Toys! This is one of the most fun parts of being a chinchilla owner: shopping for toys to spoil our pets! Now, don’t get confused, toys are actually really important for your chinchilla’s health and well-being. Toys are important to prevent boredom, especially hanging toys inside the cage. While daily playtime outside of their cage will help keep your chinchilla active and release some boredom, they still need toys to stimulate them during all of the other hours they spend in their cage. Chinchilla toys also help with the health of their teeth. Since they’re usually made out of wood, chinchillas are able to express their natural desire to chew and wear down their teeth.
Toys are also important during play time outside the cage. Because chinchillas are so inquisitive, they’ll want to explore (and chew!) their environment. This includes any furniture and baseboards they can get their little teeth on. Providing toys gives them safe chewing options and helps add enrichment to their play time.
Now that we’ve established that chinchilla toys are actually important, and required, supplies for your pet, read on to discover what toys are safe for chins and specific product recommendations you can buy online or in local pet stores. We also give some ideas for making your own chinchilla toys from supplies around the house or toy parts you can order online.
Chinchilla Toys and Fun Stuff
The first thing you need to keep in mind when shopping for toys, toy parts, and other fun stuff for your pet chinchilla is they must be made out of chinchilla safe material. I’m going to repeat this a lot in this article because it is so important. Your chinchilla will be chewing on these toys and possibly ingesting pieces of them. All the materials the toys are made out of must be safe and non-toxic for chinchillas.
When shopping for chinchilla toys, keep the following in mind:
- Absolutely NO PLASTIC
- Look for chinchilla safe woods and materials
- Avoid toxic dyes and paints. Food grade coloring is OK
- Limit cardboard toys if your chinchilla has a habit of eating them
Now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s get to the fun of actually talking about toys.
What Kinds of Toys do Chinchillas Like?
This actually varies based on the personality of your chinchilla. As you get to know your new pet, you’ll soon realize there are some toys they’ll go crazy for and others they’ll completely ignore. Some chins only like certain types of wood and will ignore others. For example, our chinchilla likes wood with thick bark that she can chew off in chunks, and will destroy those parts of toys first. She’s also over the moon for pumice toys and will absolutely obliterate those in minutes.
Here are some common types of toys that chinchillas usually enjoy. Experiment with getting your chinchilla these different types of toys and you’ll soon figure out what they like best.
Shredding Toys – These are toys that are meant to be destroyed. They’re made of softer materials that chins love to chew and destroy. Often they include pieces like bamboo finger traps, pumice or lava bites, loofa, cardboard, or palm leaves.
Hanging Toys – These toys are meant to hang on the inside of your chinchilla’s cage. They’re often in a kabob form, with different types of woods and other safe materials hanging together. Some are more decorative and fun, but chinchillas really only care about what goodies are on there to chew.
Tossing Toys – These are basically just chinchilla toys that aren’t attached to anything. Often they are smaller in size and can be picked up, carried, or thrown by your pet chinchillas. Sometimes they’re made of multiple materials or they may just be made of one (often woven willow is popular). Some are shaped like balls or barbells.
Floor Toys for Exploring and Jumping On – These are more like playground equipment than smaller toys. They turn a boring playpen into an exciting and fun play zone for your chin. These can be made out of wood, cardboard, or other materials. (Sometimes you can get away with plastic components as long as you’re monitoring your chinchilla to make sure they’re not eating it.) Popular types include houses, tunnels, and other “furniture.”
Make sure to always provide a variety of toy material types, especially of different wood and material hardness. Your chinchilla may love shredders, but those are not hard enough to effectively grind down their teeth so you should provide harder woods as well. Plus, a variety of materials will help keep them entertained. Another way to keep up their interest is to rearrange any hanging toys within their cage during cage cleanings.
Keep reading to see some of our product recommendations for safe and fun chinchilla toys.
Chinchilla Toys to Buy
There are plenty of toys marketed toward chinchillas and other small animals that you can buy in pet stores and online. As with anything you buy for your pet chinchilla, you must make sure they’re made of chinchilla safe materials. Your chinchilla will be chewing on these toys and ingesting parts of them and you do not want them to get sick or die from eating something toxic. Make sure you reference the list of chinchilla safe wood and materials before you buy any pre-made toys. If a toy does not say what kind of wood or dyes it is made of, do NOT buy them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re shopping in the brick and mortar pet store, you should check out the small pets department and also the bird department. Many hanging toys made for birds are perfectly safe for chinchillas a well, and often there’s a lot more selection than what you will find in the small pet area. You still need to make sure they’re made out of safe materials as not all wood that is safe for birds is safe for your pet chin. Also, watch out for toys with plastic beads. You should avoid giving your chinchilla any plastic.
