It’s an epic battle: chinchilla vs rabbit.
Two adorable little creatures that both make for great pets.
Obviously the name of my website gives away that I own a chinchilla and prefer that pet.
But I almost got a rabbit and am still considering adding one to my family in the near future.
What I’m trying to explain is that this comparison will be biased but still fair.
I love both animals, but slightly prefer the chinchilla as a pet. You’ll find the reasons for that below.
Read though my reasons for choosing the chinchilla and you might decide the rabbit is better for you. At least that’s how I hope this post works.
I don’t want to sway you one way or the other. I’m simply using the reasons I was swayed to help you decide which pet is right for you.
- 1 Chinchilla Vs Rabbit
- 2 9 Reasons Chinchillas Make Better Pets Than Rabbits
- 2.1 Reason 1: Chinchillas Take Dust Baths And They Are Awesome
- 2.2 Reason 2: Jumping And Climbing Is Extremely Fun To Watch
- 2.3 Reason 3: Chinchillas Are Super Clean
- 2.4 Reason 4: Chinchillas Live A Long Time
- 2.5 Reason 5: Chinchillas Are Extremely Cheap
- 2.6 Reason 6: They Build A Strong Bond With You Over Time
- 2.7 Reason 7: Chinchillas Are Very Smart And They CAN Be Litter Trained!
- 2.8 Reason 8: Chinchillas Are Entertaining And They Make Fantastic YouTube Videos!
- 2.9 Reason 9: Chinchillas Are Easy To Care For And Don’t Require Much Space
- 2.10 Of Course Chinchillas Also Have Disadvantages
- 2.11 What To Do Next To Reach A Decision
- 3 Chinchillas Vs Rabbits: Final Thoughts
Chinchilla Vs Rabbit
Both chinchillas and rabbits require the same amount of care. Chinchillas can be more expensive to adopt initially, but the ongoing costs to raise a rabbit and chinchilla are relatively equal.
I know so far it seems like the two are mostly equal, with a slight edge going to the rabbit. But I strongly believe the chinchilla makes for a better pet.
Don’t get me wrong: I love rabbits, too.
In fact, I was close to getting one. But I ended up getting a chinchilla instead. And I’ll tell you exactly why I went in that direction.
I’m going to lay out 9 ways chinchillas make better pets than rabbits.
Of course, I know not everyone will agree with me.
Ultimately, it is up to you to judge for yourself. And my hope is my 9 points below will help you do just that, even if you end up deciding the rabbit is the better pet for you.
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The truth is that both animals have unique personality traits and both behave differently, so everyone is going to have their own preference as to which pet is better for them.
For me personally, I am an advocate of the chinchilla being the better pet primarily due to their long lifespan and them being such an entertaining pet to interact with.
However, I can also see why many people love to own bunnies and how they also make great pets. I’m not bashing bunnies here.
The reason I’m writing this post actually has to do with my own struggle in deciding between these two animals.
Why I’m Writing This Comparison
Before I get into my actual comparison, I want to vent a bit, which will also serve as an explanation for why I’m writing this article.
When I was trying to decide between a rabbit and a chinchilla, I turned to online forums and places like that. Big mistake.
The information I found in online forums, FB groups, or places like Yahoo Answers and Quora was virtually 100% incorrect.
Seriously, it was bad.
I saw a lot of people asking which pet to get and getting tons of responses from people who clearly don’t own either of the pets.
There was just so much bad advice.
My goal with this post is to clear the air and make sure that you get some actual sound and realistic advice, if you are trying to decide between these two animals.
And yes, I’m formatting the whole thing in favor of the chinchilla, because that’s the way I went, but the information below can help you either way.
Rabbits Make Great Pets As Well
The truth is, it was a close decision for me and I am now considering getting a rabbit as well. To that end, I have been spending a lot of time researching the question: “Do chinchillas and rabbits get along?”
Clearly, the name of this site is Planet Chinchilla, so it makes sense I’m advocating for the chinchilla. It’s the animal I chose in the end
But I’m certainly not trying to bash rabbits in any fashion.
