Top > Before You buy

1. How Big Does A Chinchilla Get?
2. How Long Does A Chinchilla Live?
3. Do Chinchillas Make Good Pets?
4. I am contemplating very seriously about getting a chin. However, I know they are very sensitive to loud sounds and excessive noise. We have carpet in our bedrooms. Will the noise from a vacuum cleaner be detrimental to the chin? Are there times that are better to vacuum than others?
5. I'm thinking about getting a chinchilla. I was just wondering if they make noises. I have a guinea pig right now and he makes quite a bit of noises (squealing and squeaking, popcorning). Do chinchillas do any of those things? Also, how cleanly are chinchillas? Guinea pigs require a lot of care and a lot of cleaning because their entire cage is their litter box.
6. How Do I Know Which One Will Be A Good Pet?
7. We are doing a unit on genetics and we want to know which animals are crossbred to create the chinchilla? It looks like it could be in the rodent family, but also looks like a squirrel. Any help or further information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
8. Will I be allergic?
9. I've been wanting a chinchilla for a year or so and i am still trying to convince my mom. she has problems about them having dust baths. what kind of dust aren't as bad? and are the dust baths all that dusty?
10. I was thinking about getting a chinchilla, and reading everything you have on this page made me want one more, but I haven't seen the life-span of one anywhere. Can you tell me what it is?
11. would they get along with cats?
12. I heard a rumor that chins are trainable and by trainable I mean they can do tricks like roll-over and such. Is this information accurate? Thanks for the info!
13. My boyfriend and I are considering adopting a pair of adult male chins that have been cagemates their whole lives. Will they give us the same love and affection that a single chinchilla would or do pairs of chinchillas become more attatched to each other? I like the idea of having two so that they can give each other company when we are gone, but it would be nice to receive as much love back as we would give to them. Thank you for your time and I hope this question makes sense! :)
14. I have read that chinchillas will only get along if one is male and the other female. Is this true?
15. How do I introduce a new chinchilla to my existing one?
16. I'm gone a lot, is it possible to take a chinchilla with me?
17. Do chinchillas shed their fur during the hot part of the summer?
18. We would like to know how much Chinchilla cost? What do they need to sleep in and do they need bedding? What do you think we should keep it in? Also can we get them from a pet store or breeder?
19. I do not live in the air conditioning. The last chinchilla I had, seemed to be okay with that. I did keep a fan in the room as well. Do you have any further advice?
20. I go to school from 7:30 to around 4:30 and i would rather have one but i have heard they do better in pairs is that true? Should i get one or two and is it easier to train in pairs or 1 or pairs?
21. Do Chinchillas take much care?
22. where can i find a breeder near me ?
23. Can they bite?
24. we got a chinchilla about 3 or 4 months ago. he seems very lonely and at times, bored and restless. i have been wondering if maybe this is a sign he needs a playmate? when i bought him, he lived with two others. would it a mistake to get a female chinchilla? would he fight with another male? thank you for your time.
25. What is the age limit with small children and chinchillas, if children can be trusted to stay away if ordered.
26. Do you have to clean a chinchilla's cage daily?
27. what is a dust bath and how do you give one?
28. Will a chincilla get along with other pets?
29. What is the average life span of a chinchilla
30. I am getting a chinchilla from a friend who has had barely any time for him. do you think that it would take a long time for him to get used to me? i have been around him before but, i am scared that he will be sad and not like having to change where he lives... What should i do to make him feel comfortable living with me?

