Traveling with a Chinchilla

One of the questions that we're asked is whether it is safe to take a chinchilla on trips. Our general response is that taking your chinchilla on your travels is a bad idea.

The reasons for our response are many. Here are the top reasons to NOT travel with your chinchilla:

  • Chinchillas are skittish to begin with. Moving them outside of their familiar surroundings can cause them great stress.
  • If you move them very frequently, they may learn to associate your presence with the move and thus stopping trusting you.
  • You don't have as much control with the environment when you travel. As a result, you may put your chinchillas in situations where the temperature and/or humidity are high enough to kill them.
  • The more moving, the more likely your chinchillas will become physically harmed e.g. broken leg.

We also understand that sometimes you have no choice but to take your chinchilla with you. Breeders that attend shows are obviously taking their chinchillas to different locations with no ill-effects. So it is quite possible to do successfully. We do hope that you'll carefully examine your plans and make sure that at all stages you've considered the implications to your chinchillas.

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  1. Hello,
    My parents are getting divorced. We have one chin at my moms house along with our Other pets. My sisters and I are pretty responsible with all of them, but now that we’ll be between houses our mom doesn’t want to take care of the chin while we’re gone.
    Would it be safe to bring my chin to our dads house once a week?
    We plan on getting a safe carrier and a comfort blanket for her, as well as having the same cage at my dads house. We’d bring her bowl, toys and wheel with us, as well as using the same bedding/food and keeping the temperature the same.
    Are there any problems I’m not thinking of?

  2. Halo,

    please, i need help, advice, information about traveling with chinchila in car.

    My ex-girlfriend bought me on christmass chinchilla.
    I was every angry about this present, because she dindt make researche about what chinchillas need, she buy her, because i love animals. Thats the reason i can not give her away anymore, she is so beautifull and funny, curious, sometimes mystical sometimes like a kid, she speaks to me, i started teach myself, what the sounds means. We have really good conection. She is the white one, she looks like a snowball.

    Problem is that i am living in Sofia and must travel to Slowakai evry 2-3 months (1000km) , we split with my Ex, and i took the chinchilla with me, because afther my Ex bought her, my Ex didnt wanted play with her, wanted travel a lot, she was focusing on herself but not on chinchilla.

    I am original from Slowakia, i moved to Sofia because of my Ex, i know here nobody, thats the reason i must travel with her. I have a job in Sofia. I need passport and chip for her, i hope it isnt painfull.

    Please tell me, help me with some information, how i can make the 11 hours road trips made for her so confortable as possible. I love her very much and missing her even when i am at work.

    Thank Y very much


    PS: should i give her to some pet hotels when i travel to Slowakia?

    • I've had chinchillas for 12 years. I bring mine on vacation with me and never had a problem. We put in a nice cage in the back seat. It sleeps most of the way. Checks out its surroundings. Eats. It's character never changed with traveling and staying in hotels

  3. My chinchilla survived a flight from Europe to Canada in cargo (that was the only option) and it took him only 3-4 days to recover emotionally. Now he is doing great.

  4. I have 2 houses that I have to switch between every Sunday, I want a chinchilla and even if I get one, leaving it at one house for the week isn't an option. Should I consider getting 2 so its not alone? The trip is less than 10 minutes by car, I plan on getting a big cage for both houses that are both the same kind. I have my heart set on a chinchilla, and this is the only question I have trouble figuring out. Just for clarification the question is - are chinchillas okay with traveling once every week between 2 different places?

    • What I would say it give them a blanket that you always have the same one in there cage with them. When you travel what I use is a cat carrier and I pad the bottom and halfway to the top of the carrier. But put there blanked in it and and generally pick up the chinchillas and put them in it. And I would recommend two males. We have two at my high school and i take care of them on long weekends and breaks and the summer

  5. I hope my chinchilla will survive 4-hours flight in cargo as it seems I have no other option to transport it from Bulgaria to Ireland. Does anyone know if the chip is obligatory or depends on the country regulations and whether it might put chinchilla's life at risk?

  6. I have one female chinchilla who I have owned for about a year and a half. Very sadly her friend who I bought her with, died 3 weeks ago. I have been keeping a close eye on her and she has remained normal and is eating and drinking. She is still very much herself, if not more outgoing when she is out for exercise.

