Supply Checklist Before Taking Your New Chinchilla Home

  • Cage
  • Food
  • Exercise wheel
  • Hide areas
  • Water & food dishes
  • Dust bath
  • Bedding
  • Toys
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Travel carrier
  • Exotic veterinarian address and contact information

Chinchillas are very active and love to move around and play. Therefore, the bigger the cage, the better. The minimum size cage is 16″ x 18″ x 16″, but if you have space for a bigger cage, your chinchilla will definitely benefit. When choosing your new chinchilla’s home, remember that they love to jump and climb. The more ledges there are to sit on, the happier your new pet will be. If space isn't a limitation, Exotic Nutrition’s 4-Level Mansion Cage is a great choice. The 2-Level Mansion Cage is also a good option for smaller spaces.

There are many wire cages with solid floors that make excellent homes. If it is tall, it is a good idea to place ledges and hammocks strategically so they won’t fall. Avoid cages with wire floors since they can hurt a chinchilla’s feet. The best kind of cage has a removable pan that allows for easy cleaning.

Chinchillas are sensitive to heat, humidity, and drafts. Extreme heat can even cause heatstroke, which can be life threatening. They do best between the temperatures of 60ºF - 70ºF. Position the cage away from direct sunlight or other heat sources so your chinchilla stays cool and dry. Keep the cage away from direct sunlight, because chinchillas sleep a lot during the day. For more information on chinchilla cages and cage accessories, visit our article about Chinchilla Housing.

Chinchillas are vegetarians, have sensitive stomachs, and require specific foods to maintain their health. A well balanced and nutritious diet is the easiest way to make sure your pet stays healthy. Exotic Nutrition offers many choices for food and treats suitable for chinchillas, but the easiest option to ensure that your chinchilla is receiving the best nutrients is our Chinchilla Diet with Rose Hips. It’s also important to provide a hay like Timothy Hay for your chinchilla to chew on, as it helps provide fiber to their diet and also assists in maintaining their teeth. Treats can also be provided in small amounts to assist in bonding, training, and exercise. For more information on food for a chinchilla, visit our article on Chinchilla Diet.

Exercise is very important for chinchillas. Placing an exercise wheel in your chinchilla’s cage is the easiest way to ensure your pet can get the exercise they need. The wheel should have a solid floor to prevent foot injury. A chinchilla will often use the wheel at night, so a quiet wheel is also a good thing to have so the noise won’t bother you at night. We recommend the Chin-Sprint wheel, a durable metal wheel that is safe and silent for your chinchilla. For more information about chinchilla exercise, visit our article about Exercise for Chinchillas.

Hide areas are essential for your pet’s well being. They are safe, cozy areas where he can rest and feel safe and secure. Hide areas can be nest boxes, tunnels, igloos, or any other chew proof place where he can hide. We have many great options for all different types of Hideouts available.

Water is essential for all animals, and chinchillas are no exception. The best and easiest way to provide water for your chinchilla is to hang a Water Bottle in their cage somewhere they can easily reach it. Make sure they always have a supply of fresh, clean water. Food dishes are also essential to keep the food clean and contained so your chinchilla knows where to find it. Exotic Nutrition’s Stainless Steel Cup with Holder is an excellent choice. It’s also a good idea to get a second dish for hay.

Chinchillas are very clean and have almost no body odor. They maintain their fur by taking dust baths. Dusting powder and bathing bins, like our’s Blue Beauty Dust and Acrylic Bath House, are used to allow chinchillas to bathe themselves. Let your chinchilla take a dust bath at least twice a week by placing the bath bin with the dusting powder inside the cage. After the bath, remove the bin from the cage and store it for next time. The dusting powder should be replaced once it’s soiled, usually after 1-2 weeks.

Pelleted or shredded paper bedding is a great choice to layer in your chinchilla’s cage. It is safe if your pet nibbles on the bedding and absorbs liquids and odors well. Bedding made from pine or cedar should be avoided. They can be sharp and painful to your pet’s feet and the odors they give off are not good for their respiratory system.

Toys are important to encourage interest, curiosity, and movement from your chinchilla. There are many different types of toys, from interactive toys like our Mirror-Go-Round, to foraging toys like the Mobile Forager. Another type of toy that is important for the health of your chinchilla are chew toys. Chew toys, like our Willow Ball, help keep chinchilla’s teeth from becoming overgrown and causing health problems.

Chinchillas are very clean animals and do not like to be in a dirty cage. The bedding will most likely need to be changed at least once a week. Wash the water bottle, food bowl, and any cage accessories or toys that get dirty with a safe cleaner like our Kage Kleen  spray. Make sure everything is dry before returning items to the cage.

Trip to the Vet? Going away for the weekend? Just cleaning the cage? Travel carriers or temporary cages are a necessity for all these activities. See all of our chinchilla carriers.

Before welcoming your glider into your home, prepare ahead of time by finding a reputable exotic pet veterinarian. You can get recommendations from your breeder, another local glider owner, or by calling vets in your area.  Related info articles: Veterinarian Database.


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Notice: Exotic Nutrition cannot provide specific care guidelines on an individual basis. Please consult a veterinarian or experienced breeder.


Exotic Nutrition is proud to serve hundreds of universities, zoological parks, veterinarians, research centers and other institutions seeking to advance the health and well-being of exotics worldwide. See a full list of institutions using our products here.

Exotic Nutrition has a heart for animals in need. Through regular donations to rescues, rehabilitators, and special fundraiser events, Exotic Nutrition is making a significant impact in the lives of animals. See a full list of our charitable donations here

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