We’ve all seen the photos or videos.
Cute little chinchillas in tiny cages that are only a few times larger than the animal itself.
What did you think when you saw them?
Was it that the poor little chin needs more space to feel comfortable?
Then you’re on the right track.
But size is not the only important consideration when trying to find the right kind of cage for your chinchilla.
Keep reading to learn exactly what type of cage chinchillas need, along with everything else you need to consider. And the good news is: a great cage doesn’t cost much more than those tiny cheap cages!
- 1 What Kind Of Cage Does A Chinchilla Need?
- 2 Kind Of Cage Chinchillas Need: Final Thoughts
What Kind Of Cage Does A Chinchilla Need?
Chinchillas need a cage that is adequate in size. You want plenty of space to insert shelving and other items to keep them entertained. It is also best to avoid wire bottom cages.
While this might make it seem like chinchillas need some super-expensive special cage, they really don’t.
It’s easy and not expensive at all to provide your chinchilla a cage that can accommodate its behavior and preferences. For starters, if you are in a time crunch, you can read my primary blog post on the topic.
It will details my recommendations for the best chinchilla cages and give you 19 additional tips on buying and setting up the cage. The tips are designed to ensure you understand the best practices for setting up a chinchilla habitat.
We’ll cover some of the same things in this post, but not in as much detail. This will be more of a summary of the most important things to know.
As stated previously, finding precisely what kind of cage a chinchilla needs is simple. What is important to understand is why chinchillas need special requirements in the first place.
As mentioned the way chinchillas naturally behave dictates what they need in a cage.
Chinchillas Are Active And The Cage Should Accommodate
Chinchillas are naturally active creatures. They continue this behavior in captivity, even inside of their cages at certain times of the day.
Chinchillas also have a crazy ability to jump and climb. And this is what you need to consider more than anything when choosing a cage.
A chinchilla needs the space to jump and climb throughout their cage. This is also a major reason why you want to have plenty of shelves inside the cage, which we will talk about a little later in this post.
Giving you chinchilla the space to run, jump and climb allows it to effectively use its energy and stay mentally stimulated. But you can’t accommodate this active behavior with a cage that’s too small.
So let’s take a look at the ideal size for a chinchilla cage.
A Large Enough Cage Is Vital
Sizing comes first when it comes to finding the correct chinchilla cage. I have an entire post dedicated to how big a chinchilla cage should be.
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.
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 like 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, you probably shouldn’t be getting a chinchilla at all.
Construction And Material Matter
Up next on the list of considerations when choosing the correct chinchilla cage is the build quality and the material from which the cage is constructed.
You want a solid cage that won’t break easily. It should last your pet’s entire life, and then some. Ideally, you want to avoid any cages that have wire bottoms.
Wire bottoms can be dangerous for your chinchilla’s feet and small bones. It doesn’t take much for a toe, or even an entire foot, to get stuck between the openings. I personally prefer plastic bottoms and buying 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, too. Plus it saves you money in the long run, since you no longer have to keep buying bedding.
If you haven’t done so already, read my post discussing if fleece is safe for chinchillas.
I use a specific fleece liner that is custom-made for the Critter Nation 2 chinchilla cage, which is the cage I use and recommend to anyone who can spring for the extra cost. t’s not much more than smaller cages, but it is definitely a bit more expensive.
If you have that cage yourself these are the fleece liners I use.
Don’t Ignore The Ability To Upgrade Or Add Accessories
Another reason I always recommend the Critter Nation 2 cage is how easy it makes it to add accessories and shelves. This is huge when you have a chinchilla.
As 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 several considerations to keep in mind when purchasing a chinchilla cage. There is no doubt about that. What people don’t often consider is the fact that you can save time and frustration in the future by being proactive now.
Trust me. I didn’t think I had any intentions of purchasing a second chinchilla when I adopted my first. But I was wrong. 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. You may not want a second chinchilla right now, but there is a good chance that will change. So get a cage that can support two chinchillas now.
Even if you only ever have one chinchilla, the larger cage is still better. And if you are worried about the price difference, there is no need. It is minimal, considering how much better your chin’s life will be over the next 15 to 20 years. And your life too, as a result..
So you can pay roughly $100 to $150 now and get a smaller cage, meaning you will be handcuffing your options in the future. Or you can pay $75 or so more and get a larger cage that allows you to keep your options open for the future.
Kind Of Cage Chinchillas Need: Final Thoughts
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. It doesn’t have to be a $500 custom cage. But the sizing, construction, and the small things do make a big difference.
Chinchillas are social and energetic animals. Be sure that you set up an appropriate habitat and provide a loving environment that allows them to thrive.
Outside of these recommendations and supplying a decent size cage for your chinchilla, along with food and cleaning duties, your job is really just to be a loving, bonding, and affectionate family member.
Your turn to chime in.
What are your thoughts and recommendations for anyone searching for the ideal chinchilla cage?
Do you believe anything is missing from 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!