There are actually two important questions here.
What do chinchillas like to play with?
And how do you play with a chinchilla correctly and safely?
The idea is to let chinchillas act like themselves and to let them have some fun, whether they are in the cage or out and about.
Keep reading to learn exactly how do to that, by providing toys chinchillas love and playing with your pet in a safe manner that is fun for the both of you.
- 1 What Do Chinchillas Like To Play With?
- 1.1 What Chinchillas Like To Play With And How To Play With A Chinchilla
- 1.2 How To Use Accessories And Play With Your Chinchilla
- 1.3 Toys Chinchillas Like To Play With
- 1.4 The Chinchilla Wheel Is A Chinchilla Favorite
- 3 What Chinchillas Like To Play With: Final Thoughts
What Do Chinchillas Like To Play With?
I have been raising a chinchilla for the past 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
Chinchillas like playing with hanging chew balls, woven carrots, and many other chew toys.
Chinchillas also enjoy chewing sticks and wooden toys. Toys also improve your chinchilla’s dental health, so it’s essential they have them around.
And that’s just the start.
Below, I’ll give you many more examples, so you have plenty of ways to have fun and allow your chinchilla to remain active and happy.
This post will help you understand not only what a chinchilla likes to play with, but also how you can enjoy the time with your chinchilla, learning how to play with it in a way it will enjoy and be comfortable with.
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What Chinchillas Like To Play With And How To Play With A Chinchilla
First things first.
It’s important to understand that chinchillas are very active, and they love toys to play with and love items that they can chew on safely.
Be prepared to purchase a variety of toys and use some trial and error to find the best options and to find out what your chinchilla likes to play with most.
All chinchillas will be different in which toys, accessories, and items they prefer to play with and even chew on.
Also, be sure to only use toys that are chinchilla safe.
Some common items that chinchillas enjoy playing with can include the following (we will also cover these items in-depth later in this post)
- Chew Sticks Such As Apple Orchard Sticks
- Hanging Toys From The Cage
- Nest Boxes
- Ramps and Ledges
- Toilet Paper Rolls Filled With Hay or Oats
- Safe Chinchilla Wheels
You can save some time and read my recommendations for the best chinchilla toys here.
You can also view my post about the best chinchilla accessories here.
Some examples of chew items that are often mistaken as safe could include cardboard that still contains dyes or dangerous toxins.
You can see my post about whether cardboard is safe for chinchillas here.
Be careful not to allow your chinchilla these items to chew on. Also keep them from any type of paint they could ingest. If paint somehow gets on the fur, you need to get the paint off your chinchilla right away.
Toys certainly help keep your chinchilla entertained. But they also need time out of the cage daily in safe areas.
This means that you need to be careful not to expose them to dangerous items they may attempt to chew such as electrical cords.
You can learn how to fully chinchilla proof a room here.
Time out of the cage for your chinchilla allows him or her to hop a little more freely. Chinchillas want to explore everything around them and stretch out a bit.
Again, just be sure it’s a safe area.
Chinchillas can climb like an expert.
They can also hop right away from you and run free so be careful to have an area relatively blocked off or the doors closed to the room.
Some chinchilla owners don’t have hours to do this, and I know I don’t either. Life gets busy, but it’s important to at least spend some time with your chinchilla out of the cage daily.
Even if just for a short amount of time.
A great option is to at least your chinchilla time out of the cage during a regular cage cleaning.
Once you start to get the hang of which toys your chinchillas prefers to play with, you need to learn how you can play with your chinchilla and take part in the activities with them.
How To Use Accessories And Play With Your Chinchilla
While it is perfectly fine to get your chinchilla out of the cage and let it play freely, it is a nice added benefit if you understand how you can play with and interact with your chinchilla as well.
Ultimately, this is going to help build a closer love and bond with your chinchilla.
Which, in turn, creates a chinchilla that ultimately shows more affection to you in the future.
Here is the good news.
You do not really need to do anything in order to play with your chinchilla and interact with it.
Simply be down on its level on the ground in a sitting position.
Allow it to play with the items it likes to play with and if it chooses to jump on your head and shoulders, allow it to do so.
If it is a chinchilla that enjoys being held or even brushed, now is a great time to do this while it is out of the cage.
You can also try and get it to come to you or cuddle up by offering up treats.
The point I am trying to make is simple.
Do not overthink things when you are playing with your chinchilla. Let it come naturally and do not force any interaction that it is not comfortable with.
Get down to a level where it can investigate you and learn to recognize and trust you.
Outside of this, just be sure to provide this time to socialize and play and it will be a happy chinchilla overall.
Seriously, it is that simple, and trust me, it will become much more interactive and friendly with you as time passes.
Toys Chinchillas Like To Play With
If your chinchilla is in his or her cage, be sure to offer a hiding box, a wheel, and other chewable toys that are safe.
A few of these I will cover in my recommendations shortly.
It’s good to keep your chinchilla active, and it’s also good to help your chinchilla to have plenty of chew options to help build up its teeth to prevent dental issues in the future.
