Why Are Chinchillas So Expensive? [Here’s the Information to Know]

If you are thinking about getting a new chinchilla or in the process of adopting a chinchilla, you likely wonder what can make a chinchilla expensive and how much a chinchilla cost in general.

I’m also aware that many of you may need to know the total out of pocket costs you may encounter when owning a chinchilla and initially adopting a chinchilla.

In comes my expertise.

One of the questions I see pop up all the time is simple but needs to be explained.

Why are chinchillas so expensive?

I have been raising a chinchilla for the past 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, why are chinchillas so expensive? Chinchillas are expensive due to the breeder you choose, fur color, and the cage you choose when you purchase your chinchilla. These are the most significant cost associated with owning a chinchilla. Breeders will charge more for the chinchilla if their fur is a color that’s more difficult to breed such as dark ebony or mosaic. Chinchilla cages can also run anywhere from $125.00-$250.00. The chinchilla will run anywhere between $75.00 and $300.00 depending on the breeder and the color.

This isn’t the only cost associated with owning a chinchilla.

A few other factors can impact the overall price you pay the day you adopt the chinchilla.

My goal here today is breaking down why chinchillas are so expensive and what other costs you can anticipate during the adoption process.


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Be sure to check out my full digital eBook “Avoiding Critical Mistakes Ultimate Chinchilla Care eBook” to have the best advice, tips, and tricks and supply recommendations to make adopting and caring for a chinchilla much more comfortable and easier to understand.

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Why Chinchillas Are So Expensive

When I adopted my chinchilla, a few costs came into play.

A few things can make adopting a chinchilla somewhat costly depending on your budget.

First and foremost, you have the cost of the actual chinchilla.

This is going to depend significantly on the breeder, availability, and the color of your chinchilla.

Some of the colors are more difficult to breed.

Often these are your ebony chinchillas or the mosaic chinchillas.

When you start looking at these chinchillas, you can quickly get in the range of $200.00-$300.00 for the chinchilla.

Also, keep in mind that chinchillas are extremely friendly and social animals.

It’s not rare at all for individuals to adopt multiple chinchillas so that they have a mate or someone to interact with.

This is especially important if you must leave your chinchilla alone often or go through periods where you can’t usually get your chinchilla out for playtime.

Leaving a chinchilla alone and not interacting with them is not only unethical but if it can be solved with having another chinchilla present, you should do so which is going to up your cost once again.

I’m lucky and have the time to interact with my chinchilla often.

I’m still planning on getting a second chinchilla very soon, purely because of how fantastic they are.

They make good pets.

Even around my two-year-old son.

The Chinchilla Cage You Choose Can Add Additional Cost to Adopting a Chinchilla

To save you time, feel free to read my post about the best chinchilla cages here. 

It will give you great options for cages for any budget that will keep your chinchilla happy and healthy.

I personally have tried each cage.

Up next, you have the cage.

We need somewhere to keep our chinchillas.

This is going to be the second-highest cost you encounter when purchasing a chinchilla.

The cage I purchased for my chinchilla came straight from the breeder.

It’s not my top pick, but it is large, has multiple shelves spanning across a tall cage and plenty of room for her.

Additionally, for the size of the cage and spending only $125.00 on the cage and the fact it was brand new and ready to go, made me jump on the deal.

Other chinchilla cages can cost even more depending on what you choose.

A basic chinchilla cage on Amazon may run you around $125.00 or so after shipping depending on if you subscribe to Amazon Prime.

Other high-end cages that are designed to look more like a hutch with beautiful wood trim around the cage can run you above $300.00 easily.

Some will even run you around you $500.00

Additionally, keep in mind that if you have 2 chinchillas or adopt two chinchillas, you will often want to look at a double cage that stacks on top of each other.

This is also not factoring which color or mutation of a chinchilla you choose to adopt which can also impact the overall price you pay for your chinchilla.

Chinchillas need room to jump, sleep, eat, and poop freely.

With two chinchillas in the same cage, you don’t want to be squeezing them in tight.

Although chinchillas are extremely friendly, removing personal space could cause your two chinchillas not to get along as great a few months down the road.

This can lead to fur slips or one chinchilla nipping and biting the other chinchillas.

Long story short, chinchillas are friendly, love the interaction with each other but still need some personal space to thrive.

