What Kind of Cage Does a Chinchilla Need? [How to Avoid Problems]

what kind of cage does a chinchilla need

Understanding what kind of cage your chinchilla needs is easy but often can have new chinchilla owners confused about the best practices.

I was the same way. It leads to a fundamental question. What kind of cage does a chinchilla need?

Here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, what kind of cage does a chinchilla need? A chinchilla needs a cage that is adequate in size. Chinchillas also should not have wire bottom cages. Chinchillas also need plenty of space to insert shelving and other items for them to interact with inside of the cage.

While this seems like chinchillas need some special cage, they really don’t.

It’s easy to ensure your chinchilla has a cage that can accommodate their behavior and preferences.

For starters, if you are in a time crunch, you can read my other blog post directly below.

It will detail my recommendation for the best chinchilla cages and give you 19 additional tips.

The tips are designed to ensure you understand the best practices for choosing a chinchilla cage.

If, however, you have a few minutes, I will give you the shorthand version of the answer in this post.

Here is what you need to know.

What Kind of Cage Does a Chinchilla Need?

Like I stated previously, finding precisely what kind of cage a chinchilla needs are simple.

What is essential to understand is why chinchillas need special requirements in the first place.

Two of the primary reasons that chinchillas need a cage that is accommodating is purely due to their natural behaviors.

For a full overview of how a chinchilla behaves, you can see my full post about chinchilla behavior here.

Chinchillas Are Active, and the Cage Should Accommodate

Chinchillas are naturally active pets. Even inside of their cage at certain times of the day.

Chinchillas also have a crazy ability to jump and climb.

You see my full dedicated post about if chinchillas can jump here.

You can also read further into if a chinchilla can climb on my other blog post here.

Now, let’s get back on topic.

Now, the fact that a chinchilla has these unique abilities to climb and jump is what’s important to consider.

A chinchilla needs the space to jump and climb throughout their cage.

This is part of the reason you will hear me touch on having plenty of shelves inside the cage later in this post.

This allows your chinchilla to effectively use their energy and stay mentally stimulated.

However, you can’t accommodate this with a cage that’s too small.

Therefore, we are going to touch on the cage sizing for chinchillas next.

Sizing Comes First with Chinchilla Cages

Sizing comes first when it comes to finding the correct and best chinchilla cage.

I have an entire post dedicated to this topic due to its importance.

It covers how big a chinchilla cage should be that you can read here.

Having a large enough cage is even more imperative if you intend on having multiple chinchillas sharing a cage.

Always ensure that your cage is tall enough, wide enough, and even deep enough.

This will allow you to add accessories to the cage with ease and place plenty of wooden shelves within the cage.

Trust me, your chinchilla will use these shelves all the time.

Whether it’s playing and jumping from shelf to shelf or even just sitting or napping on the shelves.

Chinchillas simply don’t prefer to stay in one spot all day long.

They like to move around, get out of the cage, and even go crazy inside of the cage from time to time.

If you have no intentions on accommodating this or having the proper cage for your chinchilla, likely, you shouldn’t be purchasing a chinchilla at all.

Construction and Material Matter with Chinchilla Cages

Up next on the list of considerations of choosing the correct chinchilla cages some the discussion about the material that your chinchilla cage is constructed out of.

It’s essential that if possible, you attempt to avoid chinchilla cages that have wire bottoms.

Wire bottoms can be dangerous for your chinchillas’ feet and small bones. It doesn’t take much for a toe or your chinchillas’ foot to get stuck between the openings.

I personally prefer using plastic bottoms and purchasing fleece liners to go over the tray liner.

This makes cleaning the cage much more manageable and is much more comfortable overall for your chinchilla.

If you haven’t done so already, you can read my post about if fleece is safe for chinchillas here.

Additionally, I use a specific fleece liner custom made for the Critter Nation 2 cage (Link to Amazon).

This is the cage that I recommend to anyone who can spring for the extra money involved to make your chinchilla at home.

In case you need it, here are the fleece liners I use (Link to Amazon).

Don’t Ignore the Ability to Upgrade or Add Accessories

Another reason I always recommend the Critter Nation 2 cage is the easy ability to add accessories and shelves.

This is huge when you decide to adopt a chinchilla.

Like I stated previously, chinchillas love to jump and climb and love having certain items in their cage.

This can include safe items for chinchillas to chew and various toys that make their environment that much more mentally stimulating.

To accommodate this, you need a cage that has the size and structure to support it.

This includes having tight spacing on the cage bars and several levels for your chinchilla to explore.

Plan Ahead to Avoid Future Frustration with Your Chinchilla Cage

It’s clear that you have considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a chinchilla cage.

There is no doubt about that.

It’s true.

What people don’t often consider is the fact that you can save time and frustration in the future by being proactive.

Trust me. I didn’t think I had any intentions of purchasing a second chinchilla when I adopted my first.

However, this was, and I’m planning on getting a second chinchilla very soon.

The point here is simple. 

Things change and getting the correct chinchilla cage now can save you money later. If you have intentions or don’t know if you want a second chinchilla, get a cage that can support 2 chinchillas now.

Think about the price difference. It’s minimal in the grand scheme of things.

You are either looking at paying roughly 100.00-150.00 now and handcuffing your abilities in the future.

It seems like getting a chinchilla cage that’s slightly larger and has more options for an additional 75.00 makes the most sense.

However, I understand that budgets come into play, so this decision is entirely on you.

In Summary, A Chinchilla Needs Only a Few Important Things for Their Cages

At the end of the day, chinchillas don’t need a long list of items to be happy.

The same applies to the chinchilla cage choice you make. It doesn’t have to be a 500.00-dollar custom cage, but the sizing, construction, and the small things do make a big difference.

Chinchillas are social and energetic animals. Be sure that if you plan to adopt one soon that you set up an ethical and loving environment for your chin to thrive in.

Outside of these recommendations and supplying a decent size cage for your chinchilla to spend the next 15-20 years inside of, your job is nothing but a loving, bonding, and affectionate relationship.

Your Turn to Chime In

It’s your turn to chime in. What’s your thoughts and recommendations for individuals searching for the ideal chinchilla cage?

Do you believe anything else needs to be discussed in this blog post?

Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below.

As always, thanks for stopping by. We appreciate you, and we will catch you next time.

Best of luck in your chinchilla ownership!

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"

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