Chinchilla Grooming: Everything You Need To Know

Chinchilla Grooming: Chinchillas are as tidy as you keep them. Yes, that’s absolutely true. You might notice a little smell from their cage after a few days of cleaning, but you will never notice your Chinchilla smelling bad. And this is because Chinchillas spend a good amount of time grooming themselves and their cage-mates.

chinchilla grooming

Grooming is a natural behavior in Chinchillas, and they groom themselves several times a day. They also groom their cage mates if they are bonded well. However, you should make sure their grooming doesn’t turn into barbering, as it can be painful for your Chinchilla. For chinchillas grooming is not just about staying clean. It’s a way to remain calm and safe as well. In the wild, Chinchillas used to clean themselves regularly to remove any food particles attached to their fur.

What is Grooming?

Grooming is a preventive measure in keeping the predators away. Even today, they carry the same instinct. Chinchillas also use grooming as a part of their status. In a cage, the submissive Chinchilla will always groom the dominant one. This also helps them in understanding their role in the cage. Some Chinchillas groom each other out of affection too.

Chinchillas also groom their cage mates and human companion as well. Some common types of grooming prevalent in Chinchillas are:

  • Self-grooming: when Chinchillas groom themselves.
  • Allogrooming: when two or more Chinchillas groom each other.
  • Social grooming: when Chinchillas try to groom their owner or human companion.

Chinchilla Grooming

Chinchillas are incredibly self-sufficient animals. They do not require anything from their owners in regards to grooming and keeping themselves clean. The way chinchillas primarily keep themselves clean is by taking a dust bath. A dust bath consists of finely ground pumice, which gives it a very powdery consistency. Chinchillas roll around in the dust and the purpose of this is that it draws out the natural oils from deep inside their fur. In turn, it keeps their fur looking plush and dense. Chinchillas lacking a dust bath begin to look very oily. Dust baths are also a good stress reliever for the animal.

It’s recommended to give your chinchilla a dust bath 2-3 times per week for approximately 15 minutes. Do not allow your chinchilla access to the dust bath 24/7. This is because it’ll increase the chances of them soiling the dust and needing it to be thrown away.

Brushing / Combing chinchillas is not recommended. Chinchillas do not like being groomed in any shape, way, or form.

Why Grooming Is Important For Chinchillas?

Grooming is a vital part of the Chinchillas routine. If your Chinchilla is not grooming correctly, then it might be a sign of some medical concern.

  • Safety: Chinchillas are prey animals, and they do need to keep themselves incognito from predators. Grooming plays a vital role in neutralizing the scent and keeping them safe from predators.
  • Maintaining Body Temperature: Chinchillas do not sweat. This means that, in hot weather conditions, Chinchillas need to groom themselves to keep their body cool.
  • Shedding: Grooming also helps in getting rid of any excess fur from the body. This is crucial for keeping their body temperature in control.
  • Reducing Stress: Grooming is also helpful in self-soothing your Chinchillas. They groom themselves to reduce their stress.
  • Love And Affection: Chinchillas groom their companion to share their passion and affection with each other. It can be compared to a hug.
  • Dominance or Hierarchy: Grooming is also helpful in establishing dominance or hierarchy in the cage. The subordinate Chinchillas will groom the dominant Chinchilla regularly.

What does it mean when Chinchillas groom each other?

When you keep two or more Chinchillas together in the cage, then they are definitely going to grooming each other. Self-grooming does help them in keeping themselves clean. However, they cannot reach all parts of their body. By grooming each other, they can also clean those parts away, which they were not able to do on their own. In a bonded pair, grooming is also a sign of affection. However, sometimes grooming is a sign of hierarchy in Chinchillas. The submissive Chinchillas always cleans the dominant Chinchillas regularly. This is like a natural power balance in Chinchillas, and you should not be concerned about the same.

Keep Reading:

Related Posts