Chinchillas are super sweet animals, and if you have one, they’ll likely be your favorite companion for years to come. But, they require really specialized care. Many people are interested in chins as pets, but are wondering how to take care of a chinchilla. And we’re here to help. We’re gonna share everything you need to know about taking care of these special snuggle bugs: what chinchillas eat, how to create the perfect chinchilla cage, and all the chinchilla supplies you’ll need to give ‘em the best life ever.
Your Chinchilla’s Cage
Chin cages are important, because while they’re going to spend a ton of time out of it free roaming and hopping around, they’re gonna spend time in it, too. The average chin lives 15-20 years so make those years as comfortable and healthy as possible with the perfect chinchilla cage. Here’s what you should know:
- We don’t recommend plastic cages. Chins love to chew, and these materials are no match for those chompers (plus, plastic ingestion is very harmful). Instead, buy some delicious and healthy toys for them to chew on and invest in a durable metal cage.
- When choosing a metal cage, make sure it isn’t made with any toxic chemicals or bad stuff. We like cages that are made out of stainless steel, aluminum, and nickel.
- When deciding on the size of your chinchilla’s cage, think “the bigger, the better.” Chinchillas are very active, have a lot of energy, and love to climb. The more room they have in their cages, both horizontally and vertically, the happier they will be.
- Make sure your cage has a solid floor and never, ever house your chin in a cage with a wire floor. Not only is this super uncomfortable, but it can also cause major foot and health issues like bumblefoot. That’s no fun for you or chin.
- We’ll talk more about chinchilla bedding later in our chinchilla care guide, but we highly recommend aspen.
- Always, always make sure your chin has fresh water in their cage. Most chinchillas will prefer a water bottle over a water dish. Water bottles are less likely to be knocked over and will prevent bedding and hay from getting soggy.
- Your chinchilla’s cage should also have lots and lots of hay. We will talk more about hay when we talk about chinchilla food, but remember: hay is your chin’s BFF.
- Make sure there are lots of places to climb and play, like shelves, an exercise wheel, toys, and hiding spaces.
These are just a few of the chinchilla cage guidelines you should add to your chinchilla care guide.
Next Up on “How to Take Care of a Chinchilla” - Food
Just like humans, chinchillas love their snacks. Here, we’ll share everything you need to know about your chin’s diet and how to keep that cutie healthy.
In the wild, chinchillas are foragers that eat lots of grasses and hay. You can mimic this for your pet chinchilla by providing them with unlimited fresh hay. Unlike large mammals (cats and dogs), chinchillas need lots of fiber all day to keep their digestive system running smoothly. Hay is the most important part of your chin’s diet and will help prevent tummy issues, GI stasis, dental problems, and more. Plus, it’s fun and will encourage active eating.
If you do a little research on how to take care of a chinchilla, you’ll probably stumble upon chinchilla pellets info. While hay should be your chin’s main food source, pellets can help supplement their meal, as long as they’re high-quality, hay-based pellets. Make sure to choose chinchilla pellets that only have the good stuff and no unhealthy fillers, additives, or artificial colors and flavors.
There’s nothing like crawling into your comfy bed after a long day, and chinchillas feel the same way (except for they sleep during the day, so basically reverse style). Treat your chin to wood bedding... aspen shavings are your best choice. Unlike other woods, such as cedar or pine, aspen wood bedding is super safe, cozy, and absorbent. In the world of a chin, bedding is much more than just a place to sleep. Most chins will play with it, hide in it, use it as their litter box, and forage around it in for food. Good quality chinchilla bedding is one of the most important items on your chinchilla care guide.
Now for the fun part… toys! Chins love to play, and toys and chews not only offer them some fun, but they are also a healthy outlet for their energy. Also, did you know that a chinchilla’s teeth never stop growing? They’re gonna need some activities to keep them at a healthy length.
When shopping for toys for your chinchilla, avoid any with artificial glues, dyes, plastic, pesticides, or other icky stuff. All of our chinchilla toys are all-natural and offer your little darling a fun way to chew, toss, burrow, or dig around their cage. Socialize your chin with these fun and unique toys and chews and watch how their personality grows.
Still wondering how to take care of a chinchilla? Check out our blog for more tips and tricks for giving the best life possible to your little one.