Do Chinchillas Die Easily? [Not If You Avoid These 7 Dangers]


If you are in the market for a new family pet and considering a chinchilla, you likely have questions, and that’s 100% normal.

They are small and relatively fragile creatures with beautiful fur.

Most new potential chinchilla owners are worried about the small and fragile component that comes along with owning a chinchilla.

I was the same way and had one specific question in the beginning.

Do chinchillas die easily?

After owning a chinchilla for several years, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, do chinchillas die easily? No, chinchillas do not die easily. Chinchillas live up to 15-20 years with proper care and a proper diet. Chinchillas are fragile animals, but with proper knowledge on how to care for chinchillas, chinchillas can live for nearly two decades.

Hopefully, this gives you some peace of mind about how hard it is to take care of a chinchilla.

Overall, it’s a walk in the park, and chinchillas make excellent pets.

The rest of this post is designed to break down what you need to know to keep your chinchilla safe and healthy.

Additionally, to make this process streamlined for you, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you need or desire to learn more about.

Here’s what I have on the agenda for you today:

do-chinchillas-die-easily

If, however, you have 2-minutes to spare and want to grab a cup of coffee, I recommend just checking out the full post and my 7 tips directly below.

Here’s what you need to know to avoid illness and injury with your chinchilla.

Do Chinchillas Die Easily?

All right let’s get one thing out of the way and make it clear.

Chinchillas do not die easily if you ethically raise them and take care of them.

While they are certainly considered fragile animals with small bones and sensitive digestive tracts, they certainly don’t require much in order to get two decades of a loving relationship with.

They are relatively cheap to care for and honestly don’t need an extensive amount of supervision.

Below, you are going to see my top 7 tips to implement to ensure your chinchilla is always safe, remains away from potential hazards and dangers.

7 Tips to Avoid Illness and Injury with Chinchillas

#1- Chinchilla Proofed Rooms Are Essential

This is critical.

Please, take the time to chinchilla proof the room.

Don’t let any exposed cords or wires in an area where your chinchilla can reach or sink their teeth into.

They can chew wires, and they DO chew wires.

If you live in a space that’s just too difficult to protect against this, consider something such as the Pop-Up Animal Play Tent (Link to Amazon) that I rave about in so many of my posts on this site.

It’s basically large enough for 2 adults and a chinchilla or two to interact within.

It also includes mesh sides for breathability, and the roof Is also enclosed.

Simply meaning, your chinchilla can’t get out.

If they can’t get out, they can’t be exposed to other dangers.

This helps immensely with other areas of owning a chinchilla, such as bonding.

Forcing your chinchilla to interact with you in a closer manner will help build trust that much faster.

Keep in mind, I only recommend doing this if you simply don’t have a space you can create that’s safe.

More space for your chinchilla to jump around is always better than less space.

If you have other cords and wires exposed such as tv plugins, cell phone chargers or just basic lamp plugins, be sure to purchase wire coverings.

I specifically used these Velcro pads (Link to Amazon)

I love them because I have OCD, and they still look appealing, protect the wires, and can be zip-tied, so something nearby to disguise and hide them even further.

#2- Proper Handling Techniques Always Need To be Exercised

Okay, don’t freak out.

If you hold your chinchilla wrong, they will not die.

However, we know that they have small bones and fragile bodies.

Learning to handle a chinchilla properly is essential.

I have a post about this specifically that you can see here.

Always ensure you are holding a chinchilla comfortably, firmly, and not in a manner that could cause a long fall to the ground.

#3- Chewing Always Needs to Be Promoted

Chewing needs to be promoted because a chinchilla’s teeth consistently grow.

An overgrown tooth or a tooth that grows in the wrong direction can cause pain, illness, and yes, even premature death.

Chinchillas need to consistently have access to safe chew items to promote teeth grinding.

Stick to safe wooden chinchilla chew sticks such as these (Link to Amazon)

I use them frequently; my chinchilla loves them, and they are affordable.

No need to get fancy.

#4-Unlimited Water is A Must

As obvious as this may be, it’s a must.

I currently use two chinchilla water bottles attached to my cage at all times.

You always need to have water available for your chinchilla.

Period.

Furthermore, I’d stick to glass water bottles.

I think they serve as one of the best chinchilla water bottles, and they are easy to clean.

Yes, people.

You need to clean the water bottle when you take the time to clean the cage frequently.

Water can grow bacteria.

Make sure to rinse and clean your water bottles on a schedule and keep them FULL.

#5- Don’t Forget About Overheating and Proper Temps

Likely the most common accident-related death with chinchillas is overheating.

They overheat easily due to having such dense fur.

It’s imperative you always have the room where your chinchilla lives kept at ideal temperatures.

You can also use dehumidifiers to keep humidity at proper levels.

I currently use this humidifier here (Link to Amazon) always to ensure the humidity in my basement remains around 40-60%.

You can also use these Chinchilla chiller stone pads (Link to Amazon) to allow your chinchilla an easy sitting platform to cool down.

Both work great and would be my top recommendations.

Outside of this, ensure the room you are in is under 70 degrees ideally.

If you need further details, I have a post about the ideal temperatures for chinchillas that you can see here.

#6- Never Neglect the Diet

This is also common mistake chinchilla owners make.

Sometimes we get carried away with too many treats or think that a chinchilla can eat anything.

While they might ingest it, it doesn’t mean that they should.

Always stick to using the recommended chinchilla hay and chinchilla formulated pellets.

Stick to only allowing your chinchilla treats that are safe and offer them in small quantities.

Doing this will ensure your chinchilla has a balanced and healthy diet.

You can read more about what chinchillas eat and should eat here.

#7- The Chinchilla Cage Always Matters

This may never directly lead to death, but it could lead to depression or injuries.

If you are planning on adopting a chinchilla, take the time and money to get a suitable cage.

Wire bottom cages can be damaging to chinchillas’ feet and they are also just not very appealing.

Too small of a cage can be bothersome and depressing for a chinchilla.

They need room to interact, jump, climb, and run around.

They are inside of their cage for more than 23 hours a day or more in most circumstances.

Give them a happy environment.

I currently use the Critter Nations 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon)

It’s got 4 levels and allows for custom fleece liners (Link to Amazon) that make life way easier when it comes to chinchilla hygiene and cleaning.

It’s much better than using traditional chinchilla bedding.

Trust me.

It’s not necessarily the cage you have to pick, but it’s my recommendation.

It’s the proper size, physically appealing, and my chinchilla loves it.

You can read my full review on the cage here.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, chinchillas are much like any other animal or pet we can own.

They don’t die easily, but they are more fragile than other pets and do need ethical, caring, and loving owners to thrive and live long healthy lives.

I trust this post will give you a baseline, and you will soon realize how easy it really is.

I wish you the best of luck with your chinchilla or your upcoming adoption.

Share Your Stories and Chime in Below

I love it when my readers provide feedback on any post I reveal to my readers.

What’re some further recommendations I may have left out?

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

As always, Chili and I appreciate you reading and will catch you next time.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 1 year old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know.

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