Are Chinchillas Destructive? [Not If You Do This +5 Tips]

Chinchillas seem to be growing in popularity as a great family pet over the last few years.

Anytime a pet grows in popularity, more questions tend to arise.

Providing ethical care for a chinchilla is imperative.

In addition, simply understanding how a chinchilla behaves is essential as well.

Many individuals considering adopting a chinchilla often have a specific question about the pet before the adoption and possibly shortly after.

Are chinchillas destructive?

I’ve now owned my chinchilla for several years and have plenty of knowledge on this topic that I’d like to share with you today in this post.

So, are chinchillas destructive? No, chinchillas are not destructive. Chinchillas need adequate toys and items inside of their cage to promote chewing and to allow them to file down their teeth. Chinchillas also need time out of the cage to prevent boredom and social activity. 

I was trying to think of a fancier way of wording that answer, but, in all reality, it’s as simple as that when it comes to owning a chinchilla.

I’m not saying that issues don’t arise from time to time, but overall, a chinchilla is extremely easy to care for.

That’s what the rest of this post is designed to teach you.

I’m going to break down what you can do as the owner to ensure your chinchilla remains non-destructive, happy, and healthy.

Trust me, it’s worth sticking around for a few minutes.

I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.

are-chinchillas-destructive

Here’s what I intend on covering in today’s brief 2-minute post:

As stated previously, if you are in a rush and need to skip around, feel free.

It’s not going to hurt my feelings in the slightest.

Otherwise, if you have those 2 minutes to spare, grab a cup of coffee and read on to learn how to prevent boredom, excessive chewing, and destructive behavior from your new chinchilla.

Here is what you need to know.

Are Chinchillas Destructive?

Overall, no. Chinchillas are not destructive, if you follow the advice mentioned above and follow the 5 tips, I’m going to lay out for you down below shortly than you should not be running into issues with destructive chinchilla behavior.

Period.

Chinchilla’s are naturally relatively energetic during the hours that they are awake.

They do love to jump and explore.

They are also much smarter than they are often given credit for.

When boredom sets in, it is likely when you will notice a chinchilla going a bit more chew crazy and possibly becoming what some pet owners would consider destructive.

Here’s something to keep in mind. When your chinchilla is out of their cage, they technically should be supervised by yourself or someone else.

In this situation, it’s clear that not much destruction is going to take place strictly due to you having the ability to simply place your chinchilla back in the cage.

Not to mention, your room where your chinchilla is out playing needs to be proofed in advance regardless. (More on this later)

Overall, if any destruction does take place, it’s going to be when you are not paying attention and inside of the cage.

This is also going to be due to what I mentioned previously.

Boredom and even depression could cause some of these destructive and chewing behaviors.

Down below, I want to layout 5 tips that, if you implement, should have you worry-free about encountering any of these destructive behaviors going forward into your chinchilla ownership.

5 Tips for Preventing Boredom and Destructive Behaviors

As promised, I wanted to go over my top 5 tips you can implement to ensure you keep your chinchilla mentally and physically stimulated.

This, in turn, will keep those undesired and destructive behaviors at bay.

Tip #1- Start with The Chinchilla Cage 1st

When adopting a chinchilla, everything begins with ensuring you purchase the best chinchilla cage possible.

Chinchillas naturally need the ability to climb vertically inside of the cage.

Not to mention, they just prefer to do so and are happiest when this is permitted and accessible.

This means that you need to ensure you are purchasing the correct size chinchilla cage.

The vertical size is always more essential than width.

I have been recommending the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon) for a long time now, and it’s still the cage I’m recommending to this date for any new chinchilla owner.

It has the height required, looks good, and can upgrade to fleece liners for more appeal and comfort for your chinchilla easily.

Not to mention it takes about 10 minutes to put together and have set up and ready.

It doesn’t get much better and much easier than that.

I have a full review of the Critter Nation 2 that you can see here.

You can also read about fleece liners for chinchillas here.

I currently use the Piggy Bed Spread Liners (Link to Amazon) in my cage, which I absolutely love.

They take no time at all to clean, look much better in the cage, help eliminate odor, and are more comfortable for your chinchilla overall compared to using something such as a wire bottom cage with shavings.

If you need further information about the best chinchilla bedding options you have, you can view my post here.

