A big part of the fun of having any pet is picking it up and playing with it. But handling a chinchilla isn’t as simple as holding other kinds of pets.

That’s because chinchillas are delicate. In particular, they have delicate rib cages; not floating ribs, as many people think, but short ribs attached to the sternum by long strands of thin cartilage. It’s surprisingly easy to bend and break these ribs, and even kill your chinchilla by handling it incorrectly. Besides that, chinchillas are skittish and shy, making holding one even more difficult.

That’s what the guides below are all about: picking up your chinchilla safely. Pick the topic that interests you and get reading!