Chinchilla Fur Changing Color: Many owners have observed the color changes in the fur of their Chinchillas. The color of their coat might change several times a year. It can be alarming for some owners because the first thing that comes to mind is some underlying health condition. But is it so? Why is your Chinchilla fur changing color? Let’s find out Chinchilla Fur Changing Color reasons here!
Chinchillas are protective animals, and they do have a slight variation in the tan color of their coat as their age pass by. Chinchillas shed more than two times a year, which can lead to a change in their fur color. You should worry about your Chinchillas when their coat color turns yellow because of urine stains. Let’s discuss more changes in the color of fur in Chinchillas and what it means. We will also explain when you should worry about them and when you shouldn’t.
Why Is My Chinchillas Fur Changing Color | Tan Color Changes
The color changes in the fur of Chinchillas often occur once or twice in a year. Including this, baby Chinchilla change their color regularly before they reach maturity. That is because of regular shedding of fur and the quick pace of growth. Unlike other animals, Chinchillas are born with fur. They shed their first fur coat 3-4 months after birth which gets replaced with a new fur coat quickly, but the color or pattern does not appear to be the same.
Most of the time as Chinchilla transition through their childhood to adults, the colors and patterns are going to differ for sure. Chinchillas will also see a slight variation every 6 months when they shed and prepare their coat for the climate they are in. The shedding depends upon the change in seasons, as Chinchillas require a thinner fur coat in summers as compared to winters. Chinchilla Fur Changing Color occurs for their protection. Usually, it is regular in wild Chinchillas than in pet Chinchillas, but still, it applies to all Chinchillas except skinny pigs.
A slight variation is also dependent upon the melanin in their skin. If you house your Chinchillas outside or near a window from where they get lots of light, then a little variation is normal. At the time of summers, Chinchillas will get darker shade in their fur as the melanin production rises significantly. Whereas during winters, days get shorter, and the production of melanin gets low so the coat color gets lighter shade.
Chinchilla shedding fur
As already told, Chinchillas shed their fur every 6 months, during season changes. Shedding off fur gets might take anywhere between 2-6 weeks. Most Chinchillas first experience the molting from the head and slowly sheds from the lower body till tails.
But every two Chinchillas are different from each other. Some Chinchillas shed a significant part of their fur in a short span, while other Chinchillas shed in small uneven quantities. That explains the bald hair spots on Chinchillas when they shed. There is no need for any concern if the patch goes away as their fur grows back. However, if you observe bald hair spots on your Chinchillas, which stays for many days, then it explains that your Chinchillas are pulling out their fur, maybe because of stress.
Chinchillas can experience stress for several reasons, but you can help them by brushing regularly. Make use of a comb with broad tooths that have unsharpened ends. Using sharp pointed brushes or combs can be tough on the soft skin of Chinchillas.
Mostly, Chinchillas brush themselves on their own, especially at the time of shedding. That means that your Chinchillas can get hairballs. It happens mainly during the time of summers when they shed a lot. Be sure that your Chinchillas have lots of hay to eat, as this will make their digestion easy. If you wish to get over this shedding quickly, then provide more protein in your Chinchilla diet. The correct quantity of protein will make your Chinchilla shed quickly. But, an excess amount of protein makes the digestion to work slow, and this can be very harmful because Chinchillas are unable to vomit, particularly at the time of shedding.
If Chinchillas are facing digestion problems, that means the fur they swallowed has been stuck in their digestive tract. This may even lead to gastrointestinal stasis.
Chinchillas fur getting darker
In winters, the fur of Chinchillas gets lighter in color and darker in summers. The darkening of fur happens due to the presence of melanin in their body, which is the result of sunshine (direct or indirect). Chinchillas are more energetic during sunrise and evening because they carry crepuscular nature. Most pet Chinchilla try to turn energetic in the daytime, which happens because they are born and brought up in a bounded environment.
Many Chinchilla owners will observe that their baby Chinchillas will start getting dark fur if they spend time outside or in bright light.
Chinchillas fur getting lighter
Chinchillas get light-colored fur coats during the winter because the daylight is short. You will observe it quickly because the kind of fur coat Chinchillas get in winters is usually thicker. If your Chinchilla lives in a bright environment, then its fur will be of a darker shade, whereas Chinchilla living in the dark environment will have a lighter color fur.
Chinchilla fur turning yellow
The color of Chinchilla fur turning yellow has two causes behind it. One could be direct exposure of sunlight leading to fur staining.
The yellow color of the fur in Chinchilla is the result of stains from their urine. Chinchillas spend time enjoying themselves while they discharge their waste. It is not rare that Chinchillas eat dry grass at the same time when they eliminate.
This action builds a thought that there is a connection between eating and eliminating at the same time in the mind of your Chinchillas. Several Chinchillas also like to play in their litter box, and some even sleep in it. If your Chinchillas are doing so, sadly, they are coming in contact with their urine. Bathing is not much suggested as Chinchillas can get sudden shocks, which might lead to heart attacks. You can try some other ways like cleaning them slowly with a wet cloth, or you can add vinegar to water and then dab it on their fur to clean the stains.
If urine stains stay for a much more extended period, it can cause urine burnings on the soft skin of Chinchillas. That causes bald spots, which is painful for Chinchillas. Including this, longer urine stains can invite flies and other insects, and if these insects lay eggs on the skin, it results in flystrike. Flystrike can be life-threatening for your Chinchillas.
Do Chinchillas get gray hair?
Some Chinchillas have a natural grey colored fur coat. But, Chinchillas fur do not turn grey because of their increasing age.
Chinchillas are recognized as adults once they turn 5 years old. The natural life expectancy of Chinchillas is believed approximately between 8-12 years.
- Fewer movements and taking more short sleep.
- Variations in weight, several Chinchillas, experience fatness due to eating more, whereas most older Chinchilla refuse to eat.
- No interest in grooming or failing to do so.
- Removing waste outside the waste box, because those Chinchillas suffering from the problem of arthritis can face challenges climbing on the waste box.
- Swollen spots or pimples on the skin.
- When they are not able to see, or appropriately they respond less.
Chinchillas changing fur color is natural and common. If you find that your Chinchillas are not changing color at all, then it could be because of their genetics. Also, the yellowing of fur in your Chinchilla is not dangerous, and they are not suffering from any health problems unless and until it is caused by urine stain. Urine stain is something you need to pay immediate attention to.
When your Chinchilla begin to change their fur color, you should help them by providing grooming.
It may appear that your Chinchillas are shedding all the time, but it is essential for their care, particularly for those breeds with long hair like Peruvian Chinchillas. Your Chinchilla fur color changes are due to natural factors. Do not worry about your Chinchilla if they have darker fur shade in summers and a lighter shade in winters.