Chinchilla

Chinchilla

Where does the Chinchilla come from?

This small rodent is native to South America. They live on rocky,  arid areas in the mountains. Chinchillas are named for the Chincha Indians living in the Andes.

What does the Chinchilla look llike?

The body is about 12 inches long and the squirrel-like tail about 5-6 inches. The Chinchilla’s fur is extremely soft. For this reason, sadly, the Chinchillas has been hunted and bred for fur coats. Although hunting wild Chinchillas is banned, they are still bred in captivity for their coats. As pets their life span is about 15-20 years.

What is the personality of the Chinchilla?

While they don’t like to be handled much, Chinchillas can be fun pets. It’s best to get a young Chinchilla as they will be easier to tame. They are largely nocturnal, so playtime and activity occurs at night. They require cooler temperatures and should not be placed near warm or hot spots. Once your Chinchilla is tame enough, you can let it go outside the cage with supervision to explore its surroundings. This will provide more exercise for your pet.

How do I care for and feed the Chinchilla?

A cage for the Chinchilla should be large and have shelves and ladders for climbing. Chinchillas are chewers as all rodents are, so be sure to offer safe toys such as those made from untreated wood.  Since Chinchillas love dust baths, your pet supplier shaould have a bath made specifically for this purpose. A Chinchilla diet should include hay and pellets specially designed for it. A small amount of treats can include fruit, vegetables, sunflower seeds and rolled oats. Always have frest water available.

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