If you are short of space but have small pets, then the thought of combining the homes of the two pets seems a tempting thought.
Often, certain pets share certain characteristics and temperament and so can get along quite well.
But in the majority of cases, putting two different species of animal together is not a good idea.
So it is a good idea to investigate if they are socially compatible.
In this case is it a good idea to put hamsters and chinchillas together?
To begin with what are chinchillas and where can they be found?
Chinchillas get their name from the part of the world where they come from which is the Andes mountains in South America.
They are not particularly native to a certain country, merely across the geographic area of the Andes.
They were named after the indian tribe of the same name.
The tribe were famed for hunting the creatures and using their fur to make into clothing.
Just like hamsters, chinchillas are rodents and so share the same need to chew so as to grind their teeth down and stop them from overgrowing.
If they don’t have food to chew on then this can very much harm their health.
They are crepuscular creatures which means that are active more during dawn and dusk and during the night.
What do they eat?
They need to eat good quality hay which needs to make up the majority of their diet.
Hay should be available at all times for them and is also what they use to grind their teeth.
They also need hay to function properly and they naturally eat grasses, twigs and leaves when they live in the wild.
They need a small amount of grass-based chinchilla pellets each day as well.
These are specifically designed for their dietary requirements and give them the nutrition that they need
They also need root vegetables such as carrots and leafy greens along with grains and dried fruit.
However these foods should only be in small amounts which they have as treats.
They cannot eat foods that are high in fat, calcium, phosphorus, salt or acidic content.
Foods like nuts are not good for them due to their high fat content
What about their characteristics?
Compared to other types of rodent, chinchillas can live for a remarkably long time.
In their natural habitat they can live typically for between 8 to 10 years.
But when they are in captivity their life spans lengthens to between 15 to 20 years.
How do they get along together?
Thy are social animals who are happy to get along with other chinchillas, even those that belong to other families.
However, it is cautionary to put two chinchillas of the same gender together so they done reproduce together.
They can also be quite territorial if there is a very dominant chinchilla.
So because of this it is advisable to keep them in separate cages to stop them fighting if you see this happening.
How do hamsters compare?
Hamsters do not live as long as chinchillas.
They live for between 2-4 years which is much shorter than a chinchillas 15-20 years.
They do not need to eat hay like chinchillas do.
However, they do need things to chew on as like chinchillas the teeth of hamsters are constantly growing.
Hamsters tend to be quite solitary animals and so do not react well to other animals being in the same vicinity.
At the very most, it should be hamsters of them same kin, let alone the same species.
If they are left alone with other hamsters not of the same kin, they will set about each other.
They will do this until there is a victor and one is killed unfortunately.
So can hamsters and chinchillas live together?
Although Chinchillas generally get along with other chinchillas, they are quite a dominant species.
Even when two cages are placed side by side with another animal in the cage they will exhibit dominant behavior.
This will be their attitude towards the other animal until they realize the animal is not a threat.
As a result of this, hamsters and chinchillas are very unlikely to get along.
It is not advisable to put them together under any circumstance.
This is because they have completely different personalities which do not mix well together.
If you do have both species of pet, then it is advisable to keep them in separate cages and do not let enter each other’s territory.
At the very most they could be in the same room as each other in different cages.
Eventually, once they are used to each other, their cages could be adjacent to one another.
But nothing further is advised.