Chinchilla Exercise Wheels

There are several things to consider when buying a wheel for your chinchilla. First off, you'll need to get one that is much bigger than the kind you've probably seen for hamsters. And because of the size of the wheel and the weight of a chinchilla, we recommend getting a metal wheel rather than a plastic one. Metal will also fare better since chinchillas won't hesitate to chew plastic.

From a safety perspective, we highly recommend that the part where the chinchillas run be solid. That is, there shouldn't be any gaps for a chinchilla's feet to slip through.

Unfortunately, many chinchilla wheels are quite expensive. It took us a while to find a reasonably priced wheel that met our needs. We use the 15" model in the picture below. We've hooked it on to the sides of our cage and use a few zip ties to make sure it stays in place. Our one complaint is that this wheel can be noisy.

chinchilla wheels

One product that we haven't had a chance to try, but that looks promising is the exercise saucer. It looks interesting because it provides an unobstructed view of your chinchilla.

chinchilla exercise saucer

For more information and pricing details, check out Quality Cage Company. Note that we are not affiliated with this online store and we haven't purchased anything from it. They just happen to carry the wheel we use.

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30 Comments

  1. The best chinchilla wheel is the 15 inch Chin Spin. Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth it ! The second best wheel is put out by Fortunatechins.com. However, you can make this wheel yourself ! Yes, it has the noise factor that the Chin Spin does not have. I have both. Being a rescue I can't afford to have only 15 inch Chin Spins, but having wheels in each cage is a major plus for the "kids". Best, Tamara (ChinChildren Chinchilla Rescue)

  2. So I bought my chinchilla an exercise wheel about 2 weeks ago. I put it in his cage and instantly he loved it. NOW I have a huge problem because when i let him out of his cage for play time he won't come anywhere near me. He used to love coming up to the cage and letting me pet him and as soon as i got the wheel he won't come out and play and when he does he hides? If anyone could give me any advice it would be appreciated. thanks!

  3. the cross bars on the wheel pictured are unsafe. the chinchillas head, feet, or tail could get caught in it. i recommend the 15'' chinchilla spin. its completely safe and is very quiet.

  4. My guys LOVE the saucer!! We bought it a few months ago and they use it non-stop. Much easier for them to use and nice heavy duty unit, but must have a wooden backing for this because it started tearing up the wire when they really get going on the saucer. Well worth the money

  5. I found a great metal wheel about 8 years ago. I don't recall how large it was, but at least 15 inches. I at first fear it was too big, but it prooved great until "Rocky" used it so much the metal things it rotated on wore through! I also NEED to replace it! Rocky is totally blind and it is her means of communicating when she wants me to do anything for her. Her two male companions over the 8 years I have had her have passed on and she is alone in the dark. I bought the first wheel at a feed store! It is my experience that there is a good place to by less expensive and sturdier stuff for any kind of animal. Farmers and folks who don't have time for froo froos won't bit for that awful useless plastic stuff. However, I have not seen the metal wheel in quite a while. Perhaps I could order one through a feed store? I am open to suggestions, but that place is also one location to check out. Kathy

  6. My Chinchilla sleeps in my room with me and her wheel is plastic and is not attached to anything. Because of this, it is really loud when she uses it in the night. Would taking the wheel out at night be bad for her?

    • No! Try some DW40 on the squeaky part of the wheel! The Chins most active time for running is right after you go to bed and right before you get up!

  7. Again, spokes do occassionaly pose a danger issue with chinchilla's tails, legs, necks, etc. Check out the Chin Spin, flying saucer, or any metal wheel at least 14 inch, no spokes, and no mesh running surgace. They're worth the extra money because they're much safer, much more comfortable for their feet, and last much longer than plastic. It really is a good investment for any chinchilla owner, considering how long they last and a chiin's lifespan can reach over 20 years, $60-$80 is really nothing in 16-30 years!

  8. I been looking all over for the 15 inch wheel for my chinchilla his broke and he has been so lost. I have bought him several differnt ones and he will not use them. Does anyone know a site where I can order the 15 inch mesh wheel? I would appreciate it.

    • Mesh is not safe for their feet! Also, try to get one without spokes because spokes can be dangerous. Try ebay! Type in 'chinchilla wheel' and a couple pop up! There is the Chin Spin which is great and also a metal one that looks like a cake pan you may come across! Or type in 'chinchilla wheel for sale' on google and a couple other options will come up, like a metal flying saucer or another wheel with a wood back. These are all chinchilla safe wheels and worth the $60-$80 because they last quite a few years! You can probably find some used metal ones as well if cost is an issue. Just remember, no plastic, at least 14 inch, and try to avoid a mesh running surface and spokes just to be on the safe side. Good luck!

  9. i had found them at petco 13 dollars or so

    • Petco only sells plastic wheels! Plastic is not good-many chinchillas will ingest it and it can be very dangerous! Chinchillas live 16-25-occassionally 30 years! $60-$80 is really not a lot of money for something that will last much, much, much longer than plastic and is much safer! Plus I haven't found one at Petco that is bigger than 12 inch which can cause back issues!

  10. Does anyone know where to buy the 15'' wheel in the first picture. i am also interested in it

    • Please read my other comments...

  11. I was trying to find the 15'' wheel in the picture. can anyone send me a link from where to buy it?

  12. I've been wanting to purchase the 15 inch wheel but unfortuantly that size does not fit in my cage. The 11 inch would fit perfect but ibelieve that is to small for my chin. Does anyone have problems with that size or like the size?

