When choosing the best cage for your new chinchilla, you have more to consider than price. Sure, price is always a significant consideration. We all have a budget, and that’s 100% understandable.
However, chinchillas are unique pets with incredible abilities to jump up to 6 feet. Additionally, chinchillas in the wild are accustomed to climbing and being very active and agile creatures.
With that in mind, I wanted to structure this post a bit differently than other posts you may find when searching for the best chinchilla cage for your new furry friend.
I not only want to break down my top 3 chinchilla cage recommendations, but I wanted to ensure that you had a full background and education on what to look for during your search.
I’ve gone through the same journey that you find yourself in now and I understand the struggle.
Feel Free to Skip My Tips and Head Straight to The Reviews
Whether you are considering upgrading your current chinchilla cage or purchasing your first chinchilla cage, I wholeheartedly believe that my 19 tips are going to lay a solid foundation of knowledge and what to expect.
If you don’t feel like reading my 19 tips, that’s perfectly fine, at the bottom of this post, I break down the only 3 chinchilla cages I believe you need to be considering for the reasons discussed in this post.
If you have a few minutes to educate yourself on the importance of various aspects of the chinchilla cage, stick around and grab a quick cup of espresso. If you don’t, use the table of contents below to jump straight to my reviews.
Understanding A Chinchillas Behaviors and Why It Impacts Cage Size
To kick things off, I find it imperative to briefly chat about why the chinchilla cage you select is so essential. Chinchillas are not only social creatures that love interactions with us as the owners. They need more than that.
Chinchillas can grow bored rather quickly. Without the ability to climb multiple levels and play with various toys, hut hideouts and show their agility, they won’t be as happy as they potentially could be.
It’s not only ethical to ensure your chinchilla has plenty of space if they are alone and the only chin in the household but the size and overall cage design becomes even more imperative if you have a pair of chinchillas currently being housed together.
Chinchillas have even been known to be somewhat restless or even destructive if they don’t have their favorite items to play with or even adequate items that they enjoy playing with inside of the cage.
Clearly, this becomes difficult to accommodate if we are using an undersized chinchilla cage.
19 Tips That Have to Be Considered When Purchasing Your Chinchilla Cage
With that being said, let’s dive into my 19 tips to ensuring you do purchase the correct chinchilla cage.
Following my tips, I will break down the only three recommendations that you need to be considering during your initial purchase or even if you are on the mission currently to upgrade a chinchilla cage that is not getting the job done.
Chinchilla Cage Tip #1- A Large Chinchilla Cage Is Crucial
I think it’s been somewhat clear thus far into the post that this is always going to be the #1 tip to keep in mind. In fact, it’s so essential, I specifically have post designed to discuss the sizing of a chinchilla cage that you can see here.
Space is an absolute must. No doubt about it. Chinchillas love to climb, and they love to jump. Additionally, chinchillas are incredibly agile and get relatively crazy a few times per day when they are not sleeping.
Ensuring that chinchillas can use their natural abilities to spring around the cage is an absolute must, and one of the most significant considerations factored into the top 3 chinchilla cages I will recommend at the end of this post.
Tip #2- Don’t Go to Cheap, Durability Matters
Tip #2 is straightforward and can apply to many of the purchases we make in life. Especially when it comes to caring for our pets in the best possible way. Outside of purchasing the chinchilla, the cage is the second most expensive thing you will ever need to purchase.
This is one of the reasons you will hear chinchilla owners often state that chinchillas are expensive, but only during the initial purchasing phase. After the first week or so, the cost becomes minimal. Now is the time to ensure you get your chinchilla the correct habitat.
The good news?
A well-constructed and durable cage with the proper size and levels for your chinchilla to enjoy is likely going to last you as long as you need it for. I’ve purchased several chinchilla cages but only for reviewing them and making sure I could provide valuable information to the readers.
While I don’t find it necessary to ever spend more than about 225.00 on a chinchilla cage, I certainly recommend ensuring that it’s a solid material, tall enough, deep enough and wide enough to accomplish what your chinchilla truly desires.
Always remember, your chinchilla is only out of the cage usually once per day for about an hour. When you do the math, that’s a lot of time for a chinchilla to spend in one enclosed space. How would you feel if you were in the same situation and used to be able to free roam the mountains?
I think you see the point. I understand it’s expensive in the beginning, but this is one purchase not to get scared to spend a little extra on to ensure your chinchilla is healthy, happy and has plenty of space to enjoy life.
