Before you buy a chinchilla you should carefully consider a few points first. The most important factor will be whether a chinchilla is the correct type of pet for you and your lifestyle.
Many chinchillas end up dumped in rescue centres each year because someone bought a cute animal on impulse and then didn’t have time to look after it. Many more live out their lives shut in small, unsuitable cages bored out of their little furry minds or get sick and die because of inappropriate care. If you take a chinchilla home, please think carefully!
- Chinchillas like to chew, they are rodents. This behavior comes naturally to chinchillas as they search for objects to gnaw and file their teeth, just as they would do in the wild. You will need a room to exercise your chinchilla that either you don’t care much about, or has been specially protected. There are plenty of tricks to keep down the destruction such as providing alternative things to chew and plenty of toys but at the end of the day you are going to get some damage
- Chinchillas get bored. Chinchillas are bright little animals and need plenty to keep them amused. If kept in small cages for long periods can develop fur biting and all sorts of repetitive behaviour
- Chinchillas are social animals. Having more than one chinchilla can be a good option but be aware that introducing chinchillas is not an easy business and even long term friends can beat up on each other sometimes. If it is not possible, give some extra attention to your chinchilla
- You have to take great care with a chinchilla´s environment and make sure that there is nothing that they can hurt themselves on, because a chinchilla will eat and chew anything she can find
- You must be willing to take your chinchilla to the vets and pay the bills
- You need a big cage, enough for the chinchilla to jump around and have some exercise.. Then there is food, vets bills, toys, eventual damage to property! Consider all costs involved in bringing a chinchilla into your family
- Although chinchillas are very unlikely to cause an allergy themselves they must have good quality hay to eat. So if you suffer from allergies then you have to consider this. They can also kick up a fair bit of dust. Not to mention the fact that the dust they roll in can aggravate allergies as well
- Chinnys need their pellets and hay supplemented by a few raisins and bits of vegetable. If you change their food in a hurry they can get sick so make sure that you always have a good supply and mix it as you get to the end of a packet
- Most chinchillas do not appreciate being cuddled. They are not suitable pets for small children. They should be handled regularly as this makes it a lot easier if they have to go to the vet but they very rarely appreciate it. This doesn’t mean they won’t interact with you.They can come and sit on your lap or shoulder
- Chinnies nocturnal creatures and like to be up all night while sleeping most of the day
- Chinchillas like peace and quiet. Don’t place a chinchilla near to a television or where children are playing
- Chinchillas need to exercise for 20 minutes to an hour each night
- A chinchilla can live for 15 or even 20 years
- Who will look after your chinchilla when you are on holiday?
- Chinchillas must be housed inside within a climate controlled environment. They do not bode well in fluctuations in temperature and easily suffer heat stroke in warm climates. Please be aware and refresh the environment when the temperature is higher.