When it comes to your chinchilla’s cage, there are some materials that are safe and others that are dangerous. Fleece, chinchilla safe wood, and metal are generally OK. But many chinchilla cages come with plastic shelves or wire floors, which are big no-nos for chins. Luckily, instead of tossing all those shelves out or having to buy a new cage, you can cover them with chinchilla safe fleece.
Some chinchilla owners also use fleece liners as a reusable alternative to litter. It’s best to have two or three sets of liners that you can swap out and toss in the washing machine to clean up urine, dirt, and grime. Make sure to wash your fleece liners at least once a week (and more often if a particular shelf is a favorite pee spot).
Is fleece safe for chinchillas?
Fleece is the safest fabric for chinchilla accessories, hammocks, and beds. It does not unravel into threads like other fabrics, which pose a blockage threat in their stomachs. While other fabrics will be bitten, chewed, and torn up by your chin, chinchillas do not like the feeling of fleece on their teeth. After a few exploratory “tastes,” they’ll usually leave it alone. I have heard of cases where chinchillas chew fleece, so if you notice your pet doing that, it’s best to remove the fleece from their cage.
Fleece Liners for Chinchilla Cages
If you aren’t the DIY type, there are plenty of people who make and sell fleece liners for common chinchilla cages. Check these out to see if they’ll work for your set up.
Double Critter Nation or Ferret Nation Cage Liner Sets
SecondChanceDooks01 sells made to order cage liners for chinchilla owners. These sets are good for double cage setups, including 7 pieces: 2 pan covers (1 with cutout), 2 shelf covers, and 3 ramp colors. As a bonus, you can choose from a fleece tube, extra-large hammock, or burrow blankie made in matching fabric.
They offer many fabric options so you can pick the perfect decor for your cage.
Fleece Liners for Ferret Nation & Critter Nation Cages
If you prefer to shop on Amazon, you can still order Ferret Nation and Critter Nation fleece cage liners. Available for single or double cage setups in five different print options.
The single set includes one large pan liner, one shelf liner, and one ramp cover. The double set includes 2 large pan liners (one with cut-out for ramp opening), two small shelf liners, and three ramp covers.
If you don’t own a Critter/Ferret Nation Cage, you may struggle to find fleece liners. Desert Hedgehogs makes custom cage liners for a variety of cages, including Critter and Ferret Nation. Check out the dimensions:
24″ x 24″ (Quality Cages)
18″ x 40″ (XL Super Pet cage)
24″ x 36″ (Critter Nation/Ferret Nation)
24″ x 48″ (Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat)
If you need a different size, you can contact them directly for a custom order. This is a great option if you have an unusual cage or shelf to cover. These covers are only available in solid colors, though you can choose which you like best.
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, you can even make fleece liners yourself. I’m not, so I’m going to share some resources you can check out to learn how to make your own fleece liners.
If you have an odd cage or need to create a cover for a custom shelf, you can easily do it by tracing or cutting around the shape of the pan (as shown in the video above). Fold your fleece over so there will be two layers of fabric (for the top and the bottom of the shelf). Leave an inch or more around the sides to sew together.
Flip your fabric inside out and fold it over again. Use pins to hold the fabric together. Using your sewing machine, sew each edge shut, leaving one side open to slide the shelf or pan inside.
The first, and most important, purchase you’ll make when you add a pet chinchilla to your family is buying a chinchilla cage. Their cage will be your chinchilla’s home and where they spend the majority of their time. Because of that, you want to make sure your chinchilla’s cage is safe, easy to clean, and sturdy. In this article, we’re going to break down all the things you should look for when buying a new chinchilla cage and give recommendations for the best chinchilla cage.
When shopping for cages for chinchillas, as with many chinchilla related supplies, some of the best options are cages that aren’t marketed for chinchillas. In fact, a lot of the cages sold in pet stores for chinchillas are too small or made out of materials that are not safe for chinchillas. While the cage you ultimately buy will be determined by your budget, space available, and personal preferences, as long as you follow our recommended guidelines you’ll end up with a safe cage your chinchilla will love.
Selecting a Safe Chinchilla Cage
Many people want to save money when they get a new pet and they just look for cheap chinchilla cages. The problem with these cages is often they are made from cheap materials, like plastic, which are not good for chinchillas. Chinchillas are voracious chewers and will easily chew through plastic shelves, pans, or bars and can easily escape these cages. In addition to destroying the cage, eating the plastic will also make your pet sick, so there shouldn’t be any plastic anywhere in the cage. These cheap cages are often small, way too small for a pet chinchilla who needs room to jump and climb.
