Size: Chinchillas weigh about 1 to 1.5 pounds.
Compatibility: Chinchillas should only be kept with other Chinchillas. Same-sex pairs are usually compatible, even more so if the pairs are introduced to each other when young or grow up together from the same litter. Adult males are very difficult to introduce successfully.
Appeal: Chinchillas are active and fun to watch and they have a soft, cuddly appearance. They are also clean and relatively odor-free.
Drawbacks: Chinchillas are less popular and less widely available than other small rodents. This, along with the scarcity of certain rare colors, can make them more expensive. They also require a more specialized diet. Although they look cuddly, they do not like to be stroked or handled as much as other small rodents like guinea pigs. They need suitable housing to stay safe from household hazards. They may bite if frightened.
Diet: Chinchillas require specially prepared commercial pellets designed specifically for them. They are often fed hay or alfalfa cubes to supplement their dietary needs. They should only be offered fresh greens in moderation or they will suffer from digestive upsets. Commercially prepared "small animal treats" are not recommended as they do not metabolize things in the same way as other small rodents.
Problems & Health Issues: Chinchillas can be susceptible to dental problems and may suffer from digestive upsets. Chinchillas are adapted to a mountain climate and may become overheated at temperatures above 75-80 degrees.
Lifespan: Chinchillas are long-lived for rodents, 10-15 years.
Interesting Facts: A Chinchillas gestation is about 111 days. Litters of 1-4 young are born and they are weaned at about 56 days.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
I am interested in information on chinchilla care and how to maintain them? Are they good pets? Messy/clean?
By Nichole Gower from West Frankfort, IL
My adult son had them as pets and he built a beautiful cage for them which he kept in his house. The odor was horrible and the food they require was expensive. They are very cute though. Good Luck.
Hello, They require a "Dust Bath" so that can be messy. They are expensive and do need Veterinary care, but they are cute!
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You may wish to consider a chinchilla as a possible pet. They are of the rodent family, (but it doesn't seem that way).