Guidelines For The Housing Of Chinchilla

Chinchilla housing should be a safe place where your pet chinchilla can live. A good chinchilla enclosure provides comfort, safety, privacy and enjoyment to your chinchillas.

If you are looking to house your chinchilla and need expert advice, this is the blog post you have been looking for. I am going to cover all the important factors in deciding on housing chinchillas such as safety, size, temperature, humidity and location. You will learn what materials they should be made of and tips on keeping them clean.

Cage for chinchilla

Cage Location

Chinchillas are very active and curious animals. They need a lot of room to jump, climb and play. A good cage location is a place where your chinchilla can get lots of exercise and be safe from unwanted visitors.

The cage should never be placed in direct sunlight or drafts from heating vents. In the wild, chinchillas live in high mountain regions where the temperature is quite cool.

A corner near a window can make an ideal location for your chinchilla’s cage if you cover the cage with a blanket to block out the direct rays of the sun.

If you have an extra bedroom, placing the cage in that room will give your chinchilla plenty of space and privacy. Just be sure to block off any open closet doors or other entrances so that your chinchilla won’t escape.

If you live in a location where you do not have to worry about cold temperatures, then the best place for your chinchilla’s cage is on the floor or on an elevated platform.

However, if you need to keep your chinchilla in a warmer area of the house, then it wouldn’t be detrimental if there was some ventilation provided by open windows or fans as long as the temperature is kept at a reasonable level for chinchillas.

Cage size

Chinchillas are nocturnal, very active animals that require a lot of room to run around. Chinchilla cages should be between four and six times the length of the chinchilla. You can also use the multiple of your chinchillas’ sizes.

If you have one chinchilla, then you need a cage at least 4 feet long by 3 feet wide by 4 feet tall. The rule is that the cage should have enough space for the animals to freely run around in the cage without any obstructions.

The chinchilla’s cage should have plenty of space for their exercise needs; toys, tunnels and other accessories add to their fun but do not substitute for adequate space. A good rule of thumb is that if your chinchillas can’t get from one end of the cage to another without having to walk around something, then it’s too small.

A good starting point for chinchilla cages are about four feet long by three feet wide by four feet tall. This is a good size for most pet owners with only one or two pets and amounts to 12 square feet per animal. If you want to give them more room than this, you can add more than a couple feet lengthwise and widthwise to this size.

Inside the cage

Sleeping house

Chinchillas are nocturnal, meaning they love to sleep during the day.

This means that they will spend a majority of their time in the sleeping house. This is why it is so important that you have a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for your chinchilla.

Without a proper sleeping area, your chinchilla can get stressed and start to exhibit unwanted behaviors like chewing on their cage bars or flooring.

The box should be made of organic and untreated wood. The size of the sleeping box depends on how many chinchillas you have.

Apple, pear and pine are all great choices for making a home for your furry friend. All three woods are soft and easy to chew on, so even though you’re going to be leaving this outside, it won’t get destroyed by the elements. They’re also all safe alternatives that won’t harm your pet if she accidentally chews on them or eats parts of them.

Avoid citrus woods like lemon or orange at all costs because they have potentially dangerous chemicals that could make your chinchilla sick. Stay away from wild cherry wood as well because it contains toxins that could harm your pet.

Willow is another safe alternative that works well as a base for a sleeping bed or other type enclosure.

Before you build the sleeping room you need to disinfect the wood because Chinchillas are very sensitive to fungi and parasites. You can use this mixture for disinfecting the wood: 3% hydrogen peroxide and 2% bleach. After that let the wood dry completely before you start building the house.

Bedding

Bedding should be deep enough to absorb urine and provide a soft place for your pet to rest. There are many types of bedding available. Some are made from paper products, while others are made from soft cloth or hay. The most commonly used materials are shredded newspaper, and wood shavings.

Wood shavings can last longer than other types of bedding because they do not absorb water like newspaper does. They also do not produce dust when they are used in a dry form. However, wood shavings sometimes must be replaced when one side becomes wet with urine and starts to smell bad.

Some people also make their own bedding using shredded paper and cotton rags, or hay from alfalfa plants. Whatever type of bedding you choose, it is important that it is free from dust and other irritants that could aggravate your pet’s respiratory system.

Cage accessories

Cage accessories for chinchillas are basic products that have to be purchased to make life easier, more interesting and healthier for your pets. Here are some must have accessories:

Feeder for chinchilla

Currently, there are three types of feeders used by pet owners. The first is a hopper type feeder. It has a lid which can be opened by sliding it upwards and it can hold enough food for small animals such as chinchillas, mice, gerbils and hamsters. This is the best suitable for the chinchillas.

The second type is a trough style feeder. It consists of two halves that snap together to form a trough shape. The two halves can then be connected to a cage using clips. Rodents usually prefer using this kind of feeder because it makes them feel secure since they have something to burrow in during night time.

