If you are considering adopting a chinchilla, you may have some questions. Some questions may be more obvious than others.
Nonetheless, I find it ethical and my responsibility to help shed light on these topics when given the opportunity.
One of the questions I see arise for new chinchilla owners is simple. Do chinchillas have to be in a cage?
Here is what I can tell you on this subject.
So, do chinchillas have to be in a cage? Yes, chinchillas must be in a cage. Chinchillas must be in a cage for most of the day. This will be about 22-23 hours a day. Chinchillas need 30-60 minutes of their cage per day for interaction and bonding. The rest of the time, a chinchilla needs to be in a cage.
While it’s important to understand that a cage is necessary, it’s also important to realize that chinchillas do need some time out of their cage as well.
It’s also imperative that you provide your chinchilla with an adequate cage when it comes to sizing and structure.
To save you some time, you can read my post about the best chinchilla cages here to get started.
For the new chinchilla owners, it will help significantly to understand why chinchillas need a cage and what kind of cage to consider purchasing.
If, however, you plan to stick around for another 2-3 minutes, I will detail in the rest of this post exactly why your only choice is always to have your chinchilla in a cage.
Here are the details.
Why Does a Chinchilla Have to Be in A Cage?
Sorry to break the bad news.
Yes, your chinchilla must be in a cage.
However, many new chinchilla owners may be curious as to why.
Some pet owners that own other pets such as rabbits allow their furry friends to be out of the cage for more than an hour per day.
That’s for sure.
However, it doesn’t work like that with chinchillas.
Part of this is due to overheating potential, and the rest is due to a chinchilla’s abilities and natural behaviors.
To understand a chinchilla’s behavior in-depth, feel free to read my full guide about a chinchilla’s behavior here.
A guide such as the post above about a chinchilla’s behavior can help to understand some of the dangers that may present themselves by allowing a chinchilla to free roam.
I even have a post specifically about this topic.
Part of the problem is simple.
Chinchilla’s are naturally curious animals.
They love to explore and can find and fit themselves into the dark places where it may be challenging to locate them.
Especially if you consider the fact that locating them will also need to be done quickly if a chinchilla did happen to get away from you.
This is purely because your chinchilla can overheat very quickly.
If you haven’t adopted a chinchilla yet, it’s imperative you take the time to read my post about overheating dangers.
Finding A Chinchilla Outside of The Cage Will Be Difficult
Even individuals who understand that a chinchilla needs to be in a cage can back me up on this statement.
If your chinchilla does happen to run away, it’s going to be a long evening trying to find him or her.
You see, chinchillas are also naturally scared animals.
In the wild, they are the preyed upon and the hunted.
Not the hunter.
When a chinchilla does happen to get outside of what I like to call the safe area, you won’t typically find them quickly.
They are going to attempt to wedge themselves into a dark spot where they can feel safe and protected.
This is the same behavior that they would be displaying in the wild when running from predators.
This is another huge reason why chinchillas always have to be in a cage.
When they aren’t in their cage, you must ensure that the area that you interact and bond with them in is safe of potential dangers as well. And please don’t make your chinchilla wear a harness to avoid this situation. It can be dangerous.
A Chinchilla Has to Be in the Cage Due to Potential Hazards
One of the big topics we have failed to discuss thus far into this post is the real danger that your chinchilla can find when outside of the cage.
Especially when they aren’t in an area designed or chinchilla proof for safety.
Chinchillas are also chewers at heart.
It’s almost like having a newborn puppy who wants to chew everything in sight.
This is one of the reasons I have a blog post dedicated to a few of these topics to help you keep your chinchilla safe.
The first is about if chinchillas will chew wires that you can read here.
That specific blog post is going to teach you to protect all wires and the other precautions you need to take to keep your chinchilla safe.
Additionally, chinchillas may chew on other dangerous items that they could potentially ingest.
If you haven’t read my post about what a chinchilla can eat and what chinchillas do eat, read that here.
Chinchillas have very sensitive stomachs and ingesting something they shouldn’t be devastating.
It could cause blockages or other intestinal problems that could potentially kill your furry friend.
Not a risk you should ever take when you embark on the journey to adopt a new chinchilla.
That’s for sure.
Overall Recommendations Is Always Provide A Large and Safe Cage for A Chinchilla
We have covered quite a bit in this post thus far. Our chinchillas need to be in a cage.
What’s you understand this, it comes down to ensuring you purchase the best chinchilla cage possible.
This doesn’t necessarily mean to break the bank on the cage either.
Simply ensure that you purchase a cage that’s large enough.
If you don’t know what that means or where to begin, I recommend reading my blog post about the proper size chinchilla cages need to be that you can see here.
It will give you the exact dimensions and recommended cages you should be considering.
It’s imperative that your chinchilla has plenty of room to jump, climb, and stay mentally stimulated.
Not doing so is going to result in a chinchilla that can become not nearly as friendly.
It can also result in a chinchilla becoming destructive within the cage due strictly because of boredom.
Spend the few extra bucks and be sure you are providing your chinchilla with space to act in their natural ways and an area to play, run, and jump to remain happy and healthy.
It’s simple when you really think about it.
Save a couple of bucks back and get it right the first time and then it’s done and over with and out of your mind.
Trust me, your chinchilla will thank you for it. Not literally, but I think you get the point.
Final Word, Your Chinchilla Can’t Free Roam. They Have to Be in a Cage
Again, sorry to burst all your bubbles.
Chinchillas are not the kind of animal to adopt if you are looking for a soft cuddly match made in heaven to sleep in your bed with you.
However, if you are up for a low maintenance animal that requires a small budget and will show love and affection towards you, I highly recommend adopting a chinchilla.
I was scared and skeptical at first as well, and it’s turned into nothing short of a fantastic experience thus far.
They are cheap and easy to care for. They simply need some love, interaction, bonding, and a large enough cage to enjoy life inside of and everything will be good to go.
Turning the Floor Over to You
As always, I encourage feedback from the readers.
Do you recommend any other precautions or tips about keeping a chinchilla inside a cage outside of playtime?
Be sure to share your stories by dropping a comment below.
As always, I appreciate you and thanks for stopping by.
See you next time.
Best of luck with your upcoming chinchilla adoption.