Do Chinchillas Eat Plastic? [Avoid These Dangers]

Chinchillas’ are unique animals in many ways.

I think we can all agree with that. Especially those of us who currently own one.

One of two reasons likely landed you here on this specific post.

Either you have a chinchilla now, or you’re considering adopting a chinchilla and have some common questions as we all do in the beginning.

One of my initial questions during this period was extremely simple.

Do chinchillas eat plastic?

After owning a chinchilla, having my own anxieties, and learning throughout the process, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, do chinchilla eat plastic? Yes, a chinchilla will eat plastic. A chinchilla will eat or chew plastic if given the opportunity and if the plastic is present inside of the chinchilla cage. Plastic always needs to be avoided for a chinchilla to prevent potential health concerns and digestive blockages when possible.

This may seem extreme to some of you because nearly everything in this world has some plastic involved.

If you are concerned about what to do, what accessories to buy, and what is safe for a chinchilla, you are in the right spot.

That’s what the rest of this brief 3-minute post is all about.

I’m going to break down what you need to know about a chinchilla consuming and eating plastic, how to avoid it, and what alternatives to implement.

Knowing the information contained in this post is essential for caring for your chinchilla ethically.

In case you are in a hurry, I’ve also created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to read and learn more about.

Here’s what I intend on breaking down for you in today’s discussion:

do-chinchillas-eat-plastic

As stated before, if you are in a rush, use the links above to skip around.

Otherwise, the details you need to know are directly below.

Do Chinchillas Eat and Chew Plastic?

Alright, here’s the deal.

Yes, a chinchilla will eat plastic, and a chinchilla will chew plastic.

It’s not only plastic, my friends.

Chinchillas naturally chew.

They will chew on nearly anything they can reach or access.

It’s part of the reason that proofing the room where your chinchilla can roam is always a top priority.

All of us, chinchilla owners, are familiar with this idea.

We have all covered cords and wires to protect chinchillas, and plastic happens to be one of those materials/items that also need caution exercised.

By the way, if you haven’t protected cords and wires in a room where your chinchilla roams, you need to read my post about chinchillas chewing wires here.

It can give you my top tips and tricks to effectively proofing a room to avoid this danger as well.

Plastic can often be overlooked because it’s so prevalent.

Especially with rodent accessories.

Chinchillas wheels, nesting boxes, and even water bottle nozzles can be offered in plastic.

This needs to be avoided as much as possible.

Plastic can cause harm if ingested by your chinchilla, which happens to be the topic I plan to cover next.

Is Plastic Safe for Chinchillas?

No, plastic is not safe for chinchillas.

Plastic can contain harmful material for your chinchilla and can also cause digestive tract issues for your chinchilla if ingested and swallowed.

Chinchillas have very sensitives stomachs and digestive tracts.

Even more so than other small rodents.

Blockages are one of the common issues that do arise, and it’s often due to situations just like this where the owner of the chinchilla was simply unaware that their new chinchilla will chew their way into an illness or injury.

Unfortunately, it’s just how it goes with chinchillas.

Monitor Your Chinchilla for Blockages

Let’s assume for a second that you landed on this post because you fear your chinchilla already ingested a decent amount of plastic.

This happens from time to time, and we all make mistakes.

It’s nearly impossible not to give your chinchilla a toy throughout their 15-20-year lifespan that potentially has something they may not have been chewing on.

Before moving too deep into my recommendation, let me make one thing 100% perfectly clear.

I’m not a vet, I’ve never been to vet school.

I do, however, own a chinchilla and have researched everything involving these furry rodents.

The best thing to do in the beginning to simply monitor your chinchilla pooping and ensuring that they are still eating and consuming fluids.

Clearly, if they are not eating and if they aren’t drinking water or pooping, it’s time to seek out a professional, and it should be noted that these blockages can cause death.

However, if your chinchilla is pooping normally, still has an appetite and is still consuming fluids, it’s likely your chinchilla is perfectly fine, and some tiny pieces of plastic are just passing out the other end from where they were original ingested.

Trust me, it’s not going to be hard for you to know if your chinchilla is pooping normally.

Chinchilla’s poop literally non-stop.

If you aren’t seeing chinchilla poop within a few hours, you have an issue.

Again, if this is the case, call a VET.

Plain and simple.

Now that we have the immediate scares out of the way let’s begin moving into some of the common items, accessories, and other honorable mentions that you need to avoid that often contain plastic.

Can Chinchillas Have Plastic Cages?

Yes, chinchillas can have plastic cages. It’s recommended to stick to a more robust construction cage such as the Critter Nation 2 that has thin wire bar construction.

You can read more reviews about the best chinchilla cages here.

You can also read about my review of the Critter Nation 2 cage here.

Plastic cages are nothing that will cause direct harm, but a cage can be a one-time purchase if you get it correct the first time.

Also, plastic cages could still entice your chinchilla to chew, so if it can be avoided, it should be.

Why waste the money on a cage your chinchilla will eventually damage or chew?

They are likely the most expensive purchase you will make owning a chinchilla so you might as well get it right the first time so that you have nothing to worry about.

That’s my 2 cents at least.

How Do I Stop My Chinchilla from Chewing?

Ah, the question of the day.

How do I stop my chinchilla from chewing?

You shouldn’t stop your chinchilla from chewing.

Chinchillas need to chew to keep their teeth filed down and healthy.

The goal isn’t to get your chinchilla to stop chewing but ensure that you promote chewing with healthy alternatives.

I love chew sticks that are designed explicitly for rodents such as chinchillas.

You can see the exact chew sticks I use here (Link to Amazon)

They are affordable, and your chinchilla will love them.

Again, don’t attempt to get your chinchilla not to chew.

Just ensure they are chewing in a safe and healthy manner.

Additional Safety Precautions to Implement

Listen, my friends.

Owning a chinchilla is not difficult.

You just need to monitor certain things and keep an eye on the situation from time to time.

If you are trying new toys or chew items, simply double check they aren’t chewing the material and possibly ingesting anything harmful.

If they are, switch to a safer alternative.

For the most part, chinchillas are extremely easy to take care of, but if there is one thing to always monitor and keep tabs on, it’s certainly chewing.

Shelves and Other Common Plastic Items to Avoid

The last item on my agenda to cover today is the shelves you place inside of your chinchilla cage.

Chinchillas need these shelves.

Chinchillas love to jump and climb and need plenty of space.

However, plastic shelves are offered for chinchilla cages and should be avoided.

This is just another item your chinchilla will chew if given a chance.

Stick to cheaper wood shelves for your chinchilla.

They are easy to cut yourself and attach, save you money, and keep your chinchilla safe.

It’s that simple.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, will a chinchilla eat and chew plastic?

Yes, they certainly will.

In most circumstances, it will be perfectly fine but still needs your attention that it doesn’t potentially cause any illness or health concerns for your chinchilla.

Best of luck with your chinchilla adoption or chinchilla parenting.

Share Your Thoughts, Concerns, and Stories Below

I always enjoy it when my readers chime in and share their thoughts on the topic.

Does your chinchilla chew plastic?

Have you ever had any issues with chinchilla chewing?

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

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

We will see 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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