Do chinchillas and cats go well together?

Chinchillas and Cats: Do they go well together?

Chinchillas and cats are usual house home pets, but do they go well together? They can, chinchillas and cats together is possible.  A chinchilla is a small South American rodent. A cat is a domesticated house pet that lots of families enjoy. But since a chinchilla is a rodent and cats like to hunt rodents, its hard when families or people want to get a chinchilla and a cat. If precautions are taken, then both can live in harmony.

cat on couch
Cute cat
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Grey Chinchilla

Chinchillas are rodents. They smell and look like one. So if you have a cat that likes to hunt and bring you dead things, you might want to take extra precautions. For mellow and calm cats, its a bit easier. With calmer cats, they will probably show no interest in the chinchilla.

From personal experience, my cats, calm and hyper, coexisted with my 4 chinchillas. My youngest cat was very interested in the chinchillas. She would often lurk around the cage. Sometimes she would stick her paw between the bars. My other two mellow cats could care less about the chinchillas.

Now even if your cat seems fine with the chinchillas, the cat could be stressing the chins beyond belief. Chinchillas can get stressed. When a chinchillas stresses it can be very unhealthy.

Introducing the Cat(s) and Chinchilla(s):

The introduction for pets can be crucial. A bad introduction can lead to a bad and unhealthy environment for both pets. If you are worried about your hyper cat, wait a bit for the cat to calm down, keep the cat away from the chinchilla for about a week. The cats will get used to the smell of the chinchilla and hopefully calm down a bit.

First, when being introduced, keep chinchilla in the cage. Don’t have them meet face to face yet. Depending on how your cat and chinchilla reacted, either keep the cat away from the cage, or try face to face. When you take the chinchilla out of the cage to meet the cat, do not let them free. Have someone hold the cat and chinchilla. After the first face to face meet, do not let the chinchilla roam about with the cat inside the room. Most of all, never let your chinchilla out of sight. You can never depend on your cat not attacking it or your chinchilla attacking your cat.

Precautions you can take for mellow cats:

  • Always supervise when chinchillas are outside of their cage.
  • Never leave the chinchilla out of the cage without you watching them.
  • Never expect your cat to not touch or hurt the chinchilla.

Precautions you can take for hyper cats:

  • Make sure the cage is protecting the chinchilla.
  • Only supervised visits.
  • Never leave the chinchilla out of the cage.
  • Keep cage off of ground. (Possibly get a bigger cage.)

My Personal Experience:

Like I said, my two mellow cats couldn’t care less about the chinchillas, but my other hyper cat loved to mess with the chinchillas. My hyper cat would go up to the cage and put her paws into the cage. We declaw all of our cats. But its a common opinion to not declaw cats. So if you have a cat who has claws, puts something around the cage to make it so your cat cannot put their paws in. With my mellow cats, one was scared of the chinchillas and one didn’t care. But always treat your cats like they will hurt them. Never expect them to not do anything to the chinchillas.


Cats carry pasteurella which is a bacteria disease that can be fatal to chinchillas and cats. Never let your cat lick your chinchilla.

There are lots of horror stories from people who owned both pets, having the cat kill the chinchilla. Be very careful with you chinchilla and make sure you always keep them separated when you aren’t with the chinchilla and cat.

Chinchillas do fight with each other. My chinchillas would fight and one ended up having a hole in his ear. So if you have a calm cat and you let your chinchilla out, make sure it doesn’t bite your cat.


If you take all of the necessary precautions, both of your home pets can live together. Both can make great pets.

If you liked this article about cats and chinchillas, go check out this article