Are Wire Bottom Cages Bad for Chinchillas? [Must Read]


Finding and purchasing the best chinchilla cage is one essential part of adopting and becoming an ethical chinchilla owner. It leads individuals to wonder if wire bottom cages are bad for chinchillas.

I’ve owned a chinchilla for quite some time, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, are wire bottom cages bad for chinchillas? No, wire bottom cages are not bad for chinchillas. Flat bottom cages are known to be better on a chinchilla’s feet. Wire bottom cages will require chinchilla safe bedding and shavings beneath the wire bottom. Overall, wire bottom cages are not bad for chinchillas.

I know that statement may have raised a few additional questions about wire bottom chinchilla cages.

It’s what I plan to cover in more depth in this post.

If you are in a hurry, the above answer is the quickest way to explain the safety of wire bottom cages for chinchillas.

If, however, you have a few minutes to spare, I’ve created easy to navigate links that you can use to skip to any specific section of this post directly below.

Here’s what I intend on covering:

As you read further into my post, you will notice the cage I decided to purchase instead of using the wire bottom cage as well as the accessories of benefits of doing so.

Here are the details.

Are Wire Bottom Cages Bad for Chinchillas?

A lot of confusion circles the online communities amongst chinchilla owners about wire bottom cages.

Some individuals will state that the wire bottoms can be harmful to the small bones in your chinchillas’ feet.

I tend to agree in some fashion but also believe that a wire bottom cage for your chinchilla can undoubtedly get the job done.

Often, breeders will have wire bottom cages.

Some will make them available to you when you adopt your chinchilla, and some may not.

In a perfect world, a wire bottom cage would be nothing more than a starter cage.

That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to rush to get a new cage either.

I personally started with a wire bottom cage myself, and it worked just fine.

However, I did have some complaints and some things I disliked about the cage.

First and foremost, I didn’t like the thought of my chinchillas’ feet slipping between the bars.

I also didn’t like thinking that it would cause potential long-term pain or harm to her feet.

I also got tired of using shavings for my chinchilla’s bedding (we will cover this shortly).

I decided it was time to make a change and swap chinchilla cages.

I simply concluded that wire bottom cages don’t make sense long term; they are not physically appealing and was ready to make a change.

Here’s what I did instead.

Alternative Solutions to Wire Bottom Cages

After ultimately deciding that I was ready to take the wire bottom chinchilla cage to the curb, I decided to purchase the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon)

It was the best decision I could have made for my chinchilla for a few reasons.

First, it is a significantly larger cage than any typical wire bottom cage.

As we know, chinchillas need large cages to remain happy and healthy.

Secondly, I made the change from using chinchilla shavings and went with fleece liners.

Other Chinchilla Cage Options Provide More Comfort for Your Chinchillas

Yes, fleece liners are 100% safe for chinchillas, and they are excellent compared to shavings.

They can be easily washed and cleaned and allow your chinchilla to have more comfort.

Not to mention, they look much better.

I used these specific fleece liners (Link to Amazon) which are designed, and custom made for the Critter Nations 2 Dual Level Cage.

I can’t find enough good things about the benefits of using fleece liners as opposed to shavings.

I guess this is one of those situations where you will have to take my word for it.

Avoid These Mistakes to Prevent Infections

Another thing to keep in mind about wire bottom cages is that a chinchilla should never be directly on top of their shavings that they soak with their urine or pee.

Especially since most chinchilla owners don’t clean their cage often enough or enough to prevent potential infections.

Some screen or tray should be utilized beneath the wire bottom chinchilla cage that holds the chinchilla shavings where your chinchilla would be urinating most frequently.

Final Thoughts on Wire Bottom Cages for Chinchillas

To recap, are wire bottom cages bad for chinchillas?

No, wire bottom cages are not necessarily bad for chinchillas, and many chinchilla owners still use them with frequency and likely never have any issues.

However, if you have the budget that will allow you to purchase a bigger cage for your chinchilla, that’s the path I would certainly take.

Chinchillas love to jump.

Chinchillas love to climb.

A larger cage with soft fleece liners and multiple levels within the cage is only going to go further towards helping your chinchilla remain happy and healthy.

Nonetheless, if a wire bottom chinchilla cage is all that the budget can accommodate now, you have nothing to feel bad for or to worry about.

Don’t Forget to Chime in Your Thoughts on Wire Bottom Cages

This is one of the more debated topics I’ve seen when it comes to owning a chinchilla.

I’d love to get your feedback on the topic as well.

Do you think wire bottom cages are bad for chinchillas?

Do you think the cause further damages or pain to your chinchillas’ feet long term?

Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below.

As always, thanks for stopping by. Chili and I appreciate you.

Catch you next time.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 1 year old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know.

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