    I am going away for four days and am worried about leaving her alone for this time. I know people who can keep an eye on her once a day but not that I'd be happy with getting her out.

    What is your advice on leaving single chinchilla alone for a long weekend or a week long holiday. She can come with me on long weekends but this is a 2 hour drive. I don't know if the journey and new environment would be too stressful for her for the short period of time?

    You're help is gratefully welcomed. Many thanks

  7. I REALLY need opinions on this soon!!!!!

    I am getting a chinchilla on Sunday, but i am moving to california in a few weeks.. i live in virginia and i will be driving (my parents will) and i dont know if it will be safe for her or not :( should i wait and get one when i move there? Help

    • Yes, get one (or better, two) in California. No need to get them in the east when there are many in the west. For short trips (or even some plan rides) we used a small carry-all made for cats. They are safe, supply a dark small environment that feels safe to the chin. But think of how long the trip is: a several day car ride would mean letting the chin out in motel rooms, which could be very unsafe as well as stressful. And keep bonded pairs together - that also reduces stress.

      The importance of stress is real. Yes, chins go to the vet, but those are short trips and infrequently. It is so important to develop trust!

      As to the fact that breeders move chins to shows, they are in cages they know, moving together, with a person who knows them. But as to saying that those moves "have no ill-effects," that is not correct. Better to say that the moves are necessary but with unknown ill-effects.

      • My vet is four and half hours away. Not that close

  8. I have 2 chinchillas and at the moment, I don't have the space to let them run around. I take them over to my mom-mom's house so they can tear around her living room for a few hours. They hate getting put in their travel cage, but once they're in the car they realize it's almost time for fun and they're standing up looking at everything and me and everything. I can almost hear "Are we there yet? How about now? Now? C'mon, mom! Move it!!!!" Their travel cage is a cage they market to keep bunnies and the like in full time, so it's a good size. The car rides never seem to bother them though. I think it's all in what they associate it with. As long as they can see what's going on around them, they're happy as heck in the car. I never had a problem with it, except the time I had to use a box, and Squeak barked her little butt off, Bubble's always been cool with whatever though :)

  9. This article wasn't helpful at all. What about short, important journeys like to the vet? What's the best way to minimize stress? I've got a cat carrier for my guy, I figure he'd feel safer than those tiny open wire cages. Any advice would be useful.

  10. Hello, I would like to relocate from London to Greece with my 8 months chinchilla!!&I am too lost as I don't know how I can get my chiny with me and I am not sure which airline will allow me to get him on the cabin! I would be grateful if you can give me an idea of what I need to do in order to travel with him?!Thank you in advance!!

    • Forget about the cabin not going to happen i moved to California from nj and my 5yr old chinchilla Rocky there was no way I was giving him away so I registered him as a emotional support animal which under the law states that airline must let you carry on and he Flys for free but when I get there virgin America refuse to let me board is ended up getting a refund at this point I had to go to California no choice so I tried everything no one would let me fly saying that he could get loose and chew the wires on the plane and make it crash which I thought is ridiculous since he would be with me ended up flying United Airlines and rocky flew as cargo in the same plane is was pissed off and worried about him the whole flight but he made it alive but now that I moved he's been hiding mostly hopefully he will come around its only been 2 days he starting to run around more information realize that it's strange to him but he seems normal towards me I wanted to bring him to a veteran for a check up but now I'm afraid that when I try to put him in the carrier he's going to think we are flying there's no doubt in my mind that he was terrified that whole six hours on the flight he was so happy to see me when I picked him up i never want to do that again

    • I'm looking to do a similar journey with my chin, she's just turned 1 and we're looking to go from Birmingham (UK) to the south of Spain. I'm thinking that driving may be the best option, although it's longer. I'm just so worried that the loudness of the plane will frighten her to death. Is this an irrational fear?

  11. I will be traveling from London to California. I have never traveled with my chinchilla on a plane, but there is no other option. Do you know what the requirements are for the plane? Are any papers or certificates from the vet need? Also, what type of cage do you recommend and what size? When you traveled with yours was it with you on the plane with you or in cargo? My chinchilla is 3 months old and I don't know if she is too young to travel. Thanks.

