Alyssa asked in PetsOther - Pets · 5 years ago

Chinchilla, Guinea Pig, or Rabbit?

I wanted to get a Chinchilla, Guinea Pig, or a Rabbit. I couldn't decide what to get. Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of each pet. Thank you.

P.S. I also considered a ferret but they are illegal in my state :(

5 Answers

  • 5 years ago
    Favorite Answer



    -Chinchillas are relatively odor free. Change their cage once a week and you will never smell them. Most animals have a strong smell to their urine (rabbits, for instance). This does not seem to be the case with chinchillas.

    -Chinchillas consume a pretty well established pelleted diet that is on the market. Add some fresh veggies and a few fruits, perhaps a peanut or two for a snack sporadically, and you will have a happy and healthy pet.

    -Chinchillas can be very tame and social when properly handled. They do not require as much time when it comes to bonding as with other exotic animals such as sugar gliders (for more information see The Pros and Cons of Sugar Gliders and Owning a Sugar Glider).

    -Chinnies are crepuscular, meaning awake during the twilight hours (dawn and dusk). This is more favorable for many as they see and interact with their fluffy friend before and after work. No need to be up late at night to see your pet!

    -Chinchillas are somewhat trainable when it comes to handling. They develop routines easily (so if you come up to the cage and offer a treat every time, soon they are going to expect a yummy present when they see you walk near them).

    -Chinchillas are relatively clean critters. They keep neat by grooming themselves. However, watch for fur chewing (read more about Medical Conditions and Diseases of Chinchillas). They do not require baths with soap and water, rather just a simple dust bath two to three times a week is sufficient.

    -Chinchillas do not require regular vaccination by law.

    -Chinchillas are great pets when owned by a family with older children.

    -Chinchillas can live up to 20 years in captivity, barring any complications. That is a lot better than a hamster, which does not typically last beyond three years of age.

    -Chinchillas are relatively quiet creatures. Aside from running in a wheel and occasionally chirping or grunting when mishandled (by another chinchilla or a person), they do not vocalize very much.

    -When properly tamed, they will sit on your shoulder and be very content. However, do not try this until you have worked with them thoroughly. Falling from the height of your shoulder can be detrimental to their health.


    -A chinchilla that has not received proper socialization may become aggressive and bite. Chinchillas have teeth that can crack through tough shells, so a finger is a breeze.

    -Chinchilla hair and dust from their dust bath can trigger allergies. They are unfortunately not hypoallergenic.

    -Chinchillas love to move! They need multiple level cages and plenty of spacing to get around. A big cage is quite demanding on people with limited space in their homes.

    -Chinchillas can be quite expensive to purchase, depending on where you get them and their coat color. Also they can be difficult to find in some areas and in some states they are even illegal to own! Always do your research first.

    Due to limited genetic availability (the chinchillas we have as pets came from a speculated eleven many years ago) and the difficulty of breeding successfully, chinchillas are not a pet you should get with the intent to make money off of their babies. They take on average 111 days to produce young after conception. Besides that, there are legal issues such as permits with the United States Department of Agriculture or similar state agency by which one MUST abide.

    Finding a reputable exotic veterinarian can be quite the challenge in some areas. Some veterinarians will still see clients with chinchillas, but their experience and knowledge of the fuzzy exotic is limited, often leading to misdiagnosis (a costly mistake, both financially and in the case of the animal's health).

    -Chinchillas are able to catch diseases such as respiratory infections from improper environment, gastroenteritis, and some skin diseases. See Medical Conditions and Diseases of Chinchillas for more information. They are also able to contract Streptococcus equi or the strangles, or the strangles. While any pet can become diseased, it is particularly depressing to purchase an animal like a chinchilla, which is expected to live 15-20 years, only to have to put it down due to the extremely high cost of exotic veterinary medicine. Being rodents, often times chinchillas do not even exhibit signs of illness until it is too late.

    -Chinchillas are not the well-suited for a young child. Chinchillas love to run, and when a small child is trying to hold one, it can struggle and squirm, potentially harming its back or legs very easily.

    -Chinchillas are cool-weather critters. Coming from the high altitudes of the Andes mountains, they prefer temperatures under 72 degrees Fahrenheit.


