13 Reasons why Chinchillas Make the BEST Pets!

Every pet parent ever has one thing in common:

They all think their pet is the best.

Well, sorry, ladies and gentlemen! I hate to break it to you, but chinchillas are actually the best.

Don’t believe me?

I’ve got a whole 13 reasons to back me up!

It’s not like you really need ANY reason to get a chinchilla.

But, here is a list of 13 pros that will give you just that nudge you need to make the big move.

1. Chinchillas are social animals

Are chinchillas friendly? Absolutely!

It would be very mean of me to call any pet bad per se.

But, I’m sure you’ll agree on one thing with me:

Anti-social pets are not fun to own at all!

Well, with a chinchilla, no matter what type, age, size or breed, you don’t have to worry about getting bored.

These social creatures will mingle not just with their owners, but also with anyone else who approaches them in a friendly manner.

Their social personality will keep you entertained all day.

These skills also make them ideal for people who are first-time pet parents.

If you have very little to no experience with animals, chinchillas will be easy to socialize with.

You will notice that these animals will build a happy relationship with you without you having to put in a lot of effort, unlike in the case of a cat.

2. They are friendly

Being friendly with the owner is an excellent quality for pets.

But:

In chinchillas, this is further enhanced with their ability to be super chill around strangers as well.

You know how you teach your pet fun tricks to amaze your friends, but when it is show time, the pet ruins everything by being overly shy?

Well, that will never be an issue with a chinchilla.

Your pet will quickly become comfortable around new people.

You won’t have to worry about scaring your pet if you’re hosting a party.

In fact:

Your pet will fully enjoy the party with you!

3. Chinchillas have an accommodating nature

Chinchillas have a very accommodating nature.

This makes them the ideal pet for people who are animal lovers.

Your chinchilla will adjust with other animals without any hesitance.

Whether you’re bringing a chinchilla home to other pets or bringing in new pets when you already own a chinchilla, this animal will not cause any problems in either of these cases.

Here’s what’s even better:

Chinchillas love to live with others of their kind!

Unlike most animals, chinchillas do not get territorial if they have to live with other chinchillas in the same environment.

However, they will be very welcoming.

So, are chinchillas hard to take care of with other animals? Not at all.

Since chinchillas naturally live in ‘colonies’ in the wild, owning more than one in your home won’t be an issue.

If anything, they’ll only feel more comfortable and peaceful amid others of their kind.

4. Low Maintenance Diet

High maintenance pets can be inconvenient for people who have a small budget.

Despite their sensitive digestive systems, chinchillas do not require very fancy food.

In fact:

They live happily on the most basic diet.

This is what is also the healthiest for them.

Majority of their meals should consist of roughage.

So:

Grass, hay, and pellets will make up the biggest portion of a chinchilla’s diet.

Fruits and vegetables are also safe to be fed.

However, anything high in fatty acids should be avoided.

Restrict the number of treats to one teaspoon every day.

Other than that, just make sure that any diet changes are introduced gradually so that the animal’s sensitive digestive system can get used to the new food items.

5. Chinchillas are easy to train

Who doesn’t love a well-trained pet?

The thing with chinchillas is that they are pretty smart.

They can learn very quickly.

But there is one challenge:

You must schedule the training sessions at a time when the chinchilla will be most interested in learning.

If you start training your pet from a young age, things do become way more comfortable.

However:

With consistency, you can teach a chinchilla of any age anything you like.

They can be easily potty trained too.

6. Punctuality is common in them

These small animals have a very accurate internal clock.

You’ll notice that they will always be doing pretty much the same thing around the same time every day.

This will help you train them to build a routine that also suits your schedule.

Moreover:

Having a routine will make your life much more comfortable.

You can schedule your work for when the chinchilla is usually doing its own thing.

Or, you can plan a visit outdoors while leaving the chinchilla alone at home when you know it won’t need any attention or food.

Punctuality will build a very organized system which will be super easy to cope with.

7. Chinchillas have minimal grooming requirements

Do chinchillas smell and get dirty? They can, here’s some good news:

Chinchillas have minimum grooming requirements.

Their thick fur hardly ever needs to be brushed.

You may think that such a lush fur would need regular baths.

But, here’s the kicker:

Chinchillas don’t need to be bathed at all!

In fact, it is advised never to bathe them unless necessary.

What they do need to clean themselves are dust bathes. Here is my Chinchilla dust bath guide that teaches everything you need to know about grooming these pets.