1. How Big Does A Chinchilla Get? top
A Chinchilla can grow to be about 9-11 inches long not including the bushy tail.
submitted by admin, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
2. How Long Does A Chinchilla Live? top
A Chinchilla will live an average of 10-15 years. They have been known to live as long as 20+ years.
submitted by admin, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
3. Do Chinchillas Make Good Pets? top
Most Do. Chinchillas who are handled and played with from birth almost always love people. Many chinchillas who have never been handled can learn to love people with a little time and patience. However, just like people, all chinchillas have there own personality and some chinchillas will just never be a very good pet.
submitted by admin, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
4. I am contemplating very seriously about getting a chin. However, I know they are very sensitive to loud sounds and excessive noise. We have carpet in our bedrooms. Will the noise from a vacuum cleaner be detrimental to the chin? Are there times that are better to vacuum than others? top
I kept my chinchillas in the house for years and vacuumed around them daily. Even now that they have their own house with vinyl floors I still use a vacuum to get behind hard to reach cages. I found that it was best to start the vacuum in the other end of the house so that they wouldn’t have the sudden shock off the loud noise. Once you get to the room they are already used to the sound and have no problem with it. My chinchillas run to the front of the cage to watch the excitement! Any time of the day would be fine.
submitted by Laura, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
5. I'm thinking about getting a chinchilla. I was just wondering if they make noises. I have a guinea pig right now and he makes quite a bit of noises (squealing and squeaking, popcorning). Do chinchillas do any of those things? Also, how cleanly are chinchillas? Guinea pigs require a lot of care and a lot of cleaning because their entire cage is their litter box. top
Chinchillas can make noises that sound a lot like a squirrel when it is alarmed in a tree. Some chinchillas are talkative while others hardly ever make a sound. They tend to talk a lot the first night in a new place as they all out to see if any other chinchillas are around. After that they tend to be pretty quiet. Like guinea pigs, chinchillas tend to poop whenever they feel the need. They pick a favorite corner of the cage to urinate in which makes them a bit cleaner. The good news is their poop comes out hard and dry and both their poop and urine have no odor at all.
submitted by Carolyn, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
6. How Do I Know Which One Will Be A Good Pet? top
The best way to be sure is to buy a chinchilla who is already tame. Some breeders, such as myself, work with babies from birth to ensure that they will be friendly. However, breeders are not always available. When choosing a chinchilla find one who is curious. Open the cage and place your hand just inside the cage and sit quietly. If the chinchilla comes up to investigate, he will most likely be easily tamed. If the chinchilla stays at the back and becomes agitated, possibly making "charring" noises, I would choose another. I am not at all saying that a shy chinchilla is not tamable, however in my experience it can take much much longer for them to warm up to you. For more info please view the Taming your Chinchilla artice. You will find the link in the menu on the Left of the screen.
submitted by admin, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
7. We are doing a unit on genetics and we want to know which animals are crossbred to create the chinchilla? It looks like it could be in the rodent family, but also looks like a squirrel. Any help or further information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! top
This seems to be a popular belief however chinchillas are not a cross between other animals. They are a species all their own and do belong to the rodent family.
submitted by Kali Watkins, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
8. Will I be allergic? top
Chinchillas do not have dander which is what causes most people to be allergic to pets. Those who can't own other animals can usually have chinchillas. Chinchillas do eat hay and take dust baths which can cause a problem to some people.
submitted by admin, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
9. I've been wanting a chinchilla for a year or so and i am still trying to convince my mom. she has problems about them having dust baths. what kind of dust aren't as bad? and are the dust baths all that dusty? top
You want a dusty bath so that it will pull the oils out of the fur. Superpet makes a chinchilla sand, but it is not good for the chinchilla because it doesn’t remove the excess oil and actually damages the hair. If you are worried about the dust, cut a hole in a cardboard box just large enough for your chinchilla to squeeze through. Just under 3 inches is good for most adult chinchillas. Place the dust inside the box. The box will contain the flying dust and the act of squeezing back out through the small hole will remove much of the dust from your chinchilla. This should help keep the room clean
submitted by Dayna, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
10. I was thinking about getting a chinchilla, and reading everything you have on this page made me want one more, but I haven't seen the life-span of one anywhere. Can you tell me what it is? top
A chinchilla on the right diet can live anywhere from 10-25 years.
submitted by Jenn, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
11. would they get along with cats? top
This really depends on the chinchilla and the cat. I have hear many stories of cats killing chinchillas either as prey or just by getting carried away trying to play. I have also talked to someone who brought home a new chinchilla and when the cat jumped on the cage it scared the chinchilla so bad it went into shock and died. In some cases the two can live together in the same house, but it takes very slow introductions and a very attentive owner. I would never feel comfortable letting the two play together outside of the cage.
submitted by tasha, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
12. I heard a rumor that chins are trainable and by trainable I mean they can do tricks like roll-over and such. Is this information accurate? Thanks for the info! top
I know someone who has gotten her chinchillas to do flips in the cage, but this is more the exception than the rule. Many people have used dust baths and raisins to train their chinchillas to "Go Home" and return to their cage on demand. Basically the chinchilla begins to relate the words "Go Home" to mean your dust bath is ready in the cage, or I have just placed some treats in there for you. They happily run back to the cage to get the expected treat.
submitted by David Faulkner, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
13. My boyfriend and I are considering adopting a pair of adult male chins that have been cagemates their whole lives. Will they give us the same love and affection that a single chinchilla would or do pairs of chinchillas become more attatched to each other? I like the idea of having two so that they can give each other company when we are gone, but it would be nice to receive as much love back as we would give to them. Thank you for your time and I hope this question makes sense! :) top
This is a hard question. Each chinchilla has its own personality. Some chinchillas will naturally be more friendly than others. I have had some pairs be more reserved toward me, while others were just as excited to come out and play. I would suggest spending some time with the pair you are considering and see how they act with their current owner. You are a stranger so don't be surprised if they don't warm up to you right away.
submitted by Elizabeth Czarnecki, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
14. I have read that chinchillas will only get along if one is male and the other female. Is this true? top
Chinchillas don't have to be in male/female pairs to live together. They can live in same sex pairs as well. It is easiest to get same sex pairs from the same litter. The next best thing is to introduce them in the first week after weaning. Young chinchillas are usually very easy to introduce to one another.

