Chinchillas may be somewhat expensive to purchase, but they make excellent pets since they are so sociable and tidy. They do have certain demands placed upon them in some areas.
Chinchillas are nocturnal animals that have acute hearing and a watchful disposition. They are sensitive to unexpected changes in their immediate surroundings, which may cause them to become disturbed. They may make wonderful, sociable pets if they are provided with an environment in which they can feel safe, and they can live as pets for around 10 years, and occasionally for much longer.
Chinchilla cages need to be large as chinchillas like moving around, jumping, running and climbing at night. Shelves and platforms plus thick tree branches bought from a pet shop avoid any risks of infection. Sycamore and apple tree branches are both very suitable for the purpose.
The cage will need to be cleaned weekly, and a solid cage base is to be preferred, covered in wood shavings, again supplied from pet shops. Chinchillas often soil the same area of their cage. Baking soda can be used on that area of the floor lining to help keep it clean.
Chinchilla cages are available at pet stores and pet suppliers everywhere. Here are some tips on how to set up proper housing for your chin. A wire cage is the best general type of cage and cages made for ferrets and parrots can be fine for chinchillas since the chinchillas’ cages need to be much taller than wide.
Chinchillas are climbers and can jump as far as five feet so they need a cage that allows lots of movement. In general, a large chinchilla cage is best. For one chinchilla the minimum cage size should be 30″ high with a base of 24″x15″. A much more ideal size would be 6′x6′x3′. If your budget allows you should consider multiple level chinchilla cages as this allows them to have the freedom they need. These cages are sometimes referred to as condo cages. Little ramps connect the different levels. If your cage were a one-story cage a shelf near the top would be a good thing with a ramp leading up to it.
As you shop for chinchilla cages for sale you will find that they are usually made of wire mesh. However do not buy one with a coated or painted wire mesh, as chinchillas will chew the coating off. Aquariums and plastic cages are not recommended because they do not afford good ventilation. Since chinchillas can chew and gnaw a wooden chinchilla cage will not keep them in.
If you want more than one chinchilla it is important to know that they live well when housed together. A pair of females can be especially aggressive toward each other. If you put two in one cage the cage should be quite large.
These active little animals enjoy climbing, running, and jumping. The size of chinchilla cages can take care of climbing and jumping so let’s focus on running. An exercise wheel is pretty much a must. You should avoid wheels that have spokes that his tail could get caught in. There is one called a flying saucer that has a solid side and works fine.
Wild chinchillas are found on mountainous rocky ledges and have all sorts of holes and tunnels where they can sleep or hide. It is a good idea to provide a little box for your chin to hide in. A wooden house would be good but remember their chewing habits and plan on replacing the house occasionally. Sections of PVC pipe shaped like a “T” or “Y” can give your animal a nice hiding spot. Cardboard boxes are fine but will have to be replaced.
Chinchillas are rodents who like to chew and will need plenty of chew toys. Chinchilla’s teeth will grow up to 3′ per year and chewing is the natural way to control the length of their teeth. You can get blocks of wood or pumice for them to chew on. Some good woods are mulberry, apple, pear, hazelnut, manzanita, or willow. Do not use any citrus wood such as orange, grapefruit, lemon, cherry, wild cherry, plum, walnut, cedar, or fresh pine, which may have too much pitch.
The natural environment for chinchillas is cool and dry. They do best in a temperature range of 55-70 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature exceeds 82 degrees they could experience heat stroke.
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Chinchillas need to be fed on special pellets designed for them, supplemented with fiber provided by hay or alfalfa which can be put on shelves around their cage rather than on the cage floor where it will become unhealthy for them. Apple in small pieces and one or two raisins serve well as treats for chinchillas.
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Chinchillas will grow to like handling very much if familiarised with it from a young. Approach chinchillas slowly and make no sudden movements as it can alarm them and if panicked and cornered may bite. They should be held carefully but firmly supported from underneath so that they will stay in position and feel secure.
When your chinchilla is used to this, it provides an ideal opportunity to check for any signs of ill health. The chinchilla’s fur should be thick with no sign of patchiness though some color varieties exhibit different hues across their coat, and the chinchilla’s body should feel firm.
Having other pets such as cats and dogs in the same house as a chinchilla is generally too stressful for the chinchilla and should be avoided.
Chinchillas keep themselves very clean when they are active and healthy, but a chinchilla comb should also be used regularly. They should also be allowed to use a dust bath every two to three days for a short time before removing the bath from the cage.
The dust is a specific formula usually derived from volcanic ash, which dries the fur of excess grease and helps the chinchilla look after itself more easily.
Chinchillas breed less than other rodents and their gestation period is longer. Baby chinchillas are born live and well-developed, similar to guinea pigs. Overfeeding them when young can kill them; half the amount fed to adult chinchillas is generally recommended.