One of the biggest disadvantages of owning pets is that they limit your ability to travel.
They don’t make it impossible. Just more complicated.
Some people leave their pets with friends and some take them with them. It depends on the person and the type of pet in question.
When it comes to chinchillas, their small size makes it easier to take them on a trip.
But is it a good idea?
Keep reading to learn if you can travel with chinchillas, plus everything you need to know to make it happen in a way that does not harm your pet.
Can You Travel With Chinchillas?
Yes, you can travel with chinchillas. You need to have a breathable travel crate or use their current habitat.
The travel crate and environment need to remain at proper temperatures to avoid overheating or freezing. Try to minimize stress as much as possible.
This is the short answer. There are other considerations you need to keep in mind. This answer likely sparked several follow up questions as well.
I plan to dive much deeper and cover everything you need to know on this topic.
How To Travel With Chinchillas
We started off this post, stating that yes, you can travel with chinchillas. However, it shouldn’t be taken lightly, and you should do at least some prep work in advance.
It’s important to understand that being removed from its environment and traveling can be quite stressful for a chinchilla. Stress can cause a chinchilla to overheat and potentially cause other issues as well.
Your best bet when traveling with your chinchilla is to attempt to make it as comfortable as possible for your pet. This means doing the little things that will make the experience as tranquil as possible.
For starters, I always recommend using the cage that your chinchilla uses on a daily basis, if it makes logical sense or fits in your vehicle.
Several chinchilla cages can break down into smaller sections, which could really come in handy here. An example is the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage that I’ve used for my chinchilla for the last 2 years.
This cage easily breaks down into two sections that stack on top of each other. If you can disconnect just one level and own even a small SUV or can fold down seats, one section should fit just fine.
Using its regular cage helps ensure that your chinchilla still somewhat feels at home.
The good news is that in most situations, your chinchilla will become more relaxed as the vibration and movement of the vehicle kicks in. It may even start to doze off into a nice nap.
You also need to ensure that you are still providing an adequate amount of water, or keeping a water bottle attached to the cage, for your chinchilla during your travels.
Lastly, make sure that you are keeping the vehicle at proper temperatures and prevent it from getting too hot or too cold. Clearly, this means using a completely breathable cage.
If you are using the cage or a portion of the chinchilla cage you always use, this won’t be difficult.
If you need to use a travel type carrier cage for your chinchilla, be sure to keep reading for my recommendations further into this post about which options are best.
Traveling Is Possible, But Best Avoided
The topic of travel is bound to come up at some during your chinchilla ownership. Chinchillas live for a long time so you will almost certainly want to travel while owning your pet.
Plus, you need to travel for sure when first bringing home your chinchilla.
And while travel is possible, I did want to be perfectly clear that might have better options, in order to avoid the stress travel can cause for your pet.
First, you can use someone trusted that understands chinchillas and simply have them pet-sit your while you are away.
Your chinchilla remaining at home in an environment that they trust is a much better alternative than the stress of traveling long distances.
Secondly, most areas will offer pet boarding. If you don’t have anyone you can trust to watch your chinchilla, call around to local boarding facilities to get rates and information about what it would cost to keep your chinchilla safe and cared for the duration of your travels.
A short trip to one of these facilities and remaining in a climate-controlled and safe environment is still far less stressful than a long road trip.
However, I know that this isn’t always possible.
Because of this, let’s continue discussing other important information you need to take into account, if you are going to travel with your chinchilla.
Ensure The Environment Is Safe
This is common sense more than anything. Clearly, you want the environment to be safe for your chinchilla during travel.
This isn’t only ensuring the proper temperatures, my friends. This also means never using any plastic or mesh carrier materials.
Chinchillas under stress may chew or get more destructive than usual. Using these materials could cause your chinchilla to chew through the carrying case or even ingest harmful substances.
Clearly, if you are operating the vehicle, it’s going to be difficult to monitor everything your chinchilla is doing in the back. Make sure to use recommended travel cases, so you can be sure you are not exposing your pet to dangerous materials.
Additionally, never place items like towels or anything with string fabric inside of the travel case. You might think they will make your chin more comfortable, but it’s not worth the risk.
A string can kill a chinchilla if ingested, and again, they may be more chewy than usual under the stress of the travels.
Lastly, don’t cover the carrier or the cage that your chinchilla is riding in. This is a common mistake owners make thinking it provides a better atmosphere for their pet to relax or fall asleep.