Any cage you choose for a chinchilla enclosure should be tall (as large as you can afford and fit in your home). You should also look for all metal chinchilla cages. Your chinchilla will not be able to chew through the metal and that also makes it easier to clean the cage.
How Big Should a Chinchilla Cage Be?
Chinchilla cage size is extremely important to consider. You should provide the biggest cage size you can afford and have enough space for in your home. At a bare minimum, for a single chinchilla, their cage should be at least 30″ x 18″ x 48″ in size. If you do buy a cage on the smaller size like that, your chinchilla will need plenty of exercise time every day on a chinchilla proof room or an exercise pen.
If you’re going to house more than one chinchilla in your cage, there should be at least two cubic feet of space for each chinchilla in the cage. An ideal chinchilla cage size would be somewhere around the size of 36″ x 30″ x 60″. With a small cage, lack of stimulation (toys, ledges, etc.), and little exercise, chinchillas can easily become depressed or anxious, which can cause other health issues and illness.
Safe Materials for a Chinchilla Cage
As we have said many times, plastic is not good for chinchillas. You should not buy a cage where the walls, ceiling, or floor are made of plastic. If it comes with shelves or other accessories that are made of plastic, you can just remove those and replace them with chinchilla safe accessories.
The walls of the cage should be made of metal wire and no bigger than 1″ spacing. The floor of the cage should either be made of solid metal (which is the safest option but the hardest to keep clean) or made of wire mesh. The mesh must have holes less than 1/2″ by 1/2″ with 1/4″ x 1/4″ being the most ideal.
Chinchilla Cage Recommendations
Chinchilla Mansion by Quality Cage Crafters
Mansion is a fantastic name for this deluxe chinchilla cage. Made by Quality Cage Crafters, a company that specializes in chinchilla cages and accessories. This two door cage has plenty of room for one lucky chinchilla or a bonded pair. The top also opens for easy access to clean or rearrange your cage accessories. The floor features a solid metal slide out tray for easy cleaning. It also means your chinchilla’s precious feet won’t be irritated by the wire floor.
A regular cage order also comes with four pine wood shelves (two 24″ and two 30″) which are safe for your chinchilla and great to get your cage started. All hardware is included, as well as instructions to assemble the whole cage. They also sell bundles of cage accessories, a cage stand, and a chinchilla wheel if you’re looking for a one stop shop for a new chinchilla cage setup.
Colors: Metal, Blue
Dimensions: 30″w x 24″d x choice of 24″, 36″, or 48″ height; 1″ x 1″ wire
This is a favorite option among chinchilla owners and breeders, many say it’s the best chinchilla cage. Ferret Nation cages are very versatile, with multiple sizes available and the ability to partition the cages if your chins need separate spaces. You can also add on levels later if your chinchilla family grows.
The smallest “single” size is good for one chinchilla, though a two level would be best for one or two chinchillas and you can upgrade and add a third level for 3 chinchillas. Three levels are excellent if you’re looking for a large chinchilla cage (just buy the add on level to create it).
The double doors on each level make cage cleaning and rearranging very easy. If you get a multi-level cage it comes with a full-width pan to prevent dangerous falls (the pan is plastic but can be covered with fleece or replaced with a metal pan). The cage itself is all metal and chew proof.
The cage comes with a stand with a storage shelf underneath to keep all your chinchilla supplies. The wire ramps that come with this cage should either be removed or covered with fleece to prevent injury to your chinchilla.
Single Level: 36″L x 25″W x 38 1/2″H
Double Level: 36″L x 25″W x 63 1/4″H
If you’re looking for a cage that is a little bit smaller but still offers a lot of space, this “Feisty Ferret” home is a good option for 1 or 2 chinchillas. The design is very similar to the Ferret Nation cage. Each level features two cage-width doors for easy access to clean and give your chinchilla chin rubs.
The cage comes with plastic ramps and shelves which can be removed or replaced. The mid-height shelf and bottom floor are both wire. They can also be removed or covered with fleece to make them safe for your chinchilla. The cage also comes with a stand with extra storage space and caster wheels to easily move while cleaning. This metal chinchilla cage comes in a black hammertone finish that looks good with any decor.
This cage is used by ferret, chinchilla, and rat owners. Check out the Amazon reviews to see some photos of how owners have set up their cages and swapped out the plastic for wooden shelves. They make some good inspiration if you need chinchilla cage ideas (we also have some ideas later in this article).
Generally, the Prevue cage is less expensive than the Ferret Nation Cage and the Critter Nation (featured below) and it a good budget option if you’re looking for cheap chinchilla cages.
