Chinchilla Cost: Initial and Monthly Cost Breakdown

A Chinchilla’s adorable appearance and a unique set of behaviors make it a wonderful pet.

If you are planning to adopt one, it is essential to consider the costs associated with it, both initial and monthly.

So, how much does a chinchilla cost? According to our calculations, the initial cost of a Chinchilla varies from $546 to $1263 (including emergency medical fund) depending upon the breed. Maintenance and husbandry expenses of $69 – $137 per month are also associated with Chinchillas.

As the numbers used in calculations are rough estimates, the prices you actually pay may vary depending upon your options, which we’ll discuss in detail.

Breakdown of Chinchilla’s Ownership Cost

You have to consider a lot of different factors which will cost you money in the initial ownership and husbandry of your chinchilla.

As chinchillas are not among the most popular pets around the world, the information on this topic is limited and most people are unaware of the costs involved.

This lack of knowledge and planning often leads to monetary problems, which is never an ideal situation to be in.

Therefore, it is necessary for you to understand the costs involved during different stages and plan it accordingly.

The major factors include necessary items for keeping your chinchilla healthy and happy, like appropriate housing, good quality food, toys, accessories, medical care, etc.

For your clarity and convenience, we have made a table featuring all the major necessary products/service along with their estimated initial and monthly costs.

This table will give you a rough estimate of each product/service prices, which may vary up and down depending upon your choices of brands and suppliers.

Product / ServiceInitial Cost Monthly Cost
Chinchilla’s ownership cost$180 – $450 (each)
Chinchilla’s Habitat (Cage)$100 – $200
Chinchilla’s Dust Bath$10$3 – $6
Food Containers & Food for Chinchilla$30 – $50$20 – $30
Covered Shelter for Chinchilla$11 – $33
Chinchilla’s Exercise Wheel$100
Chinchilla’s Carrier$20 – $30
Water Bottle for Chinchilla$10 – $15
Toys for Chinchilla$5 – $10$2
Treats for Chinchilla$12 – $35$1 – $3
Bedding for Chinchilla$18 – $30
Medical Care & Medications for Chinchilla$20 – $60
Vet expenditure for Chinchilla$50 – $100$8 – $16
Emergency Medical Fund for Chinchilla$200$15 – $20
Total$546 – $1263$69 – $137

Chinchilla’s Ownership Cost

Chinchilla’s cost varies according to their breed, color patterns, and age.

Another major factor that influences their price is the place you purchase them from. There are three options available to you:

  • To purchase from Chinchilla Breeders
  • From Pet Stores
  • Get them from Pet Rescues

Renowned Breeders with good customer ratings are your best option.

Although their prices at $180+ are a bit higher in comparison with the other options, the care provided to your friend justifies the price.

Don’t go for the lowest prices at $150+ offered by the pet stores, as your beloved friends are not given proper care there, and are often sold with many health issues.

Chinchillas purchased from pet rescues for $100+ are not ideal temperament-wise.

They might be more aggressive or fearful in nature due to being the subject of abuse in the past, or the lack of care provided to them.

So, based on our recommendation you should be expecting to spend around $180+ for a healthy chinchilla, and it’s also recommended to buy a pair of them to keep them happy.

Chinchilla’s Habitat (Cage)

Your first priority should be to provide your chinchilla with a safe and comfortable environment, especially considering the time when you are not around.

Cages are absolutely necessary for them as they will spend the majority of the time in them.

It doesn’t matter whether you let them out regularly or not.

Quality of the cage should be given preference here over the cheap available alternatives because the cage has to be strong enough to survive the aggressive abuse of your beloved chinchilla.

Wooden ledges should be placed inside the cage to make it a multi-floor home for your beloved friend, as they are used to live in such an environment.

Quality cages can last very long and you don’t have to replace them frequently.

Based on our estimates, high-quality Cage costs around $100 – $200.

If you’re looking for a cage, check out our top 17 picks for Chinchilla cages.

Chinchilla’s Dust Bath

Chinchillas are different from many other animals, as they don’t bathe in water.

