How Big Should a Chinchilla Cage Be? Choosing the Best One!

How Big Should a Chinchilla Cage Be: If you’re considering getting a chinchilla, one of the most important things to consider is the size of the chinchilla cage. A good rule of thumb is to have at least 20 square feet of space for your chinchilla to roam in. That’s enough room to give your chinchilla a good amount of exercise, as well as plenty of space to play and explore.

how big should a chinchilla cage be

Planning to get yourself a chinchilla but can’t determine how big should a chinchilla cage be? Most pet store cages labeled for chinchilla can be a terrible choice at the end. I can totally understand how tough it can be to find the perfect size cage for your chinchillas. But don’t worry, I will help you in making the right choice by the end of this article “How Big Should a Chinchilla Cage Be”.

Read: Top 10 Chinchilla Cage Reviews

How Big Should a Chinchilla Cage Be

A chinchilla’s cage should be a minimum of two feet by two feet and a maximum of four feet by four feet. If you have more than one chinchilla, the cage should be larger.The cage should have a wire mesh floor with a solid base. This will allow the chinchilla to run and play and also make it easy to clean. There should be plenty of places for the chinchilla to play and hide. Chinchillas love to play and hide and need at least one chew toy in their cage. The cage should be placed in a quiet area where the chinchilla will not be disturbed.

Type of CageStandard Cage/ DIY Cage
Average Life SpanUp to 10+ years with proper care
Average Adult Size12 inches long
Minimum Habitat Size24″ L x 24″ W with as much height as possible for climbing; multiple levels recommended; space between bars no bigger than 1in

Choosing the right size cage is crucial for a healthy life of your chinchilla. I know how difficult it is to imagine the size of adult chinchilla by looking at those young little chinchilla, but trust me, they grow at a fantastic pace, especially during those early days.

The minimum standard size for a chinchilla cage must be at least 24″ L x 24″ W. A cage of this size can hold a single or a pair of chinchillas with no issues; however, you can expect to add approximately three sq.feet of area for each additional chinchilla you get. If you don’t get a large enough cage for them right from the beginning, you might inhibit their growth entirely.

What do Chinchillas need in their cages?

To understand why chinchillas need a large cage first, we must know what are the essential items that need to go into their enclosure. Understanding what chinchillas need in their cage will make the process of choosing the right size cage relatively simple and straightforward.

All these are some of the essential items which must be added to your chinchilla cage. For a pair of chinchilla, I would recommend at least a couple of water bottles and a pair of food bowls.

chinchillas are friendly creatures; however, they can get territorial sometimes. So, under such circumstances having a set for each of them helps a lot. Also, make sure you have at least 4-5 toys for your chinchillas; however, don’t offer all of that at once. Place 2-3 toys and rotate the rest in few weeks to keep them entertained.

Adding 2-3 hiding spaces in the cage is also important. fleece hideouts, Cuddle beds, and tunnels are some great ones to go for. Hay piles are also an equally important aspect of our cats cage. chinchillas are foragers i.e.; they love to forage their food from the ground. Thus, having a pile of hay helps a lot in replicating their natural behavior even in captivity.

It might sound a little gross, but the fact is your chinchillas will burrow, pee, and eat the same hay every time you offer it to your chinchillas. Determining what goes into the cage beforehand is really helpful in choosing the perfect size for them.

Why do Chinchillas Bite Their Cage

Do chinchillas need a lot of space?

Yes, chinchillas do need a lot of space in their cage. They are caged animals that are most active during dawn and dusk, and providing them floortime during those hours can be challenging for most people.

As you might already know, chinchillas are one of the giant rodents kept as pets. Most newbies make a mistake of caring for them like other small rodents, including mice and hamsters. chinchillas are quite different from them, and their needs are also quite different. Mice and hamsters can live in a vertical space cage where you have multiple levels to climb, jump, and exercise.

However, chinchillas don’t enjoy vertical space as much. They need more floor areas to exercise and play, unlike other species of rodents. They also need a lot of different items to keep their mind active and busy.

Why having a large cage is important?

chinchillas who get a relatively large cage are less prone to heart diseases, obesity, bumblefoot, and various other diseases. Another significant advantage of having a large cage is your chinchillas will be less likely to fight with each other. In small cage chinchillas often conflict for their territory and resources(food and water), which usually ends up hurting one or both of them.

