Do Chinchillas Adapt to Their Environment? [Yes, and Quickly]

If you are anything like me, you likely just purchased a chinchilla, or you are considering doing so in the very near future.

Be excited.

Owning a chinchilla is awesome, and they are not very hard to care for.

For me, I was curious about how my chinchilla would feel when she arrived home.

Do chinchillas adapt to their environment?

I have been raising my chinchilla for the past 5 years now and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, do chinchillas adapt to their environment? Yes, chinchillas adapt to their environment. If you have an adequate size cage and allow your chinchilla to get used to their environment slowly, which includes sounds, visuals, and scents, they will adapt quickly and begin to flourish in their new environments.

Now that you know that you have the green light to purchase a chinchilla and that they will adapt to their new environment without an issue, I wanted to point out a few other things you can do to ensure your chinchilla adapts quickly and has a comfortable and happy home for a long future to come.

How to Help Your Chinchilla Adapt to Their Environment Quickly Without Stress?

When you first purchase your chinchilla, you will likely either drive to a chinchilla breeder to purchase him or her or pick up your chinchilla from a local Petco or PetSmart location.

I recommend a breeder when possible, but nothing is necessarily wrong with using a pet store either.

The first thing you need to do when adopting a chinchilla is to ask as many questions as possible with someone that genuinely understands chinchillas.

Understanding a chinchilla’s behavior and temperament is critical at the adoption phase.

You can either do this through your breeder or rely on blogs such as this one here at Planet Chinchilla to guide you through the process.

It’s essential to do this so that you can begin understanding how they have been raised and what you need to do to make them comfortable for the transition into their new home.

You see, some chinchillas may be extremely social and friendly with other chinchillas.

It’s possible they were even kept in pairs at your breeders or in the pet store.

Other chinchillas may give you more of a challenge to socialize.

Now, I completely understand that you can’t always get two, and you may not be ready for that, but it is useful to know this information regardless of the situation.

It’s essential overall to understand if you have a very social chinchilla that enjoys being held or even cuddling or if you have a chinchilla that needs additional time to recognize and trust you.

This will help guide you to how you interact with your chinchilla during the first few weeks that you have them home.

Allow Your Chinchilla Plenty of Space to Warm Up to Their New Environment

In the beginning, try not to overdo interaction time with your chinchilla.

Don’t overstimulate them.

Simply get them home and allow them time to warm up and get used to sound, sights and scents around the home.

They need time to get comfortable and use to their new environment and cage.

It’s possible you already have another pet such as a dog, and it’s important not to allow these two animals to interact.

At least not for a long time without supervision.

Chinchilla’s and the dog shouldn’t be interacting and playing with one another.

Additionally, depending on the room you choose to use for your chinchilla, it’s crucial you have cool enough temperatures in this room and ideally away from all the commotion in the home.

Also, never forget to fully chinchilla proof a room before allowing them out.

Playtime in a non-proofed room can be dangerous for your chinchilla.

This will help them adjust and get used to their environment even faster.

All the sounds in the home make a difference.

This could be your air conditioner kicking on and off or your four-year-old son screaming at certain times of the day.

Nonetheless, after a few weeks, your chinchilla will no longer be scared and be prepared to begin interacting much more often.

Ensure Your Chinchillas Has Plenty of Space to Roam Throughout Their Cage

When you purchase your chinchilla, one of the first things you should be purchasing is a new cage for your chinchilla.

This is where many new chinchilla owners get this wrong and go to small.

Chinchilla’s naturally want to climb on ledges or jump all over the place.

It’s essential to have a cage large enough to allow this to take place.

This will also help your chinchilla adapt to their new environment much faster.

A cage that I swear by is the Critter Nations 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon).

It’s plenty large enough and will eventually allow you to purchase a second chinchilla like I plan to do soon.

Additionally, due to the Critter Nation being the most often used cages for chinchilla’s, it’s easy to find fleece liners for the bed trays, which makes your life much more comfortable.

It also makes your chinchilla more comfortable and helps their feet avoid injuries.

It’s easy to take care of and wash when you conduct regular cage cleanings, and for the price, it’s well worth it.

I currently use these Critter Nation Fleece Liners (Link to Amazon).

They work fantastic, and I highly recommend you give them a shot if the budget permits.

Give Your Chinchilla 10-14 Days to Adapt to Their New Environment

Let’s assume you have the proper temperatures for your chinchilla, and they have been provided the correct sized cage.

Next merely is allowing enough time for your chinchilla to feel safe and ready to interact during playtime.

10-14 days should be plenty of time.

My chinchilla took about 5 days to warm up to the point that she would jump on me and interact with me during a time out of their cage.

During those 10-14 days, you do not need to get them out for playtime.

However, after this time period has passed, it’s essential to give your chinchilla time out of the cage each day.

Just make sure you are in a room where they can’t run away, and you have cord protectors on wires in your chinchilla safe room because chinchillas will chew cords or wires.

Outside of these few safety tips and affording your chinchilla a dust bath, you don’t have much to fret over, and things become very easy.

You can learn more about how to give a chinchilla a dust bath here.

Allow Your Chinchilla Out of Their Cage When They Are Awake and Not Sleeping

If you really want to make your chinchilla comfortable, it’s also essential that you are trying to interact and play with your chinchilla during the correct times.

Chinchilla sleeps more than 10 hours per day and does most of their playtime and crazy time during evening and morning times due to being nocturnal.

Accommodate for this and don’t’ force your chinchilla awake just to play.

Following all these directions and taking things slow is a sure-fire way to build a great bond with your chinchilla that can last for the next 15-20 years.

Respect Your Chinchilla and His or Her Wishes for The Best Bond

Sometimes we get chinchillas that want to be held and cuddled, and sometimes we get chinchilla’s that will pick and choose when they desire to show this kind of affection.

If this is the case, you need to respect what they want and their boundaries.

Treat them like anyone else in the family.

Don’t force anything your chinchilla doesn’t desire to do.

This can cause a weaker bond, potential bites, and even a fur slip if you push your chinchilla too far past their limits.

However, respecting your chinchilla’s wishes will take you places with your chinchilla you likely didn’t anticipate taking place.

Chinchilla’s Will Adapt to Their Environment

At the end of the day, it’s not going to take much more than a week for your chinchilla to warm up and adjust to their new environment.

It’s a quick process if you don’t force it and follow the simple directions, I’ve laid out for you in this post.

If you do these things, your chinchilla will begin doing new things and interacting in new ways each day that you take the time to interact with them and to get them out of their cage.

I know this is how it went for me and my chinchilla and I promise that the same will happen for you.

Chinchilla’s are wonderful pets to own and can bring a lot of joy to your family with some primary care and common sense.

If you are currently on the fence about adopting a chinchilla, I highly recommend pulling the trigger and adopting one.

They are fantastic, and I know I have no regrets this far into my chinchilla parenting.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchillas and the journey you have ahead of you.

I’d love your feedback on this topic as well.

How long did it take your chinchilla to warm up to their new environment?

Did you do anything differently than what I have laid out for you here in this post?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and we will see you again next time.




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"

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