How to Care for a Pet Chinchilla

Size Information

Chinchillas typically range in length from 9 to 14 inches, with their tail adding an additional few inches. The females are slightly larger than the males, and they normally weigh less than 2 pounds.

Chinchilla Behavior and Temperament

Chinchillas are largely nocturnal, which means they will be most active at night. This is a common issue because the pug today is very different from the original breed one century ago. 

Chinchilla Behavior and Temperament

Pet chinchillas don't often bite, especially when they are handled from a young age. You must be gentle and consistent to gain the trust of a chinchilla.


For your chinchilla's cage, choose a multilevel home with platforms, solid-floor ramps, and perches. The cage at minimum should be 4 feet by 4 feet by 3 feet.


The temperature should remain between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Within the cage, add a chinchilla exercise wheel (with solid flooring, not bars), pet-safe chew toys, a nest or shelter of some sort, and food and water dishes.

What Do Chinchillas Eat & Drink?

Since they are herbivores, chinchillas have particular dietary needs. They need a lot of roughage, thus timothy hay or other high-quality grass hay should make up the majority of their diet.

What Do Chinchillas Eat & Drink?

You also can offer certain fruits and veggies as occasional treats, but you should run the types of food and quantities by your vet first. Always have fresh water available to your chinchilla.

Specific Substrate Needs

Line the cage with a few inches of dye-free paper bedding. Avoid pine and cedar shavings, as they can irritate a chinchilla's respiratory tract.


Hand-taming is the most popular type of chinchilla training. To avoid startling your chinchilla, move cautiously around it at all times. You can attract it to your hands by holding a favorite treat.


Chinchillas should never be bathed in water. As natives of arid climates, chinchillas need access to a dust bath to maintain a healthy coat and skin.


Chinchillas need lots of activity to keep them mentally stimulated and physically fit, warding off health issues such as obesity. This means you'll need a variety of toys for chinchillas to keep them busy and active.

Common Health Problems

Chinchillas are subject to a few common health problems, including: – Respiratory infections – Digestive issues – Heat stroke – Skin problems – Overgrown or impacted teeth – Bite wounds and other injuries

Upkeep Costs

A chinchilla's feed and bedding will be its main ongoing expenses. Depending on the types you select and the size of your cage, budget $25 each month.