Chinchilla Care

Chinchilla Healthcare


It is important to monitor the temperature where your chinchilla cage is being kept. In the winter months it should be kept in a draft free spot. The ideal temperature for a Chinchilla is between 65-75 ° F (18-24 ° C). Anything colder or hotter than this can cause your chinchilla to become ill. In the summer, if you do not have air conditioning it needs to be kept in a well ventilated area. Keep the cage out of direct sunlight. In the summer the chinchilla should be kept in an area which is no hotter than 83 ° F (28 ° C) and caution should be taken at temperatures this high. If the temperature goes as high as 86 ° F (30 ° C) your chinchilla may be in trouble. Measures should be taken to cool your chin down. A metal pan filled with ice cubes can be placed into the cage for the chinchilla to lay against and cool down. Be sure the chin cannot fall into the pan. Placing a lid on the pan is a good idea. Since chins don't sweat, blowing a fan at them will not cool them off, it will just blow hot air around. Chins sleep during the day and it is not wise to wake your chin up during this hot spell, because if he starts to run around he will make himself hotter and may cause heat stroke.  




Clean up

Cage trays need to be changed once a week if you only have one Chin, more often if you have more than one Chin in the same cage. If you have a cage that does not have a pull out tray it will have to be cleaned more often. Pine shavings or newspaper can be used in the pull out tray or in the floor of the cage if you do not have a pull out tray. Cages should be totally cleaned and disinfected once a month. The chin should be removed from the cage during this cleaning. It is especially important to do this thorough cleaning if your chin is sick. If kept clean, chinchilla cages have little odours. Chinchillas tend to pee in one corner of the cage. This corner should have more bedding to help absorb the waste. You can also sprinkle baking soda in that corner to help absorb any odours. 


Chinchillas need exercise to be happy healthy pets. Your chinchilla will enjoy a large exercise wheel, if your cage is big enough to accommodate one. Take caution if you have very small babies in the cage to make sure they do not get their feet caught in the wheel. If you do have very small babies in the cage, it is best to take the wheel out until they get bigger. Even with a big cage, a chinchillas should have at least an hour a day outside their cage to run and play in a chinchilla proofed room. Remove all items that could cause a potential danger to your pet such as electric cords, poisonous plants and cleaners. Take care that your chin does not chew anything you do not wish him to chew such as your couch! Any time spent outside the cage should be supervised. 


Health Problems

Chins are prone to uneven teeth, overgrown teeth, spurs, fur biting, fungal infections, diarrhoea, constipation, heat stroke and seizures. Chinchillas are pretty much odour free. They like to chew and they need things to chew on in order to keep their teeth filed down. They should be given something to chew on such as Chin blocks (or pumice blocks) which can be found at your local pet store. If a chin does not get enough things to chew his teeth will grow too long preventing him from being able to eat. If this happens take him to a small animal vet to get his teeth filed down.