The third type is a cage-mounted feeder. It comes with an attached lid which prevents the rodents from taking all its food at once and also keeps it clean for a longer period of time. However, you can’t really place it in a cage since it holds too much food, so you need to find some sort of place where you can place it.

Dropping tray

One of the best accessories for your cage is a dropping tray. Since chins are prone to getting diarrhea, it is handy to have a place to catch the pellets and droppings that fall when they are eating or running around your room.

You can find many different designs from which to choose. The most common types include a shallow plastic dish, a metal pan with high sides, or even an aluminum pie plate cut down to size. There are no specific dimensions for the tray – any will do as long as it fits in your cage, but should be large enough that you don’t have to clean up after every meal.

Many cages and racks will come with a built-in dropping tray but this is not always the case. If you need to buy one separately, there are plenty available at pet stores and online retailers. Be sure that the one you choose has high enough sides so that none of the pellets can be kicked out of it while your chinchilla plays or runs around inside the cage.

Many people recommend putting some hay (or other suitable material) in the bottom of the dropping tray so that it absorbs moisture and keeps odors down. Plus, this gives your chin something nice to play with.

Water Bottle

Chinchillas are very active animals and they need to drink lots of water- at least 2 ounces/day. They can suffer from dehydration if they don’t get enough fluids. So it is important that you provide them with a constant source of water. The best way to do this is through a water bottle.

Water bottles come in many shapes, sizes and styles. It is important that you choose the right one for your little chinchilla friend.

You want a water bottle that will hold at least 2 liters of water at a time. This will ensure that your chinchilla always has access to fresh, clean water. You also want to make sure that the bottle is easy for your chinchilla to access and use.

Some bottles require you to unscrew or remove parts in order for the ball or dish to come out of the cup when it needs refilling. This can be difficult for your pet to figure out on its own which makes it more likely that he/she will not be able to access the water inside of their bottle regularly enough.

A good quality bottle is made with stainless steel. Stainless steel ensures that your pet’s bottle will not rust and start to decay over time (like some plastic bottles will). It also ensures that the chinchilla can’t chew through it.

If you cannot find a metal water bottle, make sure to buy a very high quality plastic one. Chinchillas can chew on plastic and make holes that can lead to escaped water.

Exercise wheel

Having a wheel available for your chinchilla to run on is a must. Chinchillas are naturally very active animals and require room to exercise. If they do not have an area that is safe for them to run around in, they can develop health problems such as obesity, heart problems, and fur chewing.

So what should you look for when purchasing an exercise wheel? You want a wheel that will provide a smooth and steady ride. The wheel should be at least 15 inches in diameter so your chinchilla will have plenty of room to move around while running. The wheel should also be made out of metal and not plastic because the plastic can crack causing your pet to get injured.

You should also purchase a wheel with a solid running surface that is not going to wobble or bend in any way. The wheel’s axle should be firmly secured so it does not shake when your chinchilla runs on it.

The width of the wheel is important too, but many people overlook this aspect of their chinchilla’s wheel. You need the wheel to be wide enough for your chinchilla to easily get on and off.

Chew things

Chew things for chinchillas? That’s right! They need to chew on something. Chinchillas have teeth that grow constantly. If they don’t chew, their teeth will grow too long, which will cause them to get infected and die. So you should provide a variety of materials for them to chew so that they can wear down their teeth.

The chew toys are made of safe materials that do not harm teeth or stomach. Designed to stimulate the chinchillas’ natural chewing instinct and prevent boredom due to lack of exercise.

The best types of chew things are wooden blocks, rawhide, and tree bark. You can buy these at a pet store or online. You can also get toys that you can stuff with hay.

If you do not have enough money to buy anything else, use cardboard boxes. Chinchillas also love shredding paper, so when you throw away something like a newspaper, throw it in the cage for your chinchilla to play with.

Perches and shelves

Chinchillas are active, curious and playful. As a pet chinchilla owner, you need to ensure that your pet has a stimulating environment and some fun toys they can play with. Chinchillas are jumpers and climbers, so they need elevated platforms to climb on and hop around.

Dry wood is the best material for perches and shelves for chinchillas because it is durable and won’t absorb urine or spoil food. Be sure the wood is sanded smooth to avoid injury to the animal’s paws. You should also place perches at different heights to allow your chinchilla the opportunity to stretch his or her hind legs.

Remember, perches and shelves have to be sturdy enough to hold your chinchilla’s weight. So don’t just go buy any old thing at the pet store!

Cage maintenance

Cage maintenance for chinchillas (also known as chins) is very important. You need to clean their cage frequently so that they have a nice place to live. In order to do this, you will need:

A) A cage that has been cleaned and disinfected repeatedly over time so that there are no odors or stains.

