Intro to Owning a Chinchilla!

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Having a pet chinchilla can be a very rewarding experience. These little critters are known for having some of the softest fur in the world, perfect for cuddling up against. They can be a bit shy when you are first getting to know them, but once they come out of their shell they are very entertaining creatures. In this article I will go into detail about what you will need for your pet chinchilla and what kind of behavior you can expect from them.


Chinchillas are great pets for night owls like me. They are nocturnal animals so they like to sleep throughout the day and come out to play at night. This can be a drawback if you have small kids, especially since chinchillas don't really care for a lot of human interaction. If you are looking for a cuddle buddy you might be better off getting a hamster or guinea pig. Don't get me wrong, chinchillas that are pampered and petted from birth usually don't mind being handled but if you are buying from a pet store then most likely your chinchilla will be pretty timid around humans.

Although sometimes shy, chinchillas are known to be very curious animals. They love to explore dark crevices and you might be surprised at how small of holes they can squeeze into. They also have very good memories, so make sure never to chase them or pick them up if they are scared. If you do, it may take them a while to forgive you!


First of all you will need a cage, the bigger the better! Height is more important than width when shopping for a chinchilla cage. You want to make sure there are multiple levels to the cage so your new chin has plenty of room to hop around. Make sure you buy a few toys for him/her as well, chew toys especially. Chinchilla's will chew on anything they can get their teeth on! Next up, you need a "sand bath", these can be usually be found at pet stores but if not a small aquarium will suffice. Don't forget the sand! Chinchilla's have very thick coats so instead of bathing in water they have to bath in these aforementioned sand baths. You will also need to pick up some bedding for the cage, untreated pine shavings or recycled paper bedding are your best options.

When shopping for food, it is best to keep it simple. Chinchillas have very picky digestive systems and can get sick if they eat the wrong food. Stick to a strict diet of pellets, hay, and the occasional raisin to ensure your chin remains healthy. Make sure to get a water bottle and sturdy food dish as well.

Finally, the last item on the list and one of the most important is the "nesting box". This will be the chinchilla's home during the day so make sure it is nice and cozy. A wooden box with a small opening is ideal for this purpose.

That is about it for supplies. There are all kinds of different toys you can pick up if you want to spoil your chin, I have just listed all the basic items you will need.


Overall, I would say chinchillas make pretty good pets. Like I said, if you have small children, you may be better off with a hamster or guinea pig. But if you are looking for a cool little furry pet that doesn't require a lot of maintenance a chinchilla is just right for you.

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Michael Hayslett has 1 articles online

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Intro to Owning a Chinchilla!

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This article was published on 2010/03/31