Chinchillas are highly active, especially in the early morning, evening and during the night. They can live for up to 15 years and have very specific needs. They're wonderful to watch as they explore their enclosures and make use of any toys, levels, hammocks and next boxes.
Chinchilla's live much longer than other small pets so it's important to bear this in mind - getting a chinchilla is a big emotional and financial commitment.
They live in large enclosures which need plenty of space and catching them for handling can be very stressful. Chinchillas prefer exploring a new space on their own rather than being held. If you would prefer a small pet who enjoys being handled, consider rats or ferrets.
A friend for your Chinchilla: why they’re best kept in pairs
Chinchillas are social animals and they get lonely and stressed if they're kept on their own. We recommend keeping them in pairs so they have the company they need to stay happy. It’s really important to bear this in mind when you’re thinking about getting pet Chinchillas, as you’ll need to double the cost of essentials like food, bedding and vet fees.
Getting Chinchillas that are from the same litter and have grown up together means they’re more likely to get on well and not fight each other. We also recommend getting two Chinchillas of the same sex – keeping boys with boys, and girls with girls. This means they won’t mate and leave you with lots of baby Chinchillas to find a home for!
Things to consider
Before you commit to getting a Chinchilla, read our vets advice on:
- Giving your Chinchilla the ideal home – advice on the type of enclosure they need.
- Chinchilla health – find out how to stop your Chinchilla getting bored as well as signs of illness to look out for.
- Your Chinchilla’s diet – read about the kind of food your Chinchilla should be eating and how to keep them in shape.
- How to hold a Chinchilla safely – a guide to how adults and children should hold chinchillas.