Tip #3- Always Be Thinking, Safety First
Safety is crucial when it comes to chinchillas. They are very small, and they have very fragile bones. While a cheap cage may never cause any harm, that doesn’t mean you should take the risk. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Wire Bottoms Are Not the Best Idea
- Wide Openings on The Cage Bars Are a No-No
- The Ability to Add Fleece Liners is A Huge Benefit
- Ensure the Cage Is Breathable and Would Never Trap Heat
- Space Encourages Mental Health and Stimulation for a Chinchilla
The 5 safety tips and additions to this post you see above will be covered in more depth later in this post, so don’t worry about me elaborating. I’m going to give you the full scoop on everything you need to know.
Tip #4- Your Cage Needs to Be Escape Proof
This is probably self-explanatory. If you’re a newer chinchilla owner, however, you may not have thought about this. I originally was given an older steel bar cage that had doors that easily bent after too much use.
After only a few short weeks, I noticed the doors began showing gaps where it should close flush. This may not seem like a huge deal to the naked eye but always remember, chinchillas are in fact, rodents. They can fit and squeeze into small spaces.
This is when it becomes crucial to have bars on the cage that are either thicker or closer together.
Don’t worry about this either, all three of the recommendations that I present at the end of this post will all pass this requirement, and this tip alone is a reason they are a recommended top chinchilla cage to purchase.
Tip #5-The Side Bar Construction Matters Significantly
So, we know that making sure that your chinchilla can’t squeeze out or escape is a big deal. None of us feel like dealing with a chinchilla that found a way to run away. However, what isn’t discussed with the sidebar construction and the durability and the strength of the bars.
Water bottles for chinchillas attach to the outside of the cage and often, you need to fit or squeeze the nozzle or tip between the bars of the cage. This makes it essential that you are not working with a flimsy or weak construction style cage.
If you go with a weaker cage, you run into the issue with the water bottle bending or potentially even breaking the bars where you place it. Look for a cage that’s constructed reliably or has reliable and positive reviews. You won’t regret this decision in the grand scheme of the purchase and it makes a big difference.
Tip #6- Make Sure It Can Be Assembled with Ease
Raise your hand if you feel like taking hours to put a chinchilla cage together? Although I can’t see your hands, I’m guessing the number that would have raised their hands to this question would equal a grand total of zero.
Me neither and I don’t blame you.
While it may be tough to know how hard it will be to assemble a chinchilla cage, it doesn’t need to be. That’s one of the primary reasons blogs like this exist. I have done the groundwork and assembled the cages I’m recommending at the end of this post.
Some cages go together quickly, and some can be a complete pain in the butt.
Reading reviews and other blogs are the best way to find the answers to questions like this but at the end of the day, we all live busy lives, and it’s not worth purchasing a chinchilla cage that’s going to tie up a full weekend day to assemble.
Keep it easy and keep it fast.
Tip #7- Don’t Forget About Under Cage Storage Options
Some would argue that this isn’t absolutely needed, but I disagree. Under cage, storage is a huge benefit. You have hay, treats, dust bath containers, and even the dust itself. Especially if you live in a small square footage building home or apartment.
Space always matters, and I always recommend trying to find a chinchilla cage with storage provided beneath the cage. Again, I will ensure you that a recommendation in my top 3 chinchilla cages will satisfy this requirement and in fact, it’s the chinchilla cage that I currently use today.
Tip #8- Remember That You May Want A Second Chinchilla in The Future
This is what I like to call, planning, and saving yourself some dollars in the long run. I initially thought that 1 chinchilla would always be enough for me. However, once you realize how friendly and awesome these pets are to own, your mind may shift quickly.
In fact, I’m in that boat now. My experience with my chinchilla has been nothing short of impressive. No complaints and now I’m considering a second chinchilla. While some cages may be great for 1 chinchilla, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will support a pair of chinchillas.
Luckily, the cage I use today for just one chinchilla is already a great option and capable of being a chinchilla cage for a pair of chins. This is something to keep in mind. Although you are new to being a chinchilla parent, you may decide to adopt a second chinchilla soon.
Get a cage now that supports this decision, so you don’t have to spend the additional money in the future. The worst-case scenario is that you provide your 1 chinchilla with even more space and more room to jump and play. It’s a win-win situation and a big recommendation to consider.
Tip #9- Can You Add Wooden Shelves with Ease?
Let me make one thing clear. Nearly all chinchilla cages will have this ability. However, if you backtrack a few tips, you will notice how I discussed that closely spaced bars are critical. This plays directly into attaching wooden shelves.
Some individuals make their own wooden shelves to spice up the cage, and others purchase them. Nonetheless, with the correct cage it takes nothing more than 30 seconds of attaching the shelf to the outer parts of the cage to make the environment much more jump and climb friendly with your chin.
