List of Everything You Need for a Chinchilla {Essential vs. Optional Supplies}

Welcome to the wonderful world of caring for chinchillas. Here is your list of everything you need for a chinchilla.

Let’s run through the essentials and also discuss some of the optional accessories that could make your life easier and your chinchilla more comfortable.

In this article, you will get to know the full life of everything you need for a chinchilla and much more.

List of Everything You Need for a Chinchilla

When you know it’s time to bring a chinchilla into your home, you need to prepare. Your housing situation must be suitable. This means that they need an enclosure suitable for their size.

Bedding, food, stainless steel bowls for food and water or a water bottle are a good start.  There are also secondary item such as travel carrier bags,

Most importantly, remember that your chinchilla is more active at night, and needs temperatures between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit because they are cool weather animals and can overheat easily. You can tell they are too hot when their ears are getting red or they are breathing rapidly.

How Do You Prepare for a Chinchilla?

It’s time to get ready for your chinchilla.

  1. You must make sure that the cage is an active and comfortable place for them to have the lot of space to move around and play.
  2. Chinchillas are herbivores and sensitive. Make sure that you are giving them specific foods such as hay, pallets and other types of fruits and vegetables that are suitable for their diet.
  3. They also benefit from exercise wheels. Exercise is very important to keep your chinchilla in shape to prevent obesity and other health issues.
  4. They also enjoy hiding spaces. Chinchillas enjoy being in the dark and also taking breaks from the public. This means that cardboard tubes and other hiding areas will benefit them overall and reduce their stress levels.
  5. A dust bath is ideal for a chinchilla who needs to roll around and clean themselves 2-4 times a week at best
  6. Paper-based bedding or aspen shaving are also important for a chinchilla who will need to be comfortable and warm when they sleep at night.
  7. Chew toys are the final essential item that we believe chinchillas need because their teeth are constantly growing and these toys help prevent overgrowth.

What Do Chinchillas Need to Be Happy?

Chinchillas need love and attention to be happy. They need you to be their caregiver or possibly another chinchilla to keep them company. The cage must be big and comfortable.

Look for cages that have levels as well. A solid floor will help to prevent their limbs from getting caught in any mesh wiring. Remember that chinchillas also love to meticulously groom and care for their own hygiene.

This means you need a dust bath to roll around in multiple times a week. Hay is essential as well for them to continuously chew on fiber-rich foods that also helps to give them exercise to wear down their ever-growing teeth.

Besides that, chew toys and exercise wheels also help to maintain their optimal health.

What Do Chinchillas Need in Their Cage?

Chinchillas need space in their cage more than anything else. The cage must be secure and multiple levels might also help them because they are curious creatures that love to explore.

Give them enough space to exercise including an exercise wheel and plenty of chew toys. You also need to provide water and food bowls in their cage.

If there is room, place a dust bath in there as well, but do not keep it in there the entire time. A chinchilla can also benefit from a litter box.

What Is a Chinchilla’s Favorite Thing to Do?

A chinchilla’s favorite thing to do is to explore because this is what their curious nature encourages them to do. They want to go outside of their cages and explore the outside, but they need your supervision.

Chinchillas love exercise and company. They also enjoy your attention. If a chinchilla doesn’t get enough attention from you, they would benefit from having a partner such as another male or female chinchilla to keep them company.

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How Do I Entertain My Chinchilla?

Some of the best ways to entertain a chinchilla is to get a playpen intended for rodents like them. They will also benefit from chew toys and exercise wheels. Playpens for chinchillas are designed for their security and safety in mind.

There is no way for them to escape these types of playpens. Make sure they do not have any open doors, plugged-in cords or other pets nearby.

If you’re giving play time to your chinchilla outside of the cage, you need to be there and make sure that the surrounding area is safe. We like to use a empty room for chinchillas to receive exercise time without having to worry about anything in the way such as electrical cords.

Are Male or Female Chinchillas Friendlier?

If you are thinking of getting a chinchilla and you are a beginner, we tend to agree with the consensus that females are better at first. Female are less territorial and you will not have to worry too much about them getting injured from their boisterous nature or desire to fight for dominance.

Females do not try to establish their position in the hierarchy as much as males do. Females are also known to spray urine when they’re uncomfortable so please do not try to rush the bonding process with your chinchilla.

