Have you seen chinchilla owners complain about their pets being messy?
I have. It happens.
But it is rare. And the owners complaining of this are doing a few things wrong.
If you do things right, chinchillas are very clean. Far cleaner than most pets.
So what exactly do you need to be doing? And is it a lot of work?
I’ll answer the second question here: no, it is very little work.
Taking care of a chinchilla is extremely easy. Keep reading to learn just how clean these animals are and what you can do to ensure your cleaning duties are kept to a minimum.
- 1 Are Chinchillas Clean?
- 2 Why Chinchillas Are So Clean
- 3 Chinchillas Are Clean: Final Thoughts
Are Chinchillas Clean?
Yes, chinchillas are clean. In fact, they are one of the cleanest pets to own. Their fur only requires a dust bath to remain clean and they do not produce odor or dander. They are also not susceptible to fleas and other fur infestations.
I think those points clearly illustrate that chinchillas are extremely clean animals They require little to no maintenance and minimal care to remain clean and odor-free.
In fact, unless a chinchilla is sick, you will likely never experience a chinchilla that smells or produces any form of an odor.
I do, however, want to take the time to dive into how clean chinchillas really are. I’ll also cover the tips you need to maintain your chinchilla’s hygiene.
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Why Chinchillas Are So Clean
There are a number of reasons chinchillas are such clean animals. Let’s take a closer look at each one, starting with baths.
You Never Need To Wash Your Chinchilla
That’s right. You never need to wash your chinchilla. In fact, you should not wash it. The ultra-dense fur means it is never good for your chinchilla to get wet.
So how do you keep that gorgeous fur clean?
You don’t, because your chinchilla takes care of it on its own!
In nature, chinchillas clean themselves by rolling around in dust. And they will do the same in captivity, if you give them the opportunity.
All you need is a dust bath house and some dust. Neither are expensive.
You can just use a regular bowl, if you don’t want to get the bath house (though the house makes clean-up easier), but you do need to get chinchilla-formulated dust to ensure it is not harmful and it actually works to clean the fur.
Then let your chin out of the cage for a dust bath 2 to 3 times per week.
If you think this sounds too good to be true, check out my post about why chinchillas bathe in dust.
It’s straightforward to care for a chinchilla for this precise reason alone. And, as mentioned, the beautiful part about chinchilla dust baths is that they do it on their own.
All you need to do is place the dust and dust bath container on the ground for them, and they will roll themselves into a clean and soft fur state.
Chinchillas Don’t Shed And Produce Almost No Dander
Another great thing about chinchillas and how clean they are is that you won’t need to buy a special vacuum just to dispose of all of the hair.
That’s because chinchillas really don’t shed at all.
I’ve been so impressed by this with my chinchilla that I even wrote a detailed post about chinchilla shedding, which you can find here.
In addition to the extremely light (if any) shedding, you also have the fact that chinchillas are very allergy-friendly. They don’t activate or bother most people’s allergies.
In fact, chinchilla owners don’t really experience any allergies from chinchillas at all, unless the dust that your chinchilla rolls around in happens to trigger an allergenic episode.
I also have a post on this site detailing everything you need to know about potential allergy issues with chinchillas.
Chinchillas Poop Is Hard And Odorless
Unless you have a chinchilla with a health issue, its poop will always resemble the poop of mice. Although this is a huge positive in terms of cleanliness, I do want to note that chinchillas poop basically all the time.
But, since it is hard poop, it’s not really an issue. It is simple enough to just vacuum it up.
The only time your chinchilla poop could be softer is if you are feeding it the incorrect foods. An easy way to avoid doing this is to read this post about what chinchillas eat.
It will detail everything you need to know about what chinchillas eat and what’s safe. Additionally, be sure to check out this post here.
It details which fruits chinchillas can eat and which they can’t. Feeding your chinchilla the wrong fruit could produce loose or soft poop, which definitely makes clean up much more painful.
Keeping Poop In The Cage Could Be A Challenge
Soft chinchilla poop is rare and for the most part, you will never smell nor have any significant complaints about your chinchilla’s poop.
The most common complaint I’ve seen in forums concerning cleanliness is how hard it can be to keep chinchilla poop inside of the cage.
A lot of owners struggle with this and consider their pets messy because of it. It is because of stories about poop that many prospective owners ask “How messy are chinchillas?”
Fortunately, I know this is a concern from owning my own chinchilla and have a few tricks you can implement. Read my post on keeping chinchilla poop inside of the cage for help with that.
Fleece Liners Can Save The Day
If you haven’t purchased fleece liners for your chinchilla cage trays, now is the time to do so.
I personally use these fleece liners that are specifically designed for the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage. I absolutely love them and believe they are worth every penny. Plus they actually save you money in the long run.
Add to that the fact that fleece liners can be ordered pre-made to fit for these trays.
If you are on the fence about jumping on the fleece-liner bandwagon, read my post about how fleece liners are perfectly safe for chinchillas.
The main idea behind these fleece liners is that they have an absorbent pad to soak up any urine. They keep your chinchilla cleaner because you don’t need any wood shavings in the cage.
Not only are the shavings themselves messy, but they get soaked in urine and begin to smell. Than you need to change them, which is a hassle and costs you money each time.
The fleece liners are reusable and extremely easy to wash in cold water. You really only need to do it once or twice per week, especially if your chinchilla is also litter-trained.
This makes keeping your chinchilla clean that much easier and I’m a big believer that everyone owning or adopting a chinchilla should go this direction at some point .
Fleece liners just make life easy and keep your chinchilla that much cleaner. There is no good reason not to consider the small investment, unless you really don’t have the budget at the moment.
But remember, they eliminate the need to keep buying more wood shavings, so you actually end up saving far more money in the long run than you spend on the fleece liners initially..
Keeping The Cage Clean Is Easy
Given all the poop and urine, it would seem that cage cleanings could become a huge pain. But not really. Not if you do it right.
Then cage cleanings are extremely easy to do and it takes only a few minutes to stay on top of this task. I have a post about frequently cleaning your chinchilla cage to make life easier.
All that’s needed is a garbage bag, a little vinegar, and a shop vacuum.
The post I mentioned above breaks it down step by step. But to make things simple, you’re basically going to vacuum all debris, including the poop, wash the liners, and wipe the shelves.
The mere fact that you only need to take care of a few minimal tasks to keep your chinchilla at peak hygiene levels is why I can say with confidence that chinchillas are, indeed, extremely clean animals.
Not much more needs to be said on this topic and I promise that other chinchilla owners would agree.
You won’t smell your chinchilla, it is not going to shed, and it will poop the cleanest poop you can imagine.
Outside of washing the fleece liners with a few urine stains on them a few times a week, your work is minimal. Get a chinchilla and you officially own one of the cleanest pets you can adopt.
Chinchillas Are Clean: Final Thoughts
So let’s recap briefly. Chinchillas are very clean. And they are easy to care for and easy to keep clean.
I’d argue that my chinchilla is roughly ten to twenty times easier to keep clean than my own dog that I’ve owned for the past 6 years.
In addition to being clean, chinchillas are very easy going and loving animals that show affection and love toward their owners and families.
If you are on the fence about adopting a chinchilla in the near future, I highly recommend it and can nearly guarantee that it won’t be a decision that you will ever come to regret.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and the journey you have ahead of you.
I’d love your feedback on this topic as well.
How clean do you believe chinchillas are?
Anything to add to this post for the readers?
Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below. As always, Chili and I appreciate you reading and stopping by. See you next time!