So you think you want a chinchilla.......
|Keep in mind that chinchillas are not hamsters or
You can't go to the pet store and spend $30 in setup materials
and have a pet that you only deal with for one year or so.
| AGE: Under
general proper care chinchillas can live to
be 10, 15, and yes, even 20 years old. If you want a chinchilla
because it seems easier than a dog or cat, you will want to reconsider.
COST: Chinchillas don't come cheap. A typical pet-store variety grey chinchilla can run about $60-$80 or so. If you want a mutation color (white, mosaic, beige, charcoal, etc.) you won't spend less than $100.
MEDICAL CARE: These little guys require trips to the vet on occasion. Don't bet on having a chinchilla-knowledged vet in your area.
TEETH: Generally chinchillas don't bite out of malice, BUT, they can ruin furniture. The teeth grow like hamsters' or gerbils' teeth, (growth of up to two to three times the length of the animals body per year) and require a lot of care because of this. Bad teeth can and will kill a chinchilla.
SPACE: Do you have sufficient space for a chinchilla cage? Do you have room for him/her to run? A single chin cage should be at least 2 feet long X 2 feet wide. Still, this is a bit on the snug side. If you have a cage this small plan on letting your chin run outside the cage more often.
ODD GROOMING: Ever had a dust bath? Ever been in a room after a dust bath took place? Chinchillas require dust baths on a regular basis to absorb oil from their fur.
FOOD: Currently there is a bit of a debate regarding what to feed chinchillas. Some people argue that Rabbit Pellets are fine for chinchillas. I, and several others, disagree. Chinchillas should be fed Chinchilla Pellets. There are several brands on the market: Purina, Sunseed, Heinold, KayTee, etc. Supplements are necessary too: Vitamin C (vital for tooth maintenance), Calcium (available in Calf Manna or Doe Manna). Another dietary staple is hay, NOT the heavy hay or straw used for livestock, but Timothy Hay (preferable) or Alfalfa Hay (also a good source of Calcium). Try Oxbow Hay Company.
NOCTURNAL!: Chinchillas are nocturnal; this cannot be changed. They bounce, bark, squeal, and rattle cages when you are asleep.
WHAT YOU NEED: Check HERE for a list of materials needed for a chinchilla.