B) A dust bath area (if you plan on using one). This can be a plastic container with sand in it. If you use this, make sure the sand stays at room temperature-you don’t want your chin getting burned! It would also be a good idea to put some sort of base in the container like newspaper or a towel for better comfort.

C) A water bottle (don’t use a dish as it will get dirty very quickly and is not easily sanitized). Make sure to check the water level regularly-it should not be too low or too high.

D) Food bowl and food-check the food level daily!

E) Bedding and toys-make sure these are cleaned regularly, as well.

F) Brush/comb for cleaning- chinchillas tend to get messy fur from rolling around in bedding, feces and urine, etc. so it is important to regularly comb them out. If they are matted from being rolled in dirty bedding, you can shave the mats off with a special pet razor (you can find these at your local pet store).

Environmental requirements for chinchilla

Many people who live in warm climates and have a room that can be dedicated to the chinchilla with a steady temperature and humidity are able to keep their chinchillas as indoor pets.

However, this does not mean that you can simply throw them in a room and close the door. There is an optimum temperature for these animals, and if it is not provided, they can suffer greatly from heat stroke or hypothermia. The air flow of the room should be adequate as well.

Temperature

One of the most important aspects in the care of a chinchilla is the temperature. As you may know, chinchillas are native to a high altitude environment.

The ideal temperature for your pet is between 60-75 degrees F. This temperature is best maintained with two or more thermometers placed in different areas of the cage to monitor air temperature, as well as one or two placed on the floor to monitor ground temperature. If you use a heating pad, be sure it is not too hot and not too close to where your chinchilla can get burned by it.

The most important aspect is to maintain consistency in temperature. It is best to have one thermometer for each side of the cage so you can check both air and ground temps at the same time.

If the temperatures are different from one side of the cage to another, then adjust accordingly by using a heat lamp or moving a heat pad until they are equalized. If a major difference in temperatures exists between night and day, then you will have to adjust accordingly.

Humidity

In order to stay healthy in this cool, dry environment, your chinchilla needs 40-50% relative humidity. This is somewhat lower than what we typically consider ideal for people; we’d be comfortable with around 45-55%.

However, at 55% humidity, your chinchilla may get chilled and not want to move around much. At 50%, he’ll be able to run around and play all day long.

If your home is not as humid as the chinchilla’s natural habitat, you will need to provide additional humidity. One way to do this is to mist the chinchilla with a spray bottle filled with water, or put the chinchilla in a small room with a humidifier. If you live in an area that has dry winters, keep the cage out of drafts and away from heat sources such as radiators or vents that can dry the air.

FAQs

Do chinchillas like hammocks?

Yes, they do like hammocks because they are very good climbers and can get around quite easily on them. They love to play and will enjoy the extra room that a large hammock can provide them. 

They generally prefer to spend their time on the floor of their enclosure rather than up in the air though, so if you’re planning on purchasing a hammock for your pet chinchilla, do be sure that it is not placed too high up from the floor, otherwise you may end up with an unhappy chinchilla!

Do chinchillas need big cages?

Yes, the bigger the chinchilla cage the better. The minimum floor space is about 24 by 24 inches, and a tall cage is best; if possible. Low cages will force your chinchilla to jump down from their perch which can lead to injury. The more floor space, the more room your chinchilla will have to run around and play.

In order to give your chinchilla plenty of places to climb, you should make sure you have at least two levels in their cage. One level can be a shelf or a piece of furniture, but it should still allow your chinchilla to stand up on their hind legs without having to crouch down or sit flat-footed.

A second level should be made up of platforms made out of wood, PVC piping, cardboard boxes, or any other material that is safe for your chinchillas feet. This second level can be horizontal or vertical (but not diagonal). Make sure this area is big enough for your chinchilla to stand on all fours and stretch out their back legs comfortably.

Can you make a chinchilla cage?

Building your own chinchilla cage is a fun and rewarding project. It enables you to customize the cage to fit both your house décor and the requirements of your chinchilla. Not to mention the affordability.

The most important thing about building a chinchilla cage is that your chinchilla will use it for years. This means you want to build something sturdy and long-lasting. Chinchillas are very active critters, so their cages need to be durable as well.

Conclusion

In the end, what matters most is that your chinchilla has a safe and healthy home to live in. It may seem daunting to provide this artificial environment, but with a bit of planning and work, you should be able to have a comfortable and fun home for your little friend.

However, the purpose of most of these is to replicate the chinchilla’s natural environment as much as possible. This means duplicating what it would see and smell in nature—so don’t forget proper ventilation and ample space for it to run around in.

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Dr Harunur Rashid (Harun) is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has five years of experience in large pet animal medicine. He worked as a livestock officer for two years in an NGO, and since then he has been practicing pet animals medicine privately. He holds an MS in Pharmacology from Bangladesh Agricultural University and a DVM from the same institution.