Are Chinchillas Good Beginners Pets? [It Depends on This]

Chinchillas are a unique pet but can often leave potential pet owners curious if they would make a good pet for a beginner pet owner.

It is a valid question to ask, and I had the same questions before adopting my chinchilla over 5 years ago.

Are Chinchilla’s Good Beginner Pet’s?

Chinchillas do not make the best pets for beginners. Chinchillas do not make good pets for beginners due to the patience needed to form a bond and the delicate handling skills required to care for a chinchilla properly.

Not so fast.

It is important to understand that under the right circumstances, a chinchilla can still potentially make an excellent pet for beginners.

In fact, you can begin by reading my post about why chinchillas make good pets here.

It all depends on how you approach it and your specific situation.

That is what the rest of this post is designed to break down for you.

When a chinchilla can make an excellent pet for a beginner and when it may not make the most sense for a beginner to adopt a chinchilla.

Here is how I intend to break down this information for you:

Are Chinchillas Good Beginner Pets?

As stated in the opening of these posts, it entirely depends on several things before you can draw the conclusion on if a chinchilla will make the right pet for a beginner or not.

In theory, they most likely are not going to make the best pets for a beginner for a few reasons.

I want to start by diving into those reasons first so everyone has a clear idea of why a chinchilla would not make the best pet for beginners.

When Are Chinchillas Not Good Pets for Beginners?

When Your Children Are Too Young To Care For The Chinchilla

Unless you are the one considering the chinchilla, it may be a mistake to adopt a chinchilla for a child who is too young to understand how to effectively care for the chinchilla properly.

Chinchillas, while low maintenance, still needs some primary care needs to be met, such as time out of the cage.

Additionally, understanding how to get a chinchilla in and out of the cage is also crucial.

It is also essential that a beginner deciding to adopt a chinchilla can clean the chinchilla cage and give the chinchilla the necessary and proper foods such as timothy hay or pellets.

Overall, if your kid is under the age of 8-9, I would not consider adopting a chinchilla unless you are the one wanting to adopt the chinchilla.

I adopted my chinchilla when my son was 1.5 years old, and now, even though my son is much older, he still would be utterly incapable of raising and caring for a chinchilla without assistance from an adult.

When he is approaching the age of 10+, that may be a completely different story once you have taught your kids how to raise a chinchilla correctly.

So to recap, unless you are the parent and are going to be the primary care provider towards a chinchilla then a chinchilla likely is not a good beginner pet for families where the children are too young to understand how to raise a chinchilla effectively and ethically.

When You Have No Bandwidth for Socialization With Your Chinchilla

This is an essential factor that you need to understand about adopting and owning a chinchilla.

This is also one of the components that can make a chinchilla too much for a beginner pet owner to handle.

Chinchillas need the ability to come out of their cages.


Ideally, once per day, but it is understandable if this cannot always happen.

Nonetheless, some of the most challenging aspects of owning a chinchilla come in the form of handling, playtime, and care that requires holding a chinchilla.

This may be something as simple as getting your chinchilla in and out of the cage or something more complex such as allowing your chinchilla time out of the cage to play and interact.

Nonetheless, if this is a spot that you feel that you would struggle with and do not have the desire to learn about as a beginner, it is likely that you need to consider another pet instead of a chinchilla.

When You Do Not Desire A Pet That Lives 15+ Years Like A Chinchilla

As a beginner pet owner, it is also essential to understand that a chinchilla lives 15 years or more with proper care and assuming no illnesses present.

It is common for beginner pet owners to neglect these types of facts, and sometimes pet owners find themselves bored with a pet after some time has passed and often give them up for adoption to a non-suitable home.

For a beginner pet owner, perhaps a chinchilla does not make the most sense for you due to their long life span and the commitment required to care for them responsibly.

When Can Chinchillas Be Good Beginner Pets?

It is also essential to understand that a chinchilla may be a good pet for a beginner if certain circumstances are met, which is what I want to talk about next.

You Can Remain Patient Until Your Chinchilla Becomes Comfortable and Adapts

Patience is often something that is tested with beginner pet owners.

Even I had owned several pets before adopting my chinchilla, and my patience was still tested.

However, if you are a patient person and genuinely desire a chinchilla, they make for an excellent pet for you.

Remember that patience is essential as a beginner with a chinchilla due to the time it takes them to warm up to you and build a bond with you.

However, if you have this patience, especially in the beginning, a chinchilla can make an excellent pet.

You Can Show Love and Affection Towards Your Chinchilla Often and Willingly

Chinchillas have emotions.

As a beginner pet owner, you must understand this with a chinchilla and show attention, love, and affection towards your chinchilla.

It is more of a requirement than anything else.

If you can do this, beginner or not, a lot of the other small details will begin to fall into place for you as a new chinchilla owner, and they will likely make an excellent pet for you and the family.

You Learn Proper Handling for Your Chinchilla

This is perhaps the most essential item on this list to mention.

Chinchillas are relatively easy pets to own, but a few of the main issue’s chinchilla owners have are tough to overcome for a beginner pet owner.

One of these is handling techniques.

Chinchillas do not always prefer to be held, and sometimes, they never grow to like being held or cuddled in the future.

This is also one of those times when your patience will be tested heavily.

If you can keep your patience and continue to learn your chinchilla’s body language and respect their desires, you may do great owning a chinchilla as a beginner pet owner.

Whether or Not A Chinchilla Makes A Good Beginner Pet Is Up to You

The word beginner, when it comes to being a new pet owner, can mean many things.

Maybe you have owned other pets and haven’t owned a chinchilla, or perhaps you never owned a pet at all.

Regardless, if you have the desire and capability to learn about a chinchilla and want to show a chinchilla a safe and loving home, they can make excellent pets whether you are a beginner or not.

They can also make unwanted pets for beginners for the reasons we touched on previously in this post.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla if you do decide to adopt soon!

Do You Believe Chinchilla’s Make for Good Pets for Beginners?

Do you believe that chinchillas can make good pets for beginners?

Why or why not do you believe a chinchilla would be ideal for a beginner pet owner?

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

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today, and we will see you again 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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