A House for Your Chinchilla

Some owners like the idea of having their chinchillas run free in an enclosed place, keeping a physical house for them to hide or sleep in. Other owners have both a cage and a house, keeping their pet’s adorable residence inside its own cage. Chinchillas are sensitive to noise and loud activity, having higher receptivity compared to other animals; and since they are nocturnal creatures also, having their own personal space to hide and rest in is very important.

In considering chinchilla houses (also called “Hiding Boxes”), keep in mind the natural characteristics of your pet. Chinchillas need their space since they are a very active bunch. They’ll need ample room even inside their tiny houses, enough for them to move about. Openings should be wide enough to allow your pet to go in and out easily. Since chinchillas don’t really have the ability to sweat and have a tendency to overheat, openings help air circulate for your pet even while inside its house. Also, since chinchillas are natural chewers, it is important to choose a house made of material that is hard enough and without toxic coating because they might swallow the pieces.

There are a number of options available in pet shops for chinchilla owners to choose from. Though many of them are specific to your pet’s gerbil and hamster cousins, chinchillas can use them as well. Just make sure that the size you choose is much bigger than the pet you have. Available choices for pet owners come in many designs, are affordable (amounting to about $20), and are commonly made either of wood, metal, or plastic.

A wooden house makes a suitable choice because they usually come with two openings. Air circulation is obviously better with more openings. Just make sure that the wood is not treated with chemicals (like paint, sheen, and scents) or toxic when ingested. The downside to wooden houses is that they need constant attention with cleaning. They get dirty easily and can harbor bacteria and parasites. Houses made of metal are usually bigger in size (some of them reaching up to 5 feet in height). This allows more room for your pet chinchilla to move in, even space to leap. Though its large size makes for great air circulation, gives great space especially if you have more than one pet, and provides insulation from warmer temperatures, owners must be careful not to place it directly under sunlight. Metal is a conductor of heat, and direct exposure to the sun will swiftly heat up its interior.

A more popular choice due to its quirky and nifty design is the ‘Plastic Igloo’ or ‘Hiding Igloo.’ Just like its Eskimo counterpart, its enclosed design allows sufficient shielding from noise. Though it only has a single opening, there are small holes around it that allow proper ventilation. Owners just need to keep in mind the possibility that their pet chinchillas may chew right through the plastic material, and should keep constant watch over them.

Having a cage as a home for your pet chinchilla is a good thing, but providing it with its own house is even better. You get to give your pet the proper care it deserves by protecting it from noise, giving it an area to rest in during the day time, and a nook to hide or play in.