Introducing adult chinchillas can be tricky. Its very important to understand that female chinchillas are dominant. An adult female who has never had a female cage mate may never agree to have one. Male's are pretty easy going and will usually take to another male in time.

Please read the answer to How to Introduce a new chinchilla? in this section to learn how to bring in a new chin safely.

submitted by STEVE, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
15. How do I introduce a new chinchilla to my existing one? top
Usually a new chinchilla placed into the cage with your other one without a proper introduction period will not get accepted. In fact, chinchillas can fight to the death if they are put together too fast. When you get a new chin it is best to introduce him slowly over time. Some matches take a bit longer than others but with a bit of patience and a few techniques pairing them up is possible.

These techniques should be used for same sex pairs as well as for male/female pairs. Many pairs will go together only using the first step, but sometimes all of them will be needed:

1. Place their cages side by side for a week so they can meet through the cage bars. Once they seem OK with one another place them in the same cage. **Make sure you do this on a day when you can be there for a long while to watch for fighting. If they fight you will have to separate them and try again later. If you are introducing a male to a female be sure to place the female into the male's cage NOT the other way around.

2. If the above doesn't work, place the chinchillas in each other's cage for a few hours. Make sure you leave the original bedding and houses, etc. This way they can get used to each other's scent. You can change the water bottles and food bowls if you like.

3. At the end of one of the above methods place the two chinchillas in a brand new cage with new bedding that doesn't have the smell of either animal. Neither one will have the "home turf" advantage.

submitted by admin, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
16. I'm gone a lot, is it possible to take a chinchilla with me? top
I wouldn't suggest it. Many chinchillas don't handle change well. You would also have to be very careful traveling with your chinchilla during the summer months. Chinchillas overheat very easily and could die within minutes in a hot car.
If there is someone at home to feed and water your chinchillas I would suggest getting a pair. They would keep each other company while you are away and will be there to greet you when you get home.

