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Chinchilla Bedding Breakdown: What Works and What Doesn’t

chinchilla bedding

When it comes to setting up your chinchilla’s crib, coziness should be a top priority. However, hygiene and health should be even higher on the priority list. When it comes to chinchilla bedding, we’re taking both of these head-on. 

Chinchilla bedding helps your pet feel warm and safe. It’s also what absorbs urine to keep their cage dry. It’s extremely important for a chinchilla to stay dry due to their thick coat that doesn’t dry out properly after getting wet. Moisture trapped under their fur can cause skin issues.  Keeping their environment dry keeps them dry! 

So, this is something we want to get right. There are a few different options when it comes to choosing the best chinchilla bedding. As well as some types of bedding to steer clear of. 

Head to YouTube for more information on chinchilla supplies!

Efficient and Healthy Chinchilla Bedding

Depending on how you have your chinchilla’s space set up, you may need bedding on the entire floor of the enclosure or only in a litter box area. Some people use fleece to line their chinchilla’s cage when they have their chinchillas using litter boxes. 

Some chinchillas like lots of bedding! Either way, a chinchilla is going to have their nose right up in their bedding so it’s important that the bedding is not only efficient but also free of chemicals and dust to keep your chinchilla’s respiratory system healthy.

Aspen Shavings 

Aspen Shavings are one of the most popular options for chinchilla bedding. They’re super soft with no aromatic oils. They’re made from wood shavings from logs that have been heat treated (any bacteria or mold has been eliminated). Make sure your bedding is low-dust without any additives or dyes. 

Aspen Shavings are 100% recyclable and compostable! You can add it to your compost or feel confident that you aren’t adding waste to the planet.

chinchilla bedding

Paper Pellet Bedding 

Paper Pellet Bedding is another great option. Look for Paper Pellet Bedding that is made from paper that has never been used previously (virgin paper). This way you know the bedding is clean without dyes or chemicals. 

This bedding is also compostable and low-dust making it a healthy choice for the planet and your pet. 

chinchilla bedding

Kiln-Dried Pine Shavings 

When it comes to bedding made from pine, make sure it’s kiln-dried. Untreated pine has chemicals that can cause liver problems for chinchillas or respiratory issues! Remember your chinchilla is breathing in their bedding. Imagine them swimming in their bedding! You need to keep it clean. 

When pine is dried at high temperatures in a kiln, the chemicals are broken down and become safe for pets!

Pelleted Straw Bedding 

Pelleted straw bedding doesn’t absorb as nicely as some of the other options but it’s a safe option for chinchillas so we’re adding it to the list! Chinchillas are curious animals so it’s always good to have a bedding material that won’t expand and cause a blockage if they swallow any. 

Chinchilla Bedding To Avoid

Some people try to get ahead of smells by putting their chinchilla’s health on the back burner. Scented bedding is not for chinchillas. Chinchillas are very sensitive so just focus on simple clean bedding. 

Never use cat litter for chinchilla bedding. Cat litter clumps and expands dramatically. If a chinchilla was to swallow cat litter there would be a serious problem. 

Aromatic wood that hasn't been treated shouldn’t be used for chinchilla bedding. Pine sometimes falls into this category. It may smell nice to you but it will stress out a chinchilla’s respiratory system. 

Cedar is also toxic to small animals and needs to be avoided! 

How Often Should You Change Your Chinchilla Bedding? 

In general, chinchilla bedding needs to be entirely replaced once a week with spot cleanings throughout the week. This of course varies depending on the type of bedding you’re using as well as how many chinchillas you have. If your chinchilla’s enclosure is smelly, that means you’ve waited too long!

chinchilla bedding

Clean Chinchilla Bedding For Clean Chinchillas

Chinchillas love to be clean. They self-groom regularly and will also groom each other! Imagine living with a very tidy person, you’d want to do your best to tidy up for them! Choosing appropriate bedding makes this responsibility easier. 

Clean from chemicals is also important. Chinchillas can live to be 20 years old! When you prioritize your chinchilla’s health you get more happy years with them. Chinchilla bedding is something that you will buy on repeat for years. Choose clean bedding from a company you trust!


Chinchilla research is continuously growing! If you have any doubts or concerns contact your exotic vet.

We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.

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