I won’t waste your time anymore in this post emphasizing why this is important, but I think you get the point. When you look at the images online or even in person of the cage you are considering purchasing, make sure you can picture easily adding more shelves and items throughout the cage.
In the long run, this is the best way to keep your chinchilla mentally stimulated and engaged within their cage. Let alone, it keeps them happy and provides them with something to do during the 23 hours a day where you can’t have them out the cage to cuddle and interact with you.
Tip #10- How Much Square Footage Do You Have for Toys and Accessories?
Are you seeing a common theme yet? It keeps coming back to purchasing a chinchilla cage that’s large enough. That’s not on purpose either. It’s simply what’s important when you own a chinchilla. You need to satisfy the jumping nature of chinchillas but you also need plenty of space for items such as food bowls, chew sticks, hammocks and other huts and bridges inside of the cage.
Tip #11- 100% Go for A Cage on Wheels, It Pays Off
Wheels all day long. I don’t even know if it’s worth explaining this in depth because I’m assuming you get the point, but I do often forget that I may have readers who haven’t purchased a chinchilla yet.
If you want to keep things simple, start by reading my post about how to keep chinchilla poop inside the cage.
You can see it by clicking the link in blue above. It will re-direct you to my blog post about that topic specifically.
Here’s why it’s crucial.
Cages on wheels allow you to quickly pivot the cage out of its spot it’s currently sitting. Chinchilla’s poop nearly 250 times a day. Also, if you follow my recommendations and have plenty of levels inside of your chinchilla cage and additional wooden shelves, you will notice one common trend.
It becomes challenging to keep the small poop nuggets from exiting the cage. I dealt with this for months before I found a trick that’s detailed in the post I referenced above.
If you have a cage on wheels, the task of shop vacuuming these poop nuggets or even cleaning the cage, in general, becomes much easier. If you weren’t aware, a chinchilla’s cage needs to be cleaned frequently.
In fact, I have another post discussing the best practices about how often to clean a chinchilla cage that you can see here. Wheels may seem like a small consideration but trust me, it’s not. You will want wheels on the cage to make your life that much easier.
Again, don’t worry, I don’t recommend cages that don’t meet the recommendations of the tips I’m laying out for you here today. I’ll make sure that no matter which one you decide to inquire about on my suggestions below, that you are always well taken care of.
Tip #12- Find A Cage with Popular Upgrades and Accessories
This is another topic that is often overlooked. Hopefully, I can change that with this tip. You want a cage that has plenty of options for future upgrades. If you are confused, give me 2 seconds to explain.
I purchased the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage, which is the number 1 recommendation on my list when you reach that phase of the post below. This cage is so popular through online vendors that other chinchilla lovers have begun offering items designed explicitly for this cage.
In comes the fleece liners. Fleece liners literally changed my routine and schedule with my chinchilla. It’s so much easier to keep clean, it looks better and currently, vendors precisely cut and design the fleece to fit the trays on the critter nation 2 cage.
Never Purchase Chinchilla Bedding Again If You Use This Approach
If I forgot to tell you, these also eliminate the need to ever purchase chinchilla bedding again as well. That’s right. Never purchase bedding again, and we all know how annoying the bedding can be. It’s messy, it can stink, and it’s not attractive to the friends and family who stop by to visit.
On the flip side, the fleece liners are safe, stylish, absorb urine and keep your chinchilla’s fragile foot bones more comfortable and make the chinchilla cage that much more of a permanent home and hang out for your chin where they can feel comfortable and feel safe.
Excuse me if it seems like I got overly excited about the fleece liners I’m discussing. It was game changing for me, and I purchase multiple pairs to avoid having to wash them in cold water multiple times per week.
I use this set of fleece liners (Link to Amazon). While you can likely craft your own or maybe find them elsewhere, I figured that I was already subscribed to Amazon Prime and didn’t see much of a reason to continue my search. Not to mention they were on my front porch the following day.
Tip #13- Does Fit into Your Budget?
Clearly, we all know and understand that the budget is important, and I 100% agree. It’s essential that we keep things affordable when trying to find the best chinchilla cage. This is one of the biggest reasons you will see how I recommended the 3 cages at the end of the post.
The highest end cage is still affordable compared to other options you have. In fact, I’ve seen some vendors online that charge north of 500.00 dollars for chinchilla cages that don’t include shipping. I personally don’t find this to be necessary and think you can do better.
Again, this is specifically why the three cages ended up being my recommendations and winners for the best chinchilla cage you opt to purchase. Never forget that chinchillas are the most expensive in the first week and then the price and money out of pocket drops significantly.
