If you are considering adopting a new pet for the family, you may be debating between several different options. Some individuals go with the most common selections possible such as a dog or a cat, but plenty of families lean towards smaller animals within the rodent family. That leads individuals searching and curious as to what the best option may be. A question I see with a crazy amount of frequency is a comparison question about chinchillas and rabbits. Are chinchillas better than rabbits? Well, I haven’t owned a rabbit, but I do own a chinchilla and here is what I can tell you on the subject.
So, are chinchillas better than rabbits? Chinchillas possess many unique characteristics that make them unique compared to rabbits such as their ability to jump and climb. Additionally, chinchillas live longer than an average rabbit and do not require a companion pet for socializing. Chinchillas, in my opinion, are easier to care for and a better pet than a rabbit.
I know, I probably have plenty of people reading that own rabbits and probably want me to do some explaining and back up my claims on why I believe chinchillas make better pets than rabbits. The good news is that I plan to deliver just that.
In this post, I’m going to break down 9 ways chinchillas make better pets than rabbits and ultimately let you be the judge and jury on if you feel the same way as I do. Let’s start diving into those now.
The Battle of The Best Pet, Chinchillas Vs. Rabbits
Before I even get started, I want to vent a few things and discuss a few things. First, the information I find online in forums or places such as Yahoo Answers is 100% incorrect information. I see people asking the question about which pet to get and then the individuals responding, clearly don’t own one of the pets.
My goal in this post was to clear the air and make sure that if you are debating between the two animals, you get some actual sound and realistic advice. I’m also going to openly admit that I don’t think rabbits are bad pets by any means. I’m considering getting a rabbit as well.
Disclaimer: I May Be Advocating for Chinchillas, but I believe Rabbits Make Great Pets as Well
Clearly, the name of this site is Planet Chinchilla, so it makes sense I’m advocating for the chinchilla, but my goal with being the owner and author behind this site is to educate individuals about owning chinchillas and being the most ethical chinchilla owners possible. My goal is to never provide false information or sway people from one pet to another.
Keeping this in mind, although it may seem as if I’m one-sided towards chinchillas in this post, it’s because I own one and can speak from experience. I’ve also had friends who own rabbits and know that they make wonderful pets as well.
However, I will air my frustrations to say that I can 100% guarantee that this will be the most accurate portrayal of owning a chinchilla compared to the other information floating around the internet.
In my opinion, if you don’t own the pet, you likely shouldn’t comment to help others with their journey. Keeping all these factors in mind, let’s jump into it. This post is going to detail all the reasons I believe chinchillas will make a better pet for you than a rabbit.
At the end of the post, I’m open to conversation, comments, and debate but I want this to be a helpful post. Not a war between two animals. Let’s get it started and see if I can make a case for the chinchilla to take home the gold crown.
The 9 Reasons Why Chinchillas Make Better Pets Than Rabbits
Below, you will notice me begin to start diving into each particular reason why I believe chinchillas make better pets than rabbits. Instead of just representing all the chinchillas and chinchilla owners in the world, I want to have a unique approach with this post.
I will also point out a positive about our beloved rabbits to keep things fair and a level playing field. Let’s get ready to rumble. Hope you all brought your boxing gloves because Its…About…To…Go…Down!
Reason #1-Chinchillas Take Dust Baths, and Dust Baths Are Awesome
While rabbits may have some unique traits and remarkable things they do as they go about certain aspects of their lives, there is one thing they will never complete in the same fashion. Dust baths. You see, chinchillas have incredibly dense fur.
To care for their fur, they require a bath with specialized dust made from volcanic ash. It’s not expensive, and it’s incredible to watch. Basically, your chinchilla will jump into a bowl of dust or a container and roll around with pure joy.
The containers are designed not to make a mess, and it’s the only hygiene related task you need to complete with a chinchilla outside of cleaning their cage. While I respect rabbits and their hygiene, there is something about a dust bath that all chinchilla owners know is pure awesome.
Sorry rabbits, due to this fact, you trail our current battle in the category by one point.
