Do Chinchillas Need Big Cages? [Requirements + Tips]


If you are getting close to purchasing a chinchilla, you likely are curious if chinchillas need big cages.

Understandable and it’s a great question if you have never owned a chinchilla before.

This post is designed to cover that specific question.

So, do chinchillas need big cages? Yes, chinchillas need big cages. Chinchillas love to jump and climb on multiple levels throughout their cage. Chinchillas additionally enjoy having the space to run around to play with various items within the cage. The bigger the chinchilla cage, the better for the chinchilla.

While this may answer the specific question if chinchillas need big cages, it may not answer how big.

The first thing I would recommend is if you need specific cage sizing requirements, visit my other post.

It’s all about how big a chinchilla cage should be that you can see here.

Secondly, if you trust me, you can skip straight to my post about the 3 best chinchilla cages here.

It’s going to breakdown three cages I’ve purchased, tested and used and give recommendations.

Otherwise, if you want the basics, give me 3-4 minute to give you the information needed.

Here are the details.

Do Chinchillas Need Big Cages and Why Chinchillas Need Big Cages

Like stated before, chinchillas need big cages.

They have too much spring in their step (so to speak) to be confined to small cages.

Their ability to jump and climb makes them very agile and energetic creatures.

If you need information on these topics, you can visit my post about if chinchillas jump here.

You can also read my post about if chinchillas climb here.

Those two posts will give you a better idea as to why a big cage is critical for chinchillas.

Chinchillas Do Not Get Much Time Out of The Cage So Make the Cage Big

Chinchillas are not like dogs or cats.

They do not have the ability to free roam the house and wander around nor should you ever allow them too.

That’s dangerous and the specific reason I have a post dedicated to the topic.

It’s all about if chinchillas can free roam the house.

Use the link above to read that post.

This means that chinchillas for 23 hours a day are confined inside of cage-like many rodents.

This means, your chance to ensure they remain mentally stimulated and happy is all in the large cage.

Big Chinchilla Cages Don’t Cost Much More Than Small Chinchilla Cages

Here’s another important thing to keep in mind.

It’s not going to cost you much more to get a large dual-level cage for your chinchilla.

My post in the introduction to this post can explain that further.

A normal chinchilla cage is going to run you around 100.00.

A dual-level cage is going to run you around 125-250.00 depending on which cage you select.

Is it worth limiting your chinchillas’ space over a few dollars?

I could see the argument if we were talking multiple hundreds of dollars, but we are not.

Save up the few extra dollars and get the cage your chinchilla needs to remain healthy and happy.

It’s the ethical approach and your chinchilla will surely appreciate this long term.

Chinchillas Live 15 or More Years So Be Sure They Have an Adequate Size Cage

Here’s another thing a lot of potential chinchilla owners fail to realize.

We aren’t talking about a hamster or even a rat here.

Those two rodents don’t have the lifespans that chinchillas have.

When you invest and decide to purchase a chinchilla, you are in for the long run.

If this is the case, it doesn’t make sense to purchase a small chinchilla cage first and then upgrade later.

This should only be the case if you are strapped on cash during the initial investment.

I talk a lot about the initial cost of chinchillas in my post about why chinchillas are so expensive.

See it using the link in the sentence above.

Anyways, I think you get the point.

If you have over a decade to grow and bond with your chinchilla, get them the large cage they deserve.

Many Chinchilla Owners Adopt a Second Chinchilla Which Requires a Bigger Chinchilla Cage

Don’t think for a second that you will never be this person.

I thought I’d never get a second chinchilla either.

I’ve only had my chinchilla for about 18 months and I’m getting a second chinchilla soon.

The whole goal when getting two chinchillas is to pair them and bond them.

This allows them to live together, get more social interaction and have a cage mate to play with.

Again, I know new chinchilla owners may disregard this statement.

Trust me.

Eventually, you will realize you may want a second chinchilla.

You can read my post about if chinchillas do better in pairs here.

Sometimes chinchilla does better in pairs and sometimes it doesn’t work out.

Nonetheless, after having 1 awesome chinchilla, the desire to adopt a second is always around.

Plain and simple.

Big Chinchilla Cages Allow for More Toys, Shelves, and Accessories

Again, if you are a newer or soon to be chinchilla parent, you may think I’m crazy.

Here’s the deal.

You are going to enjoy spending the small dollars on your chinchilla all the time.

There are tons of accessories, toys, and items you can get for a chinchilla to enjoy.

This can include wooden shelves, hammocks, play toys and hiding boxes.

They even make nifty wooden bridges for your chinchilla to climb on.

It’s awesome.

If you purchase a small chinchilla cage, you are going to be limiting your options early in the game.

Ensuring you purchase a big chinchilla cage allows you to have much more fun with the adventure.

I have items all over my chinchilla cage.

I have 4 wooden shelves, 2 bridges, 2 hiding boxes, 2 water bottles, and many other toys.

It keeps her able to jump around and have something to do no matter what the situation may be.

No need to cut this ability short when it’s only coming down to a few dollars.

Get the Largest Chinchilla Cage Your Living Space Will Allow For

Here’s a consideration we haven’t discussed yet.

I understand that some individuals may not have the square feet in their home to get the biggest cage.

This is perfectly okay and does not mean that you shouldn’t adopt a chinchilla.

However, read the measurements on the cage you are looking to purchase.

My post about the best chinchilla cages above even details the measurements for you.

Pick the room in your house where you plan to keep your chinchilla cage.

Measure out what you have space for without pushing the limits.

If it needs to be smaller than a dual-level cage that’s perfectly fine.

In these situations, just ensure you always make time to let your chinchilla every day.

Don’t get me wrong either, you need to be making time to get your chinchilla out every day regardless.

I think you get my point.

Don’t get overly stressed if you can’t get a dual-level mansion cage on day 1.

However, if you have space and the budget, plan now and get the larger cage.

Again, your chinchilla will be much happier and mentally stimulated with a larger cage.

It’s just the way it is.

Chinchillas Need a Big Cage, If You Can Get It, Do So If You Can’t, Work Towards That

So, let’s recap briefly.

Do chinchillas need a big cage? Yes, chinchillas absolutely need a big cage.

However, as I stated several times, don’t let this hold you back from adopting a chinchilla.

They are enjoyable pets to own and bring the owners and families plenty of joy.

If you can’t get the large cage now, set a goal to do so in the immediate future.

It will be well worth it over the course of the next 15-20 years.

Your Turn to Chime In.

What’re your thoughts on the subject if chinchillas need a big cage?

Do you believe I left anything out on why chinchillas absolutely need a big cage?

Which chinchilla cage do you recommend to the readers?

Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below.

As always, I appreciate you and thanks for stopping by.

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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