If you are curious about chinchilla shedding and if chinchilla’s do in fact shed, then you have come to the right spot.
I had the same questions before adopting my chinchilla and I have now been raising my chinchilla for 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
Do chinchillas shed?
Yes. Chinchillas do shed year-round with the heaviest shedding taking place every 3 months. Chinchillas will continually shed lightly throughout the year and it is normal to find chinchilla hair around the cage. Chinchillas with denser fur will shed more frequently than chinchillas with less dense fur.
Chinchilla shedding is 100% expected and nothing to worry about.
It is important, however, to understand shedding and other common fur issues with chinchillas to be sure you know how to recognize the differences.
I plan to touch on all of these details in the rest of this post:
- Do Chinchillas Shed: An Overview of Chinchilla Shedding
- Why is My Chinchilla Shedding So Much?
- Do Chinchillas Shed A Lot? Is Excessive Shedding Normal?
- Chinchilla Shedding Is Normal, It Is Nothing To Worry About
Do Chinchillas Shed: An Overview of Chinchilla Shedding
As stated a moment ago, chinchilla’s do shed and this is completely normal.
Chinchilla’s are even known to shed at different rates so it is nothing to be alarmed over.
Especially if you have more than 1 chinchilla and each sheds different amounts.
100% normal and nothing to fret over.
I also want to point out that although the shedding is considered normal, it is very light shedding in my opinion.
Especially compared to other animals.
For me personally, when I think of shedding, I think of the constant vacuuming required for other animals such as dogs and even cats.
Chinchilla’s shed their fur nowhere near as much as a dog or even a cat.
It does not bother me in the slightest but I can tell you that she certainly sheds fur and you can find it along baseboards near the cage, on her fleece around or on the floor around the cage.
In most situations, it’s nothing to worry about and 100% normal for your chinchilla to shed all year round.
In the hotter months such as March-August (Spring-Summer), your chinchilla will shed more just like a dog would do.
During these months, you may even consider stepping in and assisting your chinchilla with some grooming.
You can consider brushing your chinchilla to help remove loose or dead fur.
Especially if they are okay with this form of interaction.
This is going to help keep the fur clean and avoid the hair clumping or beginning to mat down.
Without removing the dead fur, it can cause additional body oils to accumulate which can surely be problematic if it’s not handled.
In most circumstances, you don’t need to brush your chinchilla.
However, if time did exist that it would be necessary, it would be between these hot spring and summer months or when you notice the shedding beginning to increase with your chinchilla.
Now, I want to move into some of the details you need to understand about if you notice excessive shedding and ensuring you are not dealing with a fur slip.
Why is My Chinchilla Shedding So Much?
If you are noticing more shedding lately, you are probably asking yourself, why is my chinchilla shedding?
Again, this is normal as long as you are not noticing any bald spots or fur slips.
To understand the difference, be sure to read my post about why a chinchilla will lose their fur that you can see here.
Be sure to keep up on regular hygiene tasks such as dust baths if you feel shedding has increased.
You also need to realize that your chinchilla may be shedding more than other chinchillas simply because they have more dense fur.
The denser the fur of a chinchilla, the more they will likely shed.
Plain and simple.
Ignoring dust baths or not having your chinchilla take them often enough can be problem number 1 and it’s easily avoidable.
It’s also essential that you are providing enough dust to your chinchilla during this bath time.
The usually recommended amount is 2 inches of dust in the actual dust bath container.
This should be afforded to your chinchilla 2-3 times per week for optimal results.
I also have a post dedicated to teaching you about the importance of chinchilla dust baths.
It will help educate some on why chinchillas use dust for their baths and the significance of this being the only cleaning method that you use.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t get dirty or don’t need proper hygiene to maintain their beauty and healthy fur coats.
Shedding is normal and do not panic if you are noticing a little more hair than usual.
Completely normal and to be expected.
Do Chinchillas Shed A Lot? Is Excessive Shedding Normal?
No, chinchillas may shed year-round but the amount of fur actually released is not excessive in my opinion.
The shedding amount is minimal as stated previously compared to other animals and common pets.
Chinchilla’s Will Self-Groom Even During Heavier Shedding Periods
Year-round shedding is normal and for the most part, you can rely on your chinchilla to groom themselves.