However, this is only going to cause the carrier case or cage to be less breathable and increase the chance of overheating.
Again, overheating can be fatal rather quickly with chinchillas, so be sure never to cover the carrier and keep that A/C unit in the vehicle working and turned on.
Best Chinchilla Travel Carriers
Alright, let’s assume that you don’t have the option to have a pet-sitter at your home, and you also have no local boarding options for your chinchilla.
Let’s also assume that the cage you use in your home simply won’t fit in your vehicle.
This leaves you with only one option: you need to get a travel carrier or travel cage for your chinchilla.
I personally highly recommend a travel cage, like the Prevue Travel Cage.
It is the best option for any considerable distance trip. It is high quality and safe. It’s the cage I currently use for travel.
Again, this is a long-distance travel option and it is not especially cheap.
For a cheaper option and a shorter trip, I highly recommend the Midwest Folding Rabbit and Rodent Cage.
For the most budget-friendly option and for shorter trips, I recommend the Kaytee Travel Carrier.
The Kaytee travel carrier works well for local travel. I would not use it for anything longer than an hour or two.
More prolonged travel situations require more room for your chinchilla to move freely, access food in the carrier, and access its water bottle.
All three of these options are made from a safe material and are completely breathable. Simply ask yourself, how far are we going, and how often will travel take place?
Then ask yourself which cage would be most comfortable and safe for this distance of travel and time in a vehicle.
That should point you in the right direction as to which of these 3 travel chinchilla cages make the most sense for you.
Can Chinchillas Travel On Airplanes?
This question also comes up frequently, and it’s not shocking at all. Chinchillas are sold in several countries, and it’s common to relocate in life.
Yes, chinchillas can travel on airplanes.
Some airlines allow for a certain number of pets inside of the cabin under the passenger’s seat. Others require your chinchilla to ride in climate-controlled cargo cabins. Check with your airline to see which option is best for your chinchilla.
I personally have not traveled on an airplane with my chinchilla. I was always able to have a family member pet-sit.
However, I did have a close call for travel that required me to investigate this question in advance. The answer provided above is as simple and easy as it gets.
Simply call the airlines, check what their pet policies are, and ask yourself which method you are more comfortable with.
If you can’t stomach the thought of your chinchilla in the cargo holding area, look for an airline that allows your chinchilla in the cabin.
And lastly, if this isn’t a permanent move or travel, still always consider just allowing a friend or a family member to look after your chinchilla while you are away.
Again, this will always be the best solution.
Outside of everything discussed thus far into this post, I simply recommend considering all options before making any drastic decisions to bring your chinchilla on an airplane or make cross-country trips.
When you do decide that it’s the only option, simply ensure you are providing the safest, most comfortable, and best atmosphere possible for your chinchilla.
The less stress the travel ultimately causes your chinchilla, the better.
Traveling With A Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, we all have lives that require travel. It’s part of everyday society. Whether it’s for work, pleasure, or just to visit an old friend, it’s bound to come up.
Chinchillas make fantastic pets. They are also extremely easy to care for. Yes, traveling with a chinchilla is an option.
Just be sure to keep them comfortable and consider the alternatives we discussed in this post to ultimately provide the best care possible for your adorable new chinchilla.
I wish you the best of luck with your pet and safe travels to everyone reading.
Share your thoughts on traveling with a chinchilla.
Do you travel with your chinchilla, or have you in the past? Do you recommend it in general?
What other tips can you provide the readers that we haven’t already discussed in this post?
Be sure to share your thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and will catch you next time. Thanks again.
Surviving Adventures says
Thank you for you post, we are moving from PA to AK and driving. One cat, one chinchilla “kimchee”, 2 kids, 1 brother in law, and 1 wife. Adventures abound. We do plan on documenting our trip on survivingadventures.com and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8GcVOOaToJ9je3GD2lpyBA
My husband’s work is taking him to the other side of the country so we will be traveling with all of our pets, including our 3 chinchillas from NY –> CA. We’ve done this trip with cats and guinea pigs but this will be our first trip with the chins. Thank you for the info and the travel cage recommendations! I’m looking at getting the Midwest Wabbitat that you linked so they can all be together safely. I know it won’t be ideal long-term but hopefully they won’t mind too much while we wait for the furniture to also get across the country!
Thanks again for the info 🙂
It’s definitely not good long term, but as a temporary solution, it should work just fine.