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  #1  
Old 10-06-2019, 04:48 PM United States
hitchhikingbeetles hitchhikingbeetles is offline
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Default Terrible Two's or Something Else?

I've got a chinchilla that's two years old now, so by human standards I'm thinking maybe she's hitting her terrible two's (although I've heard elsewhere that they happen sooner than 2 years old).

Recently she's figured out how to get under the bed (we have it blocked off for safety reasons, but even for how big she is she's still managing to wiggle past our blockade). She's gotten under the bed before, but by accident, as in she fell between the back of the matress and the wall because I forgot to stuff a pillow there before I let her out. But she gave up on recreating her accident for a year at least, until recently when she wiggled between my pillows one time AND another time pulled the plywood blockade away from one of the corners of the bed. She now knows that the weakpoints are at all corners of the bed.

We've since fortified our blockade but unfortunately she's now obsessed with getting under there again - when I let her out that's literally ALL she wants to do. She goes from corner to corner and yanks on the plywood so hard I think she's going to hurt herself. It's gotten to the point where I end her playtime when she exhibits this behavior (a method that she worked to curb bad behavior in the past).

But there's another problem - when I pick her up to put her back she's anxiously kicking me, nibbling my fingers, pulling at the buttons on my shirt. And when she's back in the cage she's freaking out, wall to wall, chewing on her metal wheel loudly and scrapingly and yanking at the carabiner clips that hold her hammocks up ALL NIGHT to seemingly make as much noise and trouble as she can (she's never done this before).

I'm not sure if this sounds like Terrible Two's to you guys? And if she's just over obsessed with getting under the bed and throwing tantrums right now, and if this will pass over time. I'm mostly afraid she's going to hurt herself with how stressed out she seems when she can't get what she wants and then wind up hating me for putting her on time-out when her behavior gets outrageous.

This happens every single day. She doesn't even seem to enjoy being out for playtime anymore, she just wants to get under the bed. It's looking a little like neurotic behavior and I'm sort of worried about her.

Does anyone have any suggestions for what to do to help her get through this? I was thinking about downgrading and doing playtime in the bathroom for a bit, but when she's upset like this she does everything she already knows she's not supposed to do, like ripping chunks off the baseboards, and I don't want her causing the same damage to our bathroom that she's caused in my room already while growing up.

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Old 10-08-2019, 05:35 PM Canada
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Amethyst Amethyst is offline
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Well she is unfortunately past the moody "terrible twos" or "teenage" stage, that happens are around 4 months to a year old. She is just being a brat, lol, it's not uncommon for them to continue to do something once they have their minds set on it. You can try adding more stuff to do during playtime, there are different options depending on how much if any money you can spend or how handy you are. One option is to buy playtime furniture, there are places online like Nola Chinchilla Rescue for example, that sell chin safe wooden things that are designed for playtime. You can also buy cheap small cat trees and replace the carpeting or fabric with fleece (the only chin safe fabric). A cheaper and easier option is to make box forts and tunnels for the chin to explore. You can even hide treats, small toss toys, and hay for them to find. Basically you need to make or get something safe that is more interesting then trying to go under the bed.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:27 PM United States
BlastingFonda BlastingFonda is offline
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I too had issues finding an appropriate play spot for my chin, and ordered this over a year ago. It's really been great:

https://www.chewy.com/zampa-pet-fold...waAuAPEALw_wcB

Advantages - You can set this up in a lot of rooms that would be otherwise unsafe for chins, and crawl inside with them. I would strongly recommend getting the largest playpen option they offer. You can put have a lot of fun things for them to do inside the pen, i.e. cardboard box forts, tubes, etc. Plus mine really loves wall jumping as well and really gets to go crazy around the inside perimeter of the fort without me worrying about him getting into unsafe areas. The pen is easy to collapse / fold after playtime, it's easy to vacuum up the poop and wipe up the pee as you will tend to get both. I have zero worries about him escaping as the pen is incredibly secure, and you can use a smaller handheld carrier to get your chin to and from the pen without issues.

Disadvantages - Occasionally, they may attempt to chew the plastic bottom / seams of the playpen from time to time. For this reason, you will always want to try to be inside the fort at the same time as them to discourage them - I would never just turn them loose inside the pen unsupervised. The plastic isn't toxic, but as with all plastic things & chins, they can cause a lot of harm to their GI tract if they swallow large amounts of it. Also not recommended if you have issues sitting on the floor with your chin for 30 mins - 1 hour at a time.
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