Dimensions: 31-Inch long, 20-inch wide, 41-1/2-inch high with 7/8-inch wire spacing
If you are looking for a large chinchilla cage, Critter Nation is a great option. Similar to the Ferret Nation cage, it comes in a single story size (for one chinchilla), a two story size (for one to two chinchillas), and you can buy an add on to make a three story cage (for 1 – 3 chinchillas). This is also a good solution if you have multiple chinchillas that need their one cage space because the different levels can serve as their own cage space.
This cage comes with a solid bottom tray and mid-height shelf, but they are made of plastic. The ramps are wire ramps. All of these will need to either be covered with fleece or remove and replaced with chinchilla safe materials. Each level has cage doors that open for the entire width.
Some reviewers have complained about the tray in the bottom being too shallow with their pets kicking litter and poo out of the cage. If your chinchilla is litterbox trained this should not be a problem. You can also check out some modifications owners have made to build or add their own guards in the photos in the review section.
Single Story: 36″L x 24″W x 39″H
Two Story: 36 x 24 x 63 inches
If space is at a premium in your home, this is the best chinchilla cage to minimize your cage footprint and maximize space for your chinchilla. This corner cage is a good size for one or two chinchillas and still features the stand with extra storage and caster wheels to easiy move the cage.
The design on this one is a bit different because it’s meant to fit in a corner. It has two large doors for easy access to your chinchilla and to clean the cage. It does not have a mid-height floor so you’ll need to come up with some creative placement of shelves and other accessories. It comes with four ramps and shelves that are made of plastic, which should be covered or replaced. The bottom pan and the wire grate floor are both removable so you can easily replace them.
Dimensions: 39-Inch long, 27-inch wide, 63-inch high with 7/8-inch wire spacing
Once you have selected the perfect cage, you’ll need to find a place in your home for your chinchilla. Chinchillas need to be kept cool, so in addition to buying a cage with good air ventilation, you’ll want to find a room with a temperature between 60 and 75 degrees F. They must be kept in a room with air conditioning but the cage should not be directly under an air vent or a drafty location. (Learn more about keeping your chinchilla cool.)
You should select a quiet room because your chinchilla will sleep during the day. You can place a sheet or blanket over the cage to give them a sense of security. To help them feel safe so you’re not towering over them, your chinchilla should be at eye level. If you have a shorter cage you can buy a stand for it or place it on top of a table. Make sure you clear the location around the cage of wires, fabrics, or other items your chinchilla may be able to pull into the cage and chew on.
Cage Accessories & Chinchilla Supplies List
Now that you’ve selected the best chinchilla cage for your pet, it’s time to deck it out. I bet you’re asking yourself, What do you need for a chinchilla? Learn about all the cage accessories you’ll need, or use this handy checklist to get all the supplies you need for a pet chinchilla (click the name to get our recommendations):
An important part of chinchilla care to ensure a healthy and happy pet is to make sure your pet chinchilla gets plenty of exercise. This can be achieved through a few different ways. The first and most obvious way is providing your chinchilla with exercise time outside of their cage every day. That can be done in a chinchilla-proof room or in a freestanding chinchilla playpen. The next thing is to make sure your chinchilla has a large enough cage to hop around and explore, with plenty of cage accesories to keep them active. One of the best accessories to encourage activity for your pet is a chinchilla wheel.
There are many different styles and types of wheels available that are made for chinchillas. Just like other chinchilla supplies, you want to pay attention to what materials the wheel is made out of. You should try to avoid plastic which your chinchilla will chew up. Wire wheels are dangerous because your chinchilla may get their feet caught and break a leg or otherwise injure themselves. We have some recommendations for safe chinchilla wheels below. Also, since there is a learning curve for most chinchillas when it comes to using a wheel, we have some instructions on how to teach your chin to use it.
Chinchilla Wheel Recommendations
For our recommended exercise wheels, we looked for options that meet the following criteria:
Minimum 15″ diameter to avoid injuring the chinchilla’s spine
Solid running surface to avoid injury
Minimum 5″ wide running surface for safety
Bolts or other mechanisms to secure the wheel to the side of the cage
Made of a chew proof matieral that is safe for chinchillas
Chin Spin Chinchilla Exercise Wheel
This is a fantastic traditional exercise wheel option for chinchillas. It meets all of our specifications for chinchilla safety. This 15″ wheel is made from metal and wood, so it’s chew proof and chinchilla safe. It comes with mounting brackets and bolts to securely fasten to the wall of your chinchilla’s cage.
The running surface is 6 1/4″ wide, plenty of space for even the chubbiest of chins to run. Plus it is a solid, powder-coated metal surface for your chin’s safety. This wheel comes with installation instructions and an extra set of bearings.
