June 24, 2022 by Umair Shahid
Chinchillas are the cutest creatures you can keep as pets. These furry animals are social and easily become anyone’s favorite. Keeping a chinchilla as a pet requires proper care for his or her comfort. Choosing a fleece bedding over wood shavings is a comfortable decision you can make for maintaining cleanliness and softness at the same time.
Contrary to the popular belief that wood shavings are a good choice, recent studies show fleece is better at providing hygienic conditions. Using fleece bedding can tremendously help the cage to stay odor-free. Fleece has a much better urine absorption capacity and is thus proven to be a better bedding option for your beloved chinchilla.
Do Chinchillas Like Fleece Bedding?
For most chinchilla owners, changing the wood shavings every other day is an overwhelming task. Additionally, getting new shavings such as aspen shavings is costly. Fleece is a reliable and long-lasting material for those who can’t afford to change wood shavings every week or so. Fleece liners are also a promising choice in terms of cost and re-useability.
Fleece Liners vs Wood Shavings, What to Choose?
Traditionally, many owners believe rodents make nests inside grounds using plant material as bedding. This is true to some extent, as they also need a comfortable place to live and sleep on. In terms of your chinchilla, commercially available wood shavings are considered an ideal option.
Wood shavings are a great absorbent for urine and other accidentally spilled liquids such as water inside the cage. However, these shavings are not so ideal to control urine odor. These, once wet, need to be replaced because of the persistent smell even if you try to dry them for reuse.
Fleece, on the other hand, has some promising perks, including the ability to wash and reuse. A good quality fleece liner makes the cage of your chinchilla odorless and dry. The fibers of fleece fabric have a greater ability to hold the liquid inside. Fleece can be washed with your ordinary detergent and can be used again, just like new.
Apart from the mentioned fleece benefits, you’ll be amazed by the comfort fleece offers for playing and resting. The material is smooth enough to stay skin-friendly and doesn’t possess anything harmful to the health of your chinchilla. In my opinion, fleece surpasses the wood shavings both in terms of absorbing the urine and odor to proving a relaxing and silky-smooth surface for your furry friend.
Use of Fleece in Chinchilla’s cage
As exotic animal experts, chinchilla owners are always concerned about where to put the fleece in the chinchilla’s cage. Many try to do only the flooring while others use it on platforms. It is recommended to use the fleece wherever your chinchilla likes to sit, play and interact. Buy a fleece with a textured pattern to add some attractiveness to your furry friend’s cage.
Fleece Platform Liners
The platform has a very important role in the cage of your chinchilla as these furry animals like to stay on heights. If you’re someone who has a non-litter-trained chinchilla, you must apply the fleece on all the platforms. These chinchillas sometimes urinate on the platforms and fleece is the only material that can help the platform stay clean and dry.
A common method experts suggest is to wrap the fleece around the platform. You must completely cover the platform if it is made of plastic, as these social cuties can chew on plastic. Wrapping the fleece is like an extra layer of protection for the health of your friend.
Fleece Cage Liners
In recent years, there is a tremendous increase in fleece being used as cage floor liners. Chinchillas are especially delighted to rest on the smooth fabric throughout the day. Most of the cages are made of steel wires and mesh that don’t provide any good surface for your pet to stand on. Using a fleece liner results in the provision of an impressively comfortable site to sit and stand on.
Another general piece of advice I can give you regarding the use of fleece on the wired floor is to wrap it around a flat wood and then placed it in the cage. This is to ensure your chinchilla’s foot won’t just stuck in between the two wires of the cage through the fleece fabric. The use of fleece is versatile and you can even use it with or without wood shavings or any other bedding material.
It is generally recommended that you must consider buying a hammock with good quality fleece material. The hammocks are used by chinchillas more often as a relaxing place to rest and sleep. You can either hand it inside the cage or outside it. There are many commercially available fleece hammocks available for your chinchilla to try on.
However, if you don’t have a hammock, you can simply make one using a fleece cage liner and securing each of the four corners tightly to the case corners. Experts recommend hanging the hammock close to a platform so your chinchilla can easily jump over it and have a peaceful resting moment.
Do you know you can buy custom-made random toys using fleece material? There are many online stores offering a bunch of random toys with fleece wrapping. The fleece material used on toys doesn’t contain any harmful agents and is safe to chew on.
Some of the noticeable toys include hides and cubes, dangly fleece balls, fleece tunnels & pillows. These stores also offer specifically designed carriers for your chinchillas with fleece lining and appropriate size measurements.
Cleaning of Chinchilla’s Fleece Cage
No doubt, fleece liners provide an excellent alternative to wood shavings, but regular cleaning of fleece is also mandatory for your chinchilla’s health. The fleece will surely get dirty over time with the urine, feces, old hay pieces, and the worn-out fur of your chinchilla. The good thing is all these things don’t need some rocket cleaning science you should use to make the fleece brand new.
I suggest you use your household basic detergent and throw the fleece in the washing machine. A timed washing cycle will make your fleece, dirt, and germs free in no time. If you don’t like putting a nasty fleece in a washer, you can manually clean it separately using a hand brush. Don’t use bleach or any harsh chemicals during cleaning, as these will deteriorate the quality of the fabric.
Safety Concerns Regarding Fleece Liners
No matter if chinchillas are living in the wild or as pets, they have a natural instinct of chewing on almost anything. The moment they like the softness of fleece, they start nibbling it. This is because they need a continuously rasping surface for their fast-growing teeth to stay in the right size and shape.
Unfortunately, fleece is not a digestible material for your chinchillas. Efforts should be made to avoid them chewing on the fleece liners as quickly as possible. This can only be made possible by providing another harmless toy for your chinchilla to chew on. A large amount of ingested fleece can cause an impacted stomach and your chinchilla will unable to pass the stool.
How to make a fleece liner for your chinchilla?
You can take a good quality fleece and cut it according to the size of the chinchilla’s cage. I suggest you buy the locally available fleece liners specifically designed for the chinchillas. They are made of non-toxic material and provide more washability.
How to keep my chinchilla’s fleece clean and dirt-free?
You should follow a regular cleaning and maintenance routine using a regular detergent for the fleece liners. A simple manual or washing machine cycle can make the dirty fleece brand new for again use.
What to do if my chinchilla ingested too much fleece?
Ingestion of a considerable amount of fleece can cause impaction in the gut of your furry friend. I recommend you immediately consult a nearby exotic animal veterinarian for a proper checkup and management of the underlying situation.
I hope you’ll surely acknowledge all the necessary information regarding the use of fleece for your chinchilla. Fleece is a surprisingly easy to use and manage material and your chinchilla will surely love its softness and comfort. In addition to the comfy benefits, you don’t have to worry about buying new wood shavings to control that awful smell and urine-soaked old shavings.
Get a chinchilla-friendly fleece today and make your beloved pet’s home more lavish and relaxing to live and rest at.
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.