How Much Are Chinchilla’s To Keep As Pets?

Now it comes down to more of the monthly recurring cost that you need to consider.

First, your chinchilla will need plenty of the following items.

•    Chinchilla Dust

•    Dust Bath Container

•    Shavings or Bedding

•    Water Bottle

•    Food Bowl

•    Chinchilla Treats

•    Hay Cubes

•    Wood Sticks

So, what does this all add up to?

Well, chinchilla dust is a must-have and will only run you about $5.00-$7.00 dollars per month if you purchase the large containers and offer your chinchilla one dust bath every few days.

This is essential for keeping your chinchilla clean.

Don’t worry.

If you miss a dust bath, your chinchilla will remain odor-free.

The only odor that ever remits from my chinchilla is the chinchilla pee on the shavings after about 3 days of not being changed.

I clean my chinchilla cage about every 4 days or, so this usually is never an issue.

The rest of the items on our bulleted list above including the shavings and bedding, treats and hay will only run you another few dollars per month.

When it’s all said and done, a chinchilla should never cost you more than about $15.00 dollars per month.

The only way the cost would exceed this is if you have several chinchillas, vet bills that arise which is somewhat rare with chinchillas or you are buying a lot of items frequently for your chinchilla.

If that’s your cup of tea, more power to you and I enjoy buying items for my chinchilla frequently as well.

It’s fun to be completely honest with you, so I understand.

Adding These Cost and Breaking Down the Bills for Owning a Chinchilla

Let’s go back and break down some of these costs. Let’s assume you are adopting 1 chinchilla and are aiming for a rarer color.

Let’s say this cost $200.00.

Let’s also say you meet in the middle like I did and find a chinchilla cage that cost roughly $200.00.

We are currently sitting at $400.00 to walk away with your chinchilla and a suitable cage.


All the other items we discussed should not cost you more than another $50.00-$75.00.

To keep things simple, 1 chinchilla with everything included should run around $450.00 one-time charges and approximately 15.00 per month ongoing.

It’s honestly likely that you will have a cheaper one-time cost to adopt your chinchilla.

It is also likely that you are closer to $8.00-$10.00 per month for your chinchilla, but I wanted to shoot you on the high side to keep expectations in line.

Here’s the kicker.


Owning a chinchilla is fantastic.

They can recognize you and are loving creatures.

They may or may not be willing to cuddle, but if you are willing to keep them in ideal temperatures and provide a safe and comfortable home, your chinchilla will be thrilled with you.

Where Can Other Cost with Chinchillas Come Up?

You aren’t 100% out of the woods yet when it comes to the cost required to own a chinchilla.

You also have cost for the fun stuff involved with owning a chinchilla.

These costs can include the wheels, additional hiding tunnels, hiding boxes, custom shelves, and hanging toys that dangle inside your chinchilla’s cage.

Now, these are entirely optional, but if you want your chinchilla happy, I’d recommend getting a cage that supports these features.

Chinchillas are a pure joy to watch interact with their environment and surroundings so investing in these items should bring you joy, and it should not feel like just another expense taking place and draining your bank account.

Related Questions

Why is Chinchilla Fur So Expensive?

Chinchilla fur is so expensive because chinchillas are going extinct in the wild and have become a protected animal. Additionally, chinchillas have the densest fur out of any land animal in the world with over 80 hairs per follicle. This creates exceptionally soft fur that’s extremely desirable for items such as coats and purses in the fashion industry.

Your Biggest Cost for Chinchillas is Day 1 And Then The Costs For Chinchillas Reduces

To re-emphasize, the most expensive day excluding a vet visit for owning a chinchilla is going to be on day 1.

However, I can tell you that I had never owned a rodent type animal before adopting my chinchilla.

Although the cost was a little high, I wouldn’t have it any other way and have loved her and the interactions from day 1.

They are incredible pets and incredibly smart.

If you are on the fence about adopting a chinchilla, I highly recommend pulling the trigger and giving it a try.

You won’t regret it and who knows, maybe a breeder in your area can get you out the door for much less money upfront.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and can assure you that the cost associated with adopting a chinchilla is 100% worth it.

What’s your experience with owning a chinchilla and how much did it cost you?

How much did you pay and how much does your chinchilla cost you every month?

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.

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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