Chinchillas without the ability to chew items have a tough time filing down their teeth correctly.
This could lead to dental issues, pain, and your chinchilla grinding its teeth.
Don’t worry, if your chinchilla has teeth related health issues and you experience the first odor your chinchilla has produced.
When experiencing health issues or overgrown teeth they have a noticeable odor emitting from their mouths.
Nonetheless, a good way to avoid this issue altogether is to simply afford your chinchilla the necessary and required items it needs inside of its cage.
Here are some great items that chinchillas love to play with.
Orchard Or Apple Sticks
Chinchillas love to chew.
Anything edible can provide your chinchilla with some mental stimulation and also keep it physically stimulated.
It’s important to always have enough chewable items around. Especially in the cage.
It’s excellent for your chinchillas’ teeth to have access to chewing material. It is also something they enjoy doing.
My chinchilla even frequently chews on the wooden boards that are installed on the cage.
Anything that can be chewed, she’s typically finding a way to do so.
Depending on your chinchillas personality, it’s possible that he or she grows out of enjoying certain chew items.
If this happens, they will stop showing interest in playing with them or chewing them, but Orchard sticks are a cheap option for a chinchilla-safe chew toy and I have never had an issue with my chinchilla growing bored with them.
I always order these Chew Sticks.
A large bag will last you a decent amount of time and these are a great item to always have on hand for your chinchilla.
Hanging Chinchilla Carousels And Hanging Chinchilla Toys
This is another excellent chew option for your chinchilla that can swing from one of the top grates of the cage.
I use this specific toy and usually swap out with a new one about once per month:
They can also get in some much-needed teeth grinding time with carousel hanging toys.
Many owners create their own hanging toys using chinchilla safe wood, while others prefer to purchase them commercially from online marketplaces like Amazon, or even Pet Suppliers like Chewy or Petco.
Either will work just fine.
Just experiment some until you figure out what your chinchilla enjoys most.
I recommend hanging wooden toys. They force a little activity out of your chinchilla. They also last much longer than the commercially purchased options.
You won’t have to purchase toys nonstop, if you can learn to craft them on your own with a few simple tools and a few spare minutes on a weekend day.
Chinchilla Lava Ledge Or Lava Blocks
My chinchilla loves the lava ledges and the lava blocks.
They can also come in fun festive colors which is a nice perk to tailor towards your male or female chinchillas.
What I especially love about these lava blocks is that they include the pre-drilled inserts so you can place them at various levels of the cage.
This works especially well when you are using the proper size dual-level cages that allow chinchillas adequate space to jump and around.
If you haven’t found the perfect cage for your chinchilla up to this point, I highly recommend purchasing the Critter Nation 2 (dual-level) chinchilla cage.
- Solid and durable construction
- Great size with four levels
- Great platform fit for accessories like fleece liners
- Sits on wheels making cleaning easy
- Under cage storage
- Total of four doors, making access very easy
- Large cage making it unsuitable for tiny spaces
- One of the higher costing cages but for good reason; it is easily the best value for money
It’s the perfect setup and what I currently use for my chinchilla.
You can’t go wrong, you have the room to expand and adopt a second chinchilla and your chinchilla is in a cage in which she or he can move freely and remain happy and active jumping, climbing and running around the way chinchillas are born to do.
This can encourage your chinchilla to jump around and play more naturally within its cage, which in turn can encourage more playtime and stimulate muscles and help your pet remain healthy.
The Chinchilla Wheel Is A Chinchilla Favorite
The wheels can be great, but I have a few suggestions on how to make them safer.
First, I honestly think that the Chin Spin is hands down the best chinchilla wheel available and has been for several years.
- Heavy duty construction (will not need to be replaced)
- No plastic construction (eliminates chinchilla chewing)
- One year replacement warranty
- 100% chinchilla safe
- Open design to prevent overheating
- More expensive than other chinchilla wheels
It is what I use and I know 100% it is safe, does not contain plastic and your chinchilla will love it. Not to mention, this chinchilla wheel is meant to last, literally forever.
It attaches easily to the cage, makes virtually no noise, and poses no issues. It does not get much better than that when it comes to a wheel for a rodent to use.
However, if you prefer options, you can always refer to my post detailing the best chinchilla wheels here.
First, you can use a traditional ball, but make sure it’s plastic and not wire to prevent any injuries or your chinchilla potentially slipping his or her foot in between the bars.
If you purchase the normal fully enclose plastic balls, I like to pop both sides of the ball, so it’s a clear jump through for my chinchilla.
This will still allow the ball to function and it will not trap any heat inside of it which can help your chinchilla stay protected and also help it stay cool.
Overall, it is the only way I ever recommended even purchasing a chinchilla exercise ball. Too much risk for a heat stroke if you ask me.
A Playpen Makes Playing With A Chinchilla Easy
Any item that can expand a play area or allow you to play with your chinchilla in a new environment to help stimulate it physically and mentally is something 100% worth investing money into.