Reason #2- Jumping and Climbing Is Extremely Fun to Watch and Partake In
Some individuals may see this as a negative, but I can tell you that’s it’s not. First, it makes purchasing and putting a chinchilla cage together a ton of fun. Additionally, it makes playtime when your chinchilla is out of the cage a lot of fun.
My chinchilla jumps and climbs about anywhere she can. She will do her thing running around, come up and jump right up on my lap, onto my shoulder and even take a hop onto my head and just sit there until she feels like going for round 2.
I’m also aware that bunnies have spring in their step as well. However, it’s not quite the same a chinchilla having the ability to jump nearly 6 feet in the air.
Sure, it makes chinchilla proofing a room a little more work such as protecting wires and closing doors buts once this is complete, it’s all fun and games to follow. Just be sure your chinchilla doesn’t leave the room you are in and wander off.
Trust me, it’s a blast interacting and having playtime with chinchillas. Again, I’m not saying bunny time is boring. I’m strictly pointing out that chinchillas are unique in this fashion.
Reason #3- Chinchillas Are Clean as A Whistle, Most of The Time
Chinchillas are extremely clean animals and do not emit any odors which is perhaps one of my favorite traits about my chinchilla. Do they poop? Absolutely. Does it smell? Nope, not at all. The same goes for the urine if you are diligent about cleaning their cage.
In addition, using fleece liners and potty training your chinchilla can eliminate this even more. The fact that all it takes is a light cleaning of the cage on a schedule and a dust bath to keep my chinchilla odor-free and in top notch hygiene states is something I love about chinchillas.
Reason #4-Lifespan, Chinchillas Will Be Your Be Loyal Friend for 15-20 Years
This could be considered a positive for both rabbits and chinchillas if you ask me. They both have long life spans. Listen, this is a good thing, and I find it somewhat irritating that some individuals take this as a negative.
Pets are not meant to be purchased until you decide you are bored with them or they die. They are purchased and should be purchased to make them a part of the family. With rabbits and chinchillas, this is possible. A chinchilla can live up to 15-20 years if well taken care of.
This is a huge positive in my book. For all the bunny lovers, I also love that rabbits live for 9-12 years which is a reason I’m even considering adding a rabbit to the family. However, until I take that leap of faith, the chinchilla still wins and can remain a part of the family for 5-10 years longer than a rabbit can.
Reason #5- Chinchillas Are Extremely Cheap to Own, Other Information You Find Is False
This is one of the statements I found on forums while trolling information that made me very frustrated. Individuals stated that chinchillas are not suitable to own because they are expensive. This is 100% false and nowhere near reliable information. Let me break it down for you.
When you first purchase your chinchilla and initial set-up items, you can easily spend around 400-500.00. This also includes a recommended and top-notch cage such as the Critter Nation 2 (dual level) cage.
Noticed I mentioned top end or high-end cage? That means it doesn’t have to be this nice although I’d argue that if you want to be an ethical chinchilla owner, you should purchase it or something similar in the immediate future.
Outside of these items, the cost is very low. Bedding is not 100% necessary if you use fleece liners for the cage. Food is cheap, hay is cheap, and the toys are cheap. Heck, toys can even be made from your own handyman skills.
That’s it and all there is to it. I don’t think any chinchilla owners reading this would argue that owning a chinchilla can easily be 10.00 a month or less barring any vet visits or splurge ordering fun new toys for your chinchilla.
If your one of the pet owners like me, you can surely spend more than 10.00 per month, but for the most part, this should be very accurate for your cost for your chinchilla after your first initial purchases. This is another big reason I love chinchillas in this fashion.
I will openly admit though that I’m not 100% aware of what rabbits entail from a budget standpoint so this is one area where I encourage comments below, and I will restructure this section if I’m off base about the cost difference between owning a chinchilla or a rabbit.
Reason #6-They Begin to Build A Strong Bond with You Over Time!
I know rabbits are also capable of doing this. This one was tough for me to include in my top 9 reasons, but I decided to go ahead with my gut feeling and throw it in.
