Do Chinchillas Make Good Pets?[Yes+8 Reasons Why]

So, you are thinking about adopting a new family pet and you are curious if chinchillas make good pets or not.

That is completely understandable and I was the exact same way before adopting my chinchilla.

I’m assuming you are also looking for the most loveable, sociable, and easy to care for pet and have maybe heard that chinchillas can make for good pets?

So, do chinchillas make good pets?

I have now been raising a chinchilla for the past 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Chinchillas make good pets for a patient owner who takes the time to ensure the chinchilla is properly socialized from a young age. A non-socialized chinchilla can often be skittish and anti-social making them a less desirable pet but a social chinchilla can make for an affectionate and friendly family pet.

The rest of this post will detail both sides of the fence for you.

When a chinchilla does make for a good pet and when a chinchilla potentially may not be the pet for you.

Here is how I plan to explain that chinchilla makes good pets:

If you are in a hurry or need limited information as to why chinchillas make for good pets, feel free to use the links directly above to skip around.

Otherwise, if you have 4-5 minutes to spare, sit back and relax and let me explain to you the good side of chinchillas and why they can make an excellent family pet.

By the end of this post, hopefully, I’ve convinced you that purchasing/adopting a chinchilla is 100% worth it.

Here are the essentials details to understand and a full breakdown as to why chinchillas make for good pets.


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Learn more here:👉 Avoiding Critical Mistakes Ultimate Chinchilla Care eBook Offer

Do Chinchillas Make Good Pets

First, I want to start with a video I have created that breaks down it chinchillas may or may not be the pet for you and if chinchillas make good pets in general.

Here is that video for you (I recommend returning to the post to finish this brief guide if you want all the details)

In all honesty, after raising my chinchilla for the past 5 years, I could make this list longer than you would want to read advocating on why chinchillas make great pets.

Instead of doing that, I am going to try and keep things simple and start with 8 reasons why I believe chinchillas make such good pets.

However, I am not going to pretend that situations do not exist where a chinchilla may not be the best pet for you or your family.

While chinchillas certainly have the ability to be extremely social pets, times also present themselves when you have a chinchilla that is more reserved and timid.

Depending on you and your preferences, this could be a major downfall.

My point is simple.

Chinchillas do make great pets for a variety of reasons and a majority of the time, it is in the owner’s control to socialize a chinchilla to make for an excellent pet.

However, it is impossible to please everyone so let’s just list out the reasons why chinchillas can be great family pets and why sometimes it does not work out in this fashion.

A chinchilla is in the rodent family so one would believe that they are like adopting or owning any other rodent which couldn’t be further from the truth.

The rest of this post will detail why.

8 Reasons Chinchillas Make Good Pets For The Family

#1-Chinchillas Make Great Pets Because They Are Clean

I love this about my chinchilla.

Chinchillas are clean, and I kid you not, they have almost no odor at all.

Not even the poop.

That’s right, you read this correctly.

Chinchillas do not smell!

Assuming you allow your chinchilla to take dust baths regularly, you probably will never pick up an odor from your chinchilla at all.

When a chinchilla does smell, it can likely be the cause of an illness.

Except For Chinchilla Pee

Chinchilla urine is a bit different.

My chinchilla cage is lined with fleece and it needs to be washed on a weekly bases otherwise urine may cause an odor eventually.

If it’s been a week and you haven’t cleaned the cage, the pee that soaks the fleece and bedding can put off a slight odor.

In all honesty, it’s nothing compared to other animals’ odors or nearly as bad you would think.

To give you an idea, I work in my office from home for my full-time career.

I sit roughly 3 feet from my chinchilla all day long.

I’m also extremely OCD and a naturally clean person.

Now, also keep in mind that I take 5 minutes per day to clean my chinchilla’s cage and keep up with it very diligently.

Nonetheless, if I did get one day behind, I would not be worried in the slightest about the odor becoming overpowering to where I wouldn’t want to be in the same room.

I actually have a video of me cleaning my chinchilla cage just to show how easy and clean these furry animals really are.

You can see that here.

I do not know about you but a chinchilla being a clean pet and not producing an odor is surely a reason that they make for good pets.

Who feels like owning a pet that is causing a stink in the home consistently.

Not me, I can assure you of that.

#2-Chinchillas Are Extremely Cheap Pets

Owning a chinchilla is exceptionally cheap which is another strong reason that chinchillas make for great pets.

When I say cheap, I mean cheap!

The most expensive day owning a chinchilla is on day 1 or a few days before you buy your chinchilla due to all of the accessories that need to be purchased.

Here’s a detailed look into the day 1 cost of owning or adopting a chinchilla:

So, yes, in the beginning, it’s possible you spend anywhere from $225.00-$500.00.