A playpen goes beyond these benefits and offers a closer bond, and interaction for you and your chinchilla. It also eliminates the need to chinchilla proof a room.
It is also excellent for a new chinchilla owner to consider, so you can get you chinchilla to enjoy being held and touched more frequently.
The JesPet has been my recommendation for the past 4 years or so for the most ideal playpen, and that is because it is what I am still using 4 years later.
However, other great options are available and you can learn more about them in my post here about the best chinchilla playpens.
Any good playpen is fully enclosed, which helps prevent any possible escape.
I have a 4-year-old that is wild, so having something like this surely helps and makes me feel safe that my chinchilla isn’t going to escape or get herself into any trouble or danger.
I also like the fact that I can have my dog around and know that my chinchilla is safe if need be.
It’s a nice added perk for sure.
The enclosed playpen I mentioned above is especially nice, because it’s also easy to clean and we all know how often chinchillas like to leave some droppings around.
Chinchillas poop 250 times per day so don’t try to avoid this.
It also uses mesh screening which makes me calmer knowing that it’s breathable and I don’t have to worry about her overheating while running around and playing.
Lastly, it’s just straightforward to fold and put away without any issue.
Chinchilla Toys And Accessories To Avoid
The Hay Ball
I’m honestly shocked these toys are advertised and sold for chinchillas, but I’d highly recommend against using them.
It’s a metal hay ball that can hang from your chin’s cage. You just stuff hay in it.
No problem there so far.
The issue is when it runs out of hay.
Once it becomes an empty ball or the chinchilla must wedge itself into the openings to get at the hay, it’s not hard for the chinchilla to get stuck.
One chinchilla breeder even informed me that she’s aware of chinchillas getting stuck trying to wedge between them to get hay and then, in a struggle to release themselves, they break their necks.
Not a toy I recommend rolling the dice with when trying to find friendly, chewable, and enjoyable toys for your chinchilla to play with.
Other Must-Haves Chinchillas Love To Play With
Never Forget A Nest Box
This isn’t necessarily for playtime, but it is a necessity in your chinchilla’s cage.
This gives them one spot where no matter how many toys they do or don’t have, and no matter what scares them, they can always feel safe and secure.
You can opt for the washable hanging dens that are made from softer materials or have a wood den down below in the cage resting on the bottom.
Either way, I guarantee that your chinchilla will spend a lot of time in them. And they ensure that you never have a chinchilla feeling that they have nowhere they can hide or feel safe.
My chinchilla spends hours everyday sleeping inside these enclosures or hiding boxes.
Here is my post detailing the need for a nest box and the best nest boxes you should be considering.
A Dust Bath
This is a better toy than most people probably imagine. The bowl or dust enclosure never needs to be inside of the cage for your chinchilla.
However, the fun they have with their dust bath when they are out of their cage is a lot of fun to watch. And it’s necessary to keep that fur looking its best.
Chinchillas love to spin around, get crazy, and have a blast inside their dust baths.
Be sure to have one ready.
Another quick recommendation is using your dust bath as a training tool. I like to tap the side of my dust bath before providing it to my chinchilla.
Now she associates that tapping sound with getting something enjoyable.
This will help in case she ever gets out of the enclosed area we play in. I can bring her back with a simple tap on her plastic dust bath container.
You can read more about how to give a chinchilla a dust bath here.
What Chinchillas Like To Play With: Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, your chinchilla will be happy if you are spending time with it.
As you build that bond and it grows to love and recognize you as the owner, the sky is the limit for toys. If they are deemed safe, of course.
Chinchillas are friendly animals that love to interact with you as well as other chinchillas.
They are also very easy to care for with some proper planning, and just a small amount of effort and a small budget.
I surely have no regrets adopting my chinchilla and she has been nothing but a joy since owning her.
Stick with toys that can always provide mental and physical stimulation to help your chinchilla stay busy and out of trouble.
Also, be sure that no toys ever substitute out of your time every day interacting with your chinchilla.
That’s their favorite time and the best option of them all.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and hope you have no issues figuring out what they like to play with!
What does your chinchilla like to play with? How did you learn to play with your chinchilla?
Does your chinchilla like to play with any toys or accessories we haven’t discussed in this post?
How did you learn to play with your chinchilla and what do you do now to interact and play with your chinchilla?
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. Thanks again!
A lot of good information here, but wanted to mention a concern in reading this post. Advising to use plastic can be detrimental to the health of chinchillas if they ingest it, which is highly likely. There are several non-wire wheels on the market safe for chins (like the Chin Spin). They definitely cost more, but are safer and are more durable. I definitely agree there are a lot of products on the market unsafe for chinchillas and appreciate you advocating for good chinchilla care!
The best wheel for chinchillas is not a wheel at all since it’s bad on their backs being curved like that. I’ve had my chinchillas for about 10 years now and we got them a “steel flying saucer wheel” when we first got them that’s super quiet that they love using every night and it’s still super quiet.