Do Chinchillas Smell?[Avoid Stinky Chinchillas]


As a new chinchilla owner, you may have a long list of questions and of them may very well be if chinchillas smell or not.

I get it, and I’ve been there.

I had a list of about 200 questions deep when I got my first chinchilla and had no idea what I was doing.

One of the first questions that I had come to mind was simple, do chinchillas smell?

Here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, do chinchillas smell? No, chinchillas rarely smell and are odor-free in most circumstances. A chinchilla that produces an odor is likely ill and needs to seek a vet for medical attention. Your chinchilla may also smell if you neglect to clean the cage frequently enough.

While the answer to this question is relatively straightforward, I do have some further insight on this topic I’d prefer to share with you.

To make your life and in case you are in a rush, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire or need to learn more about.

Here’s what I intend on covering in today’s brief post:


As stated before, understanding chinchillas hygiene is essential for you being the best chinchilla owner possible and providing the best care possible.

If you are in a hurry, feel free to use the links above.

Otherwise, stick around for 2 minutes and I’ll breakdown everything you need to know on this topic.

Do Chinchillas Smell?

Alright, let’s kick start this convo by being 100% clear.

Chinchillas are very clean animals.

They rarely stink or produce any smell or odor.

It’s awesome to be quite honest.

However, certain items that are in your control may potentially cause odor such as regular cage cleanings.

On the flip side, other items more out of your control could also cause an odor such as illness or dental problems.

Luckily, I plan to hit on each of these topics in today’s brief post.

Here are further details you need to know to eliminate stink coming from your chinchilla.

Causes That Make A Chinchilla Stink

A chinchilla is a lot like a human when it comes to the mouth and teeth.

A chinchilla’s teeth will grow throughout his or her life.

Just like a human, if the teeth experience problems during growth such as overgrowth, not straight or crooked teeth or begin to wear unevenly.

It can begin to cause problems in the mouth of the chinchilla.

This can eventually cause an odor to remit from your chinchilla.

An easy way to recognize this early is if you notice excessively grinding their teeth more than usual.

Over time, the teeth will grow into the soft tissue of the mouth.

Not only is this extremely painful and a great deal of discomfort for your chinchilla.

It’s also highly likely that your chinchilla will exhibit some bad breath as a side effect and warning sign that you have a problem.

It’s important to consult a vet if you notice anything that could indicate dental issues with your chinchilla.

Other symptoms could include the following:

  • Loss of Appetite (Not Eating Normally)
  • Trouble Swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Weight Loss
  • No Appetite at All
  • A Tooth Out of Place or Protruding

The best way to avoid this, in general, is to always have plenty of chinchilla safe chew toys available for your chinchilla and to keep your chinchilla on a healthy and balanced diet.

This includes using the correct and best hay for chinchillas.

You can see the recommend hay I currently use here (Link to Amazon)

I also love using the apple chew sticks for my chinchilla to keep her teeth healthy (Link to Amazon)

The Importance of Cleaning Your Chinchilla Cage

So, we know that chinchillas do not smell and if they do it’s either you not staying diligent with cleanings or potential illness.

Since we already touched on the illness, let’s discuss cleaning the cage to ensure this cause of a stinky chinchilla is removed from the realm of possibilities.

You need to clean the cage often and ensure you clean the entire cage.

Don’t just discard all of the chinchilla poop.

In all honesty, this won’t even help eliminate any odor if an odor or stink is coming from the cage.

Even chinchillas’ poop doesn’t emit any odor so you are eliminating nothing relating to the source of the smell.

Change the bedding in the cage and be sure to clean the chinchilla poop 1-2 times per day.

You really have to consider fleece liners as your go-to chinchilla bedding.

Fleece liners are 100% safe and chinchilla love them.

This was a game-changer for eliminating odor in my chinchilla cage.

This is because you can simply use a shop vacuum to clean the cage and all the normal debris.

Then, simply remove the fleece liners and wash them in cold water.

Once this is complete, all urine-related smells or other odors will be completely eliminated.

Chinchilla Pee, Does it Stink?

Yes, chinchilla pee will cause an odor.

A cage that urine either on aspen shavings or other chinchilla bedding will begin to smell or cause a stink to emit.

It will smell just like any other dirty rodent cage such as a hamster, rabbit or even ferret.

It’s not a smell I enjoy so I avoid this by ensuring chinchilla urine doesn’t go unattended in the cage.

Another awesome trick you can implement is to potty train your chinchilla to urinate in a litter pan.

I have a post about how to train your chinchilla to pee in a litter pan here.

I also have a post breaking down the best chinchilla litter that you can see here.

Both of these will have you moving in the right direction to removing any chance of having a stinky chinchilla if you have patience and do it correctly.

