Chinchillas are beautiful creatures and fun pets! But, before you buy them it is good to know a few things about these active animals. That way you can make an informed decision, since these animals need a lot of time, attention and love! You would like to know what a normal chinchilla lifespan is for example.
After all, they rely on your complete care throughout their lives. In this article, we will give you all the information about chinchillas that you need before purchasing them.
If you want to read more about rodents, read here.
Living environment chinchillas
These rodents are native to South America, where they live at high altitudes in harsh climates. They are very lively group animals that like to scramble and jump. So it is very important to purchase a large cage in which they have plenty of opportunities to do so.
The ideal cage for two animals is at least 100 centimeters high, 80 centimeters wide and 80 centimeters deep. If you decide to keep more than two chinchillas, you will also have to take this into account in terms of space. Make sure there is sufficient ventilation; a glass cage, for example, is not suitable!
Character and chinchilla lifespan
In South America, the chinchillla lives in groups of sometimes hundreds of animals on rocky terrain where they dwell in rock crevices and caves. In the hierarchy of these chinchillas, the female is at the top. So the animals are social, but when threatened they will make themselves big and spit at the attacker. The chinchilla lifespan can reach up to 20 years in captivity. In the wild they will not live that long.
Later in life, it is more difficult to place chinchillas together, but it is possible. Not all combinations will produce a stable and enjoyable relationship and thus a pleasant atmosphere. A period during which they get used to each other’s presence without actually getting together is always necessary to see how they react to each other. Some animals or some group compositions will never work.
In the wild, the chinchilla is almost extinct and therefore protected. Previously, in the wild, there were several species of chinchillas. Unfortunately, thanks to hunting for fur, many animals died. In addition, only a limited population was also used for further breeding of this tame housemate, primarily for the fur trade. The result of this human intervention is that only one species of chinchilla remains today.
In addition to a spacious cage, provide plenty of jumping opportunities and toys, such as wooden planks and tunnels. The above cage is very suitable for chinchillas, but should be expanded with this set. This will allow your clambering chinchillas to get around and jump around nicely.
The critters are very active, making it important to let them run loose for at least an hour a day. Just make sure this is in a place where they can safely run around without power lines and escape routes.
Chinchillas naturally eat herbs, grasses, bark and leaves. Therefore, their basic diet consists of fiber-rich hay. In fact, this roughage is good for stimulating the animals’ chewing. As a supplementary food, you can give pellets. This will also give them the other necessary nutrients. Herbs can be fed as a healthy variety. Of course, chinchillas also like to snack occasionally. Make sure that the treats are dried and contain no sugars or fats.
Chinchillas are beautiful creatures, but not yet very well known for keeping as pets! Before you proceed to purchase, it’s a good idea to read the facts below:
-Chinchilla lifespan: Chinchillas can reach an age of about 20 years.
-They lay about 200 droppings a day and love to throw them (yes, even outside their cage).
-They show a lot of activity (and noise) at night.
-They are group animals, so at least one companion is a must.
-They are prey animals by nature, so they will not let you know if they are sick. After all, weakness means easy prey for the enemy.
-They grow to be about 25 centimeters long (but the tail adds about 15 centimeters).
-The animals can make a variety of sounds, including even a barking sound! They make this at possible dangers.
-They cannot live outdoors in our climate, so an indoor cage is required.