If you want an all-metal exercise wheel which is completely silent, this is a great option. This 16″ wheel is the perfect size for a chinchilla and a chew proof option made entirely of steel. This wheel was designed and updated through lots of trial and error to be safe and quiet.
Since the wheel is made from galvanized steel it will not rust and is sturdy to last a long time. It also comes with mounting screws to easily attach to the side of your cage. This wheel is designed to be as lightweight as possible and shouldn’t bend or break your cage bars.
Here’s another great all metal chinchilla exercise wheel made from all steel. With a 15″ diameter and a 6-inch running surface, it’s perfectly sized for adult chinchillas to run safely on it. The metal surface has been trimmed and hemmed smooth so there are no sharp edges to injure your pet. This wheel utilizes dual ball bearings to allow for a silent ride.
The Chin-sprint includes four mounting screws to easily and safely attach to any cage wall.
This saucer style wheel made by Exotic Nutrition is designed with silent ball bearings, this chew-proof wheel is finished with a non-toxic powder coat. Created to help replicate the natural running posture of a chinchilla, this features a flat wheel that is tilted for your chinchilla to run on. It does have more of a learning curve than regular chinchilla wheels, but owners and chinchillas love it.
One downside of this wheel is it comes with a stand and does not mount to the cage wall. This means it can be moved around by your chinchilla. One of the upsides is that the ball bearings can easily be replaced by you, meaning it will last longer than other wheels.
This exercise wheel comes in two sizes. Make sure to buy the larger 14″ size for your chinchilla.
There is a learning curve for chinchillas when they first get an exercise wheel. At first, they will not understand how it works so you will need to take some caution and install it in a way to reduce any chance of injury.
It’s best to install the wheel on the lowest level of the cage or on a level that stretches across the entire width of the cage so if they fall off they will not injure themselves. The wheel should be close to the floor surface so your chinchilla cannot climb under it or become trapped. To prevent your chin from hopping on top of it, you should mount a shelf close to the top of the wheel. Make sure there’s enough space for the wheel to spin unobstructed and that it is securely attached to the side of the cage.
Training your Chinchilla to Use an Exercise Wheel
Once the wheel is installed, the next challenge is teaching your chinchilla how to use it. For some chinchillas, you simply need to put the wheel in the cage and give them a few days. They will naturally be curious about it. If they play on the wheel they may figure out how to run on it on their own.
If your pet can’t figure out how the wheel works on their own, you can teach them. Get a piece of their favorite treat and lure them onto the wheel. Once they are on it, slowly move the wheel so they get used to the spinning motion of it. You may need to do it a few times, but once your chinchilla realizes how it works they should start running on it.
Some chinchillas will start using the exercise wheel regularly in a day or two. Others may take a few weeks or months. There are even chinchillas who will never really take to the wheel. Make sure you give it plenty of time and patience. In some cases, your chinchilla may be using the wheel at night while you are sleeping. Traditional wheels are usually easier for chinchillas to learn to use, while chinchilla flying saucers have more of a learning curve.
Remember: a chinchilla wheel is not a replacement for daily exercise and run time. It is merely a supplement to provide a way to exercise in their cage and help keep them entertained between playtimes.
If you need some inspiration, check out this adorable video of a baby chinchilla learning how to use a chinchilla wheel:
Chinchilla Exercise Balls
Some pet stores sell round plastic balls that they advertise for chinchillas. These are similar to hamster balls and the intention is that you put a chinchilla inside the ball and let them run around the house. However, these plastic balls are actually very dangerous for chinchillas.
Most exercise balls are too small for a chinchilla, even if they say they are made for them. Also, because chinchillas are heat sensitive, they can easily overheat inside the ball which can be fatal. (Learn more about keeping a chinchilla cool.) Other minor issues include your pet using it as a bathroom, which will cause them to get dirty and is unsanitary. You should never use an exercise ball for your pet chinchilla.
Instead of buying a chinchilla exercise ball, you can provide your pet with a chinchilla wheel in their cage so they can exercise at any time. You also need to provide your chin with daily playtime outside the space. This can be done in a chin-proof area or room (many people use a bathroom). If that’s not available, you can buy a chinchilla exercise playpen to create a safe play area anywhere in your home.
Your chinchilla’s cage should have somewhere soft and cuddly for them to sleep and rest. This is to give them a soft surface to be on as a break from the wood and wire elsewhere in their cage. This can be provided by adding a bed, or installing a chinchilla hammock. You may be wondering, do chinchillas like hammocks? In our experience, they love them!
