Set up a chinchilla cage: create a rodent paradise

With a little creativity, a chinchilla cage can be wonderfully set up. However, it is important to know what is required as basic equipment and which materials may be used. Chinchillas get really happy in a climbing paradise.

With lots of jumping and climbing opportunities, chinchillas feel most comfortable - Shutterstock / Juice Team

With lots of jumping and climbing opportunities, chinchillas feel most comfortable – Shutterstock / Juice Team

The cute chinchillas are not really cuddly animals and rather skittish. However, lovers appreciate the animals because of their appearance and they simply like to watch them eat and climb. Chinchillas are extremely social, which is why they need at least one playmate.

The chinchilla cage

The active rodents need a lot of space to let off steam, i.e. a correspondingly large cage. For two animals, it must be at least 150 cm x 80 cm x 150 cm. The most important thing is the height: chinchillas like to climb over several floors, sit on elevations and observe their environment. In the best case, get an aviary for your little rodent, like there is for birds. The struts must not be more than 1.5 cm apart – otherwise there is a risk of breaking out!

But no matter how much space chinchillas have: they always need exercise. Completely set up the rodent’s home before you buy it. And when chinchillas feel comfortable, they sometimes even let themselves be petted, as the cuddly little guy shows in the next little film:

Basic equipment for the chinchilla cage

Before you start setting up, you need to get the right accessories. The little friends with the big round ears sleep, eat, climb, jump, observe and do a lot of personal hygiene. Chinchillas need light and dark places in their cage. Rely on natural objects; Like almost all rodents, chinchillas like to nibble on wood – varnish or other chemical elements are not healthy for the animals. As a basis, you can get the following utensils in the pet shop:

cottage: Chinchillas need a dark, sheltered place to nest and roost. Make sure the entrance to the house is large enough.
litter: Small animal shavings or bedding made from hemp, linen or corn work best. Chinchillas often mistakenly use other bedding as food, so care should be taken when choosing.
sand bath: Chinchillas are very clean rodents with soft fur. You use a sand bath with special fine chinchilla sand for extensive dry bathing for your hygiene and coat care.
seat boards: Small untreated boards from the hardware store are well suited. Pay attention to optimal dimensions.
branches: Here, for example, those of unsprayed fruit trees are suitable. You can also take branches and twigs from beech and spruce or from hazelnut and willow trees.
food bowl: Since plastic is too light, choose one made of ceramic or porcelain. It should not be too small so that all the animals can help themselves at the same time.
water dispenser: Nipple drinkers are best. Fill this with lukewarm water.
hayrack: Loose hay is easily mistaken for the toilet. But since the animals should eat the hay, put it in a small hay rack or use a hay ball. You can also use a clay bowl or an unprinted cardboard box. It is particularly pretty to form a hay rack out of stones.

In fact, chinchillas have a very long lifespan compared to other rodents - Shutterstock / Barsan ATTILA
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The perfect chinchilla aviary: tips

After you have gotten the basic equipment for your chinchilla aviary, the creative part of the cage design begins. In any case, your cute rodents will be happy about all branches, twigs, boards and other climbing possibilities. The habitat of the cute chinchillas must be exciting and varied. There are many great ways to create a chinchilla playground.
In addition to the basic equipment, take:

  • ● Willow tunnel, several rodent ladders, wooden swing, suspension bridges
  • ● Tubes made of clay, wood, cork or wicker with a diameter of 12 cm
  • ● Ceramic flower pots
  • ● A small homemade climbing tree

Step-by-step instructions

1. It is best to start setting up the cage from the bottom up: First fill the bottom of the cage with bedding. Place the sand bath, a tube or the willow bridge and the hay rack on it.

2. Ideally place the food bowl at the bottom of the cage next to the hay rack. Attach the drinking trough to a non-delivered spot so that the rodents can easily access the water.

3. Now attach the seat boards alternately left and right to the struts of the cage. Ask the hardware store for practical and simple mounting options. – There are all sorts of things to fix, such as various screw mechanisms. Make sure that the distances for jumping are not too great – otherwise the little animals could fall.

4. Now you can run the ladders, which come in different widths and lengths, from board to board and, for a change, pull the branches through the cage. The chinchillas will either jump from board to board or use the branches as a bridge. Hanging bridges are also popular here as a connection.

5. The nesting house should be placed on top of one of the seating boards. If possible, secure it so that it cannot slide about or even fall off.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy furnishing your soon-to-be-added family’s home!

Where to put the chinchilla cage?

Keep the chinchillas out of direct sunlight and rooms that are too cold. Balconies are absolutely taboo! Chinchillas are nocturnal rodents and need their quiet time to sleep during the day. The living room with TV and radio is therefore not optimal. At best, house the animals in a separate small room where there is not so much “traffic”.

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