This is not a hassle at all.

You’ll just need a bag of bath dust along with an enclosed tub.

Put the chinchilla inside, and it will clean itself on its own.

As for the rest of the maintenance, here’s how often you need to do it:

ActivityHow often
Dust bathTwice a week
PlaytimeOnce a day
Vet visitsOnce a year
Cage cleaningOnce a week

8. They aren’t attention seekers

As much as loving pets are adored, animals who need continuous attention can be a pain too.

This is especially true for pet parents who work outside their home.

Not only does it become a challenge to leave for office every day, but it is also hard to offer a highly energetic play time when you get back home tired.

Chinchilla’s are very laid back in this aspect.

They do require affection now and then.

But:

It isn’t something a busy person cannot adjust in their schedule.

Also, chinchillas mostly sleep during the day and stay active at night.

You can easily spare a little while for your furry friend before you head to bed. Here’s my article on how to cuddle with chinchillas.

9. Long Lifespan

A pet is no different than a child.

You invest your feelings deeply in the relationship you build with your pet.

So:

It also hurts deeply when you have to lose it.

Obviously, chinchillas are mortal, but they can live with you for almost two decades if they are kept safely in a cage.

Having a good chinchilla cage is important to keep predators at bay. Any lack of responsibility in this matter could lead to accidents or an early death for your chinchilla. Here are my favorite chinchilla cages.

The average lifespan of a chinchilla in the wild is 10 to 15 years.

But, if you’ve made sure to provide the best diet and environment, your pet may even live for up to 20 years!

Basically:

If you got a chinchilla when you were a child, you could grow with it.

Similarly, if you got a chinchilla when you were a bit older, you can grow old with it.

That definitely makes chinchillas the best pet ever!

10. Chinchillas are affectionate

Chinchilla’s are very affectionate.

Once they begin to recognize their owner, they will genuinely start getting attached.

They will reciprocate similar feelings as to how they are being treated by their owner.

If you offer a lot of love and attention, the chinchilla will do the same.

The truth is:

It is a very magical feeling to have such a strong bond with an animal.

Chinchillas’ affection for you also encourages them to be more obedient.

Although they aren’t very keen on cuddling, they do still love to spend time with their human parents.

11. They are self-sufficient

Owning certain animals is a lot of hard work.

For example:

Cats require a whole lot of toys and entertainment options.

They also need to be taken out for walks regularly.

Despite all of this, they quickly get bored, and you need to replace all previous options with something new and innovative.

With a chinchilla, you won’t have to go through all this hassle.

They are pretty self-sufficient when it comes to keeping themselves entertained.

Their hyperactive personality will keep them running and jumping all day long.

Chinchilla’s don’t really demand much from their owner except a small amount of play time on a regular basis.

Even when you let a chinchilla out of its cage, it will mostly keep itself entertained on its own without continuously needing your intervention.

12. Chinchillas know how to defend themselves

Chinchillas have a very defensive nature.

You don’t have to worry about them getting eaten up by a bigger animal or getting stuck.

Here’s the thing:

Chinchilla’s have a natural defense mechanism called fur slip.

Fur slip allows chinchillas to be able to release a patch of their fur to escape a situation where they might have gotten stuck in a predator’s mouth or some other narrow space.

Now:

This does invoke the risk of bald spots.

But, at the same time, it also ensures that your chinchilla doesn’t really need 24/7 assistance from you!

13. Chinchillas are incredibly soft and cuddly

If the 12 qualities mentioned above weren’t enough to convince you, this one definitely will.

Just go to your nearby pet store and touch a chinchilla.

I can bet that their fur will be the softest thing you’ve ever touched!

Wouldn’t you want to be able to caress such a soft and lush surface every day?

Here’s a fun fact:

Chinchillas are known to grow around 50 hair in every single hair follicle.

This means, despite their small surface area, they still have more hair than most other creatures.

Not only this, their hair quality is amazing too.

The thickness of their fur makes it one of the softest in the world.

Moreover:

Their dense fur does not allow the growth of any mites or fleas.

The impenetrable fur is not a suitable home for such allergies.

Therefore, you won’t ever have to worry about fleas either!

All of this while having access to their soft and lush fur; it’s definitely a steal!

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Now:

I’m sure you’re fully sold on the idea of owning a chinchilla.

But, there’s more you need to know.

These were all pros.

