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Oscar came from a fur farm. Male chinchillas are not used for their fur, but are instead only kept for breeding purposes.
Since they are about half the size of a the females they are given access to multiple females. They can get into and out of the females’ areas, but the ladies can’t get out. In nature, females are dominant, they mate for life, and are monogamous. On fur farms this is completely inverted. This is why male chinchillas purchased from pet stores are sweet and cuddly, but males from fur farms are aggressive.
Since we’ve had him and he’s been able to run around (he loves to run and bounce – yes bounce – off of walls) he has gotten a lot less aggressive. And we can actually pet him now and scratch him under his chin.
He enjoys teasing the cats. He’s a lot faster than them so he can bit them in the ass and run away before they know what happened. The cats are really good and know not to bat at him.
Chinchillas are almost completely gone from the wild. Soon they will only be found on fur farms and in pet stores. Not only are they ridiculously cute, which makes people want them as pets without knowing anything about them, they have incredibly dense and soft fur, which means that rich ladies want to wear them. Double whammy. It’s at least a good thing that no one has decided that chinchilla feet are good luck.