My goal with this site is to educate people about owning and caring for chinchillas. My goal is to never provide false information or sway you from one pet to another.
Please keep this in mind. It may seem as if I’m one-sided towards chinchillas, but that is not the case. It is simply because I own one and can speak from experience.
I’ve also had friends who own rabbits and know that they make wonderful pets as well.
You should also know I will air my frustrations as a chinchilla owner too.
I can 100% guarantee that this will be the most accurate portrayal of owning a chinchilla you’ll find, compared to all the other information I’ve found floating around the internet.
In my opinion, if you don’t own the pet, you should make that clear if you want to make comments to help others choose one pet or another.
Keeping all these factors in mind, let’s jump into it. This post is going to detail all the reasons I believe chinchillas make better pets than rabbits.
At the end of the post, I’m open to conversation, comments, and debate but I want this to be a helpful post. Not a war between two animals.
Let’s get it started and see if I can make a case for the chinchilla to take home the gold crown.
9 Reasons Chinchillas Make Better Pets Than Rabbits
Below, I’m going to dive into each reason I believe chinchillas make better pets than rabbits. Instead of just blindly advocating for chinchillas, I want to take a unique approach with this post and be a bit more balanced.
Yes, my conclusion is that chinchillas are better, but I will also point out some negative aspects of chinchilla ownership and some positive aspects of rabbit ownership, to keep things fair.
Reason 1: Chinchillas Take Dust Baths And They Are Awesome
While rabbits have unique traits and remarkable things they do as they go about certain aspects of their lives, there is one thing they do not do.
Take dust baths.
You see, chinchillas have incredibly dense fur. To care for their fur, they require a bath with specialized dust made from volcanic ash. Luckily, the dust is not expensive.
And the bath is incredible to watch.
Basically, your chinchilla will jump into a bowl of dust (or a specialized dust bath house, if you get one for your pet) and roll around with pure joy.
The dust bath houses are designed not to make a mess. And the dust bath itself is the only hygiene-related task you need to complete with a chinchilla, outside of cleaning the cage.
While I respect rabbits and their hygiene, there is something about a dust bath that is completely unique. All chinchilla owners know just how awesome it is.
Sorry rabbits, you just can’t compete with the dust bath and now trail the chinchilla by one point.
Reason 2: Jumping And Climbing Is Extremely Fun To Watch
Some may see this as a negative, but I can tell you that’s it’s not. First, it makes purchasing and putting a chinchilla cage together a ton of fun.
It’s unfortunate that it requires a taller and typically more costly chinchilla cage, but it’s awesome nonetheless. Additionally, it makes playtime when your chinchilla is out of the cage a lot of fun.
My chinchilla jumps and climbs about anywhere she can. She will do her thing running around, come up and jump right up on my lap, onto my shoulder, and even take a hop onto my head and just sit there until she feels like going for round two.
Of course, I’m aware that bunnies have spring in their step as well. However, it’s not quite the same as a chinchilla having the ability to jump nearly 6 feet in the air.
Sure, it makes chinchilla proofing a room a little more work. You need to protect wires and close doors, but once this is complete, it’s all fun and games to follow.
Just be sure your chinchilla doesn’t leave the room you are in and wander off. They can be hard to find when they get away and hide.
But if you keep them confined to a single room that you’ve made safe for them, it’s a blast interacting and having playtime with chinchillas.
Again, I’m not saying bunny time is boring. I’m strictly pointing out that chinchillas are unique in this fashion. They also tend to be extremely social pets.
Reason 3: Chinchillas Are Super Clean
Chinchillas are extremely clean animals and do not emit any odors, which is perhaps one of my favorite traits about my chinchilla.
Does it smell?
Nope, not at all.
The same goes for the urine, as long as you are diligent about cleaning their cage. In addition, using fleece liners and potty training your chinchilla can eliminate this even more and make cage cleanings much easier.
