Photo by Terriko

Chinchillas are a family of rodents that can be kept as pets due to their playful and lovable personalities and their one of a kind fur that makes pet owners love them so much. Do you know that Chinchilla fur is considered the softest fur worldwide? Chinchillas have sixty hairs per hair follicle while humans and other animals only have one! Due to the thickness of their hair, flees are not able to propagate because they could get smothered. Among other land animals, Chinchillas have the utmost volume of hair. The drawback is that chinchillas have been hunted to near extinction – and the giant ones are already extinct due to hunting. To make a single chinchilla fur coat, about a hundred chinchillas are slain.

The first domesticated chinchillas were primarily gray, but pet owners bred animals to get different colors. The most common chinchilla colors are white, white with gray or black patches, violet, black velvet, brown velvet, and the color pattern that makes the chinchilla look like a panda. Chinchillas roll in volcanic ash to clean their fur. Their coats are so thick that if they get wet, moisture gets trapped under their fur and encourages fungus and ringworm growth. This is why chinchillas stay dry, and as a pet owner, you should give them a water bath. By rolling in volcanic ash, chinchillas get to remove oil, moisture and dead skin cells from their fur. Domestic chinchillas enjoy a sand bath and can be given a bath several times a week. Be careful on not overdoing it as the skin may get too dry.

By nature, chinchillas are used to living to colonies. Chinchillas of the same sex can live together in one crib as long as there is a lot of space. A male can live with a lot of females without any problems. But two males living in the same crib with even just one female most likely results to fighting. As for the cage, it should be roomy since a small space can make one of the chinchillas a little territorial.

Since they also have very delicate digestions chinchillas must be fed a special diet. Chinchilla food is now available in leading pet supply shops. The most essential ingredient of their diet is hay which should be fed to them all day round. You can also give dandelion leaves, sugar-free cheerios, or rode hip as treats. Sugar and sweets should only be offered once a day because they have the tendency to develop diabetes, wherein they are truly sensitive of. As for water, use a water bottle instead of a bowl. Bowls will attract algae. Also, your pet can get wet if it has a dish full of water in its cage.

Chinchillas are easy to love since they have charming qualities. For their build, they enjoy running, jumping and climbing – so will you over their antics! Since they bath in sand, they can leave it all over your house – but besides that, they are very easy to care for.

Chloe T. Davis is an animal lover and proud owner of six adorable chinchillas. Chloe built the site to provide useful information for soon-to-be, as well as experienced, chinchilla owners.