Having to clean up after any pet is a chore that we all have do with with any pet. It’s never fun but we still have to get it done. With some creativity you can figure out ways to make it so the chore is not as bad.
Can a chinchilla be litter trained like a cat? Yes, that can not be a typical litter pan, as it contains plastic that the chinchilla can chew up and make them sick. Using a contain that is glass or ceramic is a better option.
I will go into more details on what works and go into details on how to make this work for your new friend below.
The Litter Box
You can not use a typical plastic litter pan for a chinchilla, as they will chew it and the ingestion of plastic can be fatal to a chinchilla. You will need to use something that is glass, ceramic, or a non-rusting metal.
You can buy litter boxes made of these materials and they usually have wire trays that will let the urine fall away so that your chinchilla will not step in it or get it in his fur. They can come in a variety of colors, and in angular shapes to fit well into the corner of the cage.
A Pyrex dish works really well, as do small glass cake pans. However, they do not have the angle cut for the corner, this isn’t a problem they will just take up a bit more room being square. And they do not come with racks to keep your chinchilla above where the pee will be collected.
Step By Step Guide
First, you need to wait till your chinchilla is around the age of six months old before this time they go wherever they get the urge. At around 6 mo. they start to pick an area that they want for their urine. They are proficient poopers and they will not train to do this in the box.
Once you notice that your chinchilla seems to be urinating in the same area of the cage regularly then it has matured to point that it can be trained to use a littler box. Be sure that the food and water dishes are not close to the litter tray.
Training A Chinchilla To Use A Litter Box
Once your chinchilla is ready, you remove a bit of the bedding where they have been going and put it in the litter tray you have decided to use. Then thoroughly clean the cage. Place some clean critter litter in with the dirty bedding and place it in the corner of the cage that your chinchilla has chosen.
At this point, your chinchilla may already get the message and be on its way. It may also decide it wants to just pick another spot and then you have to begin the task of getting it to go where you want it to. This can be time-consuming and a bit frustrating, just keep your patience.
If your chinchilla has just moved the spot it is using, each time you find a wet spot put that bedding in the litter tray. Don’t leave wet bedding out in the cage for them to find. I know that you may not be there right at the time but move it as soon as you see it. Try wiping the area down with a vinegar rag each time you do this.
If your chinchilla has not caught on within a couple of weeks to what you are wanting, then you may have to get a little more drastic. Remove all the bedding from the cage and only use it in the litter tray. You will want to be cleaning the litter out of the tray as you go but always make sure to leave a little dirty litter in there so the chinchilla will be attracted to it.
Changing out your bedding for a fleece liner can also help with this process. If there is no bedding in the cage for the chinchilla to use they will naturally go to the spot that has some. As your chinchilla catches on to where it is to urinate you will want to start cutting out the bedding and opt just for the critter litter.
How Will A Chinchilla Use A Litter Box?
Your chinchilla will only use the litter box to urinate in. They do not poop in the litter box as they would never leave it if they did. However, getting them to urinate in the box will keep them and the cage cleaner and make cage cleaning much faster and easier.
It also makes it easier to keep the smell down as you can clean just the litter box more often without having to clean the whole cage. It is the urine excreted by the chinchilla that smells, not the chinchilla or the poop. And at this point, a quick 2-minute vacuum job will take care of the poop between cage cleaning.
If your chinchilla is urinating other than in a litter box, they can get urine-stained fur. These stains can cause urinary tract infections and skin irritation. If a urinary infection is not caught fast enough and gets into the bloodstream it can be fatal. You will want to give your chinchilla a dust bath as soon as the stain is spotted.
So it is time to give you some information now that you will also want to consider once deciding to litter train your chinchilla. Do not worry it is just a few tips to make things go smoother.
Moving The Litter Box
Once your chinchilla is trained to urinate in the box you will not want to just move it across the cage to change things around. You will have to slowly move it to where you want it. About an inch at a time, until it is where you wish it to be, this should usually be in a back corner.
If you move it all at once your chinchilla may decide not to use it anymore. They usually pick a spot and it is not as out in the open. It can be moved to where you want it but you will need to take your time doing so.
Cleaning A Chinchilla Litter Box
Once your chinchilla is fully litter trained you will want to dump it and clean it roughly every 3 days. When you dump it wash the tray out with soap and water and dry it, refill the litter and replace it. It is not until it starts drying that the urine will start smelling and left long enough it will really smell even if it is in a litter box.
Can You Use Cat Litter For A Chinchilla Litter Box?
There is some cat litter that you can use. It’s called Yesterday’s News. It is made out of recycled newspaper. It is virtually dust-free. It is also the only cat litter that can be used in a litter tray for your chinchilla. Most cat litters are made out of clay and the dust can cause respiratory problems for a chinchilla.
You do not want to use the clumping litters as they will clump into the fur of your chinchilla. This can cause moisture to build up close to your chinchilla’s private parts causing urinary tract infections, and skin irritation. It can also be very painful to get it out of your chinchilla’s fur.
It is fairly easy to train chinchilla to urinate in a litter tray. They will not train to poop in the litter tray though. It is better for their health to be litter trained. Training them makes cleanup and keeping the smell away easier. You will have to be careful what you use for litter, a Critter Litter is best. Don’t rush the training or the moving of the tray to a different spot.