  12. Can a 3 month old chinchilla survive a 3 hour long car trip in the middle of the summer with the car air conditioning turned up full blast?

    • Amy,

      I lived in Texas and would make a 4 hour drive to see family in the summertime. I would take my chinchilla and he traveled just fine. I was careful though, I kept my car very cool, too cool for me but I didnt want to take any chances, and he was in the front passenger seat where I could monitor him.

    • When I had to transport my chins on really hot days, in addition to A/C on full blast I surrounded the carrier with ice blocks and put a cold marble slab in the carrier.

  13. Hello , i was just wondering if a chinchilla could survive a 30-32 hour trip with a bus..Me and my roommate are really stressed of how are we gonna carry it home better plane or a bus? thank you in advance.

    • I have not driven long distances with a chinchilla, but my instinct tells me that this length of trip might be too long, and might be too stressful. I assume the plane journey would be shorter.

      Sorry this is not too helpful. Remember when travelling with a chinchilla you must be prepared for stuff going wrong, you must think about the temperatures you are going to travel through, what happens if the bus breaks down etc, is the bus air conditioned? How safe is the cage for the chinchilla if the road is a bit bouncy? You don't want him to get hurt by being thrown against anything?

      Good luck

      • I recently traveled half way across country with my chinchilla in the car. He was fine all the way to my destination. While at my overnight stops he was able to play outside of his travel cage, which I think helped. He did not get stressed, his eating and behavior remained normal throughout the whole trip. I think if you do it right, you can have a successful trip with your chinchilla!

    • I traveled from Austin, Texas to Seattle, Washington with my little Chinchilla. She was in a small cat carrier in the back seat during the day and got to play in her cage in the RV at night. She pretty much slept all day. I made sure to have her granite stone on the bottom of the cat carrier as well as some fluff and food. It took about a week of travel. We have gone on other roadtrips with her in her kennel and she doesn't mind the car rides at all.

  14. Hi we are traveling to Los Angeles from kansas city my daughter is bringing her chinchilla. Is there any permits or notes needed to enter california via I40 ? They check for fruits and vegies and exotic pets but a chinchilla is basically a domesticated animal correct?

    • I recently drove through California with my chinchilla. I had to stop to have my car checked and they asked what was in the cage. I told them it was a chinchilla, which they seemed a little confused by, and let me go through. From what I was told there, there is no permit or quarantine needed for a chinchilla to go through California.

    • Chip they are exotic not domesticated but they are close form being domesticated

  15. Thanks for this info! I am living in Tokyo and looking to buy a Chinchilla and was worried about flying back to the States with it once I buy it, but this helps me to know what other info to collect before committing to the pet. Thanks.

  16. i am going to my beach house for the weekend in a few weeks and i want to take my chinchilla i was wondering what i should carry him in? i am very nervous about traveling with him that is why i haven't in the past. its an hour drive and i am staying for two nights

    • Hi

      Whenever you travel with an animal you need to make sure their travel cage is very safe. This means you have to make sure there is nothing in there that could hurt him or her, if you have to stop quickly or hit a pot hole etc. Also that they cannot get thrown about too much.

      In addition to this, you have to consider what the chinchilla will gain from the experience, taking him on a trip for a couple of days might cause him more stress and take him longer to settle down than the trip, which might not be so good for him. Always consider the climate conditions you are going to travel in, and what might happen if something unexpected happens,eg the car breaks down.

      For a couple of days, I would find someone to mind your chin, unless you know he is not going to get stressed.

