Can Chinchillas Climb? [Yes, Here’s Some Best Practices]



If you are contemplating purchasing a chinchilla soon you probably have questions such as if a chinchilla can climb or not.

Let’s also start by saying you are in for a treat and chinchillas are a ton of fun to be around and to own as pets.

One of the questions I had before even purchasing a chinchilla was about some of their natural abilities.

Can chinchillas climb?

Here is what I can tell you.

So, can chinchillas climb? Yes, chinchillas and climb and they climb very well. In the wild, chinchillas are used to running quickly, climbing and jumping higher than 5 feet at a time. Chinchillas feet and natural spring in their back legs make them excellent climbers. Chinchillas even need large cages with multiple shelves to promote climbing and jumping to keep them occupied and happy.

Seriously, chinchillas are incredible climbers and can jump like you wouldn’t believe.

I’m going to take the time in this post to go over some necessary precautions you should consider and what to expect out of your chinchilla.

Be prepared, you have yourself a record-setting climber and jumper on your hands.

Although there isn’t much you can do about this due to climbing being a natural chinchilla behavior, I will still do my best to prepare you as much as possible.

Let’s dive into the details.

More on Chinchilla and Their Climbing Abilities

First off, I want to point out that although having an animal in the home capable of climbing like an expert or even jumping is nothing to worry about.

With a few safety precautions, it’s easy to enjoy your chinchilla and allow them to express themselves as if they were in their natural habitat.

Trust me, I was worried in the beginning as well, but I’ve since adapted and grown to love my chinchillas climbing abilities.

It’s humorous and a joy to watch.

It’s perhaps one of my favorite traits about chinchillas and one of the biggest reasons they make such fantastic pets.

Chinchilla’s Can Climb Extremely Well, Here’s How to Prepare

To kick things off, you should never try and hinder your chinchillas climbing abilities.

In fact, you need to be promoting it, encouraging it and having the proper cage setups for your chinchilla to climb and jump freely.

For my chinchilla cage, I have 4 total shelves or “levels,” a hiding box and a ball to jump through.

Additionally, you want to place other items in the cage to allow them to explore and climb such as rocks, branches or even hammocks (we will discuss more on hammocks towards the end of this post).

Keeping your chinchilla’s cage clean is simply not enough to keep them happy.

They need more and you need to provide it.

The point I’m trying to make is simple.

Your chinchilla climbing is natural and keeps them happy.

A happy chinchilla is a friendly chinchilla.

Again, promote chinchilla climbing and don’t try to stop it.

This can cause your chinchilla to become depressed, less social and can lead to a chinchilla that’s not nearly as fun to watch, play with, cuddle with or even interact with, and this is the exact opposite of what you want.

In fact, it defeats the entire purpose of owning a chinchilla.

Chinchillas have such unique behaviors and climbing is part of it.

If you don’t enjoy this or allow them to do, you’re missing out on most of the fun that comes with being a  chinchilla owner.

What Other Things Can I Do to Help Promote My Chinchilla Climbing Freely?

You only have two things you must keep in mind about allowing your chinchilla to climb freely.

The cage you purchase and how you interact with your chinchilla for playtime.

Let’s start with your chinchilla’s cage.

A Safe Wooden Toy For Your Chinchilla Cage and To Help Promote Your Chinchilla Climbing

Structuring Your Chinchilla Cage Correctly to Promote Climbing

It all begins with the cage.

You have plenty of options when it comes to chinchilla cages.

In fact, if you haven’t done so already, you can view my post about the best chinchilla cages here.

It’s 19 tips plus 3 chinchilla cage recommendations that can accommodate different budgets while keeping your chinchilla happy and healthy.

Some are cheaper, and some run a few extra dollars.

As an ethical chinchilla owner, I strongly urge you to spend the extra money and get the larger three level cages.

2 level cages are the bare minimum.

A 1 level cage without several shelves or plenty of room to climb around is not only borderline torture for a chinchilla but’s it’s slightly depressing to see.

I’m in the process of moving, and in two weeks, I’m upgrading my chinchilla cage yet again to give her more space.

Why am I doing this?

Well, I have my office in the same room as my chinchilla and I’m frustrated watching her search for more ways to climb and jump around.

I want her cage to bring my chinchilla joy and allow her to exercise and move around freely.

These cages are easy to find on Amazon and are very easy to put together.

