Helpful Tips on Choosing a Chinchilla House


If you are planning to purchase a Chinchilla, it is imperative that you provide the right Chinchilla house, as well as food and care. Interestingly, while this type of animal is actually a rodent, it is also considered more of an exotic type of pet. The name, “Chinchilla” translates to “little Chincha”, which is for the people of the Andes who would use the animal’s fur to make dense coats for protection against the cold and elements.

However, around the last months of the 19th century, the Chinchilla was almost distinct because of being hunted for fur. Today, fur used for making coats comes from Chinchilla that is raised on special farms for this purpose. In addition, many people that live in apartments or cannot have a more traditional pet find the Chinchilla to be a great addition to the family but again, they need a special type of Chinchilla house to survive and thrive.

When provided with the right Chinchilla house, food, and care, this animal can easily live for 10 to 12 years whereas those in the wild typically live about 15 years or more. For expression, the Chinchilla makes different sounds. For instance, when chirping in a calm tone, they are trying to attract a mate but when they bark loudly and aggressively, it means they feel threatened and are trying to ward off danger. Additionally, a high-pitch chirp is a sign of being hungry.

As far as choosing a Chinchilla house, you can make one or purchase houses on the market specifically made for this particular animal. A Chinchilla house is referred to as a house, a hiding box, and a nesting box but they are all the same.

 Some of the better choices for those already made include the following:

  • White Pine – This type of hiding box provides excellent ventilation and because it only has two medium-size openings on two sides, it provides a home that makes the Chinchilla feel safe. Since Chinchillas can become stressed with a lot of activity and noise, this makes a great Chinchilla house.
  • Metal House – For this type of Chinchilla house, you would see that the opening is on the top and quite large, which is designed to reduce the intensity of heat on the inside. While the level of security is not as great as the pine house, if you have more than one Chinchilla, this would be a good consideration.
  • Igloo – One of the newer types of Chinchilla house is called the hiding igloo, which is made from strong and durable plastic. In this case, there is a primary opening at the front and then several small holes on the side for ventilation. This type of hiding box provides more privacy and is a popular choice.

Regardless of the kind of Chinchilla house you are more interested in buying, you will discover that they are all very affordable, usually less than $20. Just make sure you choose one that is made from the right material in that this type of animal is notorious for chewing through things. The house should also provide adequate space inside, giving the Chinchilla enough room to sleep but also move around. Most Chinchilla experts recommend a house no less than three by three feet for one animal and larger for more than one.

In addition, the Chinchilla house needs to have a removable tray on the bottom, one that could easily be slid out to clean. After cleaning, the tray should be lined with newspaper or bedding such as that provided for rabbits, which can be purchased at retail and pet supply stores. Also, to ensure the animal gets exercise, a 15-inch wheel and even a smaller nesting box would be an idea. Finally, the Chinchilla house needs to be in a room of about 70 degrees and away from the window so it is not exposed to direct sunlight or wind.