A larger cage might worry some people that they need to put more effort into cleaning their cage. However, the opposite holds true. A smaller cage is more likely to get soiled and smelly in a shorter period. Whereas a large cage needs less frequent deep cleaning and is less likely to smell.

You can also create a dining area in a large cage as chinchillas love to pee and poop where they eat. Having a separate dining space can make the daily cleaning easy as most of the pee and poop will be accumulated in a particular area only.

If you are planning to house a pair of chinchillas, then I would recommend going with at least 10.5 sq feet area i.e., 27″x56″ of cage size. However, most chinchilla cages that are available out there don’t make it to the point.

You can get away with a 7.5 sq feet area(27″x41″) size cage if you have space or budget constraint, but going for the larger ones gives you more options to add toys, food bowls, and other useful utility into the cage. A Midwest cage will be the perfect choice if you don’t want to go for a DIY C&C cage but still provide an open and comfortable feel to your chinchillas.

If you want a sturdier option but in a little smaller size, then you can go with the Living World cage as well. However, these cages have lots of limitations in terms of expansion and recommended living space. I would any day go with a DIY C&C cage as it can offer a lot more space, design, and customization options as per your need that too at the right budget.

Yes, the budget would be a little more than the other two alternatives, but the final product would be equally great, as well. If you want to make a C&C cage for a pair of chinchillas, then you will need at least 2×4 grids (8 in total), a chloroplast sheet for the base, and some zip ties to secure the structure safely.

Quick note: Although these are standard cage size for most chinchillas, some chubby chinchillas or pregnant chinchillas might need a larger living space than these. Make sure you consider the same while housing your chinchilla.

How tall should a chinchillas cage be?

A chinchilla cage must have a minimum height of 16-18 inches. Although the top cover of the pen is not essential, however having enough height would ensure that your chinchilla can’t escape the cage easily. Although chinchillas are not an excellent climber, still they can jump out of the cage if the height is short.

Conclusion

chinchillas might look like small caged animals, but in reality, they do need a much larger space to live in than what most people expect.

The cage you get must have an area of 7.5 sq feet at a bare minimum to house a pair of chinchillas. Don’t go for small cages that most pet stores will push you.

They don’t serve the purpose, and it shall be a total waste of money as you will need to upgrade it after some time anyway. Make sure you have added all the essential supplies in your chinchilla cage so that your chinchilla can live a happy and healthy life.

Related Questions

Is a 2×3 C & C cage big enough for 2 chinchillas?

Yes, a 2×3 C&C cage is the bare minimum size of enclosure that you should get for housing a pair of chinchilla. A 2×3 pen is around 7.5 sq feet, which is a standard size for a chinchilla cage.

However, I would recommend you go for a 2×4 i.e., approximately 10.5 sq feet so that they have enough space to exercise, and the enclosure doesn’t feel too filled up.

What is Minimum Cage Size for a Chinchilla?

A large, multitiered habitat with ramps and shelves to rest on is recommended because chinchillas love to jump, climb and play. A habitat with a minimum of 2’x2’ of floor space should be provided.

Do Chinchilla cages need a top?

No, chinchilla cages don’t need a top if the height of the pen is above 16 inches.

However, if the height is not enough or you have other pets like dogs, birds, etc. living in the same house, then having a top over the cage is extremely important.

Can Chinchillas have multi-level cages?

Yes, Chinchillas can have a multi-level cage, although they are not fond of the same.

If you still want to use the vertical space, you can create a multi-level cage; however, make sure that the ledge or incline that is used to connect the levels are not too steep.

Also, make sure the high level is wholly secured so that your Chinchillas don’t fall off and hurt themselves.

Does Plastic Cage Good for Chinchillas?

Plastic habitats are not recommended, as chinchillas can easily chew through them with their sharp teeth.

How the Chinchilla Cage Bottom Could Be?

Wire habitats for optimal ventilation with a solid bottom are required to protect their feet from developing pressure sores on their soles. Provide the largest habitat possible with the space between the wires being no bigger than 1 inch.

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