Choosing a Chinchilla Cage
As it is considered cruel to keep a chinchilla on their own, you’re going to need a cage which can sufficiently house two fairly large rodents with extra room for exploring and jumping around!
Standard cage requirements for chinchillas tend to be listed as 91 x 61 x 61 cm and at a minimum, the cage should provide 6 cubic square feet of space for every chinchilla, so if you’re looking to house more, you need a bigger cage!
Remember that you also want there to be plenty of room for toys, wheels and other exercising implements to keep your chinnies healthy and entertained.
Generally, a chinchilla cage will also be far taller than it is wide, with plenty of platforms for jumping and climbing. This is an activity that chinnies love to partake in, so if the cage you’re perusing isn’t multi-levelled, it’s probably not a suitable chinchilla cage!
Browsing for chinchilla cages is often confusing, as you’ll see things like bird cages or ferret cages often being advertised as also being suitable for chinchillas.
To determine whether the cage would really be suitable for your chubby chin, we’d suggest first looking at the size of the cage – could it comfortably hold two chinchillas?
Then it’s important to look at the style or shape of the cage. Are there multi-levelled platforms for them to climb up? If yes, it will probably make a suitable home, whereas a low ceilinged hamster like enclosure is definitely not suitable.
Be most careful when buying bird cages, as although similar in shape and structure, you need to be able to judge whether a chinchilla could feasibly move from platform to platform in a bird cage, because without wings they might struggle!
As previously mentioned, despite their cute, cuddly appearance and large size, chinchillas fancy themselves as acrobats, and love nothing more than performing death-defying stunts off the top platform.
It’s therefore crucial that your cage can offer heavy-duty support to withstand their weight and movement when performing such feats.
Wire/metal materials obviously tend to be the most efficient as they are stronger than plastic models, and you’ll also want to make sure your choice provides good airflow. This is because chinchilla’s fur makes them susceptible to overheating and so they need an airy space to prevent heat stroke or fungal infection from humid conditions.
Any wire cage you do go for should have a solid base to avoid slip injuries or irritations on your pet’s feet. If any plastic accessories come with your cage, you also need to remove them, as chinnies are sensational chewers to their detriment and will probably end up chewing on harmful shards of plastic.
The final safe-guarding feature to consider is whether the cage has been given a special coating of galvanised or lead paint which will be harmful to your chinnie if chewed and ingested. A safer option is a powder-coated cage.
Chinchillas are sneakier than you think and despite their stocky body, they’re more than capable of squeezing their way through some bars. It’s therefore recommended that you don’t pick a cage with bar spacing of anything over 1.27 cm!
Naturally you’ll want to be able to interact with your pets from time to time, as otherwise, what’s the point in owning them?
To do this you’ll need easily workable and accessible doors that lock and unlock quickly but securely. The larger the door is the easier it will be to get in and feed your pet or change bedding etc.
Something that current pet owners never like to admit to is all the cleaning that goes into looking after a pet and unfortunately for would-be chinchilla owners it’s no different!
But by choosing a larger cage, you make cleaning easier for yourself from the off as this will decrease the likelihood of you chinchillas constantly coming into contact with soiled bedding or dirty faeces