Do Chinchillas Need A Nest Box? [Yes, Here’s Why]

If you recently adopted a chinchilla, you have a few items to purchase and one of those items is definitely a nest box/hiding box for your chinchilla.

One of the questions I have noticed others ask is shockingly more critical than you may think.

Do chinchillas need a nest box?

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

So, do chinchillas need a nest box? Yes, chinchillas need a nest box. A nest box can also be referred to as a hut-hideout for a chinchilla. Nest boxes or hut hideouts for chinchillas allow a chinchilla to feel safe, comforted, and relaxed while they are inside of their cage.

I know what you may be thinking.

Why would they need to feel safe in my care or in a loving home?

No worries, I plan to answer all those questions for you in today’s post.

In fact, to make your life easier, I have created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to read/learn more about.

Here’s what I intend on covering for all of you in today’s post:

I know the typical reader is usually in a rush.

If that’s the case, use those links above to skip to a section you need information about.

If, however, you have about 2-minutes to spare, I recommend educating yourself on the ins and outs on why chinchillas need a nest box.

Here are the details that you should know.

Why Chinchillas Need a Nest Box

First and most importantly, let’s make 1 thing as clear as possible.

A nest box for your chinchilla is critical.


It serves many purposes.

Chinchillas can become scared relatively quickly.

A scared chinchilla can also overheat in certain circumstances leading to other issues such as heatstroke.

A nest box or hut hideout gives them the ability to feel safe from threats and a place to sleep in many circumstances where they feel comforted and free of danger.

Nest boxes are affordable and provide such a significant benefit to your chinchilla.

Besides ensuring that you always have a large and adequate cage for your chinchilla, a nest box or hut hideout would and should be the very first item you prioritize purchasing for a chinchilla.

I currently use this specific chinchilla nest box/ hut hideout (Link to Amazon)

I’ve had it since the very first day bringing my chinchilla home, and for the most part, it’s still her preferred spot to sleep most days.

Other days, she may venture off some within her large dual-level Critter Nation 2 Cage (Link to Amazon) and potentially sleep in her hammock but overall, her nest box is her safe place where she feels the most relaxed.

You can also see my review about this specific cage referenced above here.

Nest and Hiding Boxes Resemble A Chinchilla in The Wild

Here’s another thing to keep in mind.

Nest boxes allow a chinchilla to do what they are naturally bred and programmed to do.

In the wild, a chinchilla is primarily the prey of other animals.

This means chinchillas are 100% used to running for their lives and finding clever hiding spots.

Just because a chinchilla is in a captive habitat living with you, does NOT mean that they don’t get scared from time to time.

They most certainly do.

Even today, for me, after more than 1 year is passed, certain things still make my chinchilla run away towards her hiding box.

Examples could be vacuuming, my dogs entering the room, or even my kid getting overly loud and hyper around her cage.

This isn’t a big deal and its part of owning a chinchilla.

However, without the hiding box, I’m sure she would just sit and stare out of the cage mentally panicked with rapid breathing in these situations.

The hiding/nest box allows her an easy way to calm down until she gets comfortable with whatever is going on around her.

Plain and simple.

Which Nest Boxes Are the Best for Your Chinchilla

Now that we are aware that a proper nest box is critical, some new chinchilla owners probably want to know the next most logical question that comes to mind.

What’s the best nest/ hiding boxes for chinchillas?

For starters, ensure you meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of 25cm x 25cm x 25 cm
  • Bedding to Rest on Inside of Hiding Box (Use Fleece Liners)
  • Avoid Cardboard or Shredded Paper Inside of the Hiding Box

Meeting these requirements is extremely easy to do.

Nearly every available hiding box you can purchase will meet the size requirements.

Using safe fleece liners solves the other two issues for you.

I currently use these Piggy Bed Spread Liners (Link to Amazon), which you can order custom fit, directly off Amazon in a variety of colors.

Outside of those three critical tips above, I’ve compiled a quick table below that breaks down the 3 best hiding boxes/ nest boxes you can purchase for your chinchilla.

3 Best Chinchilla Nesting and Hiding Boxes.

Best Chinchilla Nesting BoxQuick Picture of Nesting BoxCheck Price of Nesting Box on Amazon
Nite Angel Chinchilla Nest Box- Ranked #1Check Price on Amazon
Kaytee Chinchilla Hut Hideout- Ranked #2Check Price On Amazon
Alfie Pet Chinchilla Nest Box- Ranked #3Check Price on Amazon

If you want to learn more about any of those hiding boxes above, simply use the link in the table to read the details and reviews for yourself.

Consequences and Problems of Not Using a Nest Box For A Chinchilla

Let’s assume that you either skipped this entire article or don’t want to take any of the advice here today.

What happens if you opt to use no hiding or nest box for your chinchilla?

Well, the results likely would not be in your favor.

Always remember, a happy and healthy chinchilla that feels safe will result in a friendly chinchilla that wants to bond with their owners.

That’s the first problem you may run into if you decide not to use a hiding box.

You may simply never get to experience a chinchilla that feels comfortable with you.

Secondly, as stated previously, chinchillas, when scared, can slip fur or, even worse, overheat.

It’s part of the reason that keeping your chinchilla at ideal temperatures is so critical.

Don’t take this chance.

For the price associated with purchasing a hiding box, I can’t think of any logical excuse that would exist where a chinchilla owner would decide that a hiding box is not necessary or needed.


Other Tips and Tricks to Implement With Your Chinchilla Nest/Hiding Box

As we start to bring this post to its conclusion, I wanted to drop two other significant tips for you that are concerning nest and hiding boxes.

First, ensure that the nest box Is part of your routine cage cleaning schedule.

The hiding box itself also needs to be wiped down and make sure to clean under it.

Secondly, attempt to place it in the ideal spot inside of the cage.

Structuring your chinchilla cage to encourage playing, jumping, and climbing is always best.

Personally, deciding how I wanted to set up my chinchilla cage was perhaps the most fun part of the initial items being purchased, so I will leave this to your imagination.

Simply don’t forget how many hours per day a chinchilla spends within their cage and to keep this in mind when attempting to put the cage together in a fashion that is fun, safe, and comfortable for your own chinchilla.

Doing so not only increases the bond but makes your chinchilla feel relaxed and comfortable under your care.

It’s that easy and that simple.

Chinchilla Nest Boxes Are Required For A Chinchilla To Feel Safe

At the end of the day, the most essential thing to understand is that chinchillas do, in fact, need a hiding box and nest box inside of their cage.

Doing so is cheap, easy, and no excuse really exists for not doing so.

Find yourself your favorite nest box, get it inside of the cage, and have nothing to worry about.

Chili and I wish you luck with your upcoming chinchilla adoption.

Which Chinchilla Nest Box Do You Prefer?

Chili and I always encourage feedback from our loyal readers.

What other recommendations have I left out that you believe are imperative for the readers to understand?

What’s your favorite hiding/nest box, and why?

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

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and will catch 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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