However, we don’t need to break the bank on a chinchilla cage, and I don’t see a reason to ever spend more than about 225.00 for a chinchilla cage unless you are a breeder and need several cages.
Don’t worry, you will see what I mean shortly when we reach those cages I keep referencing as my recommendations.
Tip #14- Cleaning Is Essential, Make Sure It’s Accessible
We somewhat touched on this briefly already when I recommended that a chinchilla cage that also has wheels is a saving grace. It truly is. Also, you need a chinchilla cage that offers wide opening doors that you can easily place new toys, hiding boxes and shelves inside of without it being overly challenging.
Trust me, I’ve had the other end of the deal with a chinchilla cage. The old school wire or steel cage always have a very small front door that makes cleaning the cage and adding accessories a complete pain in the butt.
Either take my word for it or don’t but I assure you, the larger the doors and openings to get inside of the cage, the better.
Tip #15- How Do Others Feel About the Cage Your Considering?
When have you purchased something without reading reviews? I mean, in all reality, I know we do it more frequently as consumers than we likely want to admit, but I highly recommend sticking to trusted products.
Especially when we are discussing the best and safest cages for our pets or chinchillas. Stick to products that not only have positive reviews but also has plenty of reviews. This goes to show the product is worth the purchase and that many others agree that it’s worth your money.
Tip #16- Width, Height and Depth All Matter
And we are back on this topic again. I can’t help it. The size of the chinchilla cage is just too important to not touch on entirely so that you understand. Many individuals think that just one measurement dimension being suffice is enough to keep a chinchilla happy.
This is not true. All the dimensions are important. Chinchillas need the ability to climb upward and vertically and need space to jump from shelf to shelf and to have plenty of accessories inside the cage.
The only way to make this happen is to ensure you have a wide enough, deep enough, and tall enough chinchilla cage. Case closed.
Tip #17- Can the Cage Be Upgraded in The Future?
I love this tip, and not many cages currently offer this ability, and it’s often overlooked. News flash. The chinchilla cage I currently use does allow for this and one of the reasons I fell in love with my specific cage so quickly.
Some chinchilla cages allow you to easily place additions onto the original cage opening an entirely new level.
This can be great for individuals considering a second chinchilla or even if you upgrade the space of your home or apartment in the future and you are ready to reward your chinchilla with more space to jump and climb.
Your chinchilla will love the addition, and they are also very affordable and easy to install. Keep this tip in mind when we do finally reach my recommendations at the end of this post.
Tip #18- Don’t Choose an Ugly Cage, Chinchillas Live A Long Time
This is one of the tips on my list that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the safety and well-being of your chinchilla. However, it’s a practical tip to keep in mind if you ask me. Chinchillas live 15-20 years if cared for ethically. Why choose a cage that may be in your home for nearly 2 decades that not physically appealing?
Eventually, if you are anything like me and you choose to try to save money now and go for a less appealing cage, I can see you upgrading in the future and spending more money than necessary. Get it right the first time, and you won’t have to deal with this.
In plain English. Choose a chinchilla cage that you can picture keeping in your home for the next 20 years, and that won’t drive you crazy with the physical looks of the cage. You won’t regret taking my word on this tip.
Tip #19- Don’t Settle for Flimsy Front Door Openings
This is the last tip I have for you. We already touched on how it’s essential to have large door openings on your chinchilla cage. However, it’s also important that the doors aren’t cheap, the springs are durable, and they close and open with ease.
Again, I’ve had the other end of this deal and was very frustrated. This is something consumers often place in reviews and something that will cause issues early on with your chinchilla cage.
When caring for a chinchilla, the cage doors will be opening and closing frequently so stick with a reputable and durable brand for your chin cage.
Replacing the entire cage because of a few door issues is going to cost you more in the long run. Again, get the correct cage the first time, and this won’t be a concern for you in the future.
Now it’s time for the meat and potatoes and for me to lay out the only three chinchilla cages I believe you need to consider. Certainly, I understand that other blogs on this topic exist and some even give recommendations for 10 or more chinchilla cages.
I think that’s a bit much and you need to look no further than the three cages I have laid out for you today. Here are my top 3 chinchilla cage recommendations and what I believe to be the best chinchilla cages you can purchase from my own trial and error throughout my own journey.
The 3 Best Chinchilla Cages That Made the Cut
Top Pick- Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage
This cage is the best overall chinchilla cage I have used and tried thus far into my chinchilla parenting experience. It’s not only the perfect size coming in at 36 inches across by 24 inches wide but also stands in at 63 inches tall but has other great features.