    The Pros

    -Rabbits are quiet, tame creatures and are not prone to any sort of destructive behavior.

    -Rabbits are extremely social and playful. Once initiated into a family, they form very close bonds with their owners.

    -Depending on the types of rabbits, the care that you administer for them will vary, however, it is not a very daunting task that demands a lot from the owners.

    -Rabbits are rather entertaining when in groups or even alone.

    -If you have a child in the family, then having a pet rabbit is the perfect way to initiate him/her into caring for a pet. Most rabbit breeds are absolutely tame and interacting with them teaches us special traits of caring and forming bonds.

    -It is possible to train certain rabbit breeds to follow instructions, and therefore, toilet training them is possible.

    -Rabbits live longer than most other smaller pets like rodents and hamsters. This ensures that they will be around for a long time.

    The Cons

    -If you have a pet rabbit, or any pet for that matter, there is bound to be some fraction of caring for them. Though I will not term these following pointers as cons per se`, they are definitely things that you might want to keep in mind before getting a pet rabbit for yourself or your kid.

    -A rabbit's maintenance costs a little. Rabbits require a cage (if that's what you're planning to provide for as their house) and it needs to be a huge one with separate sections for the number of rabbits that there are.

    -The natural rabbit habitat is out in the open, so keeping rabbits in the garden is actually a good choice. But make sure that you do not leave them anywhere near the vegetable section as they might get into it and destroy it.

    -There have been cases of rabbits having chewed on wires and other such items when kept indoors. This is because they have teeth that need to be constantly trimmed which they do by biting and chewing on things and objects.

    -Many people may not know this but a rabbit will dirty a place (and make it stink really bad) if left in the house. Thus, it is necessary to either train the rabbit to use the litter box, or make sure that you allow him access to the yard.

    -Spaying and neutering your pet rabbits is a must if you're planning to keep them.

    -Make sure that you trim their nails often. If you do not, they will set about trimming them on their own on some form of furniture or the other.



    - They're very social pets and therefore, affectionate.

    - They have a variety of noises that indicate when they're happy - including purring.

    - As a social species, they're very fun to watch when you have two or more.

    - They have a lot of personality. They actually popcorn (jump) when they're happy or excited.

    - They're very slow and easy to catch.

    - They're usually least likely to bite among the rodents. And even when they do, I find that it doesn't hurt much as they rarely actually bite down. More or less just nibble.

    - They have a longer lifespan than hamsters. A healthy, well taken care of cavy can make it to eight (or more) years old.

    - They're calmer than dwarf hamsters.

    - They're very interactive. Lone guinea pigs require at least a couple hours a day. I recommend as much time as you can give them.

    - They like cuddling more than hamsters.


    - They require bigger cages and therefore, more space.

    - If you don't have time to spend with a lone guinea pig, they should be kept in pairs.

    - They're shy and timid at first, so may be a bit harder to tame than Syrians.

    - When bought from pet shops, they're usually VERY hard to tame.

    - Their diet is more complicated as they require a constant supply of hay, a variety of fruits and vegetables, vitamin C supplements, and all of this in addition to pellets.

    - They require more out of cage time.

    - You will find that you need to spot clean more often for a guinea pig than you do a hamster (though spot cleaning for both is ideal).

    - They cannot live in tanks, so you WILL spend a lot of money on a big enough cage as most pet store cages aren't nearly big enough for even a young guinea pig.

    - They're very vocal. Some people find them to be too loud.

    - They cost about 20-35 dollars. Even at pet shops.

    - Not high maintenance

    xx hope that helps and good luck with your new furry friend :)

  • 5 years ago

    Guinea Pig or chinchilla. Rabbits are for experienced pet owners, not first timers

    I say this all the time but rabbits are not easy to care for. No animal is. Guinea pigs are friendly but can be quite loud. Chinchillas are hyper and love to play. Both are very fascinating to watch. I would say Guinea pigs, but only if you get a pair or group.

  • 5 years ago

    I've never had a chinchilla or a guinea pig, but my friend has guinea pigs and I have rabbits, and I have to say, rabbits are better. You can walk them outside with little harnesses you can buy at the store, which im not sure you can do with guinea pigs

  • 5 years ago


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    5 years ago


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