Like anything you put in your chinchilla’s cage, you want to make sure it’s made out of a safe material because your pet will likely try to chew and shred it. Usually, when it comes to fabrics, fleece is the best for chinchillas because it doesn’t fray and they are less likely to chew it compared to other fabrics. (Some voracious chewers will eat fleece as well and should not be given fleece.) Many people will use fleece liners to cover plastic shelves in their cage and as a litter alternative.
When you are shopping for chinchillas beds and hammocks at the pet store, make sure to read the labels to ensure they are made from fleece. Just because they call something a “chinchilla hammock” does not mean it’s good for chinchillas. We have some suggestions for you that should be safe for your pet chinchilla.
Chinchilla Hammock and Beds
Ware Double Fleece Hang-N-Tent for Chinchillas
This is a fun and cozy option for you pet chinchilla. It combines the comfort of a hammock with the sense of security provided by a chinchilla house or hideout.
Made from double fleece, it attaches to your cage’s ceiling with nylon straps and clips. Since there’s no fillers or foams, this hanging tent is completely washable so you can keep it clean.
Size: 9-Inch Width By 12-Inch Depth By 10-Inch Height
Another fleece hammock that’s easy to find in pet stores, this extra-large hammock is made of double fleece to make it cozy and safe for your chin. This is a great option if you have a pair of chinchillas that like to lay and sleep together. They’ll have plenty of room in this hammock.
If you’re looking for more of a traditional chinchilla hammock, Furry Friends of Mine offers affordable and cute hammocks. These cuddly fleece hammocks are made to order from 18 different color options, so you can get one that matches your cage’s decor.
This hammock easily attached to the top of your chin’s cage with metal hooks and will create a bed they’ll love to nap in.
We love these, and I bet your chin will too. These fleece chinchilla tubes not only serve as a soft and cuddly hammock, but they add another fun element to your cage setup. Your chin will love running through this hammock like a tunnel.
These fleece tunnels are made to order to your specifications so they will match the rest of your cage decor. This item easily attaches to the top of your cage with metal hooks. Super cute and fun for your chinchilla too.
Sizes: Small 10″ long 5″ diameter, Large 12″ long 5.5″ diameter
Want a hammock but your cage layout doesn’t support hanging something from the ceiling? Maybe you want to add more soft surfaces to your cage. These corner hammocks are perfect for chinchillas.
With 13 different color options, these hammocks are handmade from fleece. They can be hand washed or machine washed to keep your cage clean. They attach to the side of the cage with metal hooks which means they should last longer since chins can’t chew through metal.
If you’re looking for a bed that doubles as a hideout or house, this is a great option. This reinforced fleece cube hangs from the ceiling of your cage and provides a cozy home for your chinchilla to sleep and nap.
The cube is completely enclosed except for the opening hole so your chin will feel safe as they snooze. If you’re looking for a bed that can sit on a shelf or the cage floor, this cube will work for that as well.
Each cube is custom made, so you can choose from dozens of cute fabrics.
“Cuddle cups” are very popular among small pet owners because they make a cozy and soft bed. Handmade from fleece, these circular beds have a cut-out on one side making it easy for your chin to get in and out.
This fleece bed is only big enough for one chinchilla, so make sure to buy two if you have a pair of chins. Since this bed is made when you order, you can choose from over a dozen pattern options.
When setting up your chinchilla’s cage, there are a few necessary accessories to meet their unique needs. In addition to shelves and perches a chinchilla also needs a safe space where they can go and hide. This is a spot where they will often sleep or seek refuge from stressful noises and situations. Often called a chinchilla house, some owners may call them a hide away, hidey house, or nest box.
The type of chinchilla house you choose will depend on a lot of factors, including how many chinchillas live in the cage, the cage size and layout, and the preference of your pet chinchilla. You want to avoid any hidey houses made from unsafe materials, including plastic or unsafe wood. (Check out this list of chinchilla safe wood.) Most chinchilla houses are made of kiln-dried pine wood, though you can find some nest boxes that are metal and other hidey houses made from different materials.
If you have multiple chinchillas in a cage, you may want to consider buying a house large enough that they can sleep in it together. You should also make sure there is 1 hideout for each chinchilla in case they need a little space and want to sleep alone.
If you buy a hideout made of wood it may need to be replaced after a couple of years of gnawing, but a good quality wooden chinchilla house should last much longer than that. Some houses are meant to be mounted to the side or ceiling of the cage and others will need to be placed on a solid floor in the cage (usually the bottom floor). We’ve rounded up some chinchilla safe house options for you to consider for your pet’s cage.
Chinchilla Houses and Nesting Boxes
Chinnie Country Cottage
This is a good option for a wooden chinchilla house that can be placed on the cage floor. Made from kiln-dried pine wood, it features 1 or 2 round doorways that your chin can customize the look by chewing on the edges. The gable roof looks like a traditional house, making it a cute option.
