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  #1  
Old 10-31-2018, 03:04 PM United States
Chinnyluver Chinnyluver is offline
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Default Death of cagemate, signs to watch for, bonding a trio or senior to a new chin

I lost my sweet Lilly on Sunday. It was very sudden, appears that she was eating out of the food bowl and passed. As she was a rescue as an adult that had changed hands several times, I am not aware of her age, but think she was about 15. Heartbroken, but we have put her to rest and I am now concerned about ensuring the happiness of Cindy, her cagemate of seven years. She appears to be doing okay, she's eating, moving around the cage, showing interest in scratches and treats, etc. She was also a rescue and I believe is older than Lilly, so her activity level is not a huge indicator as she was not much for running on the wheel or popcorning around the cage even when she still had her "sister" with her, Lilly was always the more active one and Cindy was the pleasant observer.

What I'm wondering is what I should watch for in her behavior that might indicate a negative impact from this. I honestly would prefer not to get another chin, but I will if she needs another partner.

And related to that, if it does appear that she needs companionship, I'm curious about the possibility of creating a trio with my other two girls. They've been next to or above/below each other for many years so they are used to each other's scents. There was no spraying or signs of aggression when the cages were next to each other. I have never tried a combined play time though so I don't know how they would react to each other.

If that doesn't work, I've heard it's best to bond an adult with a kit, but is that always the case or would I be better off finding her another senior? She and Lilly were both adults living as single chins when I bonded them and that process (using the side by side/split cage method) went very smoothly!

Any advice is appreciate! Thank you!
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:07 PM United States
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tunes tunes is offline
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Watch for lack of appetite, tiny poops, decreased activity, etc. If all those things are normal, she's most likely fine.

As to getting her a cagemate, no, it doesn't have to be a young chin. I would find a chin that has had a cagemate successfully - maybe a retired breeder? There are many breeders who would like to find homes for some of their older gals, but everybody only wants babies. I have success putting almost any age chin with another chin. You just have to be watchful, as you would be for any introduction.
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Old 10-31-2018, 04:13 PM United States
Chinnyluver Chinnyluver is offline
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Thanks Tunes! What about the trio possibility? Does them being near each other, having shared a play time space (scent wise, not at the same time), etc. for so long work as an advantage at all? I know things can go wrong, I just wonder if they would transition fairly easily. They are all pretty laid back girls.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:43 PM United States
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You can try, but there is always the possibility that it will mess around with the relationship of the pair that are already together. I have had success adding females like you are asking about, but as with anything chin, there is always a risk. Try letting them out together for closely supervised playtime and see if there is any kind of friction, then go from there. Before you put them together, cut all their whiskers down short and rub the single girl with the dirty bedding from the pair's cage. You can also try putting just a drop of vanilla above their nose and on the tail where it meets the body.
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