The Chinchilla is one of the rodent families. A Chinchilla will live amongst a herd of many other Chinchillas. They are native to South America and usually live in the higher elevations, such as the Andes Mountains.
Of all the mammals that live on land, the Chinchilla is the one with the densest fur. No animal living out of the water has denser fur. If we include animals that live in water, the Sea Otter is the one with a fur coat that is denser than the Chinchilla.
Most Chinchillas found today are farm-raised, specifically for the clothing and accessory industry. There are many households that have had or may still have a Chinchilla as a pet.
The Chinchilla can actually grow up to 60 hairs from one hair follicle. This is why a Chinchilla is considered the animal with the densest fur.
About A Chinchilla
The Chinchilla is the type of animal that is most active in the early dawn hours and then at dusk. To many people, they do not seem to make a great house pet. They are most active during the times that their human is not active. This means that they are somewhat nocturnal, and when they are awake during the day, they do not like to be disturbed.
While a chinchilla can become very attached to the human in their life, they are not the type of animal that likes to be held. The Chinchilla does not make a good pet for any young child. The personality and disposition of the Chinchilla is one that does not fit well with children.
The Chinchilla can be quite skittish, this could lead to injuries for the Chinchilla if a child is attempting to hold the Chin. The child may end up being nipped when the Chinchilla becomes scared.
If a Chinchilla becomes accustomed to a human beginning when they are just little ones, it may become the type of pet that does like to be held. Just remember that not all are like that.
Your Chinchilla may live a very long time. On average, a Chinchilla could easily live 15 years, however, up to 22 years is not unheard of either.
The temperament of a Chinchilla is one of a dependent nature. Meaning that it depends if the kit had grown accustomed to being held by a human shortly after birth.
A Chinchilla can grow to be 10 to 14 inches in body length and have a height of 5 to 6 inches.
A Chinchilla likes to have plenty of room to run and play. Having a larger cage or habitat for the Chinchilla is a great idea. Since the Chinchilla is a routine type of animal, they like their routines to be consistent. Meaning that they like to have their food at the same time each day. They like to be left alone during sleeping hours. They should be kept in a relatively quiet location during daytime hours.
It is not a wise idea to use a wire cage for your Chinchilla. These rodents are able to squeeze through incredibly small areas. For a Chin, the best type of habitat is to get a large aquarium for your pet Chinchilla. The Chinchilla has collapsible ribs which allow them to squeeze into these tiny areas.
The chinchilla has a delicate digestive system. They do need to be fed a lot of roughage. One thing that is different from most rodent house pets is that twigs and sticks are actually considered a treat for a Chinchilla. Especially if they can get hold of a stick from an Apple tree.
The cage or habitat should be quite large so that you can place blocks of wood or sticks and twigs. The Chinchilla likes to have room to run and play. You may find that your Chinchilla does not like exercise wheels. The only way that you will see a Chinchilla on an exercise wheel is if it was using them at a young age.
When it comes to grooming your Chinchilla, you may find that there is not much that you need to do. The Chinchilla is overall a very eBay rodent to take care of. Obviously, you will need to change the bedding and the bottom of the cage to remove the faeces and urine. Do not be deceived by the lack of a smell. Although you may not smell any odour, the Chinchilla does still have to eliminate waste.
Speaking of maintenance, as long as you give fresh food and water each day, there is not much that you need to do for the Chinchilla. If for some reason you do smell an odour coming from your Chinchilla or the Chinchillas cage, you may want to speak with the Veterinarian that is trained in how to care for Chinchillas.
An odour on the Chinchilla or the cage is a signal that something could be wrong. They could be sick or there is another reason that your veterinarian can explain to you.
A Chinchilla Smell
In all reality, there is no smell. That is likely one of the best aspects in regards to owning a Chinchilla. The Chinchilla does not need a typical bath, they could receive a dust bath once in a while. You will enjoy knowing that a Chinchilla will not end up attracting fleas.
The Chinchilla loves to groom and bathe himself or herself.
Chinchillas actually smell really good. They smell clean, and lucky for you, they do not need to take a bath.
One thing that you may notice is that the Chinchilla will throw hay, faeces and bedding out of the cage if they are able to. Apparently, they like their surroundings clean also.
Considering the Chinchilla is a rodent, he or she is probably the best-looking rodent there is. They are somewhat a cross between a squirrel and a bunny. They are slightly plump and a whole lot adorable.
The negatives of owning a Chinchilla may sound a tad scary, but if you watch and take care of your Chin, he or she will be fine. They can turn diabetic, this is something to watch for. They definitely need items that they can chew on, this also helps to protect their teeth from growing out of hand. Just like a rabbit, a Chinchilla needs to nibble on the roughage and bits of sticks to help the teeth.
It is almost impossible to tell if your Chinchilla is not feeling well. It is built-in nature forever, that since they are known as prey animals, they grew accustomed to hiding how they feel. If the prey showed any signs of not feeling well or is injured, they would be attacked first. Injured or sick prey does not take much energy from the predator to capture, which is why the predator will go after the sick, old or injured prey first.
It is always a good idea to give your Chinchilla a friend. Having two Chinchillas is good to keep the loneliness away. However, having two Chinchillas, just as with any other animal can lead to issues of fighting or bullying at any time. As the owner, it is best to be prepared to separate the two Chinchillas at the spur of a moment. They could begin to fight at any time, even if they had gotten along for years before.
Body Smell, Odor
Again, a Chinchilla is a very clean animal. There will seldom be an odour emanating from your little buddy. A Chinchilla loves to groom himself and keep himself super clean. Oddly, a Chinchilla does not have smelly urine or smelly faeces.
Their living area will very seldom have any bad odour to it also. If there is an odour, be sure to clean the cage and see if that helps. The odour could be emanating from the lack of the human taking the responsibility to clean the cage.
If cleaning the cage or aquarium does not help the odour issue, check to see if your furry friend smells. If there is a smell coming off your Chinchilla be sure to call your veterinarian immediately. Only with an examination and possible tests will they be able to determine what the problem is.
Again, of the entire rodent family, the Chinchilla is the cutest and most odour-free of all the species in the family. However, it can take years working on bonding with your Chinchilla in order for the Chinchilla to allow you to hold him or let him lay on a blanket on your lap.
This is not an ideal pet for small children as the Chinchilla is a rather feisty animal. The Chin can also be quite skittish and jump or become frightened very easily. This could lead to injuries for either the child or the Chinchilla.
For the most part, the Chinchilla does not need a whole amount of daily work. As long as your baby has a good diet, freshwater, treats that are sticks or twigs and plenty of room to run and play, you will have a super happy pet.