Last Modified

February 9, 2023 by Umair Shahid

You have a little chin pet in your home. Now you want to learn its behavior to keep them happy.

You are curious to know whether chinchillas can climb or not. So, the simple answer is yes! They can. When owning a pet chinchilla, it’s impossible to ignore their innate ability to jump and climb.

 Chinchillas are surprisingly athletic rodents and will climb, jump and bounce around their cages at night with surprising elegance.

A healthy chinchilla is like a rocket, bouncing off of everything in their immediate vicinity while scaling any object, they can get their paws around.

As chinchillas in the wild used to climb quickly to escape predators, you should be promoting climbing behavior in your home, chinchilla cage, and when your chinchilla is out of the cage for playtime.

So let’s dig a little deeper and understand the climbing phenomenon of the chinchillas.

Can Chinchillas Climb

Yes, they do! Chinchillas love to climb and run up and down rocky ledges like billy goats. It is recommended to have rocks, branches (of nontoxic wood), and other items in their cage onto which they can climb.

The long, spring-like back legs of a chinchilla aid in pushing off of the ground and bouncing to heights of over 6 feet.

Their paws have sharp claws and protective pads which allow them to climb a variety of structures and provide the necessary traction.

Climbing is not only exercise; it also helps maintain your chinchilla’s healthy state of mind. Chinchillas derive much pleasure from engaging in climbing behavior, and providing ways for them to do this is imperative to their mental health.

Your chinchilla needs to climb! Apart from their willingness to climb, it is extremely important for your little chin to climb.

A chinchilla’s anatomy has evolved to be adept at jumping and climbing, so they are literally built to do these things on daily basis.

Since chinchillas engage in climbing behavior as a means to stay safe from predators, having the opportunity to climb will help them feel secure and comfortable.

Climbing trees is a natural instinct for your chinchilla and they must have the means to mimic this behavior in a domestic setting.

If you don’t provide your chinchilla with the proper environment to climb, they will feel bored. They will develop a feeling of helplessness and this negative feeling will often result in anger, depression, and withdrawal.

You will likely observe a myriad of negative behaviors including, lethargy, incessant barking, fur chewing, and urine spraying in these unhappy chinchillas.

Chinchillas climbing the tree:

Chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains of northern Chile. This region is known for its challenging landscape, primarily high plateaus, and mountain ranges.

So, ancestors of your pet chinchillas have learned to take advantage of this terrain and can be seen high up in tree branches, although due to their small size, they are not always visible to casual observers.

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Since chinchillas are prey animals, they are constantly in danger of predation from larger land-dwelling species as well as birds of prey. The lush trees of the Andes region provide sustenance and protection to wild chinchillas.

While nestled high up in the branches, chinchillas are able to avoid capture by predators that don’t have much climbing ability.

Additionally, clusters of leaves found on many native trees conceal chinchillas from birds that may otherwise be able to spot them.

Wild chinchilla has the ability to climb the rocks quickly and it often narrowly escapes approaching predators.

A chinchilla’s hands are designed to grip tightly, which is an asset when reaching for branches or leaves. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Should I let my chinchilla climb a tree outside?

A big no! Whatever the circumstances are, never let your little chin climb a tree outside. These little furry friends are notorious for running off and hiding, and if you let them outside, there is a chance that you will never see them again.

So, it is recommended to keep an eye on them if they are out of the cage. Their play should always be supervised and limited to an area that is properly chinchilla-proofed. A chinchilla climbing an outside tree would very easily reach heights which would be problematic for you to retrieve them.

Which climbing toys are best for the pet chinchillas?

You can choose toys of different heights including ladders; large blocks of wood or bricks, perches, branches, and fabric hammocks. Arrange these climbing toys in the cage so that they are sturdy and won’t shift or fall when your chinchilla climbs on them.

Final Verdict:

In a nutshell, chinchillas are excellent climbers.  They can climb rocks, ledges, shelves, and even specific wall structures. In the wild chinchillas used to climb quickly to escape predators.

So you should be promoting climbing behavior in your home, chinchilla cage, and when your chinchilla is out of the cage for playtime.

As chinchillas are very agile and love to climb, so provide creative options in their cages. You can use sitting platforms of different heights, ladders, large blocks of wood or bricks, perches, branches, and fabric hammocks.

Thank you for reading the article. Hopefully, after reading this article you have clear thoughts on chinchillas’ climbing capability. If you want to learn more about little chinchillas let us know in the comment section below.

Your response will be appreciated.


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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