What to use to deter a Chinchilla who eats ANYTHING?!

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by emt1581, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

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    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    Just to set the scene for you...

    We have a chinchilla. She will be a year old in May. She is the size of a small groundhog and cute as a button!

    To date, she has been shocked by power cords three times (1 of the three times it was by a surge protector with a mini-fridge, microwave, and printer plugged into it) and tripped the breaker in the basement to require resetting. She has eaten 5 cigarettes and their packaging. She has turned the equivalent of a ream of paper into mulch and eaten about 1/4 of it in the process. She has also eaten some copper wire as well as a TON of rubber coating on the wires plus the electrical tape OVER the wires. She had eaten her original house (within her large cage) to the point that it came unhinged and the walls fell on her (nothing heavy, but damned funny to see happen). She's eaten book covers (hard and soft). Also ate bits and pieces off of photos. Even TRIED eating a steel picture frame along with the glass front.

    You need to understand that she is basically a buzzsaw that zips around similar to a combination of a kangaroo and the tazmanian devil. Even though we keep a VERY close eye on her, she still manages to sneak stuff in (I'm convinced that she plots stuff in her head).

    As far as the cigs and everything else sides the wires and paper, she's been prevented from doing that anymore through cleaning and removal of the items.

    The main problem I'm having is figuring out how to eliminate the chewing on wires for the most part. I tried putting bells on all the wires to deter her, plus it lets us know where she is and what she's doing. However, all her toys have bells on them, so it seems to encourge the behavior.

    I thought about bitter apple (spray used for cats and dogs to deter them from eating stuff), but this is an animal that eats ANYTHING except for meat and potatos (not sure why) and baths in and eats DUST and DUST BUNNIES, so I'm not sure the spray would actually have any effect on her.

    We also give her PLENTY of wood chews, wood toys, seeds, and nuts in addition to her normal food, so it's not like she doesn't have adequate resources to keep her teeth in check.

    I'm an animal lover, so it's not like I've been trying to hurt her by allowing her to chew on pretty much everything in the room, so flames aren't needed.

    I'm just shocked (lil pun ;)) that NOTHING seems to hurt her! Aside from some singed wiskers from the shocks, she has never had any injuries or been detered from going right back to her old tricks.

    She even "test bites" the socks ON MY FEET, which is dangerous enough.

    Anyways, what have yall found to work when everything else seems to fail in terms of detering pets?


  2. Dandapani


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    Mar 24, 2004
    Gulf side Florida
    Perhaps thats why they are kept in wire cages at the pet store. They weren't intended as a run-around-the-house pet. I hate to be brutally honest with you, but I think the problem is letting it have the run of the house. I've heard similar things about keeping rabbits in the house, but they seem to be more "trainable".

  3. jthuang

    jthuang On The Jazz

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    Jan 17, 2000
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Yeah, what Dan said. I have a friend with a chinchilla and my sister had a bunch of gerbils when we were growing up. They're all the same way, unless you get a really smart one who can behave outside of the cage. You have to keep them caged, which is kind of a shame.