How to Set Up A Chinchilla Cage [Best Ways + Tips]

Setting up a chinchilla cage is relatively straightforward, but, in the beginning, I also had several questions about the best methods and practices.

I was not sure what constituted an awesome chinchilla cage and what all needs to be added to the cage after purchase to provide the best care we can for our chinchillas.

The goal is to provide our new chinchillas a safe home and a happy environment.

That is what inspired me to put together this quick post today for you.

I want this to be your reference guide for setting up a chinchilla cage in the best fashion possible.

By the end of the post, you should have a clear understanding of the best chinchilla accessories you need for a chinchilla.

And of course, how to choose the best chinchilla toys to place inside of the cage.

I have broken down this guide in the following manner for you:


If you only need limited information, feel free to use the links provided directly above to navigate around the post.

Otherwise, give me about 2 minutes, and I will breakdown everything you need to understand about setting up your chinchilla’s cage like a pro.

Here are the essential details to understand.

The Best Way to Set Up A Chinchilla Cage Explained

As a new chinchilla owner, you have an array of options you can consider and go with when structuring your chinchilla’s cage and try to make the perfect home for your new chin.

I remember when I put together my cage for my chinchilla and started piecing together the accessories and toys and how fun it was.

Now, 4 years later, I still find myself buying random items for her just to try them or for the purpose of this community.

The most significant piece of advice I can give when you are setting up your chinchilla’s cage is that the cage matters more than anything.

That is what I want to kickstart this conversation discussing.

Start with Finding the Best Cage

Outside of general nutritional needs for a chinchilla and providing excellent care, the chinchilla cage is the most important purchase you will make.

Chinchilla’s, even if you take 1 hour out of your day to interact and play with them, are still inside of a cage for the other 23 hours.

That is a long time to be stuck inside of a cage if you ask me.

This, in addition to how chinchillas are accustomed to behaving and living in the wild, makes it imperative to get a few things right when you purchase your chinchilla.

Here are some of the most important things you need to be considering:


The size of the cage is under-discussed and extremely important.

You need a tall enough cage that allows for vertical movement and climbing.

Chinchillas are big fans of jumping and acting crazy for a few hours a day.

They also enjoy the ability to climb multiple levels.

Ensuring you choose the best chinchilla cage is going to make a world of difference for your chinchilla and keep them happy.

Not to mention, they are much more fun to structure, put together, and make your chinchilla’s forever home.

Next, Pick the Most Ideal Room

Up next on the list when setting up your chinchilla’s cage is choosing the best room possible for your chinchilla.

Several things to be considered when you do this and all have significant importance.

Perhaps the most important consideration is ensuring that your chinchilla will remain in a room with proper temperatures.

To get a full understanding of the temperature guidelines for chinchillas, refer to my post here.

This is critical for preventing health conditions such as heat stroke.

Next, you want to ensure that some natural light can enter the room.

This will help your chinchilla remain in their proper sleep cycles.

Lastly, you need to understand that a chinchilla will often be active at odd times in the night or early mornings.

This makes it essential for you to choose a room where it will not interrupt your sleep if they begin making noise in their cage.

A chinchilla cage should never be covered during the set-up.

A chinchilla cage should also not be in your bedroom in most situations.

Ideally, I would also choose a room with hard surface floors.

This is going to help dramatically with cleaning up the poop or hay that is discarded out of the cage.

I currently use a basement with hard laminate floors, a window well providing natural light, and the temperature remains at a cool 68 degrees with 2 de-humidifiers always running.

Once you have the room chosen and the best cage in place is when it starts becoming more fun.

Let’s move into the bedding options you will have for your chinchilla.

Decide on Your Chinchilla Bedding Options

Bedding is one of the options you will have when putting together your chinchilla cage.

This comes down to a few key factors.

First, your preference is obviously one of the driving factors behind the decision.

Secondly, comes your budget, tolerance for odor, and cleaning habits.

The two primary options you have are traditional bedding used for many rodents such which is typically Aspen shavings.

I used this for about 2 weeks and have had my chinchilla for 5 years.

I could not personally stand it.

It is messy, gets soaked in urine relatively quickly, and falls out of the cage.

Not to mention, changing it and cleaning it is a royal pain if you ask me.

I also hate that you must continue to buy it for non-stop.

I prefer to pay a higher one-time cost for the top-notch items and be done with it (more on this shortly)

However, it is essential to note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this bedding.

It is safe approved bedding for chinchillas.

You can see my recommendations for the best aspen shavings here.

Fleece Liners Are King When Setting Up A Chinchilla Cage

I am sure I will get some individuals who give me push back on this.

Some people just do not like the fleece liners for chinchilla bedding because it is not possible to use with all chinchilla cages.

Do you know how you fix this problem?

Purchase a cage that fleece liners are compatible with.

It seems like a logical solution to me, but what do I know?

Or, consider cutting your own fleece.

While I did not do this myself, I cannot imagine it is rocket science or overly complicated to make fleece liners for a chinchilla cage.

Here is why they are superior.

First, you spend 40-80 dollars one time, depending on your chinchilla cage, and you are done.

