Where do captive chinchillas spend most of their time?
In a cage.
How would you feel if you spend 23+ hours per day locked up in a cage.
You’d be bored.
The only way to avoid boredom would be to fill that cage with tons of entertainment.
It makes sense to assume the same is true for a chinchilla.
Being locked up in a cage all day, they must get bored, right?
Let’s find out. Keep reading to learn if chinchillas get bored and what you can do to prevent boredom in your chinchilla.
Do Chinchillas Get Bored?
Yes, chinchillas get bored. They need mental and physical activity to remain happy and healthy.
Chinchillas need items to chew to avoid becoming destructive or restless. Without the proper accessories inside of the cage, and without socialization, a chinchilla will get bored.
That’s the quick answer to the question at hand.
It’s also vital that you understand how to accommodate a chinchilla and ensure that it doesn’t get bored.
Don’t worry, it’s not overly complicated. The rest of this post will show you what to do.
Because chinchillas not only get bored, they can get bored relatively quickly.
It’s essential to understand this because most destructive, or even harmful, behavior these pets exhibit comes purely from boredom.
Most of that boredom comes when in the cage, since it is where they spend most of their time. So let’s focus on boredom your chinchilla may encounter inside of the cage, and cover some ways to keep your pet entertained.
How Do I Keep My Chinchilla Entertained?
It’s not overly difficult to keep your chinchilla entertained. You just need to ensure that you provide social time with your chinchilla and that your chinchilla has the correct habitat put together.
This simply means that your job is ensuring that your chinchilla has an awesome chinchilla cage.
This also means that you need to load the chinchilla cage with all the important accessories.
Chinchillas love the ability to jump and climb. Especially during certain times of the day.
So, what items do you need inside of the cage to allow your chinchilla to jump and climb, thus keeping it entertained?
Lucky for you, I’ve decided to make a quick list of the items that you should purchase for your chinchilla in the early phases.
You can click any of the items to learn more about my recommendations and to view your options.
Here is a look at them:
- Nesting Box (gives your chinchilla space to sleep and feel safe)
- Hammock (a secondary sleeping spot)
- Lots of Chew Sticks (prevents boredom and promotes healthy teeth filing)
- Hanging Chew Toys
- Ledges (gives your chinchilla something to jump and climb on)
- A Tall Cage (chinchillas need vertical space)
- Tunnels (extra items to play with)
- Additional Hiding Boxes
- Chinchilla wheels (see my recommendations here)
Having the items listed above will go a long way towards ensuring that your chinchilla stays active and has plenty to do inside of the cage. Avoid toys that are not specifically made for chinchillas, like stuffed animals or toys meant for other types of pets.
What Can Chinchillas Do For Fun?
Chinchillas have unique personality characteristics. But they don’t do anything too crazy to have fun and to stay occupied.
For the most part, and I’m sure most other chinchilla owners would agree, you need a tall and large chinchilla cage to satisfy your pet.
They love the ability to act in the same manner they would in the wild. They need to be able to hop from ledge to ledge and climb freely.
Outside of climbing and jumping, chinchillas are chewers.
Not ensuring you have plenty of the ideal chew sticks can cause your furry friend to chew on other items in the cage that you may not want to see chewed.
This includes items such as the fleece liners, the cage bars, or other things that you prefer not to see damaged.
Ensure The Chinchilla Cage Is Built For Activity
This refers to a lot of what we have already discussed, but it’s still important that we touch on this one more time.
When purchasing the accessories for your chinchilla’s cage, such as ledges and tunnels, be sure to structure the cage in a manner that allows your pet to move around freely and have fun.
This is one of the biggest reasons as to why you hear so many chinchilla owners and advocates plead their case about using larger cages.
Place ledges on each level, place some form of structure on each platform, and have plenty of safe and chewable toys throughout the cage.
Now, let’s talk about how no accessories or toys can substitute for time out of the cage interacting with you.
Don’t Forget Bonding And Play Time
Bonding and playtime with your chinchilla are vital. No accessories can make up for this important time.
Most recommend at least a little bit of time out of the cage each day. While this is the best practice, it doesn’t mean that you can’t miss days from time to time.
We’re all busy. It happens.
But that doesn’t change the fact that the best way to prevent boredom with a chinchilla is to simply take the time to interact with your pet when you can.
Get it out of the cage in a chinchilla proofed room or a playpen and begin interacting with it. Allow it to run around and be crazy for 30 to 60 minutes and return it to the cage.
You can also use their time out of the cage to provide a much-needed dust bath. Chinchillas love those, so they double as another great entertainment option, in addition to keeping your pet clean.
Do Chinchillas Watch TV?
This is the last quick question I’ve seen arise recently that I wanted to touch on when it comes to chinchilla boredom and how to prevent it.
Yes, chinchillas will stare or look at a TV. But this should not be the way you attempt to keep your chinchilla entertained.
A chinchilla still needs time to socialize and still needs a cage and accessories that accommodate its needs. A TV should not ever be used as a substitute for either of these necessities.
Bored Chinchilla: Final Thoughts
Sometimes it’s hard to know if a chinchilla is truly happy or not. They have a personality that can make it tough to read their minds at times.
However, providing the basics and the best care possible can surely go a long way towards ensuring that your chinchilla is not getting bored or destructive.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming journey.
Share your thoughts.
What accessories and activities do you implement into your routine to ensure your chinchilla stays entertained and does not get too bored?
Be sure to share any thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below. As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading and will see you next time.