10 Chinchilla Facts



We all love our chinchillas, and we can never stop learning about them.  So we thought we’d come up with a top 10 list of facts about chinchillas.  After all, the more we know about our pets, the better we can look after them and the more fun we get from doing so.


Top 10 Chinchilla Facts

1.  Chinchillas Have Adapted to Living in Mountainous and Rocky Environments

Originating from the barren slopes of the Andes, chinnies adapted to living in crevices and gaps at high altitude – often over 12,000 feet in height.  To cope with the cold they have extremely dense fur, and the pads on their feet are hairless and fleshy to allow them to gain a good foothold on the rocks of the mountains.


2. A Chinchilla Can Live at High Altitudes

The red blood cells of a chinchilla can carry more oxygen than those of other rodents or rabbits.  This helps them cope with living at a high altitude where there is naturally less oxygen in the atmosphere.


3.  Chinchillas have Unique Defence Mechanism Called “Fur Slip”

Because chinchillas are prey animals, they have a defense mechanism known as ‘fur slip.’  If grabbed by a predator they have the ability to lose a large patch of fur, leaving their would-be attacker with simply a large clump of fur, hopefully allowing the chinchilla to escape.



4. Jumping Comes Natural to Chinchillas

Chinchillas can jump over six feet in height.  That’s likely to mean that they can easily make it to the top of your fridge!


5.  Chinchillas Have a Very Similar Hearing Range to That of Humans

This means they can hear the same pitches and tones as us, although their large ears mean that their hearing is somewhat more sensitive than ours.




6.  Chinchillas Can Sleep Upside Down

This is because they naturally sleep in small crevices or holes and can squeeze into the tiniest of spaces.  They can also sleep upright or on their sides.


7.  Chinnies Communicate With Vocal Sounds

These sounds include things such as grunts, chirps, barking sounds and squeals.


Facts on Chinchillas Love Timothy Hay


8.  Chinchillas Digest Their Food Twice!

Their food passes through their digestive system and is excreted to be re-ingested.  This is the same as both rabbits and guinea pigs, and is a process known as caecotrophy.


9. Chinchillas are Pack Animals

In the wild, chinchillas would live in groups of up to 100 members.  They are highly social animals and do better kept with another of their own kind when living in captivity.


10. Chinnies Sit Funny When Eating

When a chinchilla eats he tends to sit on his haunches and hold food in his front paws.


So – how many Chinchilla facts did you know?  It was a hard decision to know what to leave in and what to leave out.  But we’ve tried to include some of the more unusual Chinchilla facts  in this list.  After all, knowledge is king – and none of us ever stop learning.  It’s fun, learning more about our pets – and every little thing we discover about them makes us better guardians for the smallest members of our family.


And lastly, if you are a chinchilla owner and you are looking for better hay than the store bought stuff, we sell the highest quality timothy hay online and deliver it fresh to chinchilla owners acrossed the country.





Till next time – love those chinnies…


Oh!  And I almost forgot…  We’d love it if you’d help us in our mission to make the nation’s small pets the best kept in the world.  If you’ve enjoyed this blog then it’d be awesome if you could share it on Twitter or Facebook.  And if you fancy leaving a comment then we’d love to hear from you.


And if it’s your first time here then be sure to sign up below for your email updates.  We have so much exciting stuff planned, and by signing up you’ll be sure not to miss out.








  1. alexis says

    hi, my name is alexis and i was just wondering i’ve only owned my chinchilla for about 2 months now and i know thats a short amount of time for a chinchilla to already trust you but everytime i have my hand anywhere near his mouth he trys to bite me and i treat him well and all i clean his cage, give him baths, feed him, give him water, let him out, give him toys to play with he still does so what should i do?

    • says

      Allow your chinchilla to come to you. Try coaxing him with treats to earn your trust. I’ve done this with all four chins we’ve owned and before long, they would go to the front of the cage every time I entered the room and had no problems being handled; though they expected a treat or a hay cube whenever I interacted with them. Good luck.

    • Jazmin says

      Hi. I am a student from Essex Aggie and i saw your comment. I had just taken a class on handling small animals. The reason for the Chincillia trying to bite is beacuse sometimes they can either be restless meaning they want more time alone, or want more sleep. And other days they just dont want to be touched. I hope i helped you. If you would like to know more information you should talk to your nearest vet. :)

    • says

      None of that means that your chinchilla doesn’t like you. I have four chinchillas and each and and every single one started out like that. Your chinchilla is just afraid of you. Biting is a self defense all small animals use and your chinchilla thinks you are going to hurt him purely because he doesn’t know you quite yet. Try approaching your chinchilla slowly, then let him jump into your hands and then place him in an exercise ball while you do whatever you have to do. You might have to do this until he gets used to you which averagely takes about six months. Or maybe all you need is time. If your chinchilla means to hurt you, you will know. Your chinchilla probably is giving you “warning bites” which is him saying leave me be. This is a gentle warning and you should probably leave him alone for a few minutes then come back and try whatever you were trying to do again. Good luck!

  2. Paige Henry says

    Hi my name is Paige and it’s very good to have another chinchilla around yours like mine but one of mine died so I can’t keep my second one very long,and always keep playing with them.
    Ps.the day was 10/22/13 and it was very hard for me