Chinchillas are very active and love to move around, most small pets can make a huge mess when you consider the different items that are in their cage. Knowing what you are getting into before you make a decision about a new pet for your family can make a huge difference in your decision. Some of the things that we wanted to learn about, such has how clean chinchillas were was a huge factor that we looked into before getting a new critter for our family. One of the questions we ask is as follows.
Are Chinchillas Clean Pets?
Chinchillas are very clean pets. They will groom themselves between baths. Their dense fur also protects them from parasites. Chinchillas shed little and have almost no dander. Their bath consists of rolling in volcanic ash or dust to eliminate oils and dirt.
As chinchillas need to have an open-air cage there is no way to eliminate this entirely. Hay, bedding, poop, and chewed-up bits may end up outside of the cage. There are things you can do to minimize it. Start off by getting a good quality cage, so you can add some scatter guards. This will not stop all messes from coming out but it will cut it down greatly.
Using fleece liners so the mess sticks to the lining instead of flying around will help even more. With fleece liners, you also do not have the mess or the expense of the bedding. The fleece liners just need to be thrown in the washer and they are clean and fresh and ready for reuse.
Vacuum or sweep out the cage daily, This will only take a few minutes, but you will find it helps keep the mess from falling out of the cage. Be sure to hit the ledges so the poo there doesn’t get knocked out the next time your chinchilla jumps up there.
Chinchillas will at times when they are stressed, angry, or frightened throw their poop at you. Or just throw it out of the cage if the cage becomes to soiled. Another thing chinchillas will do if they get stressed is shoot urine at you. You will usually get a teeth-chattering warning before this happens.
You can also with patience train your chinchilla to pee in a litter box. Not all chinchilla parents have luck with this. No way to know if it is the chinchilla or the way you’re trying to train it. But some have had luck doing this and it will keep the cage cleaner and easier to clean.
These tips will help you keep the area around the cage cleaner. Luckily chinchilla poop is dry little pellets so they are easy to clean. And since this little furball will poop on an average of 250+ times a day it is a great thing that it is so easy to clean.
Do Chinchillas poop on you?
A blunt answer is YES! A chinchilla poops so much and they do not care where you or they are. If you handle your chinchilla you will at some point get pooped on. It is good that they will not soil your clothes when they poop.
Chinchillas have been known to throw their poop. This could be because they are lacking attention, throwing their poop is a childish temper tantrum. This can also be a way of telling you their cage isn’t clean enough. Or it could be that they are just bored and need more things to play with.
It is advisable to keep the cage swept or vacuumed out daily or at least a few times a week. And do a deep scrubbing once a week. During the deep clean, you will want to make sure to use some vinegar or bleach with warm water. And rinse it well before returning your chinchilla.
What you have to watch out for is if their poop gets loose or if they stop going altogether, then you need to get them to the vet. An unnatural poop is a good indication that there is a digestive problem that needs to be addressed.
So, I have covered some of the messier subjects of the chinchilla. As you can see it is not all that bad when you think about other animals. Now will come some much better news on the cleaner part of the chinchilla. And it can be amazing at just how clean they are.
How Do Chinchillas Get Clean?
A chinchilla will keep itself groomed much like a cat will. Chinchillas use their paws to clean the face, ears, and whiskers. If they get something sticky in their fur they will reject those hairs and grow new ones.
The best way for your chinchilla to stay clean is by giving them a dust bath a few times a week. They will roll, flip, and spin in the dust. It gets down into the fur and spreads out and removes the oil next to the skin. This will keep their fur clean and soft. This dust bath should last 5-15 min. They will make a mess with the dust especially if the bath you use isn’t large enough. This mess is easy to clean.
You should never clean your chinchilla with soap and water. It is very difficult to get them dry which can lead to fungus growth and even hypothermia. A chinchilla does not have an odor so you will never have to wash them for this reason.
Do Chinchillas Shed?
This question has a double answer. No, they do not shed on average. You can feel free to pick them up and pet them without them shedding all over you. This is why you have to be careful in hot and humid areas. They should be kept at a temperature under 80 Fahrenheit.
They do shed some if they are in an area that is to hot for them for an extended period of time. But the shedding is usually light. My research showed that if a chinchilla is shedding and the temperature around them hasn’t changed, it should go see a vet.
Stress can cause a chinchilla to lose patches of fur, this is called fur slip. This doesn’t hurt the chinchilla, although, the spot may be sensitive to touch, so just be gentle. The fur will grow back.
Are Chinchillas Hypoallergenic?
Yes, as hypoallergenic means causing fewer allergic reactions and not zero reactions. Their fur is so dense, and they have nearly no dander, and do very little shedding. Many people who can’t be around cats and dogs are fine with chinchillas. That doesn’t mean that you will not have any trouble with them. Some have had reactions to the dust baths and those with extremely sensitive allergies can have trouble with the chinchilla. So you really need to spend time with one, before you can be sure that you will not be affected.
The dense fur of the chinchilla keeps parasites like fleas, lice, mites, and ticks at bay. This doesn’t mean that they absolutely can’t get them, but they are a lot less likely to.
So I have learned that yes, chinchillas are very hygienically clean animals, they can also be messy. I have found some tips to help you minimize this. Some big advantages are their resistance to parasites, No need to water bathe them, and the mess can be minimal with a good set-up. I hope some of this information helps you in your endeavor of getting a chinchilla.