My chinchilla will jump on my shoulder and even nibble my ear.
This isn’t to bite me.
This is purely showing some love and affection.
Chinchillas are naturally friendly, but they also don’t know when not to groom themselves or other chinchillas.
If you have excessive shedding taking place, this can get into the chinchilla’s mouth during the grooming process.
This could even suffocate your chinchilla or cause intestinal blockages.
In this case, a vet trip may be in order to play it safe.
Easy Methods to Keep Shedding Minimal
It’s also important to keep in mind everything that surrounds your chinchilla.
For me, I have an oversized multiple story chinchilla cage with plenty of wood shelves to jump on, a ball with the sides popped off and a hay feeder among other things.
After a day of not cleaning the cage, hay is all over the place, poop droppings are just about everywhere, and the cage is a mess so to speak.
Keeping this cage clean can help keep all this extra un-needed material away from your chinchilla’s fur coat.
This helps to reduce some excessive oils and other dander which may lead to more irritated skin and often more shedding in the process.
I personally have a little OCD about my chinchilla, so I clean her cage daily.
I also afford a dust bath every third day.
If I can’t get her the dust bath during playtime or every third day, I only allow her to take her dust bath in her cage which she enjoys and loves just as much.
They aren’t picky animals my friends.
They may take some time to warm up to you initially but after that everything gets easy and they are willing to accommodate your schedule.
If that means dust bath time is taking place in the cage, then so be it.
Whatever can help keep your chinchillas’ fur healthier and reduce shedding is the primary goal.
Noticing Chinchilla Shedding When It Occurs
In my house, I have my chinchilla in the nice cool basement where noises are at a minimum and my 110 lb. Lab won’t bother her.
After a few weeks, you can notice very light dander or shedding that will be present on dark surfaces next to the cage.
That’s really all you will notice.
Again, the shedding is extremely minimal if present at all.
Keep an eye on it in case this dramatically changes at some point but overall, I am certain that the chinchilla owners out their will never complain of shedding.
Causes for Excessive Chinchilla Shedding
This can be known as fur slips, but sometimes it’s not a fur slip.
A fur slip is incredibly easy to notice.
My chinchilla had one her 4th day home because my two-year-old son scared her by trying to pet her.
It was a large clump of fur that fell off her side around her back legs.
It almost looked like an immediate bald spot.
This is not what I’m referring too.
I’ve noticed that my chinchilla even sheds more heavily around my son because he’s somewhat loud and obnoxious at times.
This can stress a chinchilla out resulting in a fur-slip which is not shedding by any means.
When it’s just me and her out for playtime, I don’t really notice any shedding taking place.
If I have my son involved in the playtime, I can visibly see the chinchilla fur/hairs on my shorts after she sits and hangs out with me for a while.
I may be crazy, but I’d like to think this is because she gets more stressed out around my son and she hasn’t quite warmed up to him yet.
Don’t Let the Unclean Fur Coats Go for Too Long
It’s important that you do notice your chinchilla coat is clumpier, or the fur seems to be building up with too many oils, that you take action as quickly as possible.
You can run into issues with severe skin irritation and slowly make your chinchilla more prone to other illnesses that can creep in at any time.
Once you notice an issue, take care of it as quickly as possible, and you will be just fine.
Chinchilla Shedding Is Normal, It Is Nothing To Worry About
At the end of the day, it’s apparent and obvious that your chinchilla is going to shed but it’s extremely minimal and nothing to fret over.
Your chinchilla shedding will happen all year long for the next 15-20 years.
Not a big deal in any fashion.
It’s not going to be anything like owning a dog, but you will definitely notice the shedding and dust begin to collect around the areas where your chinchilla’s cage is located if you don’t clean often enough.
Keep an eye on your chinchilla’s health and fur status and monitor for large clumps or overly dense fur.
Be sure to offer frequent dust baths and keep your chinchilla in cold areas when possible to prevent overheating.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla if you do decide to adopt and the journey you have ahead of you.
What Have You Experienced With Chinchilla Shedding?
Have we left anything out in this post that could potentially help a new chinchilla owner understand the ins and outs of chinchilla shedding?
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 and we will see you again next time.