Chinchilla Companion Guide

Companion Animal Guide
helping you find your new best friend

Chinchilla

A chinchilla is a good companion for:

Children under 5
No
Seniors
Yes
Apartments/Condos
Yes
Children ages 5–11
Yes
Busy People
Yes
Rural Homes
Yes




Life Span

A chinchilla may live for up to 10 years, if properly cared for.

Typical Behavior

Chinchillas are very curious, playful and intelligent. Chinchillas that have been well socialized with their families like to be cuddled, carried and played with. Chinchillas also can be trained to do tricks, use a litter pan and come out of their cage when called.

Care Requirements

A chinchilla requires daily care; its water should be changed and any wet bedding should be removed.

Once a week, a chinchilla’s house should be completely cleaned and washed with soap and water. Be sure to completely rinse the enclosure and any accessories.

Chinchillas are naturally clean animals, but they do require an occasional wipe down with a damp, clean cloth. At least twice a week allow your chinchilla to take a dust bath. This allows them to remove the oils and moisture that collects in their dense fur. Dust and a bath house can be purchased at any local pet store that stocks chinchilla supplies.

Proper Habitat and Habitat Maintenance Requirements

A chinchilla needs a large wire, multi-level, well-ventilated habitat. Because chinchillas are great escape artists, finding a cage that has small slats and a secure door is preferable. Other items to consider for your chinchilla would include a hammock, a litter box, tubes though which it can crawl and toys.

While chinchillas acclimate well to most areas of the house, do not expose them to temperatures that exceed 80 degrees and keep them out of direct sunlight and drafty areas.

A chinchilla has incisor teeth that are contently growing. It is important to provide your pet chinchilla with chew sticks to help maintain the length of the teeth. Without proper toys to allow a chinchilla to chew, health-related problems may arise.

Dietary Requirements

A high-quality chinchilla food is recommended to maintain the health of your pet. You can give your chinchilla an occasional treat of fruits and vegetables, but remove them from the habitat within 24 hours if not eaten. Always avoid giving your chinchilla chocolate, alcohol and caffeine. These items can cause life-threatening health problems.

Financial Considerations for a Chinchilla:

Veterinary

If your chinchilla is cared for properly, you will not need to take it to see a veterinarian more than once a year for an annual checkup. The cost for the annual visit usually will be no more than $40, as long as there are no health-related issues.

Grooming

There are no grooming costs associated with owning a chinchilla.

Animal Sitter

Chinchillas are relatively easy to care for, so finding a sitter should be easy. The hardest part is finding someone who isn't afraid of them.

Food

A high quality food will usually cost $10 to $15 per bag. A bag of food can last for several months if stored in an air-tight container.

Other Supplies:

Generally, a chinchilla will require a cage, chew sticks, a hammock, a bath house and dust and toys.

Interesting Facts about Chinchillas:

  • Chinchilla fur is considered the softest in the world.
  • Chinchillas are known for their ability to jump and can jump up to five times their own height.
  • Chinchillas do not have dander, which makes them great pets for people with allergies.