      Hope this helps

      • Hi im going to be relocating from Massachusetts to Louisiana soon with my 3 chinchillas. I was wondering if anbody would know how to get there without getting my chinchillas stressed out. I have a 2 yearold male and 2 1 year old females and 1 of the females is skiddish to begin with. Also i would like to know should i go by plane and should i buy new cages and new carrying cases? Because there cages cant be unfloded and rebuilt it took like 2 hours to build the females cage. And the males cage is old. Anyway if anybody has any ideas that could help that would be useful thanks~

  17. Hi! I am currently living in France for a year and when I first moved here I bought a chinchilla. In a couple months I am planing to move back to California, and I really, really don't want to live him here because he's my best friend. Although, I'll do what's best for him if that does involve leaving him here because the stress is too much.
    If I can take him, would I put him in cargo, or take him with me in the cabin? He has a very big cage (20x30in, 40in tall), and I read the previous comments, so would a smaller cage inside something like a cat carrier do? Would I be able to put his wooden wheel inside? (he LOVES his wheel :)
    Also, would it be against regulations or whatever to bring in an animal that was born outside the US?
    If I get him a smaller cage in a cat box, should I introduce him to it before hand and get him used to it?


    • The things you need to look at, are whether you can take a chinchilla into California, I believe chinchillas are not allowed in all states. Then you need to find out which carriers/airlines you can take him on to California. The wildlife and fisheries people will be able to tell you, or the airlines.

      If you put him on a flight that is not direct, look at what would happen to him for transfer etc, also consider the weather conditions he might be changing planes in. If possible I would go for a direct flight. I don't think there should be a problem taking him into USA, provided he is allowed into the state, I only took dogs into USA and left with 2 dogs, 2 ferrets and my chinchilla.( one of my dogs has done 7 flights, the ferrets and chinchilla have done 2 flights)

      I started writing this as I could not find any info on how chinchillas travel, then I came across stuff that indicated that breeders travel with their chinchillas all the time and they are ok. My chinchilla seemed to travel fine, and was ok, I made the decision to take our chinchilla rather than leave him behind, and did not regret it, it was a leap into the dark though.

      So far as the cage is concerned you need to check the carriage rules. When I moved my chinchilla he had to be in a metal cage and then inside another cage eg a cat carrier. However, you need to look at the cage with a view as to how dangerous it could be to your chin, eg in turbulence. I designed my cage to not have much height, just enough for him to stand up, and then with enough space for him to move about. what you don't want is for him to get thrown about and hurt if there is turbulence. I would suggest that his wheel might be dangerous to him while he is travelling. If it was all calm it would ok but it could become lethal in turbulence.

      In his cage you should put some food and find a way of attaching a water bottle, so he has access to water. The cage issue is that you will pay on weight and volume, if he has to go in cargo. I would suggest you phone a carrier/airline and find out what the rules are ie cargo or in the passenger section. It is always a good idea to get an animal used to the cage it is going to travel in so it reduces the stress. I used BA and Virgin Atlantic and they have whole sections that organise animal travel, and I am sure other airlines have the same.

      When deciding to take an animal, you have to accept that the unforeseen can happen, so even though you can plan for most things, it can still go wrong. I have been lucky and never had any problems, I had an aborted flight with my dogs due to a suspected fire, but it ended well and there was no fire, but I had to stand up for my dogs and get them taken off the flight, while the plane was checked for 8 hours. As the pet owner you have to look at it all and work out the risks. Airlines that move animals, have experience and I think generally the protocols are well established.

      If I can be of any more help please do not hesitate to ask, I have been moving my animals over the last 10 years, and I remember the anxiety of putting my dogs on their first flight. Good luck, and I hope it all goes well.

      Best wishes

  18. I'm currently considering if i should get a chinchilla. I have noticed that they have a long life span. I may be leaving Canada for Taiwan in a couple of years. I wanted to make sure that I will be able to take him/her with me. I was looking at the requirements for Air Canda and noticed that they only allow dogs and cats to travell with the passenger ( either in the cabinet or just on the same flight). Does anyone know of any plane companies that will allow Chins to be brought abroad with us?

    If not, is cargo safe for the chin? and do they ship to Taiwan? because i was lookin at a pdf file Air Canada had for cargo rates, but I wasnt sure what they mean when they say Asia. Is it only to the few places listed on there or they've just listed a couple?

    • I have posted quite a bit about shipping chinchillas, as when I had to move back to Europe from USA I could not find any helpful information, and I almost re-homed our chinchilla than risk him. However, on discovering that show chinchillas are shipped all the time, I decided that it could be done, and my chinchilla has done 2 flights in cargo successfully.

