If you have recently adopted a chinchilla, it’s 100% common that you have asked yourself “how often should I play with a chinchilla”?
How often does a chinchilla need to come out of the cage?
The fact you are even asking it shows you are an ethical chinchilla owner.
I asked myself the same question and have now owned a chinchilla for over 5 years.
Here is what I can tell you on this topic.
So, how often should I play with a chinchilla? You should be playing with a chinchilla once per day for 30-60 minutes depending on your schedule. Chinchillas are social creatures and need time out of the cage daily. A chinchilla not being played with for long durations can cause stress or depression.
While this may seem like a big commitment, there is some positive news that we will discuss.
I understand completely.
To help everyone out and to help everyone understand a chinchilla’s behavior and temperament.
- How Often Should You Play with A Chinchilla and The Reasoning Behind It
- Play with Your Chinchilla Daily When Possible
- Consider a Second Chinchilla If Need Be or If Your Time Becomes Limited
- Play With Your Chinchilla And Let Them Out On A Routine
How Often Should You Play with A Chinchilla and The Reasoning Behind It
You’re already aware that you should play with a chinchilla every day for 30-60 minutes.
This is 100% true.
However, the question of “how often should I play with a chinchilla” is somewhat misleading.
Here is why.
First, you don’t necessarily have to be 100% devoted to your chinchilla during playtime.
Yes, you should be around and at least be supervising in some fashion.
Especially if your chinchilla is playing in a room that is not 100% chinchilla proofed.
Sometimes, I even write these blog posts while my chinchilla is out and jumping around.
Once your chinchilla has fully adapted to their environment, things get easy.
I use my basement that’s decent-sized to allow my chinchilla to play in while I’m around.
Other times, I allow my chinchilla to come out of the cage using my chinchilla playpen.
If you don’t have a safe area for your chinchilla to interact in, consider a playpen such as the JesPet 61 Inch (Link to Amazon).
I have been using it for 5 years and when I want to limit my chinchilla to a smaller and safe area, it works perfectly.
It is also important to realize that sometimes are schedules get demanding and it is not always possible to get your chinchilla out of the cage everyday.
I even skip a day every now and then if my calendar is too demanding.
This is perfectly fine and it’s crazy to think it won’t happen to you.
Play with Your Chinchilla Daily When Possible
I think this was made clear previously in this post, but I wanted to make sure to hit on it one more time.
Should you be playing with your chinchilla daily?
Is it the end of the world if you can’t do this?
No, not at all.
Work out a system that works for you.
Often, mine involves allowing my chinchilla out to play daily Monday through Friday.
However, I skip the morning playtime often on Saturdays for family obligations.
Instead, I get my chinchilla to run around before bedtime or sometimes skip it altogether.
On Sunday mornings, I attempt to make up for it by allowing her extra time out.
I’ve never had an issue using this approach and I don’t think you will either.
The main takeaway is that trying to do it daily is enough to keep your chinchilla happy.
Interacting with Your Chinchilla When You Can’t Always Play with Them
I have a few out of the box options for you in case you can’t always play with your chinchilla daily.
One of those solutions is to simply have your chinchilla cage in a room where you will be frequently.
For me, this was my home office.
My chinchilla cage is right next to my desk.
While this won’t work for everyone, I think it helps my chinchilla to bond with me knowing I’m around.
I’m on the phone often for work so just hearing my voice all day long I would say is positive.
Additionally, in between tasks, I can simply pop open the cage and pet her as much as I can.
It is imperative that if you take this approach that you ensure the room is at ideal temperatures.
This will help avoid issues such as heatstroke for your chinchilla.
Consider a Second Chinchilla If Need Be or If Your Time Becomes Limited
Here’s another great suggestion.
Let’s assume that you originally adopted your chinchilla and had plenty of spare time.
If this is the case, and your time has recently become much more limited, you have another solution.
Simply adopt another chinchilla and put them through the bonding phase.
While this doesn’t excuse you from you playing with your chinchilla as much as possible, it can surely help to reduce some of the playtimes if necessary.
This makes it imperative to keep them socialized, mentally stimulated and them feeling loved.
If this happens to require you to get your chinchilla another cage mate, then go for it.
This isn’t a bad approach by any means either.
Many chinchilla owners own at least 2 chinchillas for this reason.
Well, this reason plus it’s tough not to want a second a chinchilla once you have your first.
Always remember, however, chinchillas do not always do better in pairs.
Let the Family Help Play with the Chinchilla Daily
My last key tip that you can implement is simply getting creative or letting family help you.
My 4-year-old son loves playing with my chinchilla.
Of course, he can’t do so alone.
Even with a chinchilla proofed room, you don’t want a kid this young handling the duty.
Chinchillas will chew wires, and this can be dangerous if you are not supervising.
However, it’s a nice bonus that I can spend time with my son while getting my chin out of the cage to play.
Little things like this can relieve some of the time demands that chinchillas need.
Let a brother or sister step in and teach them how to pick your chinchilla up.
In fact, if they need help just have them refer to my post about picking chinchillas up by the tail here.
They shouldn’t have too many problems adjusting and learning the technique.
A little bit goes a long way with chinchilla so just ensure you try your best and you will be fine.
Play With Your Chinchilla And Let Them Out On A Routine
As we have covered in this post, playing with your chinchilla daily is a fantastic way to build a bond.
Build a routine with your chinchilla and stick to it.
Getting your chinchilla out of the cage on a daily basis is the best approach but is not always required.
It’s also a fantastic way to keep your chinchilla happy.
So, how often do you need to play with your chinchilla?
Daily is the best recipe for success with chinchillas.
However, when this can’t happen, there is no need to beat yourself up over it.
Everything will turn out just fine.
I’ve been there and figured it out along the way.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your chinchillas and the journey you have ahead of you.
How Often Do You Get Your Chinchilla Out Of The Cage To Play
This is when I encourage the readers to chime in their two cents on the subject.
Do you believe chinchillas need to be played with daily?
Do you have any specific recommendations that we haven’t discussed in this post?
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.