- Lifespan for a Chinchilla is 15 to 21 years
- Lifespan for a Ferret is 6 to 8 years
- Chinchilla Historical Origins: Andes of Bolivia, Peru, and Chile
- Ferret Historical Origins: unknown – Aristotle mentioned them in 350BC
- Genus: Chinchilla is in the rodent family and a Ferret is in the weasel family
Should My Pet Be A Chinchilla or Ferret
Chinchillas (“Chins”) are the cutest pets ever, but they don’t necessarily like to play or keep company with their owners, and they don’t necessarily enjoy being handled. Therefore, if you want a more interactive pet, you want a Ferret. Chinchilla or Ferret – that is the question! The exotic rodent is a cute, fluffy squirrel looking animal and a Ferret is a long bodied little weasel looking type.
Chinchillas need a dust bath once a day and they require a very clean environment and a cage to be happy. They like to chew or gnaw, so they must be restricted, especially if pet owners don’t want their woodwork ruined. Ferrets are interactive pets which do not like to be caged and they are escape artists, who are always running around looking to explore.
Pet-Proofing for Chinchillas and Ferrets
Pet proof your home for Ferret pets, because they are very dexterous and with their long bodies, they can squeeze into small spaces. They are smart enough to open cabinet doors, drawers, etc. If anything is made from rubber, foam, or sponge, they love chewing on these materials, even though it is harmful to their gastrointestinal system and which will probably require surgery to remove. Ferret proofing a home is a requirement for the rest of the pet’s life. Keep screened windows closed, because if the window is open, Ferrets, cleverly will chew through the screen.
They must be under constant surveillance when running loose. These animals love baskets full of laundry and they can hide under clothing that are being put into a washer or dryer. They also like to play and hide under couch cushions. Keep your plants away from Ferrets because they like to dig down into the dirt and taste plants that are more than likely, toxic and poisonous to them.
Pet proof your home with Chinchillas when you let them out to play. Exotic pet experts suggest that you keep them in one room, that is nearly bare and only contains their favorite toys. They are very temperature sensitive. Chinchillas dislike heat and humidity. Living in very humid and hot environments will make them sick or give them a heatstroke. Chinchillas also love chewing on any and everything, even electrical cords. They are curious critters who get to know their environment by biting and chewing it.
Also, it is important that rodent pets chew, not by habit, but because it is what they must do as part of their nature. They explore their environment by biting and chewing your books, hanging threads, and furniture. Chinchillas are agile like cats, they too love to jump and climb. Also, they love water, so keep the commode lid closed.
• Brush their coats regularly, especially when they shed. Any hair that lands in their cage is an opportunity for them to eat it. Ferrets will not tolerate staying still long enough, so be quick.
• Ferrets easily develop waxy ears therefore keep them clean regularly to prevent infections.
• Brush their teeth at least once a week as a preventative measure, since these creatures like biting and chewing.
- Regular dust baths, several times a week, will keep a Chin maintenance-free. Their luxurious, soft hair doesn’t need trimming. But, if they happen to get food in their hair, gently remove it out.
- Some chinchillas develop malocclusion and/or overgrown teeth problems at some point in their lives. Provide regular oral exams for them.
- A majority of chins never develop ear problems, even though their ears are long and big.
- Chinchillas have tiny nails on their paws, but Chins don’t need them trimmed.
Chinchilla and Ferret Characterizations
Chinchillas will eventually warm up to the owners, after lots of treats. Since they are naturally nocturnal, they enjoy being more active at night or early dawn. Bribe them with lots of treats, first feeding them through their cage, then patiently graduate to placing treats around you. Chinchillas will not automatically climb all over an owner’s body because these cute and cuddly animals are not trusting humans.
Ferrets are very lively and affectionate, plus they develop a real bond to their owners. Ferrets are far more friendly and cuddly than cats or dogs. They can even be trained to wear a collar for short strolls down the street, plus they are so social, that they will like your family and friends also.
Chinchillas are vegetarians and in the wild, they eat roots, grass, plants, fruits, etc. As a domesticated animal, their diet must be:
- low on fats
- rich in fiber
- low in sugar
- low in protein
- rich in vitamins and minerals
The Chinchillas’ digestive tract is very sensitive, thus their nutritional needs are vital. There are enriched Chinchilla pellet type food products that fit their dietary requirements precisely. They love treats that can consist of raisin or sunflower seeds, but never feed them together, and in quantities of 2 to 3 raisins or 4 to 5 sunflower seeds.
Ferrets are natural carnivores. To remain healthy, they must have meat in their daily diet. An enriched diet for a ferret must contain the following:
- high in foods that help to boost their energy level
- high in protein
- low in fiber
- lots of clean water
A Ferret’s digestive system is very slow. They don’t need any snacks, because they are probably still digesting a previously fed meal. It is a good idea for a pet owner to discuss the best foods for a Ferret pet with pet store managers and veterinarians.
Both a chinchilla and a ferret would make a great pet, but potential pet owners need to do their research to find out their likes and dislikes to keep them happy and healthy. In summary, both animal companions need a multi-storied cage with lots of toys. However, a chinchilla could just as easily stay in their cage and play, while ferrets would love to leave their enclosure and play with their owners all day.