Chinchilla Care
 

How to Chinchilla-Proof Your Home

 

Playtime outside the cage is also a potentially dangerous time for your pet. Chinchillas are curious, and many things are investigated by biting into them to see if they are edible. The natural curiosity of chinchillas mean that you should have a room that is thoroughly chinchilla-proofed before allowing time outside the cage, and close supervision is necessary.   

As much as your chinchillas appreciate playtime outside of their cages, it is important to remember that the natural curiosity of chinchillas can get them into danger. To keep your chinchilla safe at playtime, you will likely find it easiest to designate one room in the house the chinchilla playroom, and make sure that room is as safe as possible.  

Curious chinchillas are apt to investigate things by biting them. This means that you need to protect your chinchilla: 

1.    Dangerous electrical cords, cable or stereo cords, phone cords: cover electrical outlets. It may be possible to arrange the furniture in your room to hide most electrical cords (be fire safe: don't run cords under carpets or place items directly on cords due to fire risk). Be sure, however, that your chinchilla cannot get into any spaces where the cords are hidden (you may be able to use cardboard or pieces of wood to further block access). Any cords cannot be hidden should be covered -- you can buy plastic tubing with a slit down one side to encase wires.  

 

 
 

Alternatively, you can buy tubing at hardware and pond supply stores, which you can slit with a utility knife for the same effect. You can also get hard plastic wire channels that attach neatly to the floor or baseboard. Have a look at many options for hiding wires at CableOrganizers.com. You can treat phone cords the same way.  

2.    Once the cords are taken care of, make sure your chinchilla can't get to the outlets or the origins of your cords (e.g. on the back of your computer). Cardboard or pieces of wood can be used block these areas off too, if necessary. 

3.    toxic plants: no houseplants in reach (or fallen leaves to chew on).   

4.    household chemicals and cleaners, : cleaners, chemicals, and medicines should safely out of reach  

5.    other things that could harm your chinchilla if bitten or swallowed. 

6.    Other precautions: turn off space heaters (keep in mind that chinchillas overheat easily).  

7.    No plastic bags in reach.  

8.    Keep doors and windows closed .             

9.    Remove items that could be chewed and swallowed. 

10. You will probably also want to protect your favourite belongings, books, and furniture from your chinchilla.  Read more about Chinchilla Care

Chinchillas are also very agile and good jumpers -- make sure there is nothing they can jump or climb into that is potentially dangerous. Make sure dangerous items are truly out of reach, and not somewhere that a chinchilla could reach by jumping and climbing.  

Make sure there are no dangerous hiding spots (behind heavy furniture, under appliances, the underside of couches or beds, gaps in the wall or uncovered heat vents). Recliners and rocking chairs can trap or crush a chinchilla - it's best to remove them from the room or at least make sure they are not used when the chinchillas are out to play (be cautious with pull-out couches, too). Keep in mind that under all that soft fur is a small flexible body that can fit into surprisingly small gaps.  

Another hazard to watch for is standing water, such as open toilets (always keep the lid down!) or full bathtubs, as this is a drowning hazard.  

  • watch for fraying fabrics or threads / strings which could be ingested.  
  • remove other pets from room (unless absolutely certain interactions will be friendly).  
  • no objects painted with lead paint in the room. Also make sure any lead drapery weights are removed.  
  • no access to garbage cans or waste baskets.  
  • no ash trays (risk of tobacco/nicotine poisoning).  
  • no small spaces for them to get into, especially gaps under or behind appliances (there's usually accessible wires in these spaces), gaps in heating vents or walls.