Chinchillas and rabbits are extremely popular pets around the world and as a result, pocket pet owners often want to have both of these amazing pets in their family home.
This frequently causes owners to wonder if chinchillas and rabbits can live together?
In this post, we will answer this question in detail so you can make an educated decision before allowing your chinchilla and rabbit to live together in the same cage, room and even family home.
To back up the points we make, we will be adding research and data from experts and authorities throughout the industry.
Before we dig into the post, let’s answer the main question of if chinchillas and rabbits can live together? in a short and informational sentence…
So can chinchillas and rabbits live together? Chinchillas and rabbits shouldn’t be allowed to live together in the same cage. There are many reasons why this wouldn’t be a good idea, including the fact that chinchillas are nocturnal and rabbits are crepuscular. This means they have different sleeping habits and would be active at different times of the day.
Reason to find out…
Are Chinchillas And Rabbits Similar?
Before we get stuck into the post, first let’s see if chinchillas are similar in any way as this will help us to decide if they are a good fit to live in the same cage, room, family home or even just to interact with each other.
Chinchillas are small rodents that are native to Chile in South America. They inhabit the rocky areas of the Andes mountains.
Rabbits breeds such as (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are native to Portugal, Spain and North-West Africa.
Both chinchillas and rabbits are social animals and live in groups. Chinchillas can live in groups of up to 100 in the wild, whereas rabbits can live in warrens containing anywhere up to 20 or more rabbits.
Both animals enjoy burrowing and are agile and fast by nature. In fact, chinchillas are one of the fastest rodents around and can run at a top speed of around 15mph but that’s nothing compared to a rabbit that can reach speeds of 25mph and are even known to reach speeds of 45mph.
On the face of it, the social and burrowing nature of chinchillas and rabbits makes them look quite similar, however, as we dive deeper into the post, you will see that this only tells half of the story.
Let’s now see if chinchillas and rabbits can live together in the same cage…
Can Chinchillas And Rabbits Live Together In The Same Cage?
If you have both a chinchilla and a rabbit you probably want to know if they can live together in the same cage?
Unfortunately, chinchillas and rabbits can’t live together in the same cage as they just have too many differing care requirements that prevents this from being a good idea.
We honestly can’t think of one positive reason why it would be a good idea for a chinchilla and rabbit to live in the same cage as each other.
On the flip side to this, we can think of 3 major reasons you need to house them separately.
Check out the 3 reasons why you should never house a chinchilla and a rabbit together below…
Difficult to Fulfil The Dietary Requirements Of Chinchillas And Rabbits
On the face of it, chinchillas eat the same food so, in theory, they both should be able to share food in the same cage with no problems.
For example, both chinchillas and rabbits standard diet consist of…
- Unlimited high-quality hay
- Additional pellets
- Small amount of left greens
The problems with this are that you can’t exactly expect 2 animals to share food equally and therefore one of them will more than likely eat the majority of the food while the other goes under-fed.
Another big problem is that the pellets each pet has have been tailored to their specific dietary needs and rabbits are likely to eat the chinchilla’s pellets and vice-versa.
We have a detailed diet guide and food list for chinchillas that shares all you need to know as an owner and you can head over and check it out here…
Again, one of the pets will be getting more food and nutrients than they need while the other is consuming less, not to mention the fact that the pellets don’t contain the nutrients they require.
A sometimes overlooked problem that can occur is that different species of animal don’t often like to share food and can become aggressive if another animal is trying to steal their supply.
This can result in unnecessary territorial battles and fighting that can and should be avoided by keeping the pets in separate cages.
Chinchillas And Rabbits Have Different Cage Requirements
When it comes to the cage and temperature requirements of chinchillas, they both have different needs.
For the most part, owners will opt to house their rabbits outside in a hutch, depending on where they live in the world and then either re-house the hutch in a shed or similar for the winter or bring them indoors, again, depending on the circumstances.
This isn’t a good option for a chinchilla, and they should always be housed indoors.
This is because a combination of draughts and warm weather can cause serious health problems for chinchillas including heat stroke so it’s best to keep them indoors where you can regulate the temperature.
Even if you decided to house your rabbit indoors all year round, the actual cage requirements of both animals is different and would prevent them from being housed together.
Rabbits need a hutch style cage, usually on one level or 2 maximum, that allows them adequate space to roam.
Chinchillas, however, need totally different shaped cages that are much taller and usually over around 3 levels so they can jump and climb.
