Boredom Busters: Keeping Your Chinchilla Mentally & Physically Stimulated

Do you remember the last time you were bored, so bored you considered doing something drastic – like deep cleaning or exercising? We’re not the only ones whose minds wander when we get bored. Chinchillas, stuck in their cage without anything to keep them occupied, are the same way.

We want our chinchillas to be happy and healthy, right? Well, one of the best ways we can ensure our chin’s happiness is to provide her with plenty of time to run around, to spend with us, and toys to keep her mind and her body moving.

Play time!

Chinchillas have tons of energy. But, you already know that, right? Give your chin plenty of play time – outside of her cage – that will allow her to exercise, explore, and spend time with you. Ideally, a chin will have at least four hours outside of her cage each day. You’ve got two options for play time: A pen and free run in a chin-proofed room. Either way, you’ll want to supervise your little one whenever she’s out.

Pen

An exercise pen will allow you to confine your chin to a fairly large space. Since chins can jump pretty high, consider opting for a pen cover so she can’t jump out of the pen. Pens come in a variety of heights so your best bet might just be to buy the highest you can.

Free run

Allow your chin total freedom – under supervision, of course – in a thoroughly chin-proofed room. Free run also gives you and your furry little one the opportunity to bond.

Choose a room then get to work chin-proofing that room. The last thing you want is for your chin to chew on your lamp or smartphone cords (dangerous for her).

Whether you opt for a pen or free run, make sure your chin has plenty of toys inside and outside of her cage. (Don’t just take her toys from her cage and put them in her play area or pen. Mix it up.) Let’s turn the topic to popular toys for chinchillas.

What about the rest of the time?

Play time’s probably the highlight of your chin’s day, right? Kind of like when we were kids and recess was the absolutely best part of every school day. But, even if your chin is out for four hours or more, that leaves a whole lot of hours for her to occupy in her cage.

Keep her mentally and physically stimulated by providing her with plenty of fun toys. Let’s take a quick look at some popular toys for chins:

Popular Toys

  • Chew toys. Chins naturally chew. If your chin doesn’t have safe things to chew, she’s going to start eyeing things she shouldn’t chew – like baseboards – when she’s having playtime. Find safe chew toys, such as a wooden play table ), a mobile, or a willow toy.

    A word of caution: Always make sure the toys your purchase are not made with pesticides or chemicals that can harm your chin.
  • Hiding box. Give your chin several cardboard boxes in her cage (and her play area). She can curl up inside the box when she wants to take a nap. And, she can chew on the cardboard when the fancy strikes. (Don’t forget – chewing the right things is good for your chin’s dental health and will help fight against malocclusion.)
  • Exercise wheel. Ever notice your chin get a sudden burst of energy? Perfect time for her to jump into her exercise wheel and start running. Take care, however, when choosing what type of exercise wheel to put in her cage. Avoid using any wheel that has spokes or a horizontal bar, both of which can cause injuries if your chin’s legs get caught.   
  • Television/radio. Yep. You read right. Many chin parents swear by leaving the TV or radio on for their little ones. Leave the television or radio on a low volume to keep your chin company any time of the day or the night.

There you have it! Just like us, chinchillas need plenty to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Your chin will certainly reward you with popcorning in delight when she’s got plenty to keep her happy.