MEET THE CHINCHILLA

Chinchillas are rodents native to the Andes mountains in South America. They are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. They are high-energy and extremely sensitive animals. Chinchillas make great pets but only for those who are willing to put in the time, interest, energy, and money to create the proper habitat and life for these special creatures.

Lifespan

15 - 20 years

Diet Difficulty

Medium

Good With Kids

No

Care Difficulty

High

Space Requirement

Large

Cleanliness

Messy

Time Needed Outside Cage

High

Human Interaction Needs

Medium

Potty Trainability

Low

Cuddliness

Low

CARE GUIDE

SUPPLY LIST

ADOPTABLE

CHINCHILLAS

ENCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Dimensions

One chinchilla: 6 cubic ft

Two chinchillas: 10 - 12 cubic ft

Three chinchillas: 15 - 24 cubic ft

MNPPR Recommends

Double Critter Nation

Critter Nation cages are easy to clean, customize, and move around. Plus, they come in both single and double sizes depending on how much room you have and how many chinchillas you want to keep.

Other Notes

Wire-sided cages are preferable because they provide plenty of ventilation and options for climbing.

Bar spacing should be no more than 1” to prevent injuries or escape.

 

All cage floors, ramps, and levels should be solid or covered with fleece since standing on wire can cause injuries and bumblefoot.

Fleece blankets or liners are the safest options for chinchilla bedding since they may eat other types and get intestinal blockages. We like to use fleece to line the cage and cover any exposed wire floors.

ENRICHMENT REQUIREMENTS

Essentials

water bottle

food bowl

lots of chew toys (wood or lava)

wheel

at least one shelter/hide

Chinchiller (or similar stone slab)

Safe chinchilla wheel
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Variety

toilet paper tubes

fiddlesticks

tunnels

bird toys

bits of fabric

ladders

cardboard

treat balls

homemade toys

Other Items

dust bath

animal dust (volcanic)

hammocks

pet bed

pet carrier

fleece

Chewing

Chinchillas are known to be prolific chewers. Because of this, many owners choose not to allow any plastic at all in their environment. This is the best way to protect your pets from ingesting pieces of plastic that can cause an obstruction and make them ill. There are glass water bottles, ceramic or glass dishes, solid metal or wooden wheels, and wooden hides available on the market.

FEEDING REQUIREMENTS

Hay

Chinchillas’ digestive systems require a constant supply of hay to function properly. An unlimited supply of timothy hay, orchard grass, and/or meadow grass should be available for them to eat at all times. Adult chinchillas should not be given alfalfa since its calcium content is too high and can cause stones to form.

Pellets

Each chinchilla should be given 1/8 cup of timothy pellets a day. Seed mix food should not be used because they are often missing vital nutrients and many chinchillas will only eat their favorite tasting pieces causing an unbalanced diet. At MNPPR we prefer to use Oxbow brand pellets.

Safe Treats

alfalfa hay cubes

carrots

dandelions

dried rose hips

fruit tree twigs

parsley

orchard grass

meadow hay

Treats

Chinchillas have very sensitive digestive systems and should not be given more than a few very small treats a week to prevent serious health problems.

Unsafe Treats

corn

dairy 

fruit

meat

nuts

seeds

vegetables (except carrots)

  

DISCLAIMER

All information shared by MN Pocket Pet Rescue is researched, up to date, and accurate to the best of our ability. We are not a licensed veterinary organization and do not intend to present ourselves as such. All educational material contains our best recommendations for care specific to each species. However, all animals are different and some may have unique needs. MN Pocket Pet Rescue does not assume any liability for the well-being of any animal not under our care. Always use your best judgment and follow veterinary recommendations whenever necessary. If you have any questions or find inaccurate information please contact us.

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© 2021 by Burpingcake. Stock photos from Canstock.

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