Chinchillas are unique in many ways.
From jumping from shelf to shelf in the cage or taking a fun dust bath.
The list could go on and on.
What can we do to let chinchillas act like themselves and give them some fun whether they are in the cage or out and about?
This is a question I had as well in the beginning.
More specifically, what do chinchillas like to play with?
After some trial and error and research, here is what I can tell you on the topic.
So, what do chinchillas like to play with? 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.
I wanted to give you plenty more examples than this so you have plenty of ways to have fun and allow your chinchilla to remain active and happy.
Let’s break down some of these toys and options.
This should give you a good idea of the best options for your chinchilla that will keep him or her happy and playing when you are around and when you aren’t.
Let’s break down some toys your chinchilla will love and keep them entertained for months to come.
Understanding Chinchillas Behaviors and What Chinchillas Want to Play With
First things first.
It’s important to understand that chinchillas are very active, and they love toys to play with and chew on frequently.
Be prepared to purchase a variety of toys and use some trial and error to find the best options.
Also, be sure to only be using toys that are chinchilla safe.
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 if cardboard is safe for chinchilla here.
Be careful not to allow your chinchilla these items to chew on.
Toys certainly help keep your chinchilla entertained.
Chinchillas also need a time out of the cage daily in safe areas where they are not exposed to dangerous items they may attempt to chew such as electrical cords.
Time out of the cage for your chinchilla allows him or her to hop a little more freely.
Chinchillas want to explore everything around him or her and stretch out a bit.
Again, just be sure it’s a safe area.
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.
Breaking Down the Toy Options for Your Chinchilla
If your chinchilla is in his or her cage, be sure to offer a hiding box, a wheel (plastic only) and other chewable toys.
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 their 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 their teeth.
Don’t worry, if you have an issue with your chinchilla having teeth related health issues, you likely experience the first odor your chinchilla has produced.
Chinchillas when experiencing health issues or overgrown teeth will have an odor that’s noticeable emitting from their mouths.
Nonetheless, a good way to avoid this issue altogether is to simply afford your chinchilla the necessary and required items they need inside of their cage.
Orchard or Apple Sticks
Chinchillas love to chew.
Anything that can be eaten can provide your chinchilla with some mental stimulation and keep your chinchilla physically stimulated.
It’s important always to have enough chewable items around.
Especially in the cage.
It’s excellent for your chinchillas’ teeth to have access to chewing material and 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 chinchilla’s personality it’s possible that he or she grows out of enjoying certain chew items and no longer shows interest in playing with them or chewing them, but Orchard sticks are a cheap option for a chinchilla safe chew toy.
Hanging Chinchilla Carousels
This is another excellent chew option for your chinchilla that can swing from one of the top grates of the cage.
They can also get in some much-needed teeth grinding time with carousel hanging toys.
Many individuals create their own hanging toys using chinchilla safe wood and some prefer to purchase them commercially from online marketplaces such as Amazon or even Pet Suppliers such as Chewy or Petco.
Either will work just fine. Just experiment some until you figure what your chinchilla enjoys most.
I recommend hanging wooden toys.
They force a little activity out of your chinchilla.
They last much longer compared to the commercially purchased options.
This will keep you from having to purchase their 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 the blocks 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.
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 that she or he can move freely and remain happy and active jumping, climbing and running around the way chinchillas are born to do so.
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 chinchilla remain healthy.
The Chinchilla Wheel
The wheels can be great, but I have a few suggestions on how to make them safer.
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 help your chinchilla stay cool.
The Additional Playpen or Enclosed Tent
Any item that can expand a play area or allow you to play with your chinchilla in a new environment will help stimulate them physically and mentally.
Something such as the Oxford Animal Playpen could be the perfect addition for you and your chinchilla to have a new play spot.
It’s fully enclosed which helps prevent any possible escape.
I have a 2-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 washable 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.
A Toy That I Don’t Recommend Using
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 and you just stuff hay in them.
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 more into the openings to get 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.
Enclosed Dens Enhances Safety and Mental State for your Chinchilla
This isn’t necessarily for playtime, but it is a necessity in your chinchilla’s cage.
This is 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 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 ensures that you never have a chinchilla feeling that they have nowhere that they can hide or feel safe.
My chinchilla spends hours everyday sleeping inside of these enclosures or hiding boxes.
Don’t forget about the 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 but the fun they have with their dust bath when they are out of their cage is a lot of fun to watch and necessary to keep that fur looking at it’s best.
They 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 to bring her back with a simple tap on her plastic dust bath container
Putting it All Together, Most Toys Will Work But Interaction With You Is Best
At the end of the day, your chinchilla will be happy if you are spending time with them.
As you build that bond and they grow 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 who love to interact with you as well as other chinchillas.
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.
What do you recommend as the best chinchilla toys and what setups do you currently use?
Be sure to drop a comment below and share your stories.
As always, thanks for stopping by.
I appreciate you and see you next time.