Ferrets and chinchillas are very different animals and are best kept apart from one another. The reason is that ferrets are obligate carnivores and chinchillas are excellent prey for them. These two pets cannot get along and should never be left in the same room, even if they’re both caged.
In this article, we’ll talk about ferrets and chinchillas and whether they can be both kept as pets or not.
Do Ferrets and Chinchillas Get Along?
You shouldn’t expect your ferret and chinchilla to play together. You might be tempted to introduce them to one another if they both lost their pair, which is a very bad idea. Chinchillas are vegetarian creatures and they are very similar to the typical rodents included in a ferret’s diet. On the other hand, ferrets are carnivorous and will attack the chinchilla the first chance it gets.
Placing a ferret and a chinchilla in the same room is a very bad idea, regardless if they are both well-caged or not. You should only think about having both as pets if you have a big home. These creatures need to be kept in separate levels or at least a few rooms away from one another. Even attempting to introduce them to one another is a very bad idea.
You might think that keeping them in different room without allowing them to interact with each other is all you have to do. But you need to keep in mind that both animals have a very good sense of smell, and they can tell where the other one is. This can create various problems, including changes in behavior, lack of sleeping, lack of eating properly, etc.
Once the ferret can smell the chinchilla in the other room, all of its hunting instincts will wake up. This will make the ferret very agitated and it might even start chewing on the cage, trying to get out. You will quickly notice that every time you will let the ferret out for playtime, it will scratch at the chinchilla’s door to try and get in. It will continuously try to get to the prey it knows it’s there.
On the other hand, the chinchilla can sense a predator nearby as well. And you need to keep in mind that these creatures are generally quite shy. Felling in danger, the chinchilla might stop getting out of its burrow and it will stop eating and drinking water altogether. The poor animal will have a lot of anxiety and it will have a very hard sleeping peacefully. It’s always best if they have no idea of each other’s existence.
Are chinchillas similar to ferrets?
Ferrets and chinchillas couldn’t be more different from one another. Their diet, personality, habits, maintenance needs, and a lot more differ a lot. Just because you owned a ferret, it doesn’t mean you will know much about keeping a chinchilla, and it’s the same the other way around. Their lifespans are very different as well.
Diet-wise, ferrets and chinchillas have nothing in common. In fact, the chinchilla is a part of the ferret’s diet. Ferrets are obligate carnivores and they thrive best on whole prey. This includes rabbits, mice, rats, possums, birds, etc. On the other hand, chinchillas are rodents and they eat a varied diet of plants, roots, and even some fruits from time to time.
While they may not be very different in size, a ferret can overpower a chinchilla quite fast. And this is mainly because ferrets are killing machines while chinchillas are not really equipped with what they need to defend themselves. They’re practically balls of fur that prefer to stay as hidden from danger as possible, and ferrets love the challenge.
Ferrets vs Chinchillas As Pets – Which Is Better
There isn’t really a “better” pet when it comes to ferrets and chinchillas as they are much too different from one another. But whatever you do, make sure you have enough space to keep them on different floor levels if you get them both as pets.
Ferrets are part of the same family as the weasels and they are a very, very old animal species. It’s so old, that its origins aren’t really known. Today’s ferrets seem to come from the European Polecat. They also have a lifespan of around 8, maybe 10 years if you’re taking proper care of them.
If you have quite a lot of time on your hands and you like super active animals, getting a pair of business (group) of ferrets is the way to go. They sleep a lot each day but when they are awake they tend to turn your whole home upside down. These creatures are excellent escape artists and they don’t like being confined to their cage all the time.
Ferrets are very well-known for their mischievous personality and they will keep you entertained every single day. You should also keep in mind that they are hoarders and they love to steal. If you’re missing anything, you might want to check their stash. They like to steal pretty much anything they can carry, including socks, bottle caps, brushes, toys, etc. You should also check their stash for hidden treats so they won’t go bad.
Chinchillas are rodents that come from the Andes of Bolivia, Peru, and Chile. And if you plan on getting a pair, you should expect quite a commitment. These beautiful creatures can live anywhere between 15 to 20 years, sometimes even more if they are very well maintained.
Unlike ferrets, chinchillas are very shy and won’t like falling asleep in your hands. They like attention and scratches but they prefer spending most of their time inside their cage. And as long as they have a pair and something to chew on, they are extremely happy creatures. You also won’t have to worry much about them escaping if the cage is big enough.
And at the end of the day, the type of pet you should get depends on you, what you like, and what time you have to spare. Ferrets need a lot of attention, while chinchillas are OK with people that are at work all day. You just have to make sure they have the necessary food and water.