Your Questions: Is it ok to house a rabbit and a chinchilla together?
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 31 October 2009
Q. My boyfriend and I are thinking about moving in together. He has a rabbit and I have a chinchilla. All the places we've seen are quite small so to save on space we're thinking about housing them together. Would that be all right? Sharon, via e-mail
A. Firstly, you should check whether you're allowed to keep pets at all in your new flat. Landlords are generally very strict about whether or not you can keep animals and they can be more stringent with smaller pets. If you enter into a contract and the landlord finds out that you are keeping pets without their permission, you may be forced to get rid of them, or even be evicted.
Getting back to your question, you should not – under any circumstances – house your chinchilla and rabbit together. They are totally different animals and need distinct care and attention. Firstly, their dietary requirements are unique. Even if they got along in the same cage they could get sick if they ate each other's food. As you are aware, your chinchilla is partial to a dust bath, which would cause irritation to the rabbit; what's more, the cages are a completely different shape from one another. Chins like to live in little "tower blocks", with multiple floors, and bunnies like "bungalows", with separate compartments.
What we could hope for is that they become friends and might tolerate being outside their cages with each other. However, you must start this process gradually and supervise it at all times.
Put the cages next to each other and observe. See how the animals react to each other. If they seem calm, then you can hold them on your laps and later put them on the floor, always giving them the option to get back into their cages. If this doesn't work, you can always let one out at a time so that they have a bit of freedom.
Don't expect miracles. This will happen over time. Be patient and do not force them into any dangerous situations.
Life & Style blogs
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
- 1 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 2 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 3 Satellite full of sexually experimental geckos adrift in space, Russia loses control of mission
- 4 Exclusive: Cameron’s Big Society in tatters as charity watchdog launches investigation into claims of Government funding misuse
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...
£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...
Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...
£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...