I have to clean my chinchilla cage with a full deep clean about every 4 days to prevent any form of odor even with a potty trained chinchilla.

Chinchillas may shed, let their water bottles drip on the bedding and fleece and of course, food and hay can even make a slight odor after enough days have passed.

Stay diligent and keep the cage clean and you likely won’t ever have any issues with your chinchilla smelling now or in the future.

How Often to Remove Chinchilla Poop For Optimal Odor and Cleanliness

As far as the poop, I do it strictly to keep my chinchilla comfortable and happy and I do this about once or twice per day.

Chinchilla poop will not cause your chinchilla or the chinchilla cage to stink any more or any less just for the record.

You clean this simply because it’s gross to leave it in the cage or around where your chinchilla eats.

That’s my 2 cents on the topic at least.

It depends on how much I see on the shelves, hiding boxes, and other items within my chinchilla cage.

Again, always play it safe and be sure the chinchilla itself isn’t omitting a bad smell just to ensure a vet visit isn’t needed.

Large Chinchilla Cages Can Help

I’ve noticed that ever since I switched from a small wire bottom chinchilla cage to a large 2 level cage with fleece liners, the cage seems to remain more clean and odor-free.

Part of this is of course because she is now potty trained but even if she wasn’t, it helps to give your chinchilla more space.

Assuming your chinchilla is not potty trained and urinates on the cage bedding, the more fresh cage bedding you have for the urine to get absorbed by, the better and less odor that will be produced.

Not to mention, large cages are simply more ethical for chinchillas.

Chinchillas need plenty of room to move freely, climb and jump among other silly chinchilla type behaviors.

The cage that I use to encourage and allow my chinchilla plenty of space is the Critter Nation 2 (dual-level) cage (Link To Amazon).

It’s a perfect size and has multiple levels to allow her space to do her thing.

I have a full review of the Critter Nation 2 Cage that you can see here.

Chinchilla Dust Baths Are Always Imperative

Chinchillas are already odor-free (for the most part).

We know that by now.

However, they do still need to take care of that soft fur.

Getting a chinchilla wet will not benefit you nor the chinchilla.

The fur is much too thick and dense for water.

Dust baths are how to get the job done correctly.

You can find this dust at any local pet store.

You should ensure that you do this as often as possible.

Although, 3 times a week is plenty.

Ensuring you afford your chinchilla the ability to bathe in dust often enough can avoid fur issues or other illnesses and also help eliminate any chance of your producing any odor.

It’s just part of owning a chinchilla and the way chinchilla remains clean.

Do Chinchillas Fart?

Yes, chinchillas fart and can have gas build up in there intestines. Chinchillas farts do not produce any odor.

Do Chinchillas Throw Poop?

Yes, a chinchilla can and will throw poop. A chinchilla does not throw poop at their owners and is most known for discarding their poop by throwing it out of their cage on the floor around the cage.

Ensure you keep a regular cage cleaning schedule to avoid too much poop being present for your chinchilla to throw.

Does Chinchilla Poop Stink?

No, chinchilla poop does not stink.

Chinchilla poop has no odor. If an odor is emitting from your chinchilla or your chinchilla cage, it’s not due to the poop inside of the cage. Chinchilla poop is odorless.

Final Thoughts

As illustrated in this post, it should be known that chinchillas shouldn’t be releasing odors or smelling bad.

You should not be dealing with a stinky chinchilla unless you are not cleaning the cage or have a potential issue with your chinchilla’s health.

Chinchilla’s should have no odor at all.

Always be willing to call a vet if you know you have been diligent with cleaning the cage and believe another issue may be taking place.

Eliminate the possibilities of what the smell could be with your chinchilla until you have it pinpointed and complete the correct remedy to get the odor back under control.

Chinchillas are great pets to own and do nothing but show affection towards their owners so be sure to take care of them properly in return 🙂

Share Your Thoughts and Concerns on The Topic

Have you experienced your chinchilla having a bad smell before?

What was the cause and what did you do to fix the smell?

Be sure to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Chili and I appreciate you stopping by 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"

2 thoughts on “Do Chinchillas Smell?[Avoid Stinky Chinchillas]

  1. I’ve been looking thru the page and was wondering what kind of food you recommend for chinchillas? We’re currently using kaytee brand as told by the person we got ours from but I’ve been wondering if it’s even a good brand.

    1. Hi Samantha, Kaytee is definitely a good brand for just about anything related to chinchillas. However, I’d always be sure you are offering a combination of timothy hay (using your hay feeder attached to the cage, pellets as well as hay cubes inside of the cage. My chinchilla will go in spurts between which she prefers on any given day so I always give her plenty of options. You won’t go wrong using Kaytee. Thank you for stopping by and good luck with your new chinchilla!

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