I have learnt a great deal from my own experience owning chinchillas, if you’re thinking about getting a new family member, I hope reading this will help you make a decision on weither a chinchilla is a suitable pet for you and maybe just give you a little insight to what it’s like being a parent to these fluffy rodents.
About 2 years ago I saw an ad for 2 female chinchillas on Gumtree I cried at my boyfriend for them and he gave in (obviously) I was on my way to owning furry little fuzz balls of my own.
I fell in love. Meet Florence and Edna.
Despite my aching love for my new fur children I had to earn there affection. Chinchillas are such sensitive little souls, wonderful pets and full of personality. However they can be very timid and take a while to warm up to you. This is what I have found with mine.
So without further ado, heres that care guide you have been waiting to read since you started looking at this post (sorry about that)
Time and Space
First off, I will ask do you have the time and space for these lil’ loves? I have found no matter what the pet, a lot of time should go into researching your pet as well as understanding how long they live and thinking about if you have the time to give them the affection they need, chinchillas can be very shy but if you put time into them you will be rewarded with there awesome personalities and a crazy abundance of trust.
You also should take into consideration the space your new pal will take up, your friendly neighbourhood “I will not name the massive local brand pet chain” cage sizes will just not do. Chinchillas need space to jump around and do, well. Chinchilla things. and those cages in my opinion just do not cut it.
My cage is a comfortable 92x64x160cm and has been stocked full of ledges, hammocks and layers that they can spend there night jumping around and annoying the fuck out of me, which brings me onto my next point.
I couldn’t find the exact cage I own but this is about the closest. that you can purchase here.
Enrichment and Entertainment
Despite their tiny lil’ pea brains, chinchillas are such intelligent little souls and need a large amount of mental stimulation within there environment, by providing this you will have happier chinchillas with less risk of problems such as stereotypical behaviours.
I recommend creating a fun environment for them to live in as well as using toys to chew on, chinchillas teeth are constantly growing so wooden toys aid in keeping teeth at a healthy length.
Different levels and making changes to there environment such as moving objects round will keep your pets entertained, enriched and happy as well as getting your animal out for at least a recommended 20 minutes, 3 times a week.
Edna goes shopping to stop stereotypical behaviour.
(Ps. Please don’t house a chinchilla on it’s own unless it’s because of its own circumstance, these little guys thrive offeach others company, chinchillas can live alone but it will be more unhappy than when housed with a mate. Thanks)
Chinchillas are fuzzy little rodents you can’t get wet. Much like gremlins, but you can feed these guys after midnight and they don’t pop out green versions of them self. You use chinchilla sand to keep them clean, I bathe my chinchillas in sand twice a week.
Chinchillas are lil herbivores, kinda like lil rodent cows, but only nothing like that because they are chinchillas.
Feed your chinchillas a high fibre diet. Most pet shops do a pelleted feed which I recommend, this means that there will be no selective and picky eating which you are likely to get with musli type of food.
Having a pellet formed food means your pet can’t selectively eat certain bits in the food, and your pet wont get all the nutrition they need from their diet. Basically the musli food is like pigging out with fast food every day and making your floof unhealthy.
As well as a good food , Hay and fresh water should always be provided within a chinchillas diet (i know this is an obvious one). They can have a small amount of fruit like a small piece of carrot or a dried fruit, but don’t over indulge your animal as chins have super sensitive stomachs and could become sick.
A brief guide to chinchillas.
If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask, and if you think I am wrong about certain aspects of care feel free to challenge me on it, I am always open to learning new things for the improvement of welfare.
(Note: I do not know all and there is so many great care guides out there, this is more what I have found from my own experience, do your research kids! )