Your goal is to find a chinchilla cage with multiple levels, ramps, hiding boxes, dangling toys and plenty to do always.

You can feel way less guilty leaving your chinchilla alone for a day if they have a cage that can keep them busy.

It’s essential, and I can’t stress this enough.

In all honesty, the proper size cage and ideal temperatures are perhaps the two biggest things needed to raise a chinchilla safely.

What About Playtime and Time Outside of The Cage and Climbing

This is essential as well.

Time out of the cage is not only designed for your chinchilla to take dust baths.

This should be a bonding time where you interact with your chinchilla and allow them to get to know you as the owner.

Chinchillas are loving creatures, and yes, they need room to climb around when they are out for playtime.

You can do this in several ways. First, if you are using a full room, ensure that’s it fully 100% chinchilla proofed.

This includes covering all wires.

In addition, you want to make sure they can’t leave the room. Chinchillas will run away and find ways to get in trouble.

Not to mention, chinchillas poop all the time and will also pee.

Keeping your chinchilla in one room and allowing them to climb and jump around is your best bet.

My chinchilla will climb my chest, climb my arms and shoulders and even climb and sit for minutes at a time on top of my head.

This is a strong sign that your chinchilla loves your company.

Additionally, if you give your chinchilla more space to climb they will.

A Story About an Enclosed Playpen I Use for My Chinchilla

I already mentioned how I’m currently in the process of moving into a new home.

Well the basement I have my chinchilla in now is at the perfect temperature and works great for her needs when it comes to sleeping and other natural activities but it’s hazardous for her to climb around freely.

My fix was simple.

I purchased an enclosed playpen off of Amazon that we use for playtime.

It’s large and has soft sides and mesh window type structures.

What does my chinchilla do with the walls of this playpen?

She climbs all over them, and she does it like a professional.

Chinchillas when you watch them and really study their behavior climb very similar to a mouse.

They can basically scale and climb walls and leap at incredible heights for the size that they are.

It’s crazy to watch and a ton of fun.

Let’s recap briefly.

Chinchillas need to be allowed to climb during playtime and need a cage that supports and promotes your chinchilla climbing.


No argument about it.

I know it’s somewhat frustrating and the fact that chinchillas do climb is one of the reasons chinchillas are so expensive on day 1.

It’s all about that cage which is your most significant cost in the beginning.

It’s only this expensive due to the size and the mere fact that it needs to support your chinchilla climbing and jumping for hours at a time.

Chinchillas Love to Climb, Should Climb and Will Continue to Climb

When you think of a chinchilla and how you should provide an excellent home for them.

Think one thing.


Vertical is the key with chinchillas.

Tall cages and plenty of space to climb is essential.

Once you learn your chinchilla’s behavior and witness it, your chinchillas climbing ability won’t bother you.

In fact, it will be one of the traits you grow to love most about your chinchilla.

It’s that easy, and I assure you, I’m speaking the truth with this fact and it’s from pure experience.

Allow your chinchilla to climb in a large cage and make sure to get your chinchilla out for playtime, and you will be on your path to a healthy and loving relationship with your chinchilla.

If you have any further questions about your chinchillas climbing behavior, be sure to check out the related questions below.

I never like my readers leaving or feeling as if they need further information.

What’s your experience with your chinchilla climbing?

Do you also recommend the biggest cages possible for your chinchilla?

Any fun pictures or videos to share with the readers?

Be sure to drop a comment below.

As always, thanks for reading.

I appreciate you.

Related Questions

Are Chinchillas Good Climbers?

Yes. Chinchillas are excellent climbers. They can climb rocks, ledges, shelves, and even specific wall structures. Chinchillas in the wild are used to climbing quickly to escape predators, and you should be promoting climbing behavior in your home, chinchilla cage and when your chinchilla is out of the cage for playtime.

What Do Chinchillas Do for Fun?

Chinchillas enjoy the interaction with humans and other chinchillas the most. Chinchillas are very social animals. Outside of social interaction, chinchillas have fun by playing with dangling toys in their cage, scaling and climbing walls and jumping from shelf to shelf. Climbing and jumping are two of the primary characteristics that chinchillas possess.

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"

One thought on “Can Chinchillas Climb? [Yes, Here’s Some Best Practices]

  1. Hi! Can you recommend a good playpen or share the name of the one you say you bought in Amazon?
    Amazing tips and information:)

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