Chinchillas are social animals and in the wild they live together in what is called herds. As prey animals, they are very cautious and can be shy and frightened when faced with new situations.
When bringing your chinchilla home, give him/her time to get used to the new surroundings. As they are so easily startled, try not to make any sudden movements or loud noises.
After a day or two, allow your chinchilla to become accustomed to your presence by sitting near the cage. This will also give your chinchilla an opportunity to get to know your particular smell. Moving slowly, approach the cage, making eye contact. Your chinchilla will begin to know you as the one who provides fresh food and water.
Place your hand gently in the cage, resting it on a shelf or the floor. Your curious chinchilla may want to explore your hand. Don’t rush it, do this until your chinchilla is comfortable climbing on your hand. Chinchillas love raisins and you can use them as treats, cutting them into small pieces. Place pieces of raisins on your arm and soon your chinchilla will be comfortable climbing for treats.
Observe how your chinchilla to your advances and that will determine your next move.
Since loud noises may frighten your chinchilla at first, speak softly to him/her. You can introduce soft music as well. You can gradually accustom your chinchilla to the normal sounds in your home.
When your chinchilla is ready to be held, support him/her against your chest. Don’t hold your chinchilla by its fur. When frightened the fur will just pull out and your chinchilla will fall. Eventually, when you are both comfortable, you may be able to allow your chinchilla to roam in a secure area.
Patience and gentleness are the keys to bonding with your chinchilla.