      I cannot comment on taking a chinchilla in the plane with you, as mine chinchilla flew into UK and they have to arrive in cargo, then out of UK to Tenerife he again went in the hold.

      When looking to move an animal to a new country you need to check the regulations for the country you are going to, you should be able to find this information via the internet, or ask the Taiwanese Embassy. Then you will have to set about fulfilling those regulations. You will find specialist companies will arrange everything for you, I only did this the first time I flew an animal, and have always done everything.

      If your chinchilla goes in the hold the international regulations require that they are double crated, that the inner cage is metal, and that is then encased in something suitable. I could not find a suitable inner cage to buy so ended up getting a cage made, to my own specifications. When looking for a cage think about turbulence, the last thing you want is for your chinchilla to get hurt, so I made it quite large, so he could move about, but kept it low, so he could not be bounced in it. The other point about the cage, is check with the airline about how they charge for cargo, sometimes it is weight and sometimes it is volume.

      I would suggest you phone Air Canada cargo, and they will be able to tell you what they do, in my experience the people who deal with animal bookings are extremely helpful and happy to give you information (though I did have one BA person try to convince me my neutered de-scent glanded ferrets where endangered and needed a cites permit!)

      Good luck, with your plans, I have loved having our chin, and have shipped my 2 dogs, 2 ferrets as well as our chinchilla wherever we have gone, one of my dogs has done 7 flights. I think though you do need to plan very carefully when moving animals, and realise that you have to be aware of the hazards and risks when flying. I have generally flown with the animals on the same plane, then if the plane gets delayed for any reason I have been able to make sure the animals are looked after properly, and not just left somewhere.

      I hope this helps

      • What airline did you use?

      • The main carriers I have used are Virgin Atlantic and British Airways (BA). BA when I last moved an animal with them took pretty much anything in the cargo hold, and were very organised and seemed to have controls in place to ensure the safety of the animal. Virgin Atlantic only took cats and dogs.

        In Europe, I have been able to use BA and other holiday airlines for the flights between Tenerife and UK, sadly BA no longer flies to Tenerife.

        I hope this helps

        • I am leaving the uk after my retirement, end of May. I am going to live with family in South Africa. I have three, very much loved, Chinchillas. It is a good 7 or 8 hour direct flight and I am very worried about the stress the journey would cause to them. Any advice would be well appreciated. Do you think it would be better for them if I found them a home in the UK? (I would rather have them with me but I don't want to stress them?). Jackie

      • I currently live in florida, my husband and I have one chinchilla and are moving to Japan soon. First we will be taking leave in oregon for about 9 days. So we would have to fly Florida to oregon, where our chin will be in cargo, then Oregon to Okinawa japan- which is a 15 hour flight. We will have to use a pet relocation service since our military flight wont accept him. I am very worried he won't be able to handle all the stress. I really want him with us, but also more than anything want what's best for him. Any advice would help!

        Also, when we moved to Florida from Oregon we drove- 5 days of driving, stayed in a different hotel each night and he did that like a champ! I just worry with flying because I won't be with him.

  19. Hello, Im in college and I live about 7 hours away from home. How can I make sure my chinchilla is safe on the trip? I don't have anyone I can leave him with so I don't have a choice but to take him...I just want him to be safe, comfortable, and as stress free as possible.

    • I have the same issue, going to school 8 hours from home. When i drive home i put my chinch in a travel kennel for small dogs or cats, leaving earlier rather than later so he is just sleeping most of the time anyway.

  20. Hi,

    I am relocating from France to LA. I am having trouble finding a company that will let me bring the chinchilla in the cabine.

    Does anyone now want airline company would let my chinchilla travel in the cabine with me ?

    Do you think I should ask the vet for some king of drug to calm him down ?

    • Hi

      I don't know about companies allowing you to take a chinchilla in the cabin of a plane, I have only moved mine in the cargo hold. He did fine, with the 2 flights he did, Boston to London, then London to Tenerife. Even if you have him with you, and he is not happy, you will not be able to get him out, and I think according to the international regulations, he will have to be double crated, ie metal cage, with another one round that (unless it has changed since mine flew in 2006).

