Are Chinchillas Good Pets? Absolutely! Here's Why

When looking for a pet, everyone has their ideal type. Some people want dogs, some want fish, and others wish to have cats.

Despite these preferences, most people desire something fluffy like a cat that has a fantastic personality. Chinchillas, although a little bit of an exotic pet, satisfy all these criteria. The question is, though, are Chinchillas good pets?

The answer is a resounding yes with one crucial caveat. They're the right pets for the correct type of person. Let's dive deeper into the world of chinchillas and see for whom these furry little creatures would be best!

Are Chinchillas Good Pets? Yes, If You Have Some Patience

Chinchillas, like rabbits, are naturally somewhat skittish creatures. They tend not to do super well with children because of that.

As skittish as cats as they are, they still manage to get very attached to their owners and love to run, play, and have fun. They can be amiable animals - you need to have patience when having a chinchilla as a pet.

Is Chinchilla Pet Care Easy?

Chinchilla's are relatively easy pets to take care of and shouldn't be too hard for most people. This is why they also make for a great first pet! There are a few things, however, that you need to know.

First, chinchillas are crepuscular. That word means that they are most active during dusk and dawn. They are more active during the night than the day, but the time when you'll find them up and moving about the most are those early morning and late-night hours.

Second, Chinchilla pet care involves a standard diet of roughage. You'll want to feed your pet lots of grass hay. Much like rabbits, that is the staple food of the Chinchilla diet. You can (and should) also give your Chinchilla specially-formulated pellets. These pellets will provide nutrition that the hay doesn't have.

Finally, Chinchillas require a cage in a cool, quiet part of the house. These furry little creatures come from colder parts of South America. That fur serves them well over there, but it often doesn't help them well in domestic environments. Unfortunately, they're prone to overheating, especially if you put their cage in the direct sunlight or on the upper floors, which tend to be warmer. So, pick a part of the house that won't get too hot and use that for the cage.

What Living Conditions Do Chinchillas Need?

Chinchillas need space. They are very active creatures that need room to run and play. As such, you'll want a giant cage. Most places suggest that the minimum cage size is 24 inches by 24 inches (four square feet). However, you'll probably want more than that. If you can do 9-10 square feet, that would be quite a bit better.

You'll also want a tall cage. Cages that have room in which to climb are the best. You'll wish to have shelves, ladders, and other fun, entertaining things in the cage so that way your furry friend doesn't become bored.

Use wood shavings to line the bottom of the cage. These shavings will provide some cushion for your chinchilla's feet and will protect their feet from getting caught on the metal.

With this in mind, make sure that you check the cage thoroughly for any places where your chinchilla might escape. Hamsters, for example, are notorious for having accidents trying to escape their enclosures. Ensure that your cage doesn't have any places through which your chinchilla might try and slip through!

What Is the Chinchilla Pet Cost?

The cost of Chinchillas varies depending on where you live and how you get your new pet. However, most people find the price to be somewhere around $130-$350.

If you adopt a chinchilla or get one from a friend for free, you'll pay less. If you get one from a company, you might pay a little more. If possible, rescue adoption is always preferable to buying one from a pet store. There are so many animals in this world that would enjoy a loving home, and adopting your chinchilla will help give that pet a new life!

Are Chinchillas Good Pets?

The answer to that is yes! They are relatively inexpensive (while $100-$300 may not be cheap, it's also not the thousands that a purebred dog can cost!). The food they consume doesn't cost too much and, in general, they're very healthy animals. They'll need regular checkups, but there won't be anything too strenuous. And, chinchillas have a lovable personality. They're playful, active, and love their owners.

Unless you have small children who may have issues with chinchillas, overall, they are fantastic pets to have! Most people who have one highly recommend them!

Can you have chinchillas as a pet?

Yes, you can. Unless your apartment complex, condo HOA, or a city ordinance says that you cannot have one in your home, chinchillas are available everywhere. 

How long do chinchillas live as pets?

In general, chinchillas live for around 15 years. However, that time varies quite a bit. They live much less in the wild because they have predators and other ailments that they won't encounter at your home. Sometimes, chinchillas in captivity can live for 20 years. The oldest living chinchilla ever was born in Germany but died in California. He was born on February 1, 1985, and died on September 18, 2014, making him a whopping 29 years 229 days old. Your chinchilla probably won't live that long, though. Expect it to have roughly a 15-20 year lifespan, much like a cat!

Are chinchillas cuddly pets?

Chinchillas, for the most part, are not cuddly pets. They can be cuddly, but they startle easily, much like rabbits. If you want to make your chinchilla cuddle with you, it is possible. However, it requires patience. You'll need to take it slow, gradually getting your pet introduced to the idea that they can be safe that close with you. If you make any sudden movements or are too aggressive, you may turn off your pet from cuddling. Never, ever force your chinchilla to cuddle, though. It will cause a lot of anxiety and stress on your pet. Their health will suffer, and they will lose their fur as a defense mechanism.

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Written by Leo Roux

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