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Why are people so STUPID?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am so mad about this, such IDIOTS! Would you use something for your cats that someone told you was very very unsafe? No, of course not!

About a year ago, I made a chinchilla cage, and for doors, I used squares/grids from walmart. They are called all sorts of names. Creative Cubes, Neat Idea Cubes, Cubic Concepts. They are all the same thing. You connect them together to make little shelves ("cubes"). The wire was sturdy, so I decided to use them to make the doors on my cage. The spaces were a little big, but I didn't think big enough for a chin to stick it's head in. Sure enough, Lexi did, and it wasn't coming back out. It was horrible, she was NOT a friendly chinchilla, so I could imagine her kicking her back legs in the air in panic and snapping her neck! Scared me so bad! I smeared her head in butter, nope. I was also alone, at 11:30 at night. The only neighbor I'd ever let come near my animals (yes, even in an emergency), was not home. So I called my sister (while with one hand trying to hold a frantic chinchilla and a grid that she has her head wedged in). She came over, and held her while I used the dremel to saw the wire open to get her head out!

So now, I see people on the chinchilla board talking about making chinnie playpens with these. I step in, kindly tell them that this is absolutely not safe and that a chinchilla can put their head through, and not be able to get it out. They ignored my message! I posted another about a week later, a little less kind (but not all that rude). Here's what I posted...

"My chinchilla got her head stuck in one of these, the ones from walmart. They are all the same size, and have the same size holes. She was a full grown adult chinchilla. PLEASE DO NOT USE THESE unless you cover them with mesh first!

I posted a warning about this a few days ago on the other thread about these, but no one is taking it seriously. Lexi had her head stuck in one of the squares, had she panicked and kicked in an attempt to free herself, she could have broken her neck!"

A few people actually listened that time. That was a few days ago, and today, look what gets posted....

"Yes, everyone, please do take this seriously. One of my girls also got her head stuck in the spacing today. In an effort to free herself, she twisted her body any way that she could. I caught her just in time, I really thought she was going to snap her neck! I had to cut the wire to get her loose and by this time, she was extremely exhausted. She insisted on a good 10 minute rest in my lap. She could not hop properly and was shaking for some time afterward. As you can see, it was a very traumatic experience for her!

I really do not recommend these cubes for chins!"

I am almost possitive that the person this happened to TODAY, read my warnings a few days ago.

I hate people. I had a horrible experience and I try to keep it from happening to someone else and they ignore me.

post #2 of 18
I'm glad Lexi is OK!!! That had to be a very traumatic experience for her and you as well!

Unfortunately you are right, people are stupid and take stupid and unecessary chances with their animals. They don't always listen to good advice when they hear it. It happens here all too often. You would be amazed at some of the posts we've had here where it seems obvious to even a person not very knowledgable about veterinary medicine that the cat needs to see an ER vet NOW (i.e. "she's having trouble breathing", "he's been vomiting non-stop for over an hour", "she's barely moving"), and yet they come here for advice on what they can do at home. And then a couple days later there is a heartwrenching post that the cat didn't make it because they didn't get treatment for it right away.

Hopefully now that there are two stories of the same thing, people will pay more heed to your warning.
post #3 of 18
Some people just have to learn things the hard way. I'm glad neither one of the chinchillas was seriously injured, and now maybe some of the others will pay attention to your warning.
post #4 of 18
I've heard people recommending using those cubes for guinea pig cages as well. Aren't chins roughly the same size as gp's? I keep my piggie girls in a big kiddy swimming pool with tiny wire mesh as a top, fastened securely all the way around the top of the pool, and opening on hinges. The cubes just didn't seem like a good idea to me.

I'm so sorry Lexi had to go through that, the poor baby. Thank goodness your sister was nearby! I miss my chinchilla Houdini (aptly named) still
post #5 of 18
I think some people just won't take a warning seriously untill it happens more than once. They might just think it was freak accident, or a one time flaw in the construction quality.
Anyway, Im glad all the Chinchillas are ok.

post #6 of 18
Dawn, that was so scary! I'm glad your chinnie girl is okay. Some people! I hope they realise now..!

