Chinchilla-Proofing Your Home

Your chinchilla will be happiest if let out of its cage every evening and allowed to run around in a room. However, because they like to chew on things like furniture and wires, you need to cover these things to protect them and your chinchillas.

Baseboards and Furnishings

Baseboards and other wooden furnishings are prime targets for chewing. You can try out a special spray that tastes bad to chinchillas. This spray is colorless and odorless so it in theory won't bother humans. Be warned that we haven't had much success with this spray, but it is still worth a try.

Wires

Chinchillas will also chew on wires including cable, electrical, stereo, and phone lines. The best thing to do is to remove these wires from their play area. If that isn't possible, put the wires in cardboard boxes or wrap them in rubber tubing that has been split down the middle. We do both depending on the location of the wire.

Windows and Doors

If there are windows in the room, find a way to block the ledges. Chinchillas can jump pretty high and may be able to reach the window ledges where they'll most certainly find something unprotected to chew on. We use window blinds that we keep in the down position to block the ledges. With window blinds, the thing to watch out for is the draw string which if left close to the ground will be chewed.

Our chinchillas are in a room with a door. However, we like to keep the door open so we can see them as we walk by. This of course is a safety hazard since they're more than happy to run out of the room. To prevent this, we've assembled a screen that covers the doorway. We can see them, they can see us, and we don't have to constantly open the door.

Other Considerations

If you use the bathroom as your chinchilla play area, make sure the toilet lid is closed.

It's best to let your chinchillas run in low-traffic areas. They are unlikely to survive being stepped on. We prefer to sit on the floor when interacting with them.

chinchilla with rabbits

Keep other pets away from your chinchillas especially dogs and cats. Some people have had success with getting all of their pets to get along, but until you have evidence that your pets will behave, play it safe. Some animals that are likely to be compatible include guinea pigs and rabbits.

Inspect your home for small openings that chinchillas can fit through. It is best to assume that they can fit through just about any hole. This includes fire places and openings behind stoves, bookcases, and refrigerators.

Sources:
Azure Chinchillas

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14 Comments

  1. My chinchilla can't seem to get along with my rabbit or my guinea pig.How can I make him get along?

  2. Can chinchillas chew through screen doors? Cuz we've had mice in the wwinter tryig ng to get in by chewing on a sreen

  3. I couldnt really find a section for this, but my chinchilla is very devious and loves to "run" from me. The moment i leave him alone he demands my attention by scurring over my hands and he WANTS my husband and I to chase him! We have the whole living room blocked off and its the funniest cycle, walking after him and then sitting on the couch and him running over me and teasing me. Whatta goober. THIS IS FROM MY CHIN RUNNING OVER MY HANDS WILE TYPING-->9gft

    • Not sure if this will help or not but our older chin runs from my husband when we let him out of the cage. It used to take hours to catch him, but we have found that if we sit the bath house on the floor he will just climb in it and we can pick it up and sit it (with him inside) back into the cage.

  4. We bought 2 chinchillas and we gave them their own room... we also got them a play pen but they jump out of it. we dont mind them running around in the room but we have baseboards that they chew on and my mum doesnt like that. how do we stop them chewing on the baseboards???

    • I wonder if you could install special baseboards (on top of the ones that are there) which the chinchillas could happily chew on? Sort of like a sacrificial baseboard, wood trim, etc? Chins are not "trainable" and rather than have the destruction of expensive baseboards this could be a relatively easy solution that would not cost a lot. Has anyone done this already?

      • The more I think about me comment above the more reasonable it seems. The sacrificial baseboard could be cheap and easy to replace as it got chewed up. Chinstrap really demolished the baseboards in his room... This way a chinchilla could play safely without worry of baseboard loss.

    • If the room is just for the chinchillas and you don't care about looks, you can get pieces of cardboard to put over the baseboards, or I know that some people have covered or replaced their base boards with pieces of 2x6.

  5. Chris Celnar

    Tyler, Chinchillas will chew on just about anything. Tape will not stop them and could actually be harmful. The best thing to do is cover the wires with something durable like wood. However, even the tiniest exposed wire will be found and chewed on. We've learned this from experience.

  6. I have a t.v. and an xbox 360 in my room. both combined are like 1000 dollars. i am getting a chinchilla and i want to know if i could cover the wires in like tape or something to stop the chinchilla from chewing on them

  7. Dameian, The chinchilla probably wouldn't slip out if the gaps between the cage wires is at least 1-inch wide. I would say that would be the bare minimum in case he might hurt himself sticking his head out. Otherwise, 3-4cm to 1/2 would be ideal.

  8. okay im getting a chinchilla and i have been none to be "careless" and i do not want to lose my chinchilla no matter what and i no i should buy a cage with out plastic wiring buy what if the chinchilla will slip out of it or something and i cant find him / her what should i do???

  9. Chris Celnar

    Zetina, You can certainly cover everything with wood. Just make sure nothing can fall or slip on your chinchilla. No matter how closely you watch, eventually your chinchilla will chew on something if not protected. They love chewing!

  10. I'm going to get a chinchilla soon so I want to be ready. Can I cover all of my walls and stuff with wooden pieces? I would, of course, watch it the whole time and have other chewing things there to keep it busy so it wouldn't chew the wooden walls.

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