Key Facts

Length:  30-49cm

Weight:  1 - 1.5kg

Lifespan:  15-20 years

Indoor or Outdoor:  Indoor

Domestic varieties include:  chinchilla lanigera, chinchilla brevicaudata.

All the way from South America

The small and cute chinchilla originally comes from South America. Thanks to its soft fur, its long ears and its bushy tail, people quickly fall for the charms of this small pet. Although chinchillas are very furry, they are resistant to fleas and do not loose much dander, which makes them hypoallergenic. Not all rodents are the same. If you are interested in having a chinchilla as a pet, you should research the foodcare and the behaviour of a chinchilla wants to match your wishes for a pet. With that in mind, it's important to know where they come from and how they live in the wild.

Species of Chinchilla

There are two species of chinchilla: the short-tailed chinchilla and the long-tailed chinchilla. Chinchilla have failed so all domestic chinchillas are descended from the long-tailed chinchilla. These creatures were originally found only in the barren Andes region in South America before they were bred in Europe. The short-tailed chinchilla lives in the high-altitude regions of the Andes at 3,500 to 4,500 meters above sea-level, while the long-tailed chinchilla lives at around 1,000 to 2,500 meters above sea-level.

Chinchilla small pet

Their Natural Habitat

The region of Andes is dominated by a dry, desert-like climate with very little rainfall and low humidity. The chinchillas are exposed to greatly fluctuating temperatures there. They sleep during the day in caves, caves, burrows or under thick undergrowth. Their mealtime is at dusk or during the night.

Due to their surroundings in the wild, their diet is naturally low in nutrients and high in fiber. Cactus as well as fruit from cacti, seeds from certain shrubs, flowers and various types of grass. They get their intake of water from the morning on leaves and from the cacti.

Top Tips for Adopting a Chinchilla

Chinchillas can be expensive pets, so make sure you know what you need to spend on cages, accessories, food and vet's fees before committing to buy. Remember that you are looking for a chinchilla for up to 20 years. Always adopt from a reputable breeder, who wants to spend time doing chinchillas from birth, or you can check your local animal shelter. Chinchillas like company, so it's best to buy them in single sex pairs. They may be stressed if they are left alone but may fight in larger groups. Before buying your chinchillas, have the cage and equipment ready. Find a space for the cage in a quiet area of ​​the house and make sure it is away from radiators or draughts.Baby chinchillas are ready to leave at 8-12 weeks of age. Be very careful if the chinchillas are in mixed-sex groups, b est to look elsewhere. Arrange a time to look at the chinchillas first and select your own from those available. They are in a clean and hygienic condition. Watch how the chinchillas behave in the cage and in your hands - they should be calm and alert. Take a good look to check that they are healthy before agreeing to buy. They should be neither fat nor skinny with no swellings. The eyes and nose should be clear with no discharge and they should be easily. The rear end should be clean, which should be shiny, with no bare patches.Teeth should be well-aligned.

Settling in at Home

All animals are moving and they want to be able to adjust to their new surroundings. Chinchillas in particular are very sensitive to disruption and change. Put your chinchillas into the cage with all the essentials like bedding, food and water, and allow them to settle in undisturbed over a couple of days. In urine spraying or spitting - their natural defense mechanisms! Chinchillas respond well to routine, so try to feed them at the same time every day. Start quietly talking to them when you pass the cage and putting your hand into the cage to feed them treats. Take this stage slowly so you learn that you are not a threat.Eventually they will come to your hand for treats, and then you can think about letting them out of their cage for exercise. Remember that chinchillas are not necessarily for cuddling. They may eventually start to climb over you and let them stroked, but this takes time and careful handling.

The Needs of Chinchillas Kept as Pets

Before buying a chinchilla, potential owners should make sure that the cage is big enough for chinchillas which needs lots of room to jump and climb around. Chinchillas need a sand bath every day in order to keep their clean and soft.

Seeing as chinchillas sleep during the day, they are very important. The chinchilla cage should be placed near a window, but it should not be kept in direct sunlight or a draft.

Chinchillas are naturally nocturnal and tend to be timid so they are not suitable for pets.

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Length:  30-49cm Weight:  1 - 1.5kg Lifespan:  15-20 years Indoor or Outdoor:  Indoor Domestic varieties include:  chinchilla lanigera, chinchilla brevicaudata.