Last Modified

June 6, 2022 by Umair Shahid

How to step up a Chinchilla Cage

Chinchillas are little, active rodents that love to jump and play around. They live in the wild in South America’s Andes Mountains. Chinchillas are agile climbers, and you must try to provide them with an environment close to their natural habitat.

They love to live in multi-level cages with plenty of toys and hiding spots. If you are a new pet lover having chinchillas in your house, I will guide you on how to set up a chinchilla cage.

Setting up a chinchilla cage is very easy if you know what a chinchilla needs. These exotic buddies are very sensitive to their needs. They cannot live in an empty cage. They need enrichment and toys. Have a close look at chinchilla needs so that you can set up your pet’s cage in the best way possible.

How to set up a Chinchilla Cage

To set up the chinchilla cage effectively, make sure you follow the following steps:

Right cage size:

Chinchilla spends most of their daytime inside the cage. Some people do not even take chinchillas out of their cages. Therefore, a cage is the most important thing if you are bringing a chinchilla home. The right cage size must be at least 4 × 4 × 3 ft (1.22 × 1.22 × 0.91 m) for one chinchilla. If you have multiple chinchillas, you will need double the cage dimensions.

Use a multi-stage, wired cage for your chinchilla with plenty of space to run and jump. The chinchillas need more vertical space than the horizontal one.

Cage bars:

The bars in the chinchilla’s cage must be horizontal instead of vertical. Horizontal bars have smaller gaps. These cages give you more space to hang accessories and feeders. The horizontal bars have smaller gaps, and they provide a space easy to walk for your pets.

Setup hay and water feeder:

Some people use plastic bottles and holders for hay and water in the cage. Never use a plastic object in a chinchilla cage. Chinchillas love to chew on gadgets. They chew plastic items, and it can cause long-term health effects in chinchillas.

For holding feed and water, always use glass holders. The glass holders are easy to clean and safe to use in a chinchilla cage. The glass does not undergo chemical leeching under heat.

Use the water and feeding bowl that is heavier. Chinchillas have strong bodies, and they can move the cage while running and jumping. Therefore, use bowls heavier and do not fall when chinchillas run around in the enclosure. The metal bowls can also work in a chinchillas cage.

Cage Bedding:

There are many options to use as cage bedding in chinchillas. Many people use wood shavings, fleece liners, and even fabrics as cage liners. Your chinchilla is not always going to climb and jump in the cage.

They also need ground space to rest and sleep. The bedding prevents urine and feces from getting stuck in the chinchilla’s fur. If you keep them on the bare cage floor, the chinchillas might damage their footpads.

The fleece liners provide good bedding material if you use the litter. If your chinchilla is not litter trained and they urinate anywhere in the cage, the fleece liners might not be a good option. Some people also use Aspen and Kiln-dried pine as cage bedding. The fleece liners are the best option because they are reusable. You can also spread pallets and paper shreds on the floor to provide soft bedding.  

Litter box:

It is an essential component of the chinchilla cage. You can use any litter material suitable for your pet. There is no need to use fragrant litter pallets because the chinchilla waste does not produce a smell. However, make sure the litter is highly absorbent because the chinchilla’s fur becomes matted if they get wet.

Cage enrichment:

The chinchillas are very playful animals. They need enrichment in their cage. The chinchillas love to stay in their cage. They are not very social, so they need enrichment. Some enrichments that you can use in a chinchillas cage are:

Hideouts and coolers:

The nests or the hiding boxes are the essential parts of the chinchillas’ cage. The chinchillas are rodents, and they burrow in the underground holes and live in them. The chinchillas are wild animals, and you need to replicate their natural habitat in the cage. The hideouts mimic the underground tunnels. These are the safe place in the chinchilla cage. Similarly, use some air coolers to keep the temperature low inside the chinchilla’s cage. It is not a good idea to use mist showers or water baths to keep chinchillas cold. The water bath and mist damage the chinchilla fur.

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Chew toys:

The chinchillas love to chew the stuff. One reason we do not use plastic in their cage accessories. They love to chew plastic or fabric materials. You can provide special chew toys for chinchillas in the cage. These are soft little balls that are safe for chinchilla teeth. the chinchillas continue to have teeth throughout their life. Therefore, they need to chew toys to keep their teeth in a good shape.

Exercise saucers:

You can use a running wheel of a diameter of 15 cm for chinchillas in the cage. Like other rodents, the chinchillas also love to work out. There are many other enrichments that you can use in a chinchilla cage. Chinchillas also love to play with puzzle boards, feeding balls and chew toys.

Small pillows and hammocks:

These add to the beauty of the chinchilla cage. Chinchilla needs hammocks to rest just as they rest on the cage floor. They also use hammocks to jump and run. You can use these enrichments to set up a chinchilla cage.

Cage environment:

Chinchillas are highly sensitive animals. They need a balanced environment to survive. Following are some factors you must take care of if you want your pet chinchillas to live a healthy life.

Temperature and humidity:

The temperature and humidity are essential components of a chinchilla cage. Chinchillas are very sensitive to heat. The increased humidity also causes a temperature rise. Chinchillas live in hilly areas, and they need a low temperature to survive. They can suffer and die from heatstroke. Always monitor temperature and humidity in a chinchilla cage.

Cage cover:

Never cover the cage of chinchillas. Because the cage cover blocks the light. It also increases the temperature of the cage. This cage cover can lead to heatstroke in chinchillas. Even if you live in an area with a cold climate, avoid covering the cage.

Noisy place:

Chinchillas are sensitive animals. They can panic in noisy places. Place the chinchilla cage in the calmest room of your house. They love to snuggle, but they do not love to stay on their owner’s lap. Therefore, you can place a chinchilla cage in one corner of your house, and you do not have to give time to your chinchillas every day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. what should I put on the surface of my chinchilla cage?

There are several types of bedding available for the surface of the chinchilla’s cage. Each has its pros and cons. However, you can use the bedding material that suits you the most. Some common beddings for chinchilla cages include:

  • Paper shreds
  • pallets
  • wood shavings (except cedarwood)
  • fleece liners
  • Dried pines
  • Where should I place a chinchilla cage?

Do not place the chinchilla cage under direct sunlight. According to veterinarian experience, do not place the enclosure in a completely dark room. Make sure you maintain the temperature, humidity, and light in the room where you set up the chinchilla cage. The cage must be airy but not too hot for chinchillas. Therefore, try to set the chinchilla cage up in a cool, calm place with moderate day and night light available.

  • Should I place a chinchilla cage in direct sunlight?

No, never place a chinchilla in direct sunlight. The chinchillas live in hilly places, and direct sunlight can cause heatstroke in chinchillas. Therefore, avoid placing chinchillas in direct sunlight.


The chinchillas are very sensitive animals, and they need a perfect cage set up to live happily. You might need to know how to set up a chinchilla cage if you are a new pet owner. This detailed explanation will be helpful for you to take care of your little fur ball effectively. Some major things you must care about while keeping chinchillas is the temperature of the cage, humidity, provision of enrichment, and a calm environment in the chinchilla cage.

Author 2

I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.

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