With time and patience you will be able to develop trust and loyalty with bonding and she will not spray urine at you.

Best Chinchilla Cage

What cage is best for a chinchilla? The best cage for a chinchilla is an enclosure that is at least 4′ x 4′ x 3′. These are measurements for 1 chinchilla only. If you get another chinchilla, will you need more room.

Think about a cage with floor space that is 24 x 24 inches. Get the tallest cage possible with multiple levels if you can.

Since chinchillas chew like crazy, you should use a wire mesh cage compared to wooden cages that could end up with splinters that they end up ingesting and developing stomach issues.

Plastic cages also get chewed up badly. Galvanized wire contains zinc and is toxic so do not use that kind of wire mesh cage either.

What Kind of Toys Do Chinchillas Like?

Chinchillas like a variety of toys that are meant for them and many other rodents that benefit from chewing to prevent their teeth from overgrowth.

Here are a few examples:

  • hanging wooden toys
  • chewable fling toys
  • plastic keys
  • little balls
  • cardboard tubes
  • toilet paper tubes
  • mini bunny bags
  • chew wreaths

Since every chinchilla is unique, some will take to toys more than others. You may find others are more curious to explore their surroundings or using exercise wheels instead.

What Do Chinchillas Like in Their Cage?

The number one thing that we believe chinchillas like in their cage is more space. The larger the cage, the more comfortable your chinchilla will be. You can install shelves and ladders that give chinchillas the ability to explore around them and climb if they can.

Wire mesh has the best kind of cage material and it’s better than plastic or wood because they tend to chew on them and destroy them. Wood cages can splinter and plastic cages are easy to chew and wear down.

Make sure you do not get a galvanized metal cage because they are loaded with zinc and this is toxic for your chinchilla. Inside the cage, the most important items are bedding, hay, food and water dishes.

Can Chinchillas Have Chew Toys?

Yes. Chinchillas can have chew toys because it helps them to keep their teeth from growing out of control. Chinchillas love to chew and wear down their own teeth by using the toy that you provide them. There are many kinds of toys including:

  • hanging wooden toys
  • chewable fling toys
  • plastic keys
  • little balls
  • cardboard tubes
  • toilet paper tubes
  • mini bunny bags
  • chew wreaths

What Is the Best Bedding to Use for a Chinchilla?

Chinchillas will benefit from paper-based bedding but you can also use different types of materials such as:

  • fabric
  • aspen shavings
  • corn cob bedding
  • hemp bedding
  • recycled paper bedding
  • any other type of bedding that is sold in the pet aisle that is intended for chinchillas.

Try not to get any type of bedding that is scented. Chinchillas are not smelly animals because they are meticulously able to clean their bodies and groom themselves.

Just make sure that you are allowing them to have dust baths at least 2-4 times a week. Do you wonder how often should I change chinchilla bedding? You should change your chinchilla’s betting once or 2 times a week at least.

How Do I Keep My Chinchilla Cage From Smelling?

Thankfully chinchillas are not smelly animals. This is because they clean themselves. They are self cleaning machines and you are providing a dust bath for them to roll around in to prevent the cage from smelling.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t regularly clean their cage. A deep cleaning once a week, with minor weeping twice a week and wiping down twice a week will help to keep their cage from smelling.

What Do Chinchillas Eat?

Since chinchillas are herbivores, they will need to eat hay, grass and green plants. They like to also chew bark off trees in the wild. You need to make sure your chinchilla is getting enough fiber and protein.

Then should not be too much moisture or fat in their foods. High fatty foods are prone to giving chinchilla’s liver disease.

Make sure your chinchilla is eating pellets, hay, fresh fruits and vegetables and you can also give them treats such as raisins cut in half, but do so occasionally because they are high in sugar.

Optional Chinchilla Supplies

These optional items for your chinchilla may prove to be handy after you supply your favorite new rodent with the essentials:

  • Chinchilla starter kit
  • Hay rack
  • Fleece Hammock/Bed
  • Exercise Wheel
  • Litter Box
  • Travel Cage
  • Treats
  • Chin chiller
  • Cooling Stone
  • Playpen
  • Pet Sitter
  • Handheld vacuum

You might want to care more for the comfort of your chinchilla and make things easier for you as well with some of the items that we put on this optional list above. Good luck with your chinchilla and we wish you the best days ahead.


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.