Chinchillas are also great for allergy sufferers. They barely shed at all and don’t spread dander, so they will not trigger most people’s allergies. The one exception is if you have an allergy to the dust they bathe in.
The fact that all it takes is a light regular cleaning of the cage and a few dust baths per week to keep my chinchilla odor-free and in top-notch hygiene is one of my favorite things about chinchillas.
Reason 4: Chinchillas Live A Long Time
This could actually be considered a positive for both rabbits and chinchillas, if you ask me. They both have long life spans.
Listen, this is a good thing, and I find it somewhat irritating that some people take this as a negative. Pets are not meant to be purchased until you decide you are bored with them or they die.
You get a pet to make it a beloved part of the family. That means, you want it to live as long as possible.
And both rabbits and chinchillas live a long time.
A chinchilla can live up to 15 to 20 years, if well taken care of. This is a huge positive in my book.
For all the bunny lovers, I also love that rabbits live for 9 to 12 years, which is a big reason I’m also considering adding a rabbit to the family.
However, until I take that leap of faith, the chinchilla still wins and can remain a part of the family for 5 to 10 years longer than a rabbit can.
Reason 5: Chinchillas Are Extremely Cheap
If there is one statement that annoyed me more than any other while trolling for information on forums, it was people saying that chinchillas are not suitable to own because they are expensive.
This is 100% false. It is nowhere near reliable information.
Let me break it down for you.
When you first purchase your chinchilla and the items you need to get it set-up in your home, you can easily spend around $400 to $500.
This cost includes my recommended top-notch cage, which is the Critter Nation 2. It is the best cage you can get and the one I use.
- Solid and durable construction
- Great size with four levels
- Great platform fit for accessories like fleece liners
- Sits on wheels making cleaning easy
- Under cage storage
- Total of four doors, making access very easy
- Large cage making it unsuitable for tiny spaces
- One of the higher costing cages but for good reason; it is easily the best value for money
I love that it has multiple levels, which allows your chin to climb and jump to its heart’s content. It is also extremely well made.
And because it is the most popular chinchilla cage, you can get tons of accessories for it, like custom made fleece liners. These make cleaning the cage so much easier, are much better for your pet’s feet and save you money in the long run, since they are reusable.
The cage will be the most expensive thing you need to buy, by far. Outside of the cage and the other initial items, the cost is very low.
Bedding is not necessary, if you use fleece liners for the cage. The food is cheap, hay is cheap, and the toys are cheap.
Heck, you can even make the toys yourself if you have basic handyman skills.
That’s it and all there is to it.
I don’t think any chinchilla owners reading this would argue that owning a chinchilla can easily be $10 a month or less, barring any vet visits or splurges ordering fun new toys for your chinchilla.
That said, if you’re like me, you can certainly spend more than $10 per month. I tend to buy a lot of stuff for my chin. But for the most part, it is very possible to keep costs this low, after your initial purchases.
This is another big reason I love chinchillas.
I will openly admit though that I’m not 100% aware of what it costs to keep a rabbit as a pet. I imagine it is about the same, perhaps even a bit less.
This is one area where I would love to see some comments below from rabbit owners. I will happily make some changes to this section, if I’m off base about the cost of owning a rabbit.
Reason 6: They Build A Strong Bond With You Over Time
I know rabbits are also capable of doing this. This one was tough for me to include in my top 9 reasons, but I decided to go ahead with my gut feeling and throw it in.
Like I stated previously, chinchillas live for a very long time And as time passes, the bond grows very strong between you and your chinchilla.
At first, my chinchilla was very scared when I brought her home, but over time, we have begun to be more like roommates in my office where I work and where I keep her cage.
I open the doors, and she roams around freely (it’s safe). She will jump on my lap and head and just hang out.
I’m sure rabbits may also be somewhat similar in this aspect, but since I’m not 100% sure of how it works with bunnies, I’m letting the chinchilla take this point too. No offense rabbits.
Reason 7: Chinchillas Are Very Smart And They CAN Be Litter Trained!
