As a new chinchilla owner, you may have a long list of questions, and one of them may very well be if chinchillas smell or not.
One of the first questions that I had come to mind was simple, do chinchillas smell?
I have now owned a chinchilla for nearly 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
No, chinchillas do not smell. Chinchillas do not smell and their cages are often odor-free if you remain diligent with changing your chinchilla’s bedding. If a chinchilla is emitting an odor or producing a smell, it is likely due to illness.
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.
Here’s what I intend on covering in today’s brief post about a chinchilla’s smell and how to control it:
- Do Chinchillas Smell?
- What Causes Could Make A Chinchilla Stink?
- The Importance of Cleaning Your Chinchilla Cage To Keep Smells and Odor At a Minimum
- Does Chinchilla Pee Stink?
- Relax, Chinchillas Do Not Smell And Make For One Of The Cleanest Pets
Do Chinchillas Smell?
Alright, let’s kick start this convo by being 100% clear. Chinchillas do not smell.
Chinchillas are very clean animals.
Chinchillas do not smell, stink or produce odor unless you are not cleaning the cage often enough or your chinchilla is potentially ill.
In most circumstances, when it comes to cage cleaning and your chinchilla producing any odor, it is due to the ammonia smell being produced by the urine.
It’s awesome to be quite honest.
It is important to understand that if a chinchilla does happen to smell, that you often have more of a serious issue to address.
Let’s start by diving into the causes of a chinchilla smelling and touch on the cage cleaning process briefly.
What Causes Could 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.
If the teeth experience problems during growth such as overgrowth, not straight or crooked teeth, or begin to wear unevenly it can lead to pain among other issues such as odor.
Put simply, it can begin to cause problems in the mouth of the chinchilla.
This can eventually cause an odor or smell.
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 which is when the pain, infections, and smell may begin to present itself.
It’s important to consult a vet if you notice anything that could indicate dental issues with your chinchilla which again, can often be easily noticed if your chinchilla is producing a smell.
Other symptoms could include the following:
- Loss of Appetite (Not Eating Normally)
- Trouble Swallowing
- 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.
You should also keep your chinchilla on a healthy and balanced diet.
This includes using the correct and best hay for chinchillas.
You can see the recommended 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)
Ensuring that the teeth are healthy will eliminate the chance of this ever being the cause of a smell coming from your chinchilla.
Plain and simple.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Chinchilla Cage To Keep Smells and Odor At a Minimum
So, we know that chinchillas do not smell and if they do it’s either you not staying diligent with cleanings or potential illness or a tooth infection.
Since we already touched on the illness side of things, 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 smell 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.
Not to mention, your chinchilla will love them.
This was a game-changer for eliminating all smells in my chinchilla cage.
This is because you can simply use a shop vacuum to clean the cage and all the normal debris such as poop, discarded hay, or chinchilla pellets.
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.
Does Chinchilla Pee Stink?
Yes, chinchilla pee will cause an odor if it is not cleaned often enough.
A cage that has urine either on aspen shavings or other chinchilla bedding will begin to smell or cause a stink that smells much like ammonia.
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 smell from being produced even with a relatively potty trained chinchilla.
(No, she is not fully trained on her litter pan but she is getting there)
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 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.
To keep poop from falling out of the cage, you can also consider poop-scatter guards that are designed for certain chinchilla cages.
You can see these scatter guards for yourself here (Link to Amazon)
Large Chinchilla Cages Can Help Eliminate Any Smell
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 cleaner and rarely smells.
Part of this is of course is because she is now relatively 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 the less smell or stink that will be produced.
Chinchillas often find corners to pee in and when they do this repeatedly in the same spot with less bedding, the ammonia smell seems to be produced much faster from the cage itself.
Not to mention, large cages are simply more ethical for chinchillas.
Among other silly chinchilla-type behaviors of course.
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 To Keep Your Chinchilla Smelling Fresh
Regardless of the dust baths, and assuming the cage is clean and no illnesses are present, your chinchilla still will not smell.
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.
In fact, it can only make matters worse.
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.
However, I prefer to order my dust in the quantities I prefer.
I personally love the Blue Beauty Dust (Link to Amazon)
However, you can view my post about the best chinchilla dust and dust bathhouses here for further information on this topic.
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 a smell.
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 their 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 its owners and is most known for discarding its poop by throwing it out of its 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.
You can also refer to my link for the poop scatter guards I mentioned previously in this post to control this issue.
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.
Chinchillas Do Not Smell And Make For One Of The Cleanest Pets
As illustrated in this post, it should be known that chinchillas should never smell bad or be producing any odor.
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 to deal with.
Chinchillas should never smell in any fashion assuming you follow the guidelines laid out for you in today’s post.
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 smell back under control.
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.