Last Modified

June 24, 2022 by Umair Shahid

Chinchillas are cute little rodents that look like fur balls. Because of their furry looks and appearance, they appear to be very costly and high-maintenance pets. But the question is, are chinchillas high maintenance? The answer is no. Chinchillas, contrary to expectations, are very low-maintenance pets. All you need is to keep them in a cage, feed them hay and provide proper ventilation to keep them happy and comfortable. 

What is a low-maintenance pet?

An ideal low-maintenance pet is more active and needs less attention. Similarly, a low-maintenance pet must spread joy at less cost. If you are looking for such a pet, chinchillas are the best option for you. 

The initial cost of purchasing a chinchilla depends on the breed and color you want to pick up. Chinchillas are not very common as pets, but they are conveniently available in most places. Setting up the cage and bringing enrichments for chinchillas might seem costly.

 But it is only a one-time investment. The chinchillas have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Once you set up a chinchilla cage, you can use it until you have your pet chinchilla. 

Are Chinchillas high maintenance 

What does a chinchilla need?

The low maintenance pets not only need a low cost, but they also need less attention. The chinchillas require very little maintenance in both aspects. All the work you need to do is provide them with food and water, clean the cage, and keep them in a serene environment.

Social needs

The chinchillas are very social pets. They need someone to play with. However, they do not always need another chinchilla to socialize.

You can bond with them and keep a chinchilla alone. They can live in groups of the same gender and opposite genders harmoniously. So, if you cannot afford to keep two partner chinchillas, you can keep only one as well.

Cleanliness needs:

Cleaning chinchillas is very easy and does not take much time. You don’t need to spend hours giving baths and brushing the fur of your chinchilla. They are very good at cleaning themselves. The chinchillas need a dust bath once a week to keep their fur clean and shiny.

But, before giving a dust bath, make sure your pet is not allergic to any component of the dust bath. You can run the brush on the skin whenever you want. The chinchillas dislike having a water bath. 

Similarly, another cause of concern for the chinchillas is cage cleanliness. The good news is that chinchillas do not need a clean cage daily.

You can skip cleaning your chinchilla’s cage for two or three days because they do not produce a foul smell. However, keeping the enclosure unclean for weeks can cause many health problems in chinchillas.

Temperature needs:

The chinchillas are very temperature-sensitive pets. Nature has acclimatized them to cold environments. The thick fur on their body provides them protection from the cold atmosphere in the wild. Because of their cold natural habitat, they also lack sweat glands in their bodies.

Therefore, they are highly prone to suffer from heatstroke in a temperate climate. Before bringing your pet chinchilla home, make sure you get any cooling gadget to keep the temperature suitable for them. You can use an air conditioner, ventilators, or fans to keep them cold and happy. 

Dietary needs:

Like every other pet, chinchillas also have specific dietary needs. You cannot feed human foods to chinchillas. They are herbivores, but they cannot eat fruits and vegetables like humans.

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You can give hay to different plants like grass hay, timothy hay, and orchard grass. However, they cannot eat fruits, seeds, nuts, and a diet rich in carbohydrates. 

Attention needs:

One aspect of the chinchillas being low maintenance is that they need very little attention from a human. They do not become clingy if you provide them with food and enrichments. The chinchillas can also live alone in a calm, composed environment.

They also love to spend more time in their cage. So, you can place the enclosure in the amiable area of your house and play with your chinchilla whenever you have enough time. 

Enrichment needs:

Like every rodent, the chinchillas love to chew stuff. You can provide them with chew toys to satisfy this instinct. Similarly, they are very active pets and love to climb and run.

So, you can place some climbing strands in their cage. Avoid placing any plastic, cable, or fabric toys in the enclosure. They can damage these things with their sharp teeth. 

Veterinary needs:

The chinchillas are spotless pets. They are also less susceptible to common pet diseases. According to the veterinarian’s experience, the chinchillas do not get parasitic infestations. Because of their thick fur, the lice and pests cannot reach the skin. Similarly, they are very active and love to run around. These activities keep them healthy and happy. 

The chinchillas are crepuscular and nocturnal, and they become more active during the night. If your chinchilla spends most of the day sleeping, there is no need to worry. 

Frequently asked questions:

  • Can I keep two chinchillas in one cage to reduce the setup cost?

Yes, the chinchillas get along well. They are not territorial and aggressive. They can live in groups of the same gender harmoniously. You can keep chinchillas together in the same cage for years. However, they are living beings. They might fight in life, but it rarely happens. 

  • Do I have to spend much time with chinchilla?

No, you do not have to spend much time with chinchillas as you need to do with other pets. The chinchillas are not attention seekers. They love to run around and play with toys in a closed, calm space. You don’t have to walk your pet or groom and clean them. Hence, the chinchillas take little of your time.


There are many pros and cons of keeping a chinchilla as a pet. However, you are concerned about Are chinchillas high maintenance? So, the good news is that they are not.

There is only the initial investment of cage setup that might look costly. But the overall maintenance requirements of chinchillas are not burdensome. They are lovely and worth keeping pets, and I suggest you keep one with you. 


I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.

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