Hugs to you!
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Chins look about the size of a small guinea pig, but under that fur they're not much bigger than a rat. These cubes ARE fine for guinea pigs, that's the reason I had them actually, they were left over from making my pig cages. A guinea pig's head is probably about twice as big as a chinchillas. Your piggie cage sounds perfect though.

Thanks everyone. Lexi was fine, aside from barking at me every time I came near her for a week. She also had that problem about the butter . I think her cagemate helped her get most of it off, and she took a few dozen dust baths.

Poor thing, here's a picture of her, a couple months after it happened. Good as new, and a couple days away from delivering her kit. Oh, geez, I just realized she had to have been pregnant when that happened!
post #8 of 18
Aww! She's adorable! I have fallen in love with your chinnies! I only know one person in NZ that has them.
post #9 of 18
Oh Dawn, Just wondering seeing as I can't be bothered researching on the internet, How long is a Chinchillas gestation period? Thanks. Sam.
post #10 of 18
Some people just don't listen. But you shouldn't feel bad, you told them that these were dangerous - that's the best you can do. You gave them the information, what they do with it is of their own accord. THEY should feel bad for not listening to YOU, not the other way around.

I'm so happy she's safe.

....what kind of animal is a chinchilla? I see them around all the time and I still can't derive where they come from.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
chinnies are rodents

They're related to guinea pigs. They are very very bouncy (they can literally bounce off walls, it's amazing to watch). Their back legs are very strong, they are amazing jumpers. I've heard that they can scale a very steep cliff in nothing flat, and I believe it. As far as personality, most are not cuddly. Most people don't think they're friendly, because they tend to run when you come up to the cage. But if you stick around, they always come back. They are very curious and independent (does this sound like another species we're aware of?). If you aproach them slowly, and offer a hand to them, most of the time, you'll get a chinchilla on that hand. Leo (one of my boys), jumps on my hand and runs up my arm when I open the cage. Most of mine were adults when I got them, so they're not as trusting. I can pick up most without a problem though. I have one that bites, but she doesn't bite hard. She nips when she wants down. If I don't let her down, she nips harder. She's generally a really nice girl so I usually respect this request to not be handled. I've never had the privledge to feel that third nip.

As far as regionally, they origionate in the andes mountains, where they are nearly extinct due to trapping them for their fur. Now, most are bred on ranches, some for their fur, some for pets. Some both. In fact, I'm getting three new females in march who were purchased from a pelting ranch. They should be excellent quality! The lady I buy mostly from raises them for pets, she has alot of them. She gets them from ranches all over, so there is plenty of diversity in the lines she has.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sam, gestation is 111 days, roughly 3 1/2 months. People see chinchillas for sale for over $100, and they always assume I make so much money from selling the babies. Well, seeing as each female has maybe one or two litters a year (I never let them have more than 3 litters in 2 years), of 1 - 3 kits....you do the math.

I just do it because I love the animals so much. My females have all decided to go on breeding strike anyway, haven't had babies in 8 months. Chins are just weird sometimes.

post #13 of 18
Dawn- Wow that's quite a long time.. even longer than a cat.. I know what you mean about making money it's the same with our cats. We only let our queens have two litters a year, and I think it's a NZCF rule as well..hmm. Funny about them going on strike, are they born furless?
post #14 of 18
I've seen pics of wee chinchillas, and I can definitely see why you breed them- they are sooooooooo adorable!!

In a perfect world where I could afford to care for as many animals as I wanted, and barring all possible physical complications, I'd love to let my little piggie Kismet have a litter of babies. She and her mom Karma are my only two pigs, but I'd love to have more. They are just so sweet and cute! Baby gps are born furred, eyes open, and eat solids within hours of their birth. Are chins similar?
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
I think I'll answer the last two questions with a picture. Lexi's baby, Kallie, the day she was born...
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
4 days old
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh, and I just realized this kit is also the partial head you see in my signature pic , the white one in my sig is Leo, he's so perfect! Pefect head, body shape, neck, FUR, wow! I just adore Leo. He was free also. I bought his parents as "slow breeders", for $10 each, three weeks prior to his birth.

post #18 of 18
Wow they are really "ready for life" when they are born aren't they, Amazing!
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