How to Fix your Mind on Chinchillas

Chinchillas are adorable animals with long ears, large eyes and bushy tails; they are also rodents. Their tail looks like a squirrels’ tail and accounts for about one third of their length. The chinchillas’ body is 22.5 – 38 cm (8 3/4 – 15 in) long. The tail is 7.5 – 15 cm (3 – 6 in) long. They can weigh anywhere from 18 to 35 ounces.

Chinchillas aren’t as friendly and social as many of the other small animals out in the pet world, such as ferrets and rats, but with the correct socialization and training, they can be very sweet and docile. But, they will never be lap pets. There is a very, very small percentage of people will get a chinchilla and sit and watch TV with it for hours. It’s just not the most common situation in the world. You can’t potty train a chinchilla like you can a hamster, gerbil, rat, mouse, ferret and guinea pig. It’s just not going to happen. You can’t trick train a chinchilla like you can a rat. So that means no ‘roll over’s,’ ‘sit,’ or fetches. That also, means that you can’t agility train them. I’ve tried; they’ll do the obstacles, just never on command.

As for treats that you can give a chinchilla. You can give them dried fruits such as apples, papaya, raspberries, and blueberries. They also love unsalted sunflower seeds, as well as pumpkin seeds. Vitakraft makes a Chinchilla Cocktail that my chinchillas have always loved.

Chinchillas need a cage that is taller than it is wide. Think about it, they’re from the Andes Mountains and not the bottom half, either the top. In general, chinchillas need space to jump. They need ledges and shelves.

As for all small animals never use pine or cedar wood shavings as they contain high aromas and oils. Chinchillas are very sensitive and do not need that extra complication. Personally, we suggest using aspen woodchips in all my small animal cages, to include my chinchilla cage. Care-fresh is a good brand to use as well.

Clean the cage out at least once a week. And, spot check for wet bedding. You do not want to leave wet bedding in the cage for too long, as it can grow mold.

Try to keep plastic out of a chinchilla cage as they will chew it. They chew everything. But, once in the body, the plastic will completely tear up the chinchilla’s digestive tract.

Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Fred Goodson has a passion for pets and animals. He has 4 dogs and is planning to have another one. He is also a blogger who writes about pets and animals. Currently, he is living in New Jersey.

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