submitted by Kendra Osborn, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
17. Do chinchillas shed their fur during the hot part of the summer? top
Chinchillas do shed but it is not necessarily due to temperature. Chinchillas go through phases especially around 8 months of age where they shed some old hair.
submitted by Daylene Ward, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
18. We would like to know how much Chinchilla cost? What do they need to sleep in and do they need bedding? What do you think we should keep it in? Also can we get them from a pet store or breeder? top
Chinchillas have different prices depending on their color and on where you buy them. A gray chinchilla from a breeder usually sells for $75-$85. The same chinchilla from a pet store would be $99-$125. Chinchillas need a wire cage (ferret type) with pine bedding. They need to be kept indoors in the air conditioning. A good cage will be $75 or more. Don't get a cage that has plastic where the chinchilla can get to it. Chinchillas will eat the plastic and get sick. They can also chew their way out if the bottom is plastic. Each chinchilla has its own personality so it is possible to find a tame chinchilla from a pet store, however, I suggest going to a breeder if you have one in your area. This way you will also know the background and age of your new pet.
submitted by Lauren and Molly Allen, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
19. I do not live in the air conditioning. The last chinchilla I had, seemed to be okay with that. I did keep a fan in the room as well. Do you have any further advice? top
It really depends on what climate you live in. Chinchillas cool themselves by sending blood into their large ears. The room temperature cools the blood and then it is re-circulated throughout the body. Fans don't work since they only circulate air and do not cool it. Chinchillas have no other way to cool themselves so they can overheat in a matter of minutes. When deciding if the temperature is OK you must add the room temperature plus the humidity. If those two numbers added together are greater than 150 your chinchilla is in trouble. You can also tell when a chinchilla getting too hot by looking at the blood vessels in the ears. When it is too hot the ears will look bloodshot and the vessels will be enlarged.
submitted by Elisabeth Riddle, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
20. I go to school from 7:30 to around 4:30 and i would rather have one but i have heard they do better in pairs is that true? Should i get one or two and is it easier to train in pairs or 1 or pairs? top
The fact that you are gone during the day won't be a problem since chinchillas like to do most of their playing in the evening. If you will be home at night and can spend a lot of time with your chinchilla one will be fine. If you go out during the evenings a lot and can't spend a lot of time with your chinchilla everyday I would suggest getting two. Chinchillas will love you just as much if they are kept in pairs. I have found that chinchillas tend to be more outgoing in pairs and having an outgoing friend tends to give a shy chinchilla more confidence with humans.
submitted by Kristen, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
21. Do Chinchillas take much care? top
Chinchillas require very little in the way of care. Fresh food, hay, and water daily, cage cleaning once a week, and a bowl of dust placed in the cage 3 times a week for about 20 mins for their bath...That's it. However, a single chinchilla needs your attention every day. They are very social creatures and get lonely if you don't spend some quality time with them each and every day. This doesn't mean you can't miss a day here and there, but you must give a single chinchilla regular love and affection. Pairs of chinchillas don't require as much interaction since they will have each other. They will still enjoy playing with you though.
submitted by Nathan, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
22. where can i find a breeder near me ? top
Visit http://www.ChinchillaClub.com and click on the Breeders Directory.
submitted by tony, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
23. Can they bite? top
Any animal with teeth has the ability to bite. Chinchillas rarely bite to cause pain. The usually use this as a last resort when they are very scared. Chinchillas do nibble to show affection and to check out a new person. Sometimes a young chinchilla can nibble too hard and pinch. This is easily correct with a firm "No!" and a gently nudging of the chinchilla away from your hand. It may take a few "No!s" but the chinchilla will learn quickly how hard is too hard. You shouldn't try to keep your chinchilla from giving you gentle nibbles. This is what all chinchilla families do to each other and you are after all, his family.
submitted by Lizzy, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
24. we got a chinchilla about 3 or 4 months ago. he seems very lonely and at times, bored and restless. i have been wondering if maybe this is a sign he needs a playmate? when i bought him, he lived with two others. would it a mistake to get a female chinchilla? would he fight with another male? thank you for your time. top
I would suggest getting a male instead of a female. You will need to take special care when putting them together. It's best to keep them in cages side by side at first to give them time to get to know each other without fighting. Then put them together. Be sure to stay close by the fist day to watch for signs of fighting, however, males usually go together easily.
submitted by Marissa, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
25. What is the age limit with small children and chinchillas, if children can be trusted to stay away if ordered. top
This is really something each parent needs to decide for him/herself based on the children in the house. Chinchillas can be easily stressed and hurt by mishandling. My children are 5 and 3 and they love to help feed the chinchillas and give them treats but they are not allowed to hold the chinchillas or open the cages when I am not there.
submitted by Big chinchilla fan, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
26. Do you have to clean a chinchilla's cage daily? top
No,
The cage should be fine with only a weekly cleaning since chinchillas have no odor.

submitted by riley, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
27. what is a dust bath and how do you give one? top
Chinchillas have a lot of lanolin oil in their fur. To remove the excess amounts they require a dust bath. Just pour a few inches of chinchilla dust (which looks a lot like sand) into a bowl and place it in the cage for a few minutes. The chinchilla will jump in and roll around.
You can see a video of a chinchilla dusting on our Video page.

submitted by Elizabeth, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
28. Will a chincilla get along with other pets? top
I know of families who have successfully introduced their chinchilla to another pet at playtime, but it takes some very special pets to do this. Remember that chinchillas do not have much of a defense system and could be hurt very badly by other types of animals. It is safest to let each type of pet have its own playtime alone, however if you have another pet that you know is gentle and you really want to introduce them do so with constant supervision.
Because of a chinchillas special dietary needs and nocturnal lifestyle it can not live in the same cage with other types of pets. It can co-habitat with its cousin the Degu since they are very similar.

submitted by julie, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
29. What is the average life span of a chinchilla top
10-20 years
submitted by Camden Jordan, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
30. I am getting a chinchilla from a friend who has had barely any time for him. do you think that it would take a long time for him to get used to me? i have been around him before but, i am scared that he will be sad and not like having to change where he lives... What should i do to make him feel comfortable living with me? top
Its best to keep him in the same cage. If you can't do that get some of his toys or take the pine bedding out of his old cage and put it in his new cage for the first few days. If he isn't used to being played with leave him alone for the first day to get used to his cage. Then visit with him by sitting in front of his cage and placing your arms inside. Don't take him out of the cage until he will come right up to you when you open the cage and isn't afraid of your hands. If you take him out too soon and he gets loose you will scare him as you chase him to get him back into the cage and he will never learn to trust you. If he learns to trust you first he will just see running from you as a game.
submitted by Nicole, answered by admin, last updated Sep 23, 2014
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