      I would think very carefully before you sedate him, as sedation is an art not a science, and your vet should have a good knowledge of sedating a chinchilla, before you should rely on him. My chinchilla, actually became quite forceful when he was traveling and not frightened at all. The flight is long, and to keep him sedated for the whole flight will need a high level of sedation and possibly put him at risk. I have travelled with my dogs, chinchilla and ferrets and never sedated any of them, and they have all coped ok (one of my dogs has done 7 flights). Talk to your vet, but be very sure he knows what he is doing before trusting his advice.

      Hope this helps a little, and good luck

      • Hi, I will be going on a three week trip and I'm flying from Alaska to Connecticut. All in all, one way flight time is about 10 hours. How long is the flights from Boston to London? I'm a little worried about putting them in cargo hold, as you did. Do you think I should try and find a sitter for 3 weeks? I would really love to bring them with me!


      • Hi

        As I have said before, when planning a trip with a pet, you have to consider what the pet is going to go through, and whether there is a better option for the pet than traveling. You have to consider what the pet is going to get from going with you, look at the pros and cons and then decide. For short trips the disruption and potential for stress may not be worth it for the animal. Also you need to think about the time of year the animal is traveling at and whether that poses any risks to a beloved pet.

        From the various posts here, it may be that a chinchilla can travel in the cabin, my experience is in transatlantic flights into UK which have special rules.

        Hope this helps

  21. Hi there,
    I have a weekend house that I go to for 2 days/1 night each week. Does this mean I can't have a chinchilla? In the summertime I sometimes go up for longer. Can I not travel with one?

  22. I would suggest that taking your chinchilla on a one week vacation might cause him/her more stress than asking the neighbour to take care of him/her. My chinchilla has always enjoyed meeting new people, and unless their is a problem with the neighbour i am sure yours will be the same.

    When thinking of taking a pet on a journey, you have to think about how they will cope with the traveling, and then what is going to happen to the pet when you get there. If you are on vacation are you going to spend time with your chinchilla? Or want to be out?

    You know your pet, and know what s/he can cope with, and you have to balance everything and make the right decision for you and your pet.

    I hope this helps, and best of luck

  23. Hi, I am going on this 1 week vacation to Orlando. Its a 4 hour drive from my house to there.. is it good to take my chinchilla along or have my neighbor take care of it for a week? I dont know if my chinchilla will be scared or stressed if someone totally new starts cleaning its food and water.. my vacation is over the summer, some where in july and august.

    Oh and if you say, that my neighbor should watch over it for a week, should i introduce my chinchilla to her a week early or something? So my chinchilla gets used to her?!

    please help! :]

  24. Hi! I am in middle school right now and will be moving to california soon. I live in Maryland right now which is all the way across the country! I love my chinchillas way to much to leave them or sell them, but i cannot seem to find an airline that is chinchilla-friendly! A little help, please?

    • I moved from Indiana to California and I had to send my Chinchilla Chile on American Airlines and they charged me $200.00

    • I recently moved from OH to the San Fran CA area. My wife and I traveled with our chinchilla during the 3 day road trip. We travelled with him in a decent sized cat carrier. We put some bedding, toys & food in there with him and he slept for the most part. We would let him run when we got to the hotel, keeping a close eye on him so he wouldn't chew on wires/get somewhere where he could get hurt. For the most part we both laid on the bed and let him run around on it for a decent amount of time. Once arriving at our new apartment, he was a little skittish, but it was a new environment for him. After a week or so, he was back to his normal self. Best of luck!

  25. Hi! I have a chinchilla and my uncle has been taking take of it for me when i moved with my mom (divorced parents). And he said that i can take him for the week to her house (4 hours away, driving) for a week to see if he likes it there. And then bring him back a week later. would this be too much stress for him? I don't want to do it if it is going to harm him. Thanks for the help :) -maggie and chico!

  26. I am flying from Indiana to California and I called American Airlines about bringing my chinchilla Chile onto the airplane with me and they said only cats and dogs in the cabin with you and it would be $100.00 to take a cat or a dog on the airplane and they said they would let the chinchilla onto the airplane but it would not be able to ride with me it would be in the back ot the airplane and they said they would charge me $200.00 for him to be on the airplane!!!!

