Last Modified

March 13, 2023 by Umair Shahid

You love small pets roaming around the house. You wonder! You can place the little friendly and social chinchilla and the hamster in one area or even in one cage.

Stop! Unfortunately No! You can’t! Chinchillas are quite passive and timid animals and are very different from hamsters. Hamsters are quite territorial and can get quite aggressive.

The truth is that both species have different personalities, are solitary creatures, and enjoy living alone. However, they can be kept together if they have grown up together.

If you place both the chinchillas and hamsters in the same living environment, you’ll need to use a cover to prevent the animals from seeing one another and avoid aggressive or territorial behaviors.

When we talk about hamsters, they don’t have any detectable body odor. They are quite clean animals and don’t have many health problems or diseases. They are nocturnal creatures who sleep during the day and are active during the night.

So, let’s dig a little deeper and understand their nature to get to the answer to this question.

Can chinchillas and hamsters live together:

Life Cycle:

When we talk about the life span of the two little pets, we get to know that hamsters have a relatively short life span. Hamsters can live around 2 to 3 years whereas chinchillas enjoy a longer life span of almost 10 years.

Social Life:

Personality is a major contributing factor in terms of whether or not animals will get along. As an owner, it’s important to remember that each animal has its own unique personality and no two individuals are going to be exactly alike. Both the hamsters and chinchillas have an oddly visible social life.

Chinchillas are popular for their social behavior. A chinchilla loves to socialize with other chinchillas and befriend them. In the wild, chinchillas are seen moving in packs and groups and not being alone wolves.

On the other hand, a hamster is a pretty notorious animal. The hamster loves to enjoy their own company and often becomes aggressive if put in the same cage with another hamster. Syrian hamsters are infamous for their nature of killing other hamsters, as well.

Dietary Needs:

Chinchillas need a lot of good-quality hay that makes up the majority of their diet. They use to grind their teeth. These are specifically designed for their dietary requirements and give them the nutrition that they need.

On the other hand, hamsters love to have a lot of grains in their diet. Grains, seeds, and nuts are the cornerstone of the hamster’s diet both in the wild and in captivity.

but dark greens and other vegetables should be a part of the diet as well. Hamsters enjoy fruit but should enjoy them in moderation as they’re prone to diabetes.

Living Differences

Let’s start with the chinchillas, these little creatures live and survive in a cool environment. They don’t love a low humidity long.

 During severe heat, chinchillas can die of heatstroke, as well. So it is evident that you can’t keep their cage somewhere near a sunny area. Not to mention, you can’t keep them outside, ever.

They are extremely playful animals and require a bit large cages than other rodents. They need enough space and area for moving to and fro.

Ideally, you need a cage measuring around 1 meter by 1.5 meters by 1.3 meters. Make sure there are multiple shelves at different heights.

On the other hand, hamsters have a small size than chinchillas. So, the cage enclosure should be tighter than the cage for a chinchilla.

 If you own a Syrian hamster, you may need the cage to be a bit larger than the average hamster cage. As this special breed comes in a larger size than the usual hamsters we see, it will need more space to move freely.

See also  Chinchillas Breeding (Ultimate Guide)

Make sure that the cage has a narrow space between the cage bars to prevent the little buddy from escaping or accidentally dropping out of the cage. They require a proper ventilation system for a healthy lifestyle.

Never put its cage in a confined, damp, and non-ventilated place. Keep it beside an open space or a window through which fresh airflow is confirmed.

Hamsters love to sleep on soft bedding. So, keeping soft bedding inside the cage is a must. Hamster hates it when the bed is hard and flat. So keep inside soft papers or hey or any ready-made bedding, you find in the market.

On the other hand, chinchillas love to sleep in enclosed beds during the daytime. For chinchillas, you need to place the wooden or paper box on the surface of the cage.

 If you ever had an encounter with a chinchilla, you would know how noisy they are, especially during the nighttime. So, never put their cage in the bedroom. You don’t want to ruin your sleep for the rest of your life.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is better a chinchilla or a hamster?

If you are looking for a little pet for your child then hamsters will be the best option as it is smaller and lighter and will eat less.

Since they have a short lifespan, they can be the perfect pet. Chinchillas live longer and have softer fur. That makes them a better long-term companion and the best pet for cuddling.

Can hamsters live with other animals?

In general, the answer is no. It is never recommended to keep a hamster with other pets.  In the wild, most hamsters live alone and only seek out other hamsters when it’s time to mate. For hamsters in captivity, life should mirror that of a wild hamster as closely as possible. 

 But, if you want to have one then go for a guinea pig as a companion of the hamsters. Guinea pigs have a longer life span—around five to seven years—than hamsters do, and they require more time and effort because of their bigger appetite for lots of hay and vegetables.

Final Verdict:

So, having a hamster and chinchilla together is never a good idea. They have different personalities and keeping them together requires a lot of precautions. Hamsters are docile, while chinchillas are aggressive. Leaving them alone can start a fight that is genuinely not desirable.

But, what if you want to have both at the same time in your house? Then make sure that they have two separate cages.

Never leave the cages side-by-side as chinchillas are dominant by nature and can get aggressive by seeing hamsters. Leaving them free will be dangerous. There should be a separation with proper coverage so that they do not see each other.

And if you want to introduce them to each other, give them time. Start with small interactions under supervision.

Thank you for reading the article. Hopefully, after reading this article you get to know all about the chinchillas and hamsters housing together and it will be easier for you to make decisions. If you want to learn more about little chinchillas let us know in the comment section below.

Your response will be appreciated.


I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.

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