How Messy Are Chinchillas? [Depends on These Factors]

Making the leap to adopt a chinchilla is incredibly exciting.

It is natural to have questions and concerns before ultimately making your decision and moving forward with adopting a new chin.

One of the questions I see arise is simple and deals with basic hygiene-related concerns with owning chinchillas.

How messy are chinchillas?

After owning a chinchilla for a few years now, here is what I can tell you on this subject.

So, how messy are chinchillas? Chinchilla can be messy. Chinchilla’s poop frequently. Chinchilla hay and chinchilla poop can potentially fall out outside of the cage. Cleaning your chinchilla cage regularly will dramatically reduce how messy a chinchilla will be.

Don’t worry.

It’s not as bad as it sounds.

Overall, chinchillas aren’t overall dirty animals and don’t require a ton of work to keep clean and healthy.

That’s what the rest of this post is designed to help all of you with.

In fact, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that your desire or need to learn more about.

Here’s what I intend on explaining for you in today’s brief 2-minute post:

As stated previously, if you are in a hurry or only need limited information, feel free to skip to any specific section that you would like.

Otherwise, if you have 2-minutes to spare, stick around, and I’ll break it down for you.

Here is what you need to know.

How Messy Are Chinchillas?

Owning a chinchilla is not nearly as difficult as you may think.

Overall, chinchillas are clean animals to own and make for fantastic pets.

However, without proper knowledge and with a lack of a routine, you could quickly notice your chinchilla causing a mess.

You have 3 primary considerations to keep in mind that cause most of the mess that comes with owning a chinchilla.

#1-Chinchilla Poop

Chinchilla poop is one thing that’s always going to present challenges my friends.

Don’t worry.

It’s not that bad.

However, chinchillas poop much more frequently than some of you may be aware of.

Here’s what happens.

You either use a wire bottom chinchilla cage with chinchilla bedding or aspen shavings beneath the bars, and the poop accumulates in the bedding.

Clearly, this requires you to change this bedding with frequency.

I have a post about often you need to clean a chinchilla cage here if you need further information on that topic.

Chinchillas are also known to find clever ways to make the poop fall out of the cage and onto the floor around the cage.

Chinchillas also find ways to get poop on other ledges inside of the cage such as the wooden ledges, inside of their nesting box, and even on the top part of their chinchilla hammocks.

It’s just how it goes.

This can be frustrating, to say the least.

But, let’s make one thing clear.

The poop is hard nuggets that do not smell, so it’s about the best-case scenario you can ask for when it comes to poop ending up on your floor.

I also have a post that discussed how to keep chinchilla poop inside the cage that you can see here.

The best solution I’ve found to control this is to use fleece liners as your chinchilla bedding.

In my post that discusses your best bedding options, I discuss the perks of this in-depth.

The poop will stick to the fleece much better, keeping it in the cage.

Not to mention, it’s straightforward to vacuum and to clean the cage often.

The only problem that may present itself when attempting to use fleece for your bedding is the availability that you may run into for specific cages.

I use these specific fleece liners (Link to Amazon) for my cage.

They are custom cut to fit right over all the trays inside of the Critter Nation 2 Cage (Link to Amazon)

This cage ranks #1 in my book.

It’s an awesome 2 story cage.

It provides plenty of space and allows your chinchilla to jump and climb freely as they please.

You can read my post about what I believe to be the top chinchilla cages here.

You can also read my post/review of the Critter Nation 2 Cage here.

Getting back on topic, the point I’m trying to make is simple.

With the proper accessories and cage, the mess a chinchilla will make becomes minimal and extremely easy to handle and care for.

Okay, enough on poop.

Let’s move onto other areas and potential messes your chinchilla may create.

#2-Chinchilla Hay and Food Debris in The Cage

Chinchilla hay and pellets are guaranteed the second most frequent mess you will run into owning a chinchilla.

It’s not that they purposely try and be messy by any means.

The hay just happens to fall out and into the cage out of the hay holders/feeders.

They tend to pick and choose which pieces of timothy hay they prefer the most and leave the rest sitting around the cage.

Again, if you take my advice and use an affordable and reliable shop vacuum, it cleans up in about 45 seconds.

Especially if you are using the fleece liners discussed previously.

Hay and food pellets are not a reason to change the bedding in the cage if you don’t currently use the fleece liners.

I even go as far as keeping a shop vacuum I ordered explicitly for cleaning my chinchilla’s cage plugged in and right next to her cage.

I use this shop vacuum here (Link to Amazon)

For the price, it gets the job done quickly, removes all the hay and poop, and keeps my chinchilla cage clean.

It also ensures that I don’t have to use the same vacuum that I use around the rest of my house.

Don’t get me wrong, either.

If it’s not in the budget to have a separate vacuum for the cage, then don’t worry about it.

But if you do have the few dollars to spend, it will seriously make your life a ton easier.

Outside of the recommendation I just listed out, you don’t have much to do or much to worry about.

It’s not a huge deal and in all honesty, doesn’t make a huge mess.

Just stay diligent with the cleanings, and you will be fine.

Now let’s move onto the last item that would be considered a mess or “messy with chinchillas.

#3-Chinchilla Pee and Bedding


Last item I want to discuss in this post.

The pee.

It happens.

It’s not avoidable.

Not in the beginning, at least.

The best thing you can do to avoid this altogether is to begin potty training your chinchilla at a young age to urinate in a litter pan.

If you start young, it’s entirely possible to accomplish this.

I know this specifically because I’ve done it.

It did take time, however.

You can read my post about how-to potty train a chinchilla here.

You can also check out my post about the best chinchilla litter here.

Now, if you don’t want to take this path, you will have to deal with the mess, which is actually more common than taking the potty-training route.

As your chinchillas pees inside of the cage, it will either soak the shavings which will need to be discarded and replaced a minimum of once per week, but I recommend twice per week.

Or, you can take my advice from earlier and use the fleece liners.

This is much easier.

You simply allow your chinchilla out for playtime, and when they are out, throw the fleece liners in the washer on cold water and let it run on a quick cycle.

After air-drying for a bit, you’re done, and this mess has been removed.

I’m telling you, chinchillas are shockingly clean animals.

They are also shockingly odor-free.

Using this advice in this post is going to make your life very easy, owning a new chinchilla.

Plain and simple.

Are Chinchillas Low Maintenance?

After reading this, I don’t want any of my readers getting the wrong idea.

Chinchillas are low maintenance.

They do not require much supervision and are clean animals.

Outside of general survival and diet needs in addition to social interaction, chinchillas are one of the lowest maintenance pets an individual can own.


Other Recommendations to Implement

Outside of what we have already discussed, the most important advice I can give you is to remain diligent and scheduled with your cleanings.

Ensure you are doing them on the same day each week.

While the same day isn’t necessarily imperative, it certainly helps form the habit and routine.

If you keep this schedule, I can 100% guarantee that you won’t be a chinchilla owner complaining of a messy chinchilla or having issues with keeping your chinchilla or the cage clean.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, you need to remember one thing.

A chinchilla is still an animal.

A rodent to be more specific.

Are chinchillas messy?

No, not compared to other animals, but chinchillas do have some general needs that an individual could view as a mess.

Stay diligent, clean the cage with regularity, and you won’t have anything to worry about.

I wish you luck with your new chinchilla if you are intent on adopting one shortly.

Share Your Thoughts and Concerns on The Topic

As always, I encourage my readers to chime in and share thoughts, stories, and concerns on the topic being discussed.

Do you believe chinchillas are messy?

Do you have any other issues with your chinchilla being messy that we haven’t talked about in this post?

Drop a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

We 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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