Why Do Chinchillas Poop So Much?

Chinchillas make adorable pets, as they look like a cross between a kitten, a rabbit, and a rat. They have thick but soft furry coats, long whiskers, and sweet temperaments. They can interact with humans and even have “squeaky” conversations. But with any small animal, you must deal with its waste. If you’ve had one for any length of time, you may wonder, why does my chinchilla poop so much?

In Comparison to Humans

Humans normally defecate once or twice a day. We have long digestive tracts where the food rests and the nutrients are absorbed. Any unwanted waste heads to the colon where it resides. The human feels an urgency as the colon fills up, then heads to the toilet. Humans also have higher intelligence than animals (don’t tell your cat that!), so bathroom breaks can be planned accordingly.

But for a small chinchilla, they have smaller digestive tracts and colons. They aren’t embarrassed by feces, so if they have to go, they have to go. There are also other reasons why. 

Do They Really Poop as Much as they Say?

If you’re new to chinchilla parenting, then yes, it may seem like they do poop a lot. The good news is that the poop is small, hard, and dry, so you can discreetly dispose of it. Chinchillas can actually poop hundreds of times each day. That may seem crazy, but it’s counting each tiny bit of poop. It doesn’t pile up inside the intestines such as it does with a dog or a cat. Some might say that the pooping is continuous, or with each and every breath they take. 

What is Normal Pooping for a Chinchilla?

Chinchilla owners may joke that their pets go several hundred times a day, but that’s not entirely true. 200 or 300 times is perhaps the reality. It is normal for your chinchilla to eat a lot of food throughout the day. This is because it has a plant-based diet and must eat more to gain the same amount of nutrients as a carnivore. Chinchillas also require specific nutrients than a dog or cat does, hence the extra indulgence. When they do poop, it will be only one or two small pieces at a time, then again a few minutes later. 

How Can I Control Pooping?

You shouldn’t try to control your chinchilla’s natural digestive process. Decreasing their food intake will only cause them harm, and can lead to other issues, such as the inability to fight off disease. If you are concerned, then read on for more tips. You will learn to adapt and grow with your pet. Chinchillas are not the only pets who aren’t litter box or outside trained like a cat or dog. 

Can a Chinchilla Poop in Unexpected Places?

Yes, if you have a human child, then that happens too. The good news is that chinchilla poop is small and hard. You can easily pick it up to dispose of it, then wash your hands. If you’re concerned, you can dedicate a part of your room to them for play time or when they’re out of their cage. Simply place a towel or washable mat down that you can easily wash it a few times a week. A chinchilla may also poop on you, though don’t take it personally. It’s best to deal with it as it happens, and get on with your day. 

Is There Anytime a Chinchilla Doesn’t Poop?

Your chinchilla will poop if they are eating food, sleeping, playing, interacting with their humans, or mating. (Please don’t breed your animals, there are plenty of unwanted pets in the animals shelters to adopt!) So no, there really is no time that they wouldn’t be pooping. A chinchilla will poop in the morning, afternoon, evening, and middle of the night. 

How Often Should I Clean a Chinchilla’s Cage?

You can do a light cleaning and tidying once per day, but their cage should be fully emptied and washed out at least once per week. Even though a chinchilla is used to their own poop, it can get a bit too much for them to handle if it fills up with poop and urine. Even cats stop use their litter box if it gets too filthy. Animals in the wild move on if their habitat gets too dirty. Be sure to clean up regularly and your pet will be kept happy and healthy. 

What If My Chinchilla Isn’t Pooping Anymore?

If your chinchilla has stopped pooping, see if the little animal is still breathing. Generally, only death will stop the poop. The other reason could be if they are sick. Have they eaten recently? If they are sick and haven’t, there may be nothing left to come out. If this doesn’t resolve in 30 minutes, call the vet to have them examined. 

Can We Do a Comparison with Rabbits or Guinea Pigs?

Chinchillas are a type of rodent, and like all rodents and other small mammals, including rabbits and guinea pigs, they can poop a lot. But generally, chinchillas poop way more than other small pets on average.

Consider the 200 to 300 times per day, rather than the 100 times a day that a guinea pig will poop. Rabbits poop slightly less than a chinchilla, but keep in mind that rabbit poop is softer and smells bad. A chinchilla’s poop is hard and dry and doesn’t have a smell to it (unless you hold it up to your nose.)

If you’ve always wondered why your chinchilla poops a lot then now you understand why. It’s totally normal. If it stops, you should be worried and book an appointment at the veterinary clinic. And if you’re considering adopting a chinchilla, think about how much this may affect you, if at all.

Other pets can be even messier (including human children). This is part of adopting a furry family member to your family, and the slight discomfort is certain to be cancelled out by your fun and loving furry pet who loves you right back.


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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