This is technically a 4-level cage if you ensure you purchase the “dual-level” cage. This not only is a dream come true for one chinchilla but also large enough to support two chinchillas if need be. It’s also straightforward to put together. It took me about 30 minutes total and comes with easy instructions.
I also love the fact that it has a total of 4 sturdy and durable door openings but also has a lot of customizations available such as the pre-cut fleece liners that I mentioned previously in this post.
The Critter Nation 2 cage also comes with under cage storage that’s ideal for your extra hay, chinchilla pellets but also helps to keep your room organized where you house your chinchilla.
Lastly, this cage, in my opinion, is extremely affordable for what you get in return. It also does come equipped with wheels for easy transportation and movement and is physically appealing if you ask me.
According to all the tips I laid out for you above, this cage meets all the requirements and does a fantastic job for my 1-year old female chinchilla. She uses every level often and has a blast in this cage.
Here’s the Amazon Link (Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage) that you can use to see it for yourself.
Any of you who do ultimately decide to pull the trigger on this cage, please drop a comment below with your experience.
Second Best Option-Prevue Hendryx Feisty Ferret Cage
One downfall that I know tends to hold people back when deciding if this is the cage for them is the fact that it’s technically a ferret cage. Not a chinchilla cage. However, that’s beside the point, and this cage will work great.
In my opinion, it’s not nearly as good as the Critter Nation 2 cage, but it’s still an excellent option. This cage comes in at 31 inches across, 20 inches wide and 54 inches tall. Clearly, it’s not as large as the Critter Nation, but it’s as close as it gets with size.
I do love the fact that you also still are provided with 4 levels, and the price is reduced compared to the Critter Nation 2 cage. However, there are a few reasons why you have such a reduced price point.
*Inside Information- I know this because I have tested these cages.
While the Feisty Ferret Cage is a great option, it’s clear to see and feel that the bars and the doors themselves on the cage are constructed cheaper than the Critter Nation Cage.
Again, this isn’t the end of the world, and the Feisty Ferret Cage still made its appearance as the second-best cage option you can purchase for a reason. You are still getting the wheels attached, under storage and the space required for your chinchilla to be happy. Overall, I still highly recommend this cage.
Here is the Amazon Link (Prevue Hendryx Feisty Ferret Cage) so you can look at the cage yourself. Overall, I know for sure you won’t be disappointed. Especially for the price.
Third Best Option-Homey Pet-3 or 1 Chinchilla Cage
Hey, coming in third place isn’t necessarily the end of the world. There are hundreds of options when trying to find the best chinchilla cage.
The fact that the Homey chinchilla cage still finished in the top 3 is impressive. I’m also somewhat OCD about what I use so you can rest assured that this is still an excellent cage for your chinchilla.
The Homey Chinchilla Cage is the cheapest of the three options on the list. It has the correct and advised small wire spacing for the bars and has a total of 3 levels for your chinchilla to jump and climb around.
One downfall that I wasn’t impressed with this cage was the cheap construction that shows its face after repeated use of the 2 doors. Additionally, the 2-door opening on this cage doesn’t allow for easy cleaning or adding custom accessories as I recommend in my tips above.
However, this cage does come with wheels to quickly move it around but does not offer under-cage storage. Although the Homey chinchilla cage did rank in my top 3, I only recommend this cage if the Critter Nation 2 cage or Feisty Ferret cage is outside of your available budget.
If You Need Further Information to Guide You Through the Process
In case you need further information about these cages that will help you through the process, feel free to do your own independent research on the cages themselves. Additionally, in the next week or so, I will have a comparison chart available in my “recommended chinchilla cage” section of this website.
I try and ensure that no chinchilla owners are ever stuck looking for the best chinchilla cage. At the end of the day, outside of purchasing your actual chinchilla, this is the most important purchase you can make you for chin to help keep them comfortable, happy, and expressing themselves naturally.
Putting It All Together, These Are the Only 3 Chinchilla Cages You Need to Consider
At the end of the day, I’m only one chinchilla owner. I’m not smartest chinchilla owner out there I’m sure. I’m always open to hearing from the readers in case there are cages I haven’t personally used or tried up to this point.
My goal is to simply educate you on the chinchilla cages that I have tried and make sure I only point you in the best direction possible to keep your chinchilla happy and healthy.
Be sure to challenge me about my recommendations. I’d love to hear from all of you. Let me know what chinchilla cage you believe is the best by sharing your stories and dropping a comment below.
As always, me and “Chili” appreciate you and thanks for reading. See everyone next time.