Instead, they use a particular type of dust called chinchilla dust.

Confused? Check out our Chinchilla dust bath guide.

The bottom line is:

It is your responsibility to provide them a dust bath in their cage.

The dust bath should be adequately sized and durable, and it’s imperative in keeping your beloved friend clean and healthy.

Luckily, for you, high-quality dust baths made from durable plastic usually lasts the lifetime of chinchilla, so it’s just a one-time expense.

Whereas, you have to replace the dust regularly, which will cost you recurrently for your chinchilla.

Based on our estimates, a high-quality dust bath costs around $10, and dust costs you around $3 to $6 monthly.

Food Containers & Food for Chinchilla

Chinchillas require two types of food:

  • Pellets
  • Hay

You have to provide a hay rack and a wooden combo pellet bowl to your Chinchilla which will roughly cost you around $10 – $20.

The other cost is the supply of pellet and hay.

For a single chinchilla, half bag of pellets and approximately one bag of hay per month will suffice and will roughly cost you around $20 – $30 a month.

Store the food in a cool and dry place to keep it fresh for a long time.

Buying in bulk quantity will reduce your cost, but you have to take extra care for keeping it fresh and healthy for a longer period.

Covered Shelter for Chinchilla

Covered Shelters inside the cage of your chinchillas provide diversity in their living environment.

While they are not absolutely necessary, adding these will provide your chinchilla some privacy and help in cheering them up.

We recommend the shelters to be made of softwood and carefully check and remove any item that can possibly harm your beloved chinchilla.

Replacement of these shelters will only be necessary, once your chinchilla has chewed through them.

This is the reason we have not recommended the available fabric shelters as they don’t last long in front of our beloved friend.

These shelters can be easily purchased from the market for a price from $11 to $33.

Chinchilla’s Exercise Wheel

They are a bundle of energy and need to spend that energy to remain active and healthy.

It is necessary for you to provide them an exercise wheel suitable for them to help them expel that energy and they look so adorable while running on it.

You have to consider two important things when purchasing the wheel:

  • Firstly, they have to be durable & chew-proof.
  • And secondly, they have to be large enough for your chinchillas to run on easily.

It is a one-time investment, as they usually last a lifetime and provides endless entertainment for your beloved friend.

You can acquire a good quality chinchilla wheel for about $100, and believe me; it’s worth the investment for your fluffy friend.

Chinchilla Carrier

It is highly recommended to visit your vet regularly to keep your chinchilla healthy and active. Therefore you need to purchase a carrier for them.

You see, chinchilla care isn’t just about dealing with it in a cage. There will come times when you’ll have to take them out of it, and a carrier is a necessity at this time.

It’s also best for having an outing with your beloved fluffy friend, as they provide them a stress-free environment and keep them contained.

You have to make sure the carrier is durable to contain your fluffy friend, and usually, a suitable quality carrier lasts a lifetime.

It will cost you around $20 – $30, and although you won’t be using it quite often, it is well worth to have this piece of gear available to you at all times.

Water Bottle for Chinchilla

As Chinchilla’s are notorious for chewing down plastic, the ways to supply water to them are limited.

You have to purchase a durable water bottle made of glass to survive the abuse of your beloved friend.

You have to provide clean drinking water to them and make sure the bottle is clean at all times to avoid any bacteria growth or mold.

It will cost you around $10 – $15 and usually lasts for a very long time.

Need to buy one? Check out our top picks for Chinchilla water bottles.

Toys for Chinchillas

Toys are a great way of keeping Chinchillas entertained and providing them healthy activity.

Toys also help in keeping their natural chewing habit under control.

Luckily for you, there are a ton of safe toys available in the market at cheap prices.

The good thing is that they love all the toys.

So, you don’t have to worry about their likes or dislikes. Plus, their presence will prevent your chinchilla’s from chewing their food and water feeders.

Toys don’t last very long with your chinchillas, and thanks to low prices, you can easily replace them while saving on the more expensive things like feeders and cages.

A vast variety of safe toys will cost you around $5 – $10 initially and expect to pay around $2 per month to replace the chewed toys.

