How Long Can a Chinchilla Go Without Food & Water? {Helpful Feeding Tips}

Have you ever experienced the same thing I went through when my chinchillas wouldn’t eat? Are you wondering how long can a chinchilla go without food & water?

How often do chinchillas need to eat and drink? Why won’t my chinchilla eat? Once I knew the answers, things changed for the better. I hope this article can help you and your pocket pets as well.

How Long Can a Chinchilla Go Without Food & Water?

You may see responses running from 12 hours, 24 hours to 3 days for the amount of time a chinchilla can go without food. Wild chinchillas adapt to harsh conditions where they may have to fast for as much as 3 days.

A captive companion chinchilla may not survive without a routine feeding schedule that allows for them to eat within a 12 hour hour window or less.

Domesticated animals need food and water as part of their daily schedule for optimal health in our homes. We would like to elaborate further with this article on nutrition and hydration needs for chinchillas.

How Long Can Chinchillas Go Without Food?

Although chinchillas may go up to 24 hours without eating, this does not suggest that you should try to do the same if it is at all possible to prevent it. Chinchillas have a fast metabolism, which allows them to consume food continuously.

They should not go without food for more than 12 hours, but if it is absolutely necessary, they can go without food for 24 hours.

If you are going to be away from your chinchilla for up to a day, make sure that you provide an adequate amount of food and water to last for the duration of the period.

How Long Can Chinchillas Go Without Water?

Your chinchilla should always have water, but if they run out and you’re not home to refill it, they might survive for a few days. They can survive without water for several days in the Andes Mountains in the wild. Your domesticated chinchilla needs food and water from you.

Dehydration can harm your chins. Water keeps their body temperature cool, even though they can survive several days without it.

Dehydration causes:

  • bowel obstructions
  • renal damage
  •  lethargy
  • black urine
  • dry droppings
  • skin tenting

Attaching a water bottle to the cage is the greatest way to keep your chin hydrated. Your chinchilla drinks 2–4 ounces of water daily so keep the bottle full. Clean and check the bottle for bacteria regularly. Daily water changes are also recommended.

Can I Leave My Chinchilla Alone for a Week?

No. Chinchillas are social animals that like being in the company of other chinchillas. Although it is feasible to keep a chinchilla in a cage by itself, doing so is not recommended unless the owner is able to devote a significant amount of time to the pet.

It doesn’t matter if you’re on vacation or not. If you leave your chin alone for an extended period of time, they will become lonely.

A friend or neighbor should come over to check up on them and make sure their bottles are full of water, not tipped over or blocked and food is readily available.

YouTube video

How Long Can a Chinchilla Live Without Eating?

24 hours to 3 days. Chinchillas kept as pets are usually unable to survive without food for more than twelve hours at a time. Because they are herbivores, they have an almost continual need to consume food.

My chinchillas were thinner and kept in conditions where they seemed to have been underfed before we rescued them. These two furballs are excited every time they eat.

The habits and routines of domesticated chinchillas shouldn’t be compared with the hard, dry and arid conditions chinchillas have to face in the wild.

How Long Can Chinchillas Go Without Pellets?

Within the confines of our homes, a chinchilla should never go more than 12 hours without eating. Because these rodents are herbivores for the most part, it is essential for them to consume food on a regular basis in order to maintain sufficient levels of energy.

I make sure that there is Timothy hay in the hay feeder of my chinchillas’ cage at all times and I also make sure that their food bowls gets filled with pellets once or twice a day.

How Often Does A Chinchilla Need to Eat?

Even though they only eat twice every day, your pet chinchilla can eat all day long.

Chinchillas are crepuscular, both in the wild and in captivity. This indicates that they are dormant during the day and active at dawn and dusk. Early in the morning or late at night, they eat in the same manner.

Their main food source is:

  • hay
  • pellets made of grass
  • a small amount of leafy greens
  • a few treats

One or two tablespoons of chinchilla pellets each day could be given to your pet. It could be distributed in morning and evening portions or all at once. A few pellets at a time are distributed to maintain the supply of fresh food. Enough protein, lipids, and roughage are present in pellets.

Use the same process for feeding your chinchilla, no matter what pattern you choose. They favor set schedules and create habits around them.

Why Won’t My Chinchilla Eat?

There are a few things you can do if your chinchilla won’t eat.

1. Determine the cause of your pet’s lack of appetite first. Stress or illness are typically to blame.

It’s typical for your chinchilla to be refusing food after having just undergone spaying or neutering. The same is true for recently acquired pets that haven’t yet adjusted to their new owners.

2. Wait at least three days before bringing your pet to your veterinarian for a checkup if they won’t eat after getting neutered or spayed, or after being purchased.

If the veterinarian finds nothing wrong with your chinchilla, they might suggest trying some of these suggestions:

3. Provide a variety of dishes.

Try offering other types of hay (such as alfalfa hay), fresh fruits and vegetables (not cooked). It’s possible that what you’re feeding them isn’t appetizing enough.

Some pet shops provide chinchilla vitamins that can encourage the animal to resume eating a more diversified diet.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Do Chinchillas Drink Tap Water?

Yes, but boil the water for at least a night before you offer tap water to drink. Bottled water is the best type to offer chinchillas since it is devoid of parasites and other contaminants that might cause infection.

2. How Do Chinchillas Drink Water In The Wild?

They can only drink morning dew in the desert due to their dry, arid existence. In particular, dawn dew on the slopes and rocks has remarkable condescension.

3. Do Chinchillas Eat Their Poop?

Yes. Chinchillas do consume their feces. This is due to the fact that every time they eat plants, their stomachs retain the bacteria that breaks down cellulose. It cannot be digested entirely

Fermentation proceeds directly to their feces even when the required nutrients make it to the large intestine. They eat it as a result.


Like the majority of other tiny mammals, chinchillas can go three days without eating, but it is under extreme circumstances in the wild and should not be encouraged or replicated in captivity .

To keep their health throughout this fasting period, they should still continue to consume water and hay.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.