No more auto-subscription charges for bedding or rushing out during a cage cleaning because you realized you are out of aspen shavings.

The liners are cut to fit specific chinchilla cages, such as my number 1 recommendation.

The Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon)

I love this cage so much I dedicated a review for it on this site, and I am by no means a cage reviewer.

You can see that here.

I just simply believed others needed to know this is currently one of the superior chinchilla cage options you have.

Next, I love these liners because I know they are great for Chili’s Feet (my chinchilla)

They are soft, remove the hard surfaces, and cover all ramps and stairways, reducing any chance of a foot injury for my chinchilla.

I also love that you can simply vacuum the cage, sweep it out, and then wash the liners 1-2 times per week to have the cage completely fresh.

If you double whammy this notion with teaching your chinchilla to urinate in a litter pan, you are going to be in crazy good shape when it comes to never dealing with a smell coming from your chinchilla or the cage.

Seriously, spend the few extra bucks, never buy bedding, and have an awesome looking customized cage.

I currently use and love the Piggy Bed Spread Liners (Link to Amazon).

I am entering year 5 with my chinchilla and still have my original set and have only purchased 1 other set.

I also only purchased the second set as an additional color option and because sometimes I have busy weeks and the backup-set makes it easy to clean the cage, swap the liners and wash the others on my own schedule instead of having to get them done during a play session.

They are awesome.

End of story.

Placing the Essentials Inside the Cage


This may be arguable the most fun part of setting up your chinchilla cage.

Placing the essentials inside of the cage in addition to adding toys and accessories.

When it comes to essentials, you have several items.

I will also explain the importance of each and why they are critical in understanding how to set up a chinchilla cage.

Here is a look at those.

The Nest/Hiding Box

The nest and hiding box may arguably be the most critical item and most important piece of the equation for your chinchilla.

It is your chinchilla’s safe place inside of the cage.

Clearly, they should not fear you after some time passes, but that does not mean other things will not startle your chinchilla.

Vacuums, visitors, or even another pet entering the room.

The hiding box is where they could go if they scared or want to sleep.

My chinchilla, 5 years later, still sleeps in her nesting box all the time.

If you are on a budget, skip a few toys first and ensure the hiding box is purchased right out of the gates.

You can learn more about the nest boxes/hiding boxes I recommend here.

Water Bottles

Next, you absolutely need to have a water bottle attached to the cage.

While it may seem like overkill, I honestly recommend two large water bottles attached to the cage and always filled with clean, non-well water.

Preferably purchased gallon jug purified water that you can get for 1.00 at any store.

Chinchilla’s always need unlimited access to water.

I currently use the Lixit water bottles and love them.

They do not clog and work fantastic.

Not to mention, they attach in about .5 seconds.

You can read my other recommendations for water bottles here.

Food Bowl

Hey, they must eat, right?

The food bowl will only be used for pellets, which is a primary recommended food for chinchillas.

The hay will be placed inside of hay feeders.

Check out my recommendations for the best food bowls here.

Hay Feeders

Your hay feeders are the last item that would be considered a must-have and that you do not have the option to skip.

Unless, of course, you plan to hand feed your chinchilla for the next 15 years.

That was a joke.

You can view the hay feeders that I recommend here.

That wraps up what I would consider the “essentials” or must-haves when it comes to setting up a chinchilla cage.

However, learning how to set up a chinchilla cage in the best fashion possible also requires you to add some fun, personality, and taste to the cage.

This includes accessories and toys.

Let’s dive into those options next.

Setting Up the Chinchilla Cage with Accessories

Accessories are part of setting up your chinchilla cage.

It is tough to tell you the exact accessories you should get because every chinchilla and every chinchilla cage is going to be different.

Some accessories, however, are must-haves.

In a nutshell, I recommend these accessories at a minimum:

A Chinchilla Hammock (Learn More Here)

Chinchilla Chew Sticks (Learn More Here)

Tunnels and Ramps

Outside of these, you can put your own taste and twist on the chinchilla cage and add whichever accessories you prefer assuming that they are safe.

Cleaning Should Be Planned Out

This may not fall directly into setting up a chinchilla cage, but I believe it is still important to mention.

Learning how to set-up a chinchilla cage correctly does require you to understand how to clean the cage properly.

This can be done by reading my full post about cleaning a chinchilla cage here.

Plan out your cleanings and make it a routine.

No matter how good of a cage you must set up for your chinchilla, a dirty cage is still not a good cage for your chinchilla.

Case closed.

Learning How to Set Up A Chinchilla Cage Is Not Difficult

Hopefully, after reading this brief post about how to set up a chinchilla cage, you realize that it is not overly difficult to set up the cage and add the necessary and desired items.

With some planning, a few purchases following my recommendations laid out here today, you will have your chinchilla’s cage set up and in great working order in no time.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck setting up your new chinchilla cage and the best of luck with your new chinchilla and the journey you have ahead of you.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have any other recommendations you can provide to the readers about how to set up a chinchilla cage in the best fashion?

Any other accessories or toys you would recommend adding?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by today and reading, and we will see you again 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"

Recent Posts