Do Chinchillas Groom Themselves? [Quick Answer + Tips]

I can only think of 3 reasons why you may have landed on this blog post.

Either you are considering adopting a chinchilla, recently adopted a chinchilla, or you are very bored asking google some random questions.

Luckily, I’m not too concerned with which reason it may be, but I am concerned with providing you the information that you showed up here for.

It’s a question I had in the beginning as well.

So, do chinchillas groom themselves? Yes, most chinchillas groom themselves, requiring no effort from the owners. In some situations, a chinchilla will not self-groom, which will require grooming from the chinchilla owner. Chinchillas also need a dust bath 2-3 times per week for optimal hygiene and health.

As you may have noticed from the answer provided above, most chinchillas complete the grooming on their own.

Some do not.

A dust bath will always be a requirement that you need to provide as the owner, but in most situations, that ends your involvement in the grooming process.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need to understand a few more critical pieces of information to be entirely up to speed and provide the best care possible for your chinchilla.

That’s what the rest of this post is designed to provide 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 desire or need to learn more about.


Here is what is on the lesson plan for today:

As stated previously, feel free to use any of the links to skip around or if you prefer to avoid any further rambling from me.

Otherwise, if you have just a few minutes to spare, I’ll break down the details you need to understand about chinchilla grooming and have you on your way.

Let’s get started.

Do Chinchillas Groom Themselves?

Providing some useful chinchilla grooming tips is what this specific post is all about.

Overall, ensuring that you maintain your chinchilla’s hygiene and ensure proper grooming is taking place is not only going to make for a happier chinchilla but will make your life easier in the long run.

You see, proper grooming and hygiene for a chinchilla is going to reduce other headaches such as dander and can eliminate the light shedding a chinchilla may experience even further.

Overall, a chinchilla does not need you to groom them in most circumstances, but they do need a bit of effort from you elsewhere.

This often leads people to ask the next question related to chinchilla grooming…

How Does A Chinchilla Clean Itself?

It’s a good question, and I was curious as well. How does a chinchilla clean itself?

Well, outside of the dust bath that needs to be provided by you in all circumstances at least 2-3 times per week, a chinchilla will act much like a cat when it comes to self-grooming.

This takes care of all the grooming needed in-between dust baths.

So, the easiest way to put this into plain English is no, chinchillas do not need to be groomed, but they do need their owners to remain diligent with providing dust baths at the correct frequency and using the correct chinchilla formulated dust.

If you need to read more about the best chinchilla dust to use, you can view my post here for further information.

Bathing, Brushing and Shedding with Chinchillas

Now, I wanted to clear up a few other questions that come up and explain these dust baths just a tad bit further.

Why are these dust baths so crucial for a chinchilla?

For starters, you can learn a bunch about this topic by reading my post about why chinchillas bathe in the dust here.

If you don’t feel like navigating to that post, the most significant thing to understand is that the dust helps dramatically to remove oils, dander and any clumping for your chinchilla’s fur.

You see, chinchillas have incredibly dense fur.

In fact, it’s the densest fur of any land animal with more than 80 hairs per follicle.

Clearly, to remain soft and luxurious like a chinchilla is known for, we need to provide this dust to get the job done.

This can also help eliminate the light shedding that may take place with an unclean chinchilla.

To do this correctly, ensure you have a dust bathhouse or a dust bowl with about 2 inches of clean chinchilla formulated dust inside.

Allow your chinchilla to come out and roll in this dust for at least 20 minutes.

If you weren’t aware, chinchillas absolutely love this time rolling around in their dust and typically make the most of it each time they have the opportunity.

As I said, clean fur and proper grooming also will make for a happy chinchilla.

Grooming When Two Chinchillas Live Together

When two chinchillas live together and are housed in the same cage, you may also notice that they groom each other.

This is perfectly okay and the way it’s meant to be assuming you don’t notice any biting or hostility taking place within the cage.

Chinchillas, who are well bonded and work well together as cage mates, are known to groom each other.

This holds especially true for those of you are considering breeding chinchillas and place a male and female together in the same cage.

Additionally, grooming may take place before “the fun” begins between a male and a female chinchilla who are preparing to mate and make a litter of new “kits” which is what baby chinchillas are referred to.

As far as brushing a chinchilla, you can do this if you prefer.

Some chinchillas will love it, and some chinchillas will absolutely hate it.

Give it a try and find out which kind of chinchilla you are working with.

My chinchilla doesn’t tend to like being brushed, but she does love to be handled.

It just depends on the chinchilla.

If you need additional help understanding how to gain your chinchilla’s trust and how to properly socialize a chinchilla, you can view my post here.

It will break this down for you and help you to get off on the right track towards effectively grooming, handling, and even brushing a chinchilla without causing fear or other issues with your new relationship with your new furry friend.

A Few Other Considerations

Outside of the tips and grooming advice that has already been provided for you in this post, I highly recommend just always keeping tabs on your chinchilla and paying attention in general.

It doesn’t take much effort to check on your chinchilla during playtime and to ensure everything seems okay with them.

You can typically feel issues with fur clumps or other issues be petting and holding your chinchilla.

If you notice any issues, perhaps you need to complete some self-grooming yourself, or maybe you are getting lazy with the dust bath.

Nonetheless, being an ethical owner requires you to be paying attention to what’s going on with your chinchilla at all times.

Dental Concerns with Chinchillas

The last step that may or may not fall into the category of grooming when it comes to owning a chinchilla is to ensure that you are providing the necessary accessories to ensure your chinchilla is filing and taking care of their teeth.

A chinchilla’s teeth never stops growing, and without proper care can cause health concerns and even pain.

Ensure your chinchilla is getting the items needed, such as chew sticks and other chinchilla safe toys to ensure they can always file down their teeth.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to grooming a chinchilla, your work is minimal, and they are literally one of the easiest pets to own from every angle.

Outside of the dust bath needed above and a bit of love and attention, your work is basically complete.

Clearly, ensure you are cleaning the cage well and cleaning it often.

Outside of this, spend your time interacting and playing with your chinchilla and watch the relationship flourish and grow.

I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla

Share Your Thoughts on Chinchilla Grooming and Hygiene

What do you recommend that wasn’t already discussed in the post when it comes to grooming a chinchilla?

What other information can you provide that will allow your chinchilla to be at peak levels of hygiene?

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

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

Thanks again, and we will see you 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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