There is a reason this question is so common.
If you’ve done any research on owning a chinchilla, you’ve likely come a across a few horror stories involving chinchillas and chewing.
Perhaps you’ve heard of one chewing up a valuable possession.
Or of one that chewed through an electrical wire.
Both of those happen.
But how common are instances like this?
Do all chinchillas chew? And is it something that continues their whole life, or is it just a brief phase?
Keep reading to learn all about the chewing behavior of chinchillas. If you are a new chin owner, or if you are planning on getting one, you need to know what I am about to share.
- 1 Do Chinchillas Chew?
- 2 Why Chinchillas Chew
- 3 How To Stop A Chinchilla From Chewing
- 4 Promote Healthy Chewing With Safe Toys
- 5 Chinchilla Chewing: Final Thoughts
Do Chinchillas Chew?
Yes, chinchillas chew. A lot. They need to chew in order to keep their teeth filed down, because they never stop growing.
Chewing is a natural behavior for chinchillas and something you should encourage. Always provide your chin safe chew items to maintain optimal dental health.
The problem is that chinchillas may chew on things you don’t want them to and things that could be harmful, in addition to some other odd chewing behaviors.
But don’t worry. You have plenty of options for safe chewable items. Some of these options are even part of the recommended diet for your chinchilla.
We’ll get into all of that below. First, let’s take a closer look at why chinchillas chew so much.
Why Chinchillas Chew
Chinchillas need to chew throughout their entire lives. As mentioned, chewing helps them to properly file down their teeth. They need to do that in order to stay in the best possible state of health.
Teeth are one of the most significant concerns and common health issues that chinchillas can deal with throughout their lifespan.
Chewing is simply how they keep their continually growing teeth from growing too long and causing them problems.
How To Stop A Chinchilla From Chewing
This is a question I see a lot. And the answer is simple. You don’t stop a chinchilla from chewing.
Chinchillas need to be chewing. Your job as the chinchilla parent is to ensure they have the correct items to chew.
They need things like the correct chinchilla hay in addition to lava blocks, hay cubes, and other chinchilla toys specifically designed for chewing.
The only chewing behavior you must prevent is chewing on a human hand or chewing potentially dangerous items such as cords or wires.
Outside of that, you should be more worried if your chinchilla is not chewing, because this typically indicates something is wrong with it.
Do Chinchillas Chew Furniture?
Yes, chinchillas will definitely chew furniture. They will chew nearly anything within reach.
It’s essential to always chinchilla proof a room where you pet can be out of its cage and roam free. You need to ensure that no dangerous objects are accessible.
To stop your chinchilla from chewing furniture, ensure that you don’t leave your chinchilla unattended or roaming around furniture without supervision.
With the proper chinchilla chew items, you should not need to worry about your chinchilla chewing your furniture.
Do Chinchillas Chew Fleece?
Yes, a chinchilla could chew fleece, but it’s not as likely that they chew on that as it is for them to chew on other items within the cage. Fleece is typically used for chinchillas as a bedding alternative.
In fact, it is one of the best chinchilla beddings. Most chinchillas will not chew and destroy their own bedding. At least that’s been my experience so far with my chinchilla.
Why Do Chinchillas Chew On Their Cage?
Chinchillas will chew on their cage to file their teeth down when other adequate chewing items are not present.
Overgrown teeth in chinchillas can cause pain, illness, and infection. A chinchilla naturally understands that it needs to chew to file its teeth down to avoid these growing pains.
Without the proper items inside of the cage, your chinchilla may resort to chewing on the cage itself. It’s not a problem as long as the cage is not made of plastic, which can be harmful. But it’s always best to ensure your pet has plenty of safe toys to chew on.
Promote Healthy Chewing With Safe Toys
We now know what chinchillas will chew and some of the hazards you can expect. We also know what chinchillas should not be chewing.
And we know that we need to give them safe items for chewing. But what are the best items to provide your chinchilla so that it can chew in a healthy and safe fashion?
What Can Chinchillas Chew On?
I will provide some tips and recommendations below to promote healthy and safe chewing for your chinchilla, without having your chinchilla cause any damage to your home or its own cage.
Below is a list of what chinchillas can chew.
- Chinchilla chew sticks made of apple, poplar, willow or aspen wood (Link to Amazon)
- Timothy hay cubes (Link to Amazon)
- Hanging chew toys (Link to Amazon)
Other items are okay for your chinchilla to chew as well, and there are several variations of these safe chinchilla chew toys you can choose.
However, for the sake of keeping this post sweet and to the point, I only included the most popular options above and the items that I purchase for my own chinchilla with the most frequency.
Using any of those items above will have your chinchilla chewing safe items and avoiding other potential hazards inside of the chinchilla cage (or the home, when your chinchilla is out for playtime).
Final Recommendations On Chinchilla Chewing
Overall, my chinchilla chewing has not been an overly difficult challenge or something that’s caused me any issues.
I use wire protectors on the cords my chinchilla could get access too. I keep an eye on her when she is out for playtime, and for the most part, I never have any issues.
Exercise some common sense and be sure no dangerous items are around, and you will be in good shape.
Chinchilla Chewing: Final Thoughts
Always remember one thing: chinchillas should be chewing. They chew a lot and you should never try and end this behavior.
It’s essential for their health and well-being and will continue for the next 15 to 20 years, or however long your chinchilla lives.
It’s just what they do.
Keep a good stock of good/safe chinchilla chew items on hand, and you should never have anything to worry about.
Let’s hear from you now!
As always, I love to encourage feedback from you.
What issues have you run into when it comes to chinchilla chewing?
Do you have any other safe chew toy recommendations you can share with the rest of us?
Be sure to share your stories, comments, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by. We will catch you next time.
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