  27. I've been thinking about a chinchilla to and I really want one.But my dad is in the army and after our three years in Hawaii we well be going back to the mainland.I want to know if I should wait tell I get back on the mainland before I get a chinchilla.Or will it be okay for them to tavel on the plan.I just want the best for my future chinchilla(s).

    • Wait till you get back! I am trying to move to Hawaii with my 2 chinchilla's and will then need to move them back to the mainland 6 months later. Few airlines will carry them, and those that do seem to be $200 dollars at the lowest. Alaska Cargo, and Delta tend to be the cheapest to bring them but It is crazy dealing with all the airlines, not to mention the stress on the chinchilla's. I suggest just wait.

  28. Hey everyone, what about if flying is your only way of travel? I am also hoping they well let me keep him in his carrier on my lap. But its a big flight from Florida to California...any tips ?

  29. I've been thinking about getting chinchilla's, and then taking them with me to a chinchilla-friendly college when the time comes (I'm in middle school right now). But the drive there would be 13 and a half hourse long, and I'm not sure about the plane ride. Should I not even bother, drive, or fly?

    • Hi Delilah,

      I am impressed that you are thinking so far ahead in the future. When the time comes for college and a 13 hour ride, I would definitely suggest driving. I drove my chinchillas from NJ to CA and they were just fine. You may have to consider that almost all colleges will not be chinchilla or pet friendly unless you live in an off-campus apartment, which even then often do not allow pets. I got my chinchilla in college, I just kind of hid it in my dorm room and never got caught lol. Good luck with the process!


    • Hey Delilah,
      I actually was faced with an incredibly similar problem to yours when my university cut the program that I was in and I was forced to move (I was going to the university in my home city and in order to find a similar program I ended up having to move several hours away). I'd say that driving is definitely your best bet for getting the little guy out there and then if you visit home periodically you can fly and just make sure your chinchilla has a lot of food and water to keep him satisfied for the weekend. As for living accomodations, I skipped out on res because I hate the party atmosphere and I need my own space, so if you're considering getting on off-campus apartment look into the larger property companies as well as individual renters, and even if you find a place that says "no pets" be sure to ask. An animal that is kept caged (Except for a little daily run-around) usually isn't a big deal. The reason people say "no pets" is because cats and dogs are unpredictable to landlords and have the potential to make a mess on carpets, as well as when people move out the landlord usually has to make sure that there are no fleas or anything left behind which can come asa huge cost to them. Some places also offer pet accomodation for a "pet fee". This is why I chose my apartment, but lucky for me when I told them about my circumstances (I have a Chin, two goldfish, and am looking at getting another chinchilla or a bunny) they told me to just check off "no pets" on my lease and not worry about the fee so long as I didn't leave a pet mess behind when I moved out.
      Best of luck! I hope you enjoy your chin. Out of all of the pets I've had over the years (And I grew up in a house full of pets, so I've had a lot) my little Edgar is my favourite because he's so feisty and fun.

  30. I have a chinchilla that I got this past December. I'm going to be moving from Colorado to Texas around June of 2011 and I'm wondering how to best handle the move so as not to stress my poor little chinchilla out. We're moving by car, so I was thinking putting him in a smaller cage so he doesn't bump around too much and strapping the cage on to the seat of the rental truck (with air conditioning on, of course). Is this a good idea or should I do something else?

    • ok yes you should put the chinchilla in the carrier cage but also put the seat belt on so if you get in a car axsident the chinchilla wont die or get to injured. anyway make sure your chinchilla has food , water , and toys in the carrier cage. oh and yes its a good idea. make sure to pay atention to your chinchilla and take him out every once in a while so he/she dosent get car sick or sad . thats all i know for your case hope it helps you and your chin. good luck

  31. my family goes to panama city beach every year for vacation, we live in tennessee and we drive the whole 8 and a half hours with few stops. what would be the best way to carry lola (my chinchilla) in the car and how to keep her in the condo? i am open to anything. i am dreading this summer and many other trips before then. hopefully you can can help me find a way to transport her without great stress.

