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.
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.
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.
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.