Chinchilla Care

Chinchilla Toys


Chinchillas like to chew. It is a natural instinct that you will not be able to curve. Chinchillas are active curious creatures who need to chew on things in order to keep their teeth in good condition. The teeth are kept trim and in good condition by gnawing and chewing on things, so this is a natural and necessary activity for pet chinchillas. Chewing is necessary to keep their teeth filed down. Like other rodents, chinchillas have teeth that grow continuously over the whole life span.   


Chinchillas often favour a variety of branches for chewing, such as willow, apple, poplar, and aspen tree branches. Avoid branches from cherry, citrus fruit trees, redwood, cedar, and other evergreen trees. You can also provide a variety of wooden toys (should be of untreated wood) such as the wooden chew toys often sold in the rodent sections of pet stores, or rope and wood toys found in the parrot section. Manzanita branches (check the bird section of the store as these are sold as perches) are also good for chewing, and some chinchillas will chew on pumice stones or mineral blocks too. 



Since Chinchillas spend most of the day in their cages it is important to provide them with things to keep them busy. Placing new, clean cardboard in their cages for them to destroy will give them something to do. Cardboard however, is not strong enough to do an adequate job at keeping their teeth filed down. Also you need to monitor how much cardboard your chin is digesting. If he appears to be eating a lot of the cardboard you need to cut back on the card board play. However, plastic versions should be avoided to avoid getting chewed on by the chinchilla. 



By providing them with a variety of toys you can help keep them active and healthy. Chinchillas love to chew, so you will probably want to protect your furniture and home from their teeth. First, remember that they do need to chew, so make sure to provide your chinchilla with some things that he can chew during playtime outside of the cage. A good toy for chinchilla would be Super Pet Mega Run-About Ball. Then, chinchilla-proof your belongings: 


Ø  if possible, block access to or remove things they want to chew on (you can use cardboard or pieces of wood to block off areas).  

Ø  Wrap wooden furniture legs with heavy plastic or tin foil to discourage chewing.  

Ø  Make sure carpets are securely tacked down, and if your chinchilla does start chewing the carpet, cover the trouble spots with plexiglass, or a piece of furniture.  

Ø  Use heavy slipcovers or blankets to protect couches and chairs.  

Ø  Make sure books, knick knacks, shoes, and other chewable are kept out of reach.  


Blocks of wood and tree branches (free of pesticides) are good chew toys. The branches should be pesticide free.  Some of the wooden parrot toys make good toys as well, as do the willow balls and rings that you can find for rabbits. It is important to provide toys that do not have small or plastic parts that could be ingested. In addition, a "chinchilla block" or pumice block can be provided for chewing and this will aid in keeping the teeth trim. 


Willow balls and rings are good for them to have, also.  The toys should be free from small or plastic parts where the animal can accidentally swallow them.  They can also use pumice blocks; in addition to using it for playtime, these blocks can maintain their teeth. 



As long as they're closely supervised, your pet chinchilla should get some time outside of the cage.  Make sure that you don't have things in the area that can harm or cause some type of danger to them, such as electrical cords.  You should be able to coax the animal back to their cage with a raisin or some other dried fruit.  Sometimes, they just make their way back to their cage without any help.  If possible, refrain from chasing them, as this does nothing but frustrate you and the pet.