Since I know it’s time-consuming to research every possible toy, we’ve listed some options for you that we’ve already vetted as chinchilla safe.
Cage and Hanging Chinchilla Toys
Toys are an important part of your chinchilla’s cage setup. They help keep them from getting bored between play times and also give them something to gnaw on to wear down their teeth. Some of these toys can also have a nutritional value if they’re made out of hay. You should try to avoid any toys involving treats, as they will eat them instead of their normal chinchilla food.
When you’re shopping for toys to hang inside your chin’s cage, know they will destroy them quickly. Because of that and the fact that they need a variety of chewing materials to wear down their teeth, make sure you’re providing a variety of toys, including those that take longer to chew like wood or pumice stone.
We’ve collected some great hanging toy options for your chinchilla’s cage. These are all made of safe materials and easy to buy from Amazon.
Floor and Tossing Toys for Chinchillas
When it comes to exercise and play time for your chinchilla outside of their cage, you can’t just put your chin in a pen or a room and just let them run around. While they’d be excited about the change of scenery, they will get bored very fast. And a bored chinchilla is not only prone to health issues but also prone to getting in trouble. That trouble could include chewing on walls, furniture, or electronics. Those are all things no chinchilla owner wants. So you can combat that chinchilla boredom and mischievousness by providing safe and fun toys to keep their curiosity going.
Floor toys basically come in two types: tossing toys that can be chewed, carried, or just pushed around. Many of these are similar to hanging toys, made of pieces of wood or other chin safe materials. The other toys are stationary things like tunnels, houses, or “play gyms” that chinchillas can jump on, crawl through, and bounce off of.
It’s good to provide a variety of toys and play gyms for your chinchilla. If you can afford it and have enough space, have multiple options that you can rotate in and out of their play area to give them more variety to keep them stimulated.
Below we have some recommendations for chinchilla safe floor toys you can buy online or in pet stores for your pet chinchilla. Later we will also have some ideas of toys and houses you can make yourself at home to save money.
Chinchilla Tossing Toys
Floor Toys, Tunnels, and Hideouts
Cardboard houses are a great way to add levels to your play area so your chinchilla can climb, jump, and explore. You can easily make your own (more on this in the DIY toy section below) or you can often purchase cardboard cat furniture and houses that are safe for chinchillas. Look for designs with multiple levels and tunnels for your chinchilla to run through. Avoid any houses that feature ink or slick paint. You’re looking for plain brown cardboard.
Cacao Pets on Etsy makes a variety of interesting and fun pieces of cardboard cat furniture.
Cats, Rabbits, and More also sells some cool cardboard rabbit houses and tunnels that are perfectly sized for chinchillas as well. They come in many different packs and pieces that can be combined together for any size play space.
If you have the cash to really spoil your chinchilla, Simply Chintastic makes amazing playpen toys out of solid wood. These include a mini choo choo train, a mini camper, and a big playground set that any chinchilla would go bonkers over.
Etsy Stores That Sell Chinchilla Toys
These stores sell a combination of toss toys, play toys, and hanging toys.
- Bunderland – Becky makes toys for rabbits in her shop, and because of the similarities between safe materials and wood for chinchillas and rabbits, a lot of them are safe for chins as well. Her toys are fun and also cute, handcrafted like little pieces of art.
- Farmer Dave Pet Supply – this is a store perfectly set up for chinchilla owners. he offers a variety of organic apple wood toys, as well as very affordable timothy hay in a variety of quantities.
- Folklore Rabbit Toys – Another shop that specializes in rabbits. She has some fun and unique toys, like mystery boxes that they can destroy to reveal the contents. She also offers make your toy kits, which are great if you have a hankering for DIY but don’t want to do a lot of work sourcing toy parts. (Learn more about DIY toys in the next section.)
- J+R Chin Shop – Finally, a shop dedicated to chinchillas. Connie makes a variety of hanging and toss toys made from chinchilla safe materials that they love to shred, like loofa, finger traps, and wicker balls. Go crazy and buy anything from this store, since it’s all chinchilla safe. The store is named after her own pair of chins, so you know her toys are made with love for these adorable pets.
- Magical Chinchilla – This shop offers tons of toy options for chinchillas (and also cats and dogs). What sets Megan’s store a part is the themed toys for holidays, a great way to add a little spookiness or Christmas cheer to your chin’s play time.