Definitely, there is nothing in the world with so many pros and no cons at all.

Owning a chinchilla does come with some responsibilities.

Here’s what you must keep in mind before you proceed to make the final decision of getting a chinchilla.

1. Short Attention Span

Although they are very social and friendly, they do not stay interested in one thing or person for a very long time.

Now:

This does not mean they’ll get bored of you after a couple of months.

What this means is that they will hardly be entertained by one game for more than 20 minutes or so.

This can be a good thing as well as a bad thing.

Since they won’t be interested in playing with you alone for a long time, you can continue on with other important things without the worry of a nagging pet.

However:

This does make it challenging for you too.

You will have to come up with a lot of fun ideas to keep the animal entertained throughout the day.

Their short attention spans can also prove troublesome during training.

But, that isn’t much of an issue because treats keep them attentive for a period long enough for one day’s training session.

2. Chinchillas are not very child-friendly

Chinchillas love chewing everything.

They will literally chew anything that seems to fit their mouth.

This means you’ll have to take care of two things:

  • There must not be any valuable or harmful items within a chinchilla’s reach if it is out of its cage
  • A child must never be near a chinchilla unless an adult is present to supervise

Adults are smart enough to cope with situations like these.

But, with kids, they will panic and not just hurt themselves, but also the animal.

Kids usually have a stronger hold which triggers the chinchilla’s defense mechanism.

This is why they aren’t recommended pets for homes where there are kids.

3. They are sensitive to temperatures

The beautiful lush fur does come with a downside:

It makes chinchillas very sensitive to temperatures.

Look at it this way:

The fur is impenetrable for fleas and ticks because it gets way too hot underneath the thick layer of hair.

So, you can only imagine how hot the chinchillas would feel in a slightly warmer temperature.

They are also known to get heat strokes in such weather conditions.

Therefore, chinchillas are not recommended for people who live in warmer areas.

Moreover, for people who do live in cooler areas must keep the chinchilla in a well-ventilated area.

Plenty of drinking water should be available at all times.

You also need to keep track of the animal’s body temperatures.

If the temperature seems to be rising, immediately head to a vet to get help.

4. Health Issues

Small animals are generally more sensitive and vulnerable.

In the case of chinchillas, this brings forth serious health-related issues.

Despite their strong immune system, there are a number of common diseases that affect chinchillas.

Although their thick and soft fur is very lovable, it also makes it much harder to notice any injuries.

The thick fur covers any scratches, pimples, swelling, redness or other symptoms that indicate an issue.

This is why most chinchillas are only diagnosed when the situation has gotten out of hand.

Here is a list of infections and diseases you must keep an eye out for:

  • Dental infections
  • Fungal infection
  • Ringworm
  • Eye infections
  • Choking
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Gastrointestinal diseases

To ensure your chinchilla’s health, schedule regular visits to the vet.

Also, never ignore the smallest of changes in the chinchilla’s behavior or appearance.

Related Questions

Do chinchillas like to cuddle?

The truth is:

Chinchillas are not lap pets.

They are generally very hyper but, they usually prefer to be in their own space, without being restricted in someone’s hands or lap.

However, some chinchillas do love to cuddle as well.

So, the answer to this will mostly depend on the nature and mood of your pet.

Can chinchillas get wet?

The thing with chinchillas is that although they have a very easy personality, they are a tad bit harder to care for.

You can never let your chinchilla get wet, even by mistake.

It is practically impossible for a chinchilla’s thick fur to dry.

This leads to health issues which can prove fatal too.

Therefore, chinchillas should never be allowed to get wet at all.

Do chinchillas recognize their owners?

Yes, these animals build a quick relationship with their owners once they get familiar with them.

You will have to be readily available around them every day to build this sense of familiarity.

Simple things like playing with the pet, offering food, and talking to it speed up the process overall.

References:

https://www.petmd.com/exotic/conditions/skin/your-chinchilla-going-bald-it-may-be-case-fur-slip

https://www.thesprucepets.com/chinchilla-ileus-1238229

https://www.petmd.com/exotic/care/common-illnesses-chinchillas

https://www.petmd.com/exotic/conditions/respiratory/c_ex_ch_upper_respiratory_tract_infection

https://www.petmd.com/exotic/conditions/respiratory/c_ex_ch_choke

https://www.thesprucepets.com/chinchilla-eye-diseases-1238228

https://www.petmd.com/exotic/emergency/e_ex_ch_heat_stress

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