  13. I am trying to locate a source to procure the metal 15" wheel for my chinchilla. I had one that I purchased from a manufacturer in ohio but they are no longer in business. Can you provide me with a lead??

  14. Please help!! I have two chinchillas in a pretty good quality 4 level (two story) store bought cage. They kept breaking their wheels so I bought them the large metal flying saucer wheel several months ago. The wheel itself is a great product and the chinchillas love it. My one chinchilla uses it great and it's very quiet. However, my other chinchilla 'Shy Guy' goes CRAZY on the wheel. He runs as FAST AS HE CAN and jumps on and off of it causing the wheel to bang on things and shake the whole cage! It is so loud, it will wake everyone in the ENTIRE house! Now, to make things worse, because he runs so hard and the wheel is mounted to one wall of the cage, that wall of the cage is breaking off! On one whole side of the wall all but one of the bars have broken, essentially that wall has a flap now. This is just from Shy Guy running on the wheel. I don't know what to do, and I really don't want Shy Guy to get kicked out of the house for his noisy habits. If anyone knows 1) How I could stop Shy Guy from running so aggressively, 2) How I could fix my wheel/cage, or 3) If there is a good replacement for this flying saucer, it would be MUCH appreciated. I am at my wits end with this. Thank You! R.K.

  15. I looked into all different kinds of wheels and saucers for my chinchilla's I found this one saucer that is cheaper and plastic.... you may need to add weight to the bottom of it But my Chin's LOVE it! and it is much cheaper than the metal flying saucers... You may have to replace it more often but the cost is worth it and they love it..

  16. Hi, I've had my chinchilla for awhile now and I just can not get her to use her wheel. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on how to teach her to use it. I place her on it but then she just jumps off =/

    • I've had the same problem. I've tried 3 different kinds mine wouldn't touch them. Last night I got another one...and I woke up and one of my boys was going to town! It was really loud though (that's why I woke up) and it was in the livingroom! So now I think I know the style he likes...I might get a better quality one. So id say just try some different kinds until you find one that works. I got the 12'' comfort wheel. I thought it would be big enough but it isn't. Id say a 15'' would be a great size...but where do you find that big? Also the one I got is plastic and I know that isn't good either. Anywayy I hope this helps!

  17. Chris Celnar

    Kimmey, We're not sure whether wheels will cause harm to chinchillas, but we're guessing not. We believe the trick is to get a big one specifically sized for chinchillas. We've heard great things about the saucer, but we don't have one. It's apparently really noisy and as you've discovered they cost twice as much as a wheel. We let ours out of their cage for 3 hours a night and we still hear them use their wheel at other times so we think it's good to have one.

  18. Ive heard from a few people who own chinchillas that the wheels that look like hamster wheels but larger are very unhealthy for their spines. i looked it up on the internet and a few things came up where chinchillas had their spines twisted from continuous use. i am getting a chinchilla in a week, i dont really want to pay the £65 for the flying saucer, and dont want to risk the wheel as hes just a baby. He will have at least an hour and a half running time out of the cage per day, and i have baught toys and stuff for the cage, is this going to be enough? i will buy the saucer if he needs one, but im short on cash at the moment so i would like to know if he does need it.

  19. Hello Megan.I would advise an exercise wheel as chinchillas are quite active during the night and they can burn off excess calories.They do tend to put on weight which can lead to health problems such as sore hock,as well as the obvious serious risks we all share when over weight.If you don't want to buy them a wheel I would advise you let them have freedom in a well chin-proofed room for at least 2 hours in the evening so they can run free.Vanessa.

  20. Do they have to have a exercise wheel?

  21. The flying saucer wheel is not 'squeaky' like normal wheels but as you know chinchillas can be quite heavy footed so I would say you can hear them using it. My girls are down stairs and if I'm awake upstairs I can hear them jumping around. Mind you my cafe is a metal parrot cage so noises may be a bit louder. On the whole yes I would say you would hear this wheel being used but its still a great way for a furball to burn off those extra raisins us humans force them to eat.

  22. Chris Celnar

    Vanessa, Thanks for the info on the flying saucer. It does look like a great way to get chinchillas to exercise. Do you find that it is noisy? If it was in the room next to the one you sleep in, would it wake you up?

  23. My two girls have a 'flying saucer wheel' and although I had to get it from America and it was expensive, if you love your chinnies it's well worth the expense. This wheel has been ergonomically designed for a chinchilla's spines and I have to admit even my 'lazy' chinchilla loves having a jaunt.

    • To all above questions on quality of Chinchilla wheels - Just my opinion (Darn... Wish I received money for writing this.... :) Just my experience (As I pay the same as you). Just "google" Quality Cage 15in. Chin Spin - Put out by Quality Cage. Again, are "Pricey" , but worth every penny. They even come with two extra "bearings" sp? However, I have never had to replace at all, I now have 7 15in Chin Spins. The name "Quality Cage" says all - Check them out. I have used lesser wheels of quality, (No wire mesh please, not safe for Chins feet), Found out I spent more on cleaning and WD-40 ! Truly no up-keep, the "Kids" love them. Sincerely, Tamara (ChinChildren Chinchilla Rescue)

  24. Act.ually, while the wheel truly is silent you cannot tell that from this video. But it is a lot of fun...

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