate sisters or mother and daughter would already be bonded for example. On a side note, when getting a pair from someone or pairing chins yourself double check gender. So many people get it wrong and end up with surprise kits.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:54 PM United States
Zahrii Zahrii is offline
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Yes, I checked with the person I'm getting the chins from and they keep same sex siblings together since many people want already bonded pairs. This makes things much easier for me, but thank you for the information!
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