Comes fully assembled. This hut is assembled with wood staples, which shouldn’t cause a problem. If your chin gets very destructive, make sure to keep an eye on their chewing. Once the staples become visible, you should replace the house.
This spacious chinchilla hideout is perfectly size for a pair of chinchilla. Made from kiln dried pinewood by Fluffy Feet Designs, it features a door as well as a large “sky light” so your chinchilla has two options to enter and exit. It also features two small windows ready to be chewed and customized.
It’s the perfect size for your chinchillas to cuddle up inside and sleep.
If you’ve got two or more chinchillas and want to give them plenty of space in case they need alone time, this house provides. Handmade by Chinovations from kiln dried pin, it’s design with active chinchillas in mind. This two story house doubles as a play house and a hideout. Two levels for playing or sleeping, the ramp makes it easy to read the upstairs. Plenty of entrance and “window” holes throughout so it’s easy for your chin to get in and out while providing plenty of ventilation.
If you’re looking for a chinchilla hide away you can mount on the side of your cage, check out this woodden house. This is like a deluxe chinchilla home. It features a round door and some ventilation holes, as well as a balcony ledge and a poop guard on the top.
It comes with all the mounting material you need, but it needs to be mounted in the corner of the cage.
Dimensions: 11″ x 11″ x 8″ high (the house is 11″ long x 7″ wide x 8″ high)
If your chinchilla tears through wood faster than you can replace it or has a bad habit of peeing in thier house, this nest box is a great option. Made from galvanized steel, the box itself is chew proof and easy to clean. The front door is made of solid wood giving them something to chew (and can easily be replaced).
This is also a great option for chinchillas that live in warm climates because the steel will create a cool surface for them to sleep on. Comes with mounting hardware to attach to the cage bars.
If you’re looking for a softer option for your chinchilla’s house, this fleece cube is a great option. While chins may shred other fabrics, fleece is safe option in their cage. This reinforced cube hangs from the ceiling of your cage and provides a cozy home for your chinchilla to sleep and nap.
This cube can replace a hammock and still fulfill the needs of a chinchilla hideout since it’s completely enclosed.
If your chinchilla is an insatiable chewer, this ceramic chinchilla house is a great option they can’t destroy. Shaped like a chinchilla (even with cute ears!), it’s a cozy little home for your chin to nap in. These are great for summer because the ceramic will keep your chin cool. They’re also easy to clean.
If you have more than one chinchilla, we recommend getting one for each of them.
Chinchillas love to hop and climb in tall vertical cages. That creates a necessity for ledges and shelves to create multiple levels and perches within their cage. In fact, ledges and shelves are the most essential cage accessory you can buy for your chin. Chinchillas love to play in their cage and you can use chinchilla ledges and shelves to create a fun and varied environment for them. You do need to keep a few things in mind when furnishing your chin’s cage.
Many cages marketed for chinchillas come with plastic or wire shelves. You should try to eliminate all plastic from your pet’s cage as chinchillas will chew and potentially eat any plastic, which can cause health problems and intestinal blockage. Any plastic shelves should be removed. Wire shelves can also be dangerous because your pet chinchilla could get their foot caught, which can lead to injury. You can keep wire shelves and ramps in your cage if you cover them with a safe material like fleece, marble, or wood.
If you’re going to use wood to make ledges, shelves, or perches, make sure the type you’re using is a chinchilla safe wood. Most wooden chinchilla shelves are made from kiln-dried pine. If you’re shopping at a pet store or online and it does not say what type of wood a chinchilla shelf is made of do not buy it.
Chinchilla Ledges and Shelves
Here are some recommended ledges and shelves you can buy for your chinchilla’s cage. We’ve also included a list of Etsy shops that sell cage accessories that are safe for chinchillas.
Pine Wood Chinchilla Shelves
These shelves are meant to stretch the width or depth of your chinchilla’s cage, with mounting hardware on three sides for secure installation. They’re made from kiln dried pine so they’re safe for your pet chinchilla.
Available sizes: Width: 7 1/4″, Length choice of 18″, 24″, 30″, or 36″
These types of ledges are great because they’re big enough for your chinchilla to comfortably sleep or rest on. They’re also small enough that you can place them almost anywhere in the cage to create unique and fun layouts.
All hardware included so they are ready to install as soon as you receive them.
This is one of the many unique chinchilla ledges offered by Whisking Woodworks. This octagonal loft not only looks cool, but it’s made of chinchilla safe pine wood and a great ledge option for their cage.
This can be installed anywhere in the cage to provide a nap spot, lookout, or a fun new ledge to jump off of.