Treats for Chinchillas

Treats are a great way to strengthen your bond with your fluffy friend and are best if given as a reward for their good behavior.

They should only be given occasionally and should not exceed the 10% daily caloric intake.

They are also great for diversifying their diet, and you should only buy the quality treats that don’t use artificial ingredients.

Good quality treats which are healthy for your beloved friend will cost you around $12 – $35, because of giving it in moderation the monthly cost will be around $1 – $3.

Bedding for Chinchillas

Having a good sleep is absolutely necessary to keep them healthy & active, and they tend to sleep a lot therefore, proper bedding is an absolute must for them.

There are two options of bedding for your beloved friend:

  • Hammock bedding
  • Normal Pet bedding

A sheltered hammock bedding is the most preferred ones for the chinchillas. We recommend you provide them with this option, while you can also provide standard pet bedding on a different floor to give them more options.

They usually last lifetime, you just have to keep them clean and washed them regularly to provide your beloved friend quality sleeping time.

Bedding expense for installing both options will cost you around $18 – $30, and it’s worth the investment as it will keep your fluffy friend happy and active.

Medical Care & Medications for Chinchilla

It’s very hard to predict the actual medical costs associated with a chinchilla as each animal is different from the other.

Nevertheless, it’s true that a significant portion of funds has to go towards the medical care of your beloved friend.

Major costs will be incurred due to health-related issues and illnesses which can arise any time.

But if you keep your chinchilla healthy and active, you will substantially reduce the amount.

If you can’t, it will cost you substantially more than our rough estimates.

Medicines, remedies, and nutritional supplements will be incurring the bulk of the costs.

While medicines are relatively cheap, the overall amount can upset your budget if your beloved friend gets severely ill.

You should expect to pay roughly around $20 – $60 for your chinchilla on a monthly basis, and these number can vary significantly depending upon the health condition of your beloved fluffy friend.

Even if you are taking extremely good care of your beloved friend, it is recommended to visit the vets at least once or twice a year.

By being a responsible pet owner and by getting these routine checkups done will not only keep your beloved friend healthy in the present but will also help you to reduce the cost by minimizing the chances of any future health-related problems.

You should research extensively and select the best possible vet for your fluffy friend. Never compromise over the price when it comes to the health of your chinchilla.

The charges of Vets vary a lot, and you should expect to pay around $50 – $100 per visit.

Emergency Medical Fund for Chinchilla

As, we all know about the uncertainty of life and the unexpected situations that may arise at any time, especially the health-related emergencies for your beloved fluffy friend.

It is highly recommended to set an emergency medical fund of initially $200. You’ll have to make monthly additions to reach an ideal stage in which you should have around $500 in the fund.

Chinchillas tend to have more medical issues in the latter stages of their life, and extra special care has to be given to them during the latter stages of their life.

Related Questions

Can you have a chinchilla for a pet? They have a very attractive and adorable appearance, are clean, odorless, quiet, and have unique behavioral characteristics that make wonderful pets.

They are very active and interactive, which make them wonderful companions to have, you just have to provide the means of interaction and enjoy playing and watching them.

They are suitable for older children and adults as pets, and they have a very shy nature which is not ideal for small children.

They normally have a long life span, and typically a healthy chinchilla lives for around 10 – 20 years.

Do chinchillas stink? Chinchillas are quite different from your many different household pets, as they are odorless and never leaves smell when healthy.

They could start to smell in the case of illness and health-related issues. And if it keeps on releasing odor you should immediately take them to the vet for quick treatment and diagnosis to prevent any further issues.

Another reason behind the smell could be dirty surroundings.

Therefore it is necessary for you to clean its cage regularly to keep your beloved friend healthy and active.

Do chinchillas bite? They are notorious for chewing everything.

So, if your fingers smell yummy due to holding their food or treat, they will try to taste them by taking a gentle nibble.

They might even try to take a bite of your finger, considering it as a treat.

They don’t bite you in anger or fear, and it’s your responsibility to avoid such situations by washing your hands thoroughly to remove the smell before you start handling them.

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