Homemade Chinchilla Toys
Toys Made From Household Supplies
If you’re on a budget or want to recycle supplies already around your house, there’s plenty of cool ideas you can do to provide your chin with some fun toys and houses to play in. Since they’re so cheap (FREE!) you won’t feel bad when your chinchilla destroys them and they need to be replaced. Other than the cardboard itself, all you really need is scissors to create most of these DIY chinchilla toys.
Note: if your chinchilla tends to eat cardboard, you shouldn’t offer cardboard toys. If they eat too much cardboard they can experience a blockage in their intestines which could require a costly vet visit or even be fatal. Make sure to monitor your chinchilla around cardboard until you know whether they just like to tear it up or if they’re eating it too.
Cardboard Chinchilla Maze
If you’re a big online shopper like us, you probably end up with tons of cardboard boxes that you just throw out or recycle. Cardboard boxes are great for building floor toys to amuse your chinchilla. If you end up with a squat rectangular box that is a little bit taller than your chinchilla, then it is absolutely perfect for building a cardboard maze.
All that’s required is a box and some scissors or a box cutter. No adhesive is needed, so you don’t have to worry about your chin being exposed to toxic chemicals. It’s also a fun project to work on with your kids. Learn how to make a cardboard box maze for chinchillas.
Cardboard Chinchilla House
If you’re not interested in making a maze, you can still use cardboard boxes to create houses or “furniture” for your chin to climb on, jump off of, and otherwise explore. What you build is only limited by the boxes you have and your own imagination. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure any cardboard box you use is a regular brown box and does not have excessive ink or slick ink on it. Try to remove any labels or extra tape your chin might try to eat.
You can cut doorways, windows, and flaps into the box using a box cutter or scissors. Make sure if you’re going to build multiple level homes that each level is secured so your enthusiastic pet doesn’t knock it off or otherwise injure themselves.
Toilet Paper Tube Toys
If you’re on a budget or just love being crafty, you will love these toilet paper tube toys for chinchillas. Homemade chinchilla toys don’t have to break the bank, especially when you’re probably just throwing out a bunch of these tubes each week.
With toilet paper tubes you can make tossing toys, hanging toys, hay feeders, and shredding toys that chinchillas absolutely love. If you’re wondering how to make chinchilla toys, we have tutorials to make 8 different DIY toilet paper roll toys for chinchillas.
There are many ways to buy chinchilla safe toy parts, like wood chews and other safe chews, and make your own toys. Often this is expensive because you are buying heavy pieces (basically a box of wood) that are expensive to ship. We’ve tried to find a lot of options on Amazon where you can get free shipping from Amazon Prime to cut down on the costs. Some of these are items you may be able to find in brick and mortar pet stores like Petsmart and Petco.
Toy Chains, Strings, etc.
If you want to make your own hanging toys or toss toys, you’ll need something to tie or link them together. There are two ways to do this, either with something reusable that your chin cannot chew or with a chinchilla safe material that they will destroy with the toy.
Some of these toy parts, like sticks and such, can be given to your pet chinchilla on their own. You can also create hanging toys or toss toys with them. These toy parts are all chinchilla safe and easy to order from Amazon.
Wood Chews and Toy Parts
Etsy Stores That Sell Toy Parts
- Eco Animal Pet Products – Located in Alaska, they carry a small amount of chinchilla safe toys and toy parts. They are a newer store, so I’m hoping their inventory will grow with time.
- Natures Pickings – This store run by outdoorsman Mike specializes in natural woods for a variety of uses like smoking meats. A lot of the wood he sells is safe for chinchillas and untreated (he forages from the wild). His sticks, slivers, and splits are great for making toys out of.
- A Bird Toy – Christina’s shop specializes in toys and toy parts for birds and her huge selection also includes toy parts that are good for chinchillas.
- Botanical Lamp Shades – is a shop with a lot to offer. Their “Goods from the Woods” section has tons of sticks, branches, and pine cones that are great for chinchilla toys. Make sure to cross reference the safe woods list.
Other Sites that Sell Toy Parts
- TJ’s Chinchilla Supplies and Info – TJ’s store sells all kinds of chinchilla supplies, as well as wood and other safe toy parts. This is a great store to buy wood blocks, beads and other parts made of chinchilla safe wood and colored with safe dyes. Buy it small quantities or in bulk.
- Chinchilla City – This site sells tons of bulk toy parts especially for chinchillas. They also carry pre-made toss toys and hanging toys for your pet chinchilla.
- Ronda’s Chinchilla Supplies – In addition to general chinchilla supplies, Ronda also sells wood by the pound. She has an extensive selection of chinchilla safe wood in twigs, sticks, coin, and chunks. She also sells other toy parts like vines, coconut shell, and more.