If you have a new cage you’re looking to deck out or you need to replace a lot of plastic or wood shelves in your current set up, this is a great deal to consider. This ledge set comes with 5 different ledges, all with built in poop guards to help keep mess inside the cage. All ledges are made from kiln dried pine.
This pack includes an L corner ledge, regular corner ledge, small ledge, medium ledge, and large ledge.
Quality Cage Crafters – Located in the USA, they not only sell chinchilla cages and accessories, but also multiple sizes of shelves and chinchilla ledges made from kiln dried pine, complete with hardware.
Fluffy Feet Designs – Located in Canada, Kristen has a huge selection of ledges, shelves, houses, and other wood “furniture” for your chinchilla’s cage.
Whisking Woodworks – Located in the USA, they make chinchilla shelves and ledges that are safe and gorgeous. Their octagonal tunnels and lofts add some beauty you don’t find with other utilitarian chinchilla accessories from kiln-dried pine.
Chinovations – A USA based woodworker makes ledges and other chinchilla accessories designed with his own five chinchillas in mind. Check out his sets of ledges and hideouts for your new chinchilla cage setup.
Happy Wings – Based in the USA, they make products for birds, but many of their perches and ledges are made of chinchilla safe woods and are a great option for your chinchilla’s cage (don’t forget to double-check the safe wood list before you order!).
There aren’t many perches made specifically for chinchillas, but sometimes if you poke around in the bird section of the pet store you’ll find some made of safe materials that can add a little variety to your chin’s cage. Perches are great to add an extra step in large spaces between shelves and ledges.
Poplar Wood Chinchilla Perches
Made from kiln dried poplar wood, these chinchilla perches come in a set of four complete with hardware to attach to the side of your cage. These are perfect for creating steps or perches anywhere in your cage.
This lava ledge from Kaytee is a big hit in our house–just don’t expect it to be around forever! Because it’s make of soft pumace stone, your chinchilla will chew through it and eventually it will need to be replaced. But they’re sure to love it.
This perch is made for birds, but since it’s made from natural, pesticide free grapevine, it’s safe for chinchillas too. This makes a great perch that adds a little variety to your chinchilla’s cage and provides something they can chew on.
Here are some fun, chinchilla safe accessories for your chinchilla cage to help them move between levels or across ledges.
Wooden Chinchilla Stairs
A fun alternative to ramps, these chinchilla stairs are handmade by Chinovations from kiln-dried pine wood. You can choose from three or four-step versions and pick whether you want the mounting hardware attached so it has a left or right climb.
Dimensions: 3 steps16″ wide and 12″ rise; 4 steps 21″ wide and 16″ rise.
This wooden ramp is designed specifically for chinchillas, made from safe kiln-dried pine. It comes with two bolts to easily mount to the side of your cage. This ramp is a great way to create a path between levels in your chin’s cage.
This piece is so cool because it works as a bridge or a ramp. This chinchilla ledge comes with an adjustable “ramp” that can be mounted in a variety of configurations on the side of your cage. Comes with all necessary hardware.
Now that your cage is outfitted with some safe chinchilla ledges, you need to outfit the rest of your cage to meet your pet’s needs. To make sure you have all the cage accessories you need to keep your chinchilla happily fed, make sure you should check out our articles on water bottles, hay racks, and food dishes.
If you’re a new owner, you may be wondering, do chinchillas need bedding? This is an easy question to answer. Yes! Chinchilla bedding or litter is an essential supply for your chinchilla’s cage. It’s used to absorb urine and help reduce mess and odor. You will need some sort of bedding or litter for your pet chinchilla, whether you’re using a cage with a pull out tray, a drop in pan, or if your chin is trained to use a litter box.
Like all things that your chinchilla comes in contact with, you want to make sure to select a chinchilla bedding that is safe for your pet. You want to keep in mind the materials the bedding is made of and avoid anything with artificial coloring or fragrances. In this article, we cover the types of bedding that are safe, what to avoid, and give recommendations on brands to buy.
Some chinchilla owners are forgoing traditional disposable litter to go for a more eco-friendly option. Fleece cage and shelf liners for chinchillas are a washable and reusable alternative that can make cage cleaning easier.
Chinchilla Bedding and Litter
Safe Chinchilla Bedding and Litter Options
The following materials are safe to use as bedding for chinchillas:
You should never use bedding made from any of these materials:
Carefresh or other paper based bedding
Mixed Wood Shavings
Pine Litter that does not specifically say “kiln dried”
Corn Cob Litter
You should also avoid any bedding that has added fragrances or scents or anything that has been dyed or bleached. Scents and colors are added for the owners to make the litter “nicer” but they’re actually bad for your pet chinchilla. Always avoid any “clumping” litter, like the ones made for cats.