A chinchilla would be happy in a rabbit hutch and a rabbit wouldn’t be happy in a chinchilla cage and this is yet another reason why these 2 amazing animals should live separately.
We have listed our top 2 chinchillas cages and why we strongly recommend you house your chinchillas in one of these cages over at our new guide here…
It’s Difficult For Chinchillas And Rabbits to Get Along In The Same Cage
Chinchillas are by nature, social creatures and love the company of other chinchillas, however, it’s best to keep cage mates to their own species and not add other animals to the cage as this can cause territorial issues and unneeded stress.
The same can be said for rabbits, who are known to become territorial and create a pecking order when kept in groups. Source:
When chinchillas and rabbits are asked to live together in a small area, this can cause many problems and while you may get lucky and both animals feel comfortable with each other, it’s far more likely that they get stressed.
This can result in increased hiding or even aggression which isn’t good for either animal. Rabbits are known to kick out if they feel threatened and their powerful back legs can do some unwanted and unneeded damage. Source:
Can Chinchillas And Rabbits Live Together In The Same Room?
You may now be wondering if chinchillas and rabbits can live together in the same room? but in separate cages?
Chinchillas can possibly live in the same room if they are in separate cages.
Chinchillas and rabbits are both classed as crepuscular, which means they are awake and active at the same times of day.
This means that they are unlikely to disturb each other and occupying the same room is possible.
With this being said, there is still a chance that both animals won’t accept being in the same room as each other and this can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.
For this reason. We would always recommend having a second room ready just in case you need to move one of your pets into a separate location to keep them happy.
Now let’s see if chinchillas and rabbits can live together in the same home but in different rooms?
Can Chinchillas And Rabbits Live Together In The Same Family Home?
The next logical question is, can chinchillas and rabbits live together in the same home but in separate rooms?
The answer to this question is yes, chinchillas and rabbits can easily live in the same home as long as they are housed in different rooms.
Ideally, the rooms should be far enough away from each other that they can’t hear each other, if not, this will defeat the purpose of separating them.
You don’t want either animal to be disturbed by the other when they are sleeping and sometimes simply placing them in the next room to each other isn’t enough.
This is especially true for chinchillas that love to climb and bash off the sides of their cage late at night.
There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy both of these wonderful animals in your home, however, you need to make sure that they can’t disturb each other when the other one is sleeping.
Do Chinchillas And Rabbits Play With Each Other?
If you own a chinchilla and a rabbit, there may be times where you want to bring them in the same room and let them play, but is this a good idea?
Honestly, we think the answer to this is no, you should let your chinchilla and rabbit play together.
You could ask many different people this question and get many different answers, however, we feel that there are just too many risks involved to make this worth the reward.
After all, both chinchillas and rabbits don’t need the company of each other to be happy and the only one who really sees a reward from the situation is the owner who enjoys seeing their pets play or interact with each other.
Chinchillas are much happier with other chinchillas and the same goes for rabbits.
To successfully enable chinchillas and rabbits to play or interact, you would have to introduce them slowly over a number of weeks and see how they interacted and accepted each other.
There’s also a strong possibility that both animals would feel a certain level of stress and anxiety until they became comfortable around each other.
All in all, we feel that you can own and enjoy the company of the 2 fascinating pets without them having to play and interact with each other.
Can Chinchillas And Rabbits Breed?
A common question that gets asked frequently is if chinchillas and rabbits can breed?
The answer to this is no, chinchillas and rabbits can’t breed. This is a common misconception because of the now-famous chinchilla rabbit.
The chinchilla rabbit originated in France around the early 1900’s and earned its name due to the fact it’s fur looks closely to that of a chinchilla.
Can Chinchillas Live With Any Other Animals?
You might have some other pets in your home or you may be considering bringing another pet into your home and are wondering if chinchillas could possibly share a cage with them?
As a general rule of thumb, chinchillas or most animals for that matter, shouldn’t share cages if they are of a different species.
It’s important that you always look closely at the care requirements of each pet you have and cater closely to their individual needs.
We have actually recently written some guides that share if both degus and guinea pigs can live with chinchillas?
You can check out the guides below…
If you have a degu or are thinking about getting one, then check out this guide here…as it explains everything you need to know about housing degus with chinchillas.
Or if you are thinking of owning a guinea pig, you can take a look at our easy to follow chinchilla and guinea pig guide right here…