Chinchillas are brilliant animals. I’m sure rabbits may be smart as well.
I love the fact that litter training a chinchilla is possible and they even begin learning routines and what to expect on a daily basis.
They also learn their rooms for playtime and make the best out of every situation.
The fact that chinchillas are as intelligent as they are makes me believe they are the superior pet in this specific aspect.
I’m sticking to my answer until I’m proven wrong. If you have any anecdotes about how intelligent rabbits are, please share in the comments.
Reason 8: Chinchillas Are Entertaining And They Make Fantastic YouTube Videos!
In a world that’s becoming more technology-based, more and more people enjoy making funny videos to post online on sites like YouTube or Facebook.
Well if you want one of the most entertaining pets that is sure to do crazy things you’ll want to capture on video, chinchillas are your answer.
Between the climbing, jumping, racing around and playing dead, it’s tough to find a dull moment as a chinchilla owner.
I’m sure bunnies can be fun as well, but this is one area where I’m almost positive a bunny simply can’t beat a chinchilla.
They don’t have the jumping skills and some of the other characteristics necessary to compete. Although bunnies are cute, they just can’t beat the wow factor a chinchilla can deliver.
Reason 9: Chinchillas Are Easy To Care For And Don’t Require Much Space
Chinchillas are not only one of the most beneficial pets to own, but they are also straightforward to take care of.
A clean cage, cold temperatures, and a safe environment with food and water are about all they need. Outside of love and interaction from you of course.
I’m sure bunnies have a sense of independence as well, but the amount of effort required to care for a chinchilla is not going to be beaten by a bunny, from the knowledge I have.
They are simply easy-going and friendly pets to own for the entire family.
Of Course Chinchillas Also Have Disadvantages
Okay, so I just spent the last few minutes discussing why chinchillas make such great pets.
But I wanted to take a minute to point out that I do know that all pets have disadvantages. I’m not attempting to claim that chinchillas don’t.
However, the sake of this post was not to discuss the negatives. Plus, I don’t see any negatives significant enough to make owning a chinchilla a bad decision.
However, I also want everyone to understand that every chinchilla is different.
You might end up with a chinchilla that jumps and climbs even more than mine and can bring even more joy to your life. Or you end up with one that doesn’t.
It’s the luck of the draw when adopting any pet, but the 9 reasons we have discussed in this post are still great examples of why chinchillas are better than rabbits.
What To Do Next To Reach A Decision
If you are still on the fence, you should continue being diligent and research as much as you can about both pets.
Take a trip to a breeder or a pet store and talk to an expert and see which animal can be a better fit for your family and circumstances.
Adopting a pet should be a great experience and not overly stressful.
Again, nothing is wrong with chinchillas or rabbits, but if you came to me asking for advice, I’d generally recommend a chinchilla for most.
Chinchillas Vs Rabbits: Final Thoughts
When it comes to the chinchilla vs rabbit debate, chinchillas are the clear winner for me.
Sorry, rabbits. You’re a wonderful pet, but you just came up against a better opponent. And there has to be a winner and a loser.
It’s just the way it works. And for now, I’m a firm believer that chinchillas are the superior pet, and you will have no regrets jumping aboard the chinchilla train.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with whichever pet you ultimately decide to adopt.
Now let’s hear from you.
Do you believe the chinchilla or the rabbit is the better pet?
I’d love for anyone who has OWNED one of these pets to chime in.
If you haven’t owned one, feel free to comment of course, but please don’t act like you have personal experience with one or the other.
If you have owned one, make a case for your pet below and share your stories and comments.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and we will see you again next time.
rabbit owner here.
my rabbit is fully litter trained and I have a ery close bond with him. He sleeps on my bed and follows me around the house. He is incredibly cheap to care for as well, not to mention he is as clean as a whistle and smells glorious.
I have owned 3 chinchillas in my life. My last one I had for 15 years, his name was Gilbert and he had personality plus. I now have Winston Churchilla. I have only had him for a few years, but he is really coming into his own.
I like the name!