Before you purchase your chinchilla, you will want to purchase the cage. There are all sorts of sizes and types of chinchilla cages. In this article, you will be introduced to two of the most common types of chinchilla cages, how to choose a cage, how to care and maintain the cage, and where to buy a chinchilla cage.
Chinchilla Cage Types
There are two basic types of chinchilla cages, which are: mesh and wooden. While there are wooden ones available, the best kind to purchase are the mesh ones. Mesh cages are easier to clean. Wooden cages will become soiled with urine, which increases the risk for harboring infection and bacteria. A mesh one is also better because chinchillas love to chew. This can destroy a wooden cage over time. Mesh cages rarely are damaged by chewing, as they should be made by galvanized wire mesh.
How to Choose
When choosing a cage for your chinchilla, remember this will be your chinchilla’s home. You need to make it as homey as possible, as it will be spending most of its time in here. Consider where you will put the cage before you purchase. When trying to decide where you will put the cage, know that it should be placed in a warm, dry place where it will be around others, but also in a place where it can get some rest, as well. Poor surroundings and conditions can cause your chinchilla to become sick.
The cage you choose should be as tall and spacious as possible. Although chinchilla cages come in all sizes, you should purchase a large enough one for it to run, climb, and jump. While they are small pets, they are larger than hamsters, rats, ferrets, etc. They are energetic, and are used to jumping from one tree branch to another in their natural habitat.
The cage itself is not all you have to consider. You must also make sure the inside of the cage has the necessary accessories so the chinchilla will be comfortable. At the bare minimum, chinchilla cages should contain:
- Sleeping box
It is also important that you purchase one that is made specifically for a chinchilla, as it will have the necessary components for the chinchilla to thrive. It may be tempting to purchase a similar cage meant for other pets, such as hamsters, birds, or rats; however, this is not recommended. Other cages could be too small or be the wrong dimensions as far as width and height, which can pose as a threat to your chinchilla’s life.
Bird cages have a plastic base. When your chinchilla starts to chew, it could poison itself and eventually get loose. Also, a plastic base will not allow for droppings to fall through, as a mesh one would, which then forces your chinchilla to live in its own mess. Mesh cages should be no bigger than a ½ inch square and the walls ¾ inch square to prevent the chinchilla from getting its limbs stuck. Chinchilla cages are designed specifically with your chinchilla’s needs in mind regarding shape, span, size, and health.
Care & Maintenance
Chinchillas are clean animals by nature. A clean cage is important to a chinchilla’s health, as well as to the cleanliness of your own home. Be sure to put your cage on top of something, such as: linoleum, tile, or plastic runners. Never put the cage directly on carpet or hardwood, as it will likely become soiled. You will want to put the cage on something that is easy to clean.
Chinchillas are particular where they urinate. They try to urinate in the corners; however, they have no control on when and where they have droppings. It is important to spot clean around the edges of your chinchilla’s cage daily.
You will need to completely clean the cage once a week. You will change the bedding and wipe down the bars. Take care in the bedding you choose for your chinchilla, as some are toxic to small pets. Do not use cedar or pine bedding. They contain phenols that affect the organs and other chemicals harmful to your pet.
Where to Buy
Chinchilla cages can be found in many different places. Pet shops, pet stores, and online sources are common places to find chinchilla cages.
Chinchillas are fun little pets to have around. Make sure your chinchilla is happy in its home by purchasing one that is large enough for it to jump and run.