It depends on how crazy you get and how nice of a cage you purchase for your chinchilla.

Overall, you likely just got roughly 6 months’ worth of goods and supplies for your chinchilla.

You’re also not going to be purchasing the actual chinchilla again nor the cage after the initial purchase, so you have now shifted to monthly expenses only.

If this is the case, you are probably looking at $15-20 dollars per month max for the supplies needed to care for a chinchilla in a great and ethical manner.

It doesn’t get much cheaper than that for owning a pet which is clearly a reason in my book as to why chinchillas make for great pets.

Heck, even my 100 yellow lab I’ve owned for 6 years cost me roughly $65.00 dollars per month just on the food.

That’s not including any extras or additional items I may splurge on from time to time.

So, let’s do a quick recap.

Why are chinchillas’ good pets?

They are about as cheap as it gets when it comes to friendly, loving pets the entire family can enjoy!

#3-Chinchillas Make Good Pets Because They Require Minimal Attention

I see conflicting information on this topic all the time as well.

People act as if you need hours upon hours to care for a chinchilla ethically and lovingly which is just not true.

My chinchilla comes out at the same time every single night. 8:00 pm.

I afford her 1 hour out of the cage to play if she would like to, but she makes it very apparent when she wants to go back.

The basement that we are currently in is not very chinchilla safe now, so I purchased a large-sized playpen (getting ready to move her upstairs in the next week).

If you do not have a chinchilla proofed room for your chinchilla, I highly encourage you to consider a playpen for your chinchilla.

You can see my number 1 recommended chinchilla playpen here (Link to Amazon)

When my chinchilla is done for the day, she simply goes to the part of the playpen that leads right back into her cage, and I let her back into the cage.

Easy as 1,2,3.

Additionally, cleaning her cage only takes me roughly 10 minutes a few times per week.

Keep in mind that I keep it relatively clean daily by cleaning up noticeable poop and other issues in the cage every day.

This makes cleaning the cage on a full scale fast and easy when it comes to that time.

Outside of cleaning the cage, refilling food, checking for safety-related issues within the cage, and devoting playtime to your chinchilla daily, there is really nothing else to it.

Hence, why chinchillas are considered a pet that requires minimal attention and a reason I believe they make for great pets.

#4-Chinchillas Will Love You Back And Show Affection

I’m sure I might get some kickback for this comment, but it’s 100% true.

When I first got my chinchilla home, she was scared and timid and didn’t want to do much of anything.

After just a short week, she sits on my head, shoulders, nibbles my fingers, my ear from time to time (creepy), and will cuddle up in my lap and just hang out.

She’s even friendly and cuddly with me four-year-old son who can act somewhat out of control around her.

The fact that she can remain calm, sit on a four-year old’s lap and my own, shows that they do grow to love you and recognize you as the owner.

In the mornings if she’s sleeping, and she hears me come into the room, she will greet me with two paws up and standing on her back legs eager to say hello.

They show just as much love and affection as any other animal such as a cat, dog, rabbit, or whatever else you choose to adopt as pets.

While we discuss the other possibilities that you may encounter adopting a chinchilla, I am a firm believer that any chinchilla can be socialized with some effort and become a great pet.

Whether you are the owner that wants to put in this work is up to you but it is not fair to bash a chinchilla and claim they are not a good pet purely because you do not want to take the time to build a bond with them.

All other pets require time to become loving and trusting as well so a chinchilla is no different in this regard.

#5-Chinchillas Will Handle Most Grooming Needs On Their Own

How about the fact that chinchillas don’t shed much.

Yes, they do shed some but is minimal compared to other pets.

Not only that but for the most part, a chinchilla will self-groom.

You don’t have to go out and get a $500.00 Dyson Animal vacuum to keep up with the amount of hair coming off your chinchilla.

For anyone who has owned a pet that sheds in massive amounts can respect and agree that this is a huge bonus and a key deterrent or reason why people often don’t opt to adopt a pet in the first place.

Outside of a few grooming and hygiene needs such as a dust bath, your chinchilla requires very little in this category.

By the way, you can learn how to give a chinchilla a dust bath here.

You don’t even need to spend the time brushing a chinchilla like you would need to with other animals.

Due to the little attention that a chinchilla needs in this category compared to some other common pets, I certainly believe they deserve another point as to why they make great pets.

#6-Chinchillas Do Things Other Pets Can’t

I haven’t owned every pet possible, but I do know that some of the things that my chinchilla can do are awesome, to say the least.

They can jump over 5 feet in the air (be careful with this, a chinchilla will run away or hide if given a chance).

They can climb, double hop, and do all sorts of cool movements.