If your chinchilla has direct access to the litter or bedding, they will probably chew or eat a little of it. This is okay as long as you’re using a safe bedding and they are not eating large amounts.
Why are paper bedding and Carefresh dangerous for chinchillas?
A lot of pet stores sell and market paper-based bedding for chinchillas and plenty of new owners buy it, not knowing there is a danger. Paper bedding isn’t toxic, however, it becomes dangerous when chinchillas eat it. If they eat enough of it, the bedding can cause a blockage in their intestines. Paper bedding usually swells when it gets wet, so even a small amount can be deadly. If their digestive system stops moving, they can develop GI stasis which needs to be treated quickly to prevent death.
The only scenario where it would be okay to use paper-based bedding for chinchillas would be in a tray that the chinchilla can’t access. But considering how expensive Carefresh is in comparison to aspen litter or fleece liners, why spend the extra money?
Chinchilla Bedding and Litter Recommendations
The exact type of bedding you choose for your chinchilla will depend on many factors. Cost often factors heavily in selecting a bedding for chinchillas. Scent and dust may also affect your choice. You also may find your chinchilla prefers one type of litter over all the others or has a sensitivity to aspen.
You may have to try a few different types until you find the one that works best for you. Here are our recommended best bedding for chinchillas by type.
Aspen Chinchilla Bedding
So Phresh Natural Aspen Bedding
This is a great option for chinchilla litter. This aspen bedding is low dust to help you keep your home clean and avoid irritating your chin’s respiratory system. It’s also 100% eco-friendly and biodegradable. Works well for chinchillas and other small pets.
Kaytee also sells a natural, biodegradable aspen litter for small pets like chinchillas. They promise superior odor control and 99% dust-free bedding. Unlike the previous litter, this is made of shaved aspen. The largest size (8 cubic feet) is usually the best price you will find for aspen bedding.
F.M. Brown makes an affordable pine bedding option that works well for chinchillas. It’s made of kiln-dried pine and is 100% biodegradable. It’s highly absorbent and virtually dust-free. Some reviewers have said that it is rougher than other pine bedding, so you may only want to use it if your chinchilla cage has a wire floor so it doesn’t touch the bedding. Made from American wood.
Kaytee’s pine litter is a great option if you’re shopping for chinchilla bedding material. Their pine shavings are all-natural and made in the USA. Kaytee uses a special process to eliminate dust and wood debris, leaving behind a soft bedding. Since they’re made with no artificial colors or additives and the pine is kiln-dried, this bedding is safe for your chinchilla.
While many chin owners fill the entire bottom of their cage with bedding to absorb urine, some people choose to litter train their chinchillas. This helps reduce bedding costs and means there’s less area to clean in the bottom of the cage. One of the essential parts of litter training your pet is picking a good chinchilla litter box.
Most litter boxes made and marketed toward small pets are made of plastic. Since chinchillas are such voracious chewers, it’s not a good idea to have a plastic litter pan. Instead, you may have to think a little bit outside the box and consider items made from metal and ceramics. Here are some options to consider:
Metal & Stainless Steel Litter Boxes
Quality Cage Crafters Metal Chinchilla Litter Box
If it fits in your budget, I highly recommend this all-metal litter box from Quality Cage Crafters. Designed to minimize mess and reduce cage cleaning time, this square-shaped litter box comes with mounting hardware so you can place it anywhere in your chin’s cage. The built-in pee guards make sure there won’t be any accidental spray outside the cage and the grate keeps the litter inside reducing mess. The grate is a must-have feature if your chin eats their bedding or is constantly kicking it around the cage.
While it’s hard to find metal litter pans in pet stores, you can easily find something that will work in the cooking section of many online stores. Steam table pans which are made of stainless steel and come in a variety of sizes work well for chinchilla litter boxes. They are affordable and easy to clean.
One downside of using a stainless steel pan is if you don’t secure it to the side of the cage they are easy for your chinchilla to accidentally tip over.
Ceramic Chinchilla Litter Boxes
Another fantastic option for a chinchilla litter box is repurposing a ceramic (or even glass) baking dish or ramekin. Ceramic dishes are easy to clean and generally are heavier so it’s harder for your chinchilla to kick or knock them over and make a mess. You may even have something already getting dusty in your kitchen cabinets that will work perfectly for this. If not, you can easily buy something online or in most stores.
The types of items you should consider would be a ceramic ramekin (if you can find one large enough) or a souffle dish. Another good option is a ceramic or glass pie dish, though since the sides are lower on those, your chin could kick used bedding out of it and make a mess in the cage.