Chinchillas: life expectancy of rodents
You want chinchillas as pets and are wondering how old the cute rodents will get? The life expectancy of chinchillas is definitely higher than is commonly thought. Read more about the average age and what you as the owner can do to ensure that the furball’s life is as comfortable and long as possible.
In fact, chinchillas have a very long lifespan compared to other rodents – Shutterstock / Barsan ATTILA
Before you decide to have chinchillas as pets, you should know what their life expectancy is. Be sure to ask yourself beforehand whether you are willing to take care of the animals for their entire lifetime. This applies in particular to the purchase of chinchillas, since the animals can even live longer than dogs or cats. But how old does a chinchilla get?
How old does a chinchilla get? Average life expectancy
The average life expectancy of a chinchilla kept as a pet is 10 to 15 years. This is an extremely high number for the average age of a rodent. With good care, a chinchilla can even live to be over 20 years old. In the wild, the average life expectancy is around ten years, since dangers such as predators affect the statistics. If you plan to buy two or more chinchillas (the pets should never be kept alone), be sure to plan for this relatively long period of time.
What factors influence the life expectancy of chinchillas?
Even if there is talk on the internet of one or two chinchillas living to the age of 25, it should be clear that such a “biblical” age is an extreme exception. There are also people who live to be over 100 years old – but how many really live to be that old? There are several factors that influence the life expectancy of a chinchilla, the most important being genetics. Animals that come from dubious mass breeding or incestuous relationships have less of a chance of growing old than animals that come from good breeding that places great value on health. Congenital diseases such as organ defects have a negative effect on lifespan.
In addition to the genetic requirements, the care and husbandry of the chinchillas also has an effect on their age. Animals that are kept in a species-appropriate manner usually get older than chins that are not kept in a species-appropriate manner. From food to company to hygiene issues, several factors affect the life of the animals. The chinchilla cage and the type of occupation also play a role. Before buying chinchillas, you should find out in detail about the correct care and husbandry of the animals and, if in doubt, ask the veterinarian.
Chinchilla seniors: behavior in old age
Older chinchillas usually behave quite jolly up to a quite old age for them. Although South Americans are considered old between the ages of ten and twelve, you rarely notice it. They continue to jump around happily and could also be four or five years old. At some point, however, age creeps up on the pompoms and they become calmer; usually from the age of 14, although the information here can vary from animal to animal. Instead of youthful esprit, the cute rodents show calm restraint. They sleep more and their fur loses its youthful shine. Eating behavior also changes.
Helping old chinchillas: Addressing eating behavior and supporting grooming
You should support your chinchillas as they get older, for example with grooming. The little ones don’t always manage to care for their fur the way they would like. It is best to help with the sand bath and pay more attention to the fur. You should also pay special attention to chinchilla seniors when it comes to eating habits. While one senior eats more than before and gains weight, the other senior munches less and loses weight. In both cases, it is best to talk to your veterinarian, who can advise you on suitable diet food or supplements. A trip to the vet is also inevitable if you find that your pet hardly moves and eats very little.
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