It’s entertaining to watch and it is always a blast to interact with my chinchilla.

Especially with the younger kids if you can keep them calm enough or teach them to play nice to avoid scaring your chinchilla.

Maybe it’s because I’m used to just all the dogs, I’ve had in the past but interacting with my chinchilla is something I look forward to every day.

I honestly never know what trick she has up her sleeve for the day which makes it that much more fun each day when it comes time for playtime.

#7-Chinchillas Are Good Pets Because They Are Not Aggressive

Again, I’m sure that we may have people reading who have had a negative experience or two with a chinchilla bite, but in general, I can’t imagine a chinchilla not being a friendly loving creature.

My son has provoked, prodded, and annoyed my 5-year old female chinchilla and she’s never nipped or gotten aggressive with any of us.

Not once.

Now, I’m sure that maybe we lucked out and just got a very well behaved and sociable chinchilla, but I think you get the point.

When you adopt a chinchilla, you shouldn’t have a fear of a chinchilla attack or any form of harm being inflicted upon you from your pet.

You would have to push them beyond an uncomfortable or scared point to reach the point where this would happen if I had to guess.

#8-You Can Have Multiple Chinchillas, Or Become a Breeder

I don’t know the exact specifics of what’s all required to perform this, but if you are the kind of person that likes this ability, chinchillas can undoubtedly offer this to you and make a great pet in this regard.

A male and female chinchilla together will surely create baby chinchillas.

What is even more exciting about this all of the colors and mutations that chinchillas can reproduce.

That’s how my chinchilla breeder began, and they have been running the rescue for over 10 years successfully and clearly breed some fantastic chinchillas.

The fact that in most circumstances, they can bond and interact with other chinchillas adds another positive to my book for a reason chinchilla make great pets.

Who doesn’t like the ability to add more pets to our family if the situation calls for it?

When A Chinchilla May Not Be The Pet For You

So, I think it is clear that I believe chinchillas make for good pets.

However, there is a situation that can present itself that I could believe that a chinchilla may not be the best fit for you.

This typically happens when you adopt a chinchilla and you do not know their previous history and they were not socialized from a young age.

When this happens, it can become even more difficult to gain the affection and trust of your chinchilla in the future.

This by no means makes them a bad pet but it can certainly make things more challenging if this is the case.

This is one of the primary reasons I always recommend adopting a chinchilla from a breeder instead of using a local PetSmart or Petco.

Again, adopting a chinchilla from a local PetSmart or Petco does not mean that they are bad pets but it is harder to know their history.

You also do not know how well they have been cared for, do not have the opportunity to meet the parent chinchilla’s, and have no clue how much socialization they have been introduced too.

Overall, I 100% believe that chinchilla makes for good pets but yes, I will be the first to admit that sometimes you will have your work cut out for you.

Stick with a breeder and it is much more likely that you will not encounter this issue.

Chinchillas Still Make Good Pets, Even For Children

Yes, chinchillas make good pets for children and I have a post fully dedicated to this topic that you can see here.

Chinchillas make good pets for all ages.

This could be your 11-year-old or this may be a child that is even younger.

For children, I recommend only adopting a chinchilla if you are going to actively participate in the care for the chinchilla to teach your child the correct methods.

However, overall, with socialization and ethical care, a chinchilla can make great pets for kids of all ages.

It just takes time for your chinchilla to warm up.

Chinchillas Make Good Pets For Patient Owners

Chinchillas make for good pets.

Case closed in my book.

To recap, I want to point out that adopting a chinchilla and letting them get acclimated does take a week or two and sometimes longer.

Some chinchilla owners report that it can even take months.

This is likely based on the rescue, breeder, or pet store where you adopted your chinchilla from.

If your chinchilla came from a loving rescue, breeder, or situation in general and has been brought up to be social, loving, and friendly, this process should happen relatively quickly for you.

Sure, they do sleep a lot during the day, but in my book, this makes them easier to care for.

It takes patience and letting your kids be around them day after day if you are considering adopting a chinchilla for a younger child.

Let them break in and respect your chinchillas’ boundaries.

Over time, the bond will be built.

They will love you back, and chinchillas absolutely make fantastic pets, and I highly recommend adopting one if you are currently debating it.

Chili and I certainly wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla if you do decide to adopt in the near future and we are certain you will also believe that chinchillas make for great pets.

What’s your experience with owning a chinchilla?

Share Your Thoughts, Do You Believe Chinchillas Make Good Pets?

Do you have any further reasons you think need to be shared with the Planet Chinchilla Community as to why chinchillas make for good pets?

Any other top reasons you love owning a chinchilla yourself as a pet?

Any reasons why you believe a chinchilla may not make a good pet?

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

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

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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