Like I stated previously, chinchillas live for a very long time, and as time passes, the bond grows very strong between you and your chinchilla.
At first, my chinchilla was very scared when I brought her home but over time, we have begun to be more like roommates in my office where I work and where I keep her cage. I open the doors, and she roams around freely (it’s safe). She will jump on my lap and head and just hang out.
I’m sure rabbits may also be somewhat similar in this aspect, but since I’m not 100% aware of how it works with bunnies from this angle, I’m letting the chinchilla take the point in this category and get crowned the better pet to own. No offense rabbits.
Reason #7-Chinchillas Are Very Smart, and They CAN Be Litter Trained!
Chinchilla’s are brilliant animals. I’m sure rabbits may be smart as well. I love the fact that litter training a chinchilla is possible and they even begin learning routines and what to expect. They also learn their rooms for playtime and make the best out of every situation.
The proof that chinchillas are as intelligent as they are makes me believe they are the superior pet for this specific battle and I’m sticking to my answer until I’m proven wrong by another individual. Case closed.
Reason #8-Chinchillas Are Entertaining, and They Make for Fantastic YouTube Videos!
In a world that’s becoming more technology-based, more and more people are making funny videos for online purposes such as YouTube or Facebook. Well if you want one of the most entertaining pets to witness do crazy things and to capture on video, chinchillas are your answer.
Between the climbing, jumping, racing around and playing dead, it’s tough to find a dull moment as a chinchilla owner.
I’m sure bunnies can be fun as well, but this is one area where I’m almost positive a bunny purely can’t beat a chinchilla. They don’t have the jumping skills and some of the other characteristics necessary to compete. Although bunnies are cute, they just can’t beat the wow factor a chinchilla can deliver.
Plain and simple.
Reason #9-Chinchillas Are Easy to Care for, and They Don’t Require Much Space
Chinchillas are not only one of the most beneficial pets to own, but they are straightforward to take care of. A clean cage, cold temperatures and a safe environment with food and water are about all they need. Outside of love and interaction from you of course.
I’m sure bunnies have a sense of independence as well, but the amount of effort required to care for a chinchilla is not going to be beaten by a bunny from the knowledge I have. They are just easy going and friendly pets to own for the entire family.
Yes, I Understand Chinchillas Have Disadvantages. I Own One.
Okay, so I just spend the last few sections discussing why chinchillas make such great pets. I wanted to point out now that I do know that all pets have disadvantages as well and I’m not attempting to claim that they don’t.
However, for the sake of this post, we were not targeting or attempting to discuss negatives, and I don’t see any negatives significant enough not to make owning a chinchilla a great and wise decision. However, I also want all the readers to understand that all chinchillas are different.
Maybe you get a chinchilla that jumps and climbs even more than mine and can bring even more joy to your life. Perhaps you don’t. It’s the luck of the draw when adopting any pet, but the 9 reasons we have discussed in this post are great examples of why chinchillas are better than rabbits.
At least in my opinion and again, I’m sticking to it.
What You Should Do Next to Reach a Decision Between A Chinchilla and Rabbit
I think if you are this on the fence about this question and debate, you should continue being diligent and research as much as you can about both pets. Take a trip to the pet store and talk to an expert and see which animal can be a better fit for your family and circumstances will be.
Adopting a pet should be a great experience and not overly stressful. Again, nothing is wrong with chinchillas or rabbits, but if you came to me asking for advice, I’d push you in the direction of the chinchillas. 100% no doubt about it, but ultimately that decision is yours and yours only.
The Final Word, Chinchillas, and Rabbits Are Both Great, but My Vote Remains with Chinchillas
Well, sorry rabbits. I didn’t try to have you come out of the loser but, in some games, you must have a winner and a loser. It’s just the way it works, and for now, I’m a firm believer that chinchillas make for the superior pet, and you will have no regrets jumping aboard the chinchilla train.
However, I’d like all others who have OWNED one of these pets to chime in. If you haven’t owned one, keep your comments at bay. However, if you have, make a case for your pet below and share your stories and comments. As always, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate you.