Now, let’s assume you take my advice and purchase the correct cage to encourage your chinchilla’s natural abilities and desires.

You still have some work to do and have accessories that need to be placed inside of the cage to keep your chinchilla happy and stimulated, which leads us to tip #2.

Tip #2-Add the Correct Accessories to The Chinchilla Cage

Tip #2 is to simply take that awesome chinchilla cage you just purchased and make it a home for your chinchilla.

Give them the best toys and accessories to keep them busy and happy.

This includes several things such as wooden ledges, a chinchilla wheel, and even the correct nest box and tunnels to give your chinchilla the ultimate habitat.

To make your life easy and to save you some time, I’ve created some easy links directly below that will navigate you to all my recommendations.

  • To see the best and necessary chinchilla toys, view my post here
  • To see the best chinchilla hammocks, you can view my post here
  • You can view my post on the best chinchilla wheels here
  • To learn more about providing the best and safe tunnels for your chinchilla cage, you can read this post here
  • To understand which nest box is best and why chinchilla’s need a nest box, be sure to check out this post here

Combining an excellent and proper sized chinchilla cage with plenty of activities and things to do inside of the cage, is undoubtedly going to curb the destructive and excessive chewing you notice out of your new chinchilla.

Plain and simple.

If you opt to skip these steps and don’t give your chinchilla much to do, then you can’t really complain when your chinchilla gets a little bit stir crazy and begins acting out.

Most pets would act the exact same way and there is absolutely no denying that.

You would probably do the same thing in the same situation.

Tip #3- Ensure You Provide Interaction and Time Out

No matter how great you make your chinchilla’s cage, and no matter how many toys and chew sticks you place inside of it, you must realize that a chinchilla is a very social animal.

With proper handling and given enough time to adapt, a chinchilla makes for a very loving and affectionate pet.

Just because the cage is great and you provided plenty to do, does not mean that you skip playtime with your chinchilla.

Ideally, you should be providing this daily.

The room needs to be safe, and chinchilla proofed to ensure you don’t run into issues such as your chinchilla chewing wires or doing anything else hazardous to their health.

This also includes ensuring you have the room at the correct temperatures and humidity levels.

You can view my post here about ensuring you do this correctly.

Ensuring you provide this 30 minutes or so per day to your chinchilla will go a long way towards making your chinchilla behave in the fashion you desire and keeping your chinchilla happier overall.

Tip #4- Don’t Forget a Second Chinchilla Never Hurts

If all else fails and it seems your chinchilla is just pure lonely, you can always consider one of my favorite tips of all.

Simply purchase a second chinchilla and slowly introduce them and bond them together.

Typically, this takes place from two separate chinchilla cages up against each other in the beginning phases.

Once it appears that the bonding is going well, the two chinchillas can move in together.

This is a quick way to fix a lack of social activity and prevent destructive behaviors not only now but well into the future.

Tip #5- Provide All-Around Ethical and Great Care

Outside of providing the correct habitats and ensuring your chinchilla has what they need inside and outside of the cage, all you need to do is become and remain an ethical pet owner and chinchilla parent.

Providing the best care possible, including ensuring dust baths are offered at regular intervals, are going to make for a happy chinchilla overall.

Typically, from my experience, a happy chinchilla is a well-behaved chinchilla, and destructive behavior will be far and few between.

Do chinchillas like to act a bit crazy sometimes inside and outside of the cage?

Sure, who doesn’t get a bit wild from time to time?

It’s part of life, and they are sure to do the same at some point.

However, following these tips and providing the necessary items discussed in this post is going to go along towards ensuring you don’t have these bad behaviors repeating or occurring often.

It’s as easy as that.

Final Thoughts

With the proper care and the correct items provided and purchased for your chinchilla, they make one of the best pets you can choose to adopt.

That’s a promise I’m comfortable making.

However, lack of care and not providing some of the items discussed in this post can lead to some behaviors that you would prefer not to deal with.

Prevent the destructive behaviors by giving your new furry friend precisely what they need and watch the relationship grow and flourish.

I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming chinchilla adoption and a new adventure.

Share Your Thoughts on Destructive Chinchilla Behavior Below

What tips could be added to this list that you have used to eliminate destructive chinchilla behavior?

Do you have any other recommendations or advice that you can provide the readers?

Be sure to share your stories, thoughts, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

Thanks again, and we will see you next time.

 

 

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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