    • lola thats a very cute name. anyway put your chinchilla in a carrier cage or a small cage that contains food water and some toys. that should do it but if not then do that but every other half an hour hold lola and give her a treat and tell her what a good girl she is . thats a good start. but if there are bumps on the rode then keep the cage/ carrier cage on your lap to kill most of the movement. sorry but thats all i know i only have 2 chinchillas . good luck

  32. Every pet is different but my Chin has no issue traveling at all. I have had him for a year and we have a very trusting relationship so maybe that helps. (I play with him every night in the bathroom and sometimes take him out to see the stars which he really loves). So, I think you have to judge what is right for your own pet. I hate to leave him more than overnight so I take him with me when I can. I put him in his travel bag and generally try to travel during the day when he is sleeping. But I have also taken him out at night and he seems to like looking out the window. I once took him to friends at night and he ran around his cage as if he was not even in the car. Like I said, I think every pet is different so judge based on your own pets behavior.

  33. I am moving to California from Indiana and I dont know how to transport Chile my chinchilla I am really worried I am making the big move June 2010 so I still have a little time to figure out what to do!!!!!!!!!!

    • If you read some of the older posts you might get some ideas for planning Chile's trip.

      I shipped my chinchilla from the USA to England, then a few weeks later to Spain a few years back, I was very challenged to find information about how to do it, and just read as much as I could, considered what was needed to keep him as safe as possible. He was flying, so I designed his crate taking the risk of sudden turbulence into account. I have a dog who has taken 7 international flights, and when I left USA traveled with 1 chinchilla, 2 ferrets and 2 dogs, my advice to you, is plan your journey, very carefully, think about what your animal needs, ie space wise, food, water, temperature, length of travel etc, and make it as safe as possible, ie think about if the plane gets delayed, or the car breaks down, and plan for it. Then you have done your best.

      I was on a plane once that had a suspected fire in the hold 5 minutes into the flight and had to return to the airport, my 2 dogs were in there. It was not a fire it was water getting into the air intake, but the plane had to be checked just the same so we were grounded for 8 hours. Initially the flight controller would not take the dogs off, and it was only after I refused to be bused back to the airport building that they decided the dogs should be checked. The dogs were taken off, and because animal importation in the UK is highly regulated, they got to go to a special pet centre and be very well looked after. The customer services people really helped, but it is important not to assume that those in charge of a plane will always have the best interests of any animals on board, as a priority.

      There is I believe a new pet airline in the USA I don't know if they travel your route?

      I have been very lucky, and have never had any problems with any of the animals traveling, and I would say planning is the key.

      Good luck

      • Hi Amanda,

        I am wondering what airline you travelled on with your chinchilla? I am going to be moving from Scotland to California in 2011 and am already worried about how to transport my three. Any information or advice you could give me would be most appreciated!!



    • I actually just transported my chinchillas via car ride from New Jersey to California. What I did was put one of the chinchilla's cages in my backseat and the two chinchillas would habitat there for the 12-16 hrs I drove each day. They didn't seem to mind and played as they normally would and slept. When it came time for hotels, I made my own chinchilla carrier. I basically took a large size plastic lizard cage and put bedding on the bottom of was perfect since there was ventilation, a place for the chinchillas to pee, and no way for them to escape. Once inside the hotel I attached a water bottle to the side of the carrier. Each chinchilla got his own carrier of course.

      If you are flying to CA instead of driving like I did, that might be easier. I believe you can ship them since breeders do it all the time with live animals. Reply back if you need any more suggestions. Hope this helps!

  34. I moved last year from Arkansas to the Cayman Islands and was told by many many people that I would have to have my chinchillas shipped there via a Delta Pet First or something similar, however, right now I am headed back to the states for a visit and bringing Apollo home. I am sitting in the Charlotte airport and he is sleeping in a carry bag at my feet. All I did was walk up to the check in, say I had a pet, show the appropriate forms and away we went. No muss, no fuss. And last time everyone told me that I couldn't bring him in the cabin with me because he is a "rodent"... but no one seemed to care or know about that so long as you just keep your mouth shut and show your cutie off a little to the security folks.

    So, when traveling with a puff, US Air is amazing and very helpful. I feel so much more secure and relaxed knowing where my baby is at all times instead of waiting and worrