First, I want to congratulate you.
If you are asking how often you should play with your chinchilla, that means you are a good pet owner.
Or, at the very least, you want to be a good pet owner.
You are trying to ensue you give your chinchilla all the play time it needs.
And these little rodents need quite a bit of time to play.
They are incredibly social and do not do well without social interaction.
Keep reading to learn just how much playtime you should be giving your chinchilla, plus some alternatives for those occasions when you just don’t have any free time.
- 1 How Often Should I Play With A Chinchilla?
- 2 Chinchilla Playtime: Final Thoughts
How Often Should I Play With A Chinchilla?
You should be playing with your chinchilla once per day for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on your schedule. Chinchillas are social creatures and need time out of the cage daily.
A chinchilla that does not get a good amount of social activity like playtime can suffer from stress, and even depression. I know 30 to 60 minutes may seem like a big commitment, but it’s not exactly what it sounds like.
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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.
But you don’t have to give your pet 100% of your attention during that time. Sometimes, I even write these blog posts while my chinchilla is out and jumping around.
Once your chinchilla has fully adapted to its environment, things get easy.
I often use my basement (it’s a decent size) as my chinchilla play room. If is fully secured, with no dangers, so she gets to run around freely, as long as I am also around.
Other times, I use my chinchilla playpen. I sit in it with her and let her play around in there. There’s not as much to explore, but there is more closeness and more socializing with me, which is always great.
If you don’t have a safe area in which your chinchilla can interact and run around freely, consider a playpen such as the JesPet, which is my top pick (in the post linked to above) and the one I use myself.
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 our 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. But you do want to stick to a daily play schedule, whenever possible.
Play With Your Chinchilla Daily When Possible
I think this should be pretty clear by now, but I just 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 often skip the morning playtime on Saturdays for family obligations.
Instead, I get my chinchilla to run around before bedtime. Sometimes I 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.
Interact With Your Chinchilla Even If You Can’t Play With It
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 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 you ensure the room is at ideal temperatures, if yo decide t take this approach. Make your pet comfortable and not yourself. This will help avoid issues such as heatstroke for your chinchilla.
Consider A Second Chinchilla If You Don’t Have Time To Socialize
Here’s another great suggestion. Let’s assume that you originally adopted your chinchilla and had plenty of spare time. But now you’re much busier. If this is the case and your time has recently become much more limited, you have another solution.
Simply adopt another chinchilla and put the two of them through the bonding phase. While this doesn’t excuse you from you playing with your chinchilla as much as possible, it will definitely help to reduce the need for quite as much playtime.
Chinchillas are naturally very friendly animals. This makes it imperative to keep them socialized, mentally stimulated, and 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 two chinchillas for this reason. Well, this reason, plus it’s just tough not to want a second a chinchilla once you have your first.
But you do need to remember that chinchillas do not always do better in pairs. Some just won’t get along with each other. That is why you need to get them used to each other slowly.
Let the Family Help Play with the Chinchilla Daily
My last key tip is simply to let your 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 make.
Let a brother or sister step in, after you teach them how to treat these little rodents, like how to pick your chinchilla up.
If they need any help you can 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.
Chinchilla Playtime: Final Thoughts
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. Just do it as much as you can, because it is a fantastic way to keep your chinchilla happy.
So, how often do you need to play with your chinchilla?
30 to 60 minutes 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.
Trust me. I’ve been there and figured it out along the way.
I also have an article on how to play with a chinchilla, in case you need some ideas for great games your pet will love.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your chinchillas and the journey you have ahead of you.
Now we want to hear from you!
This is when I encourage you to chime in with your two cents on the subject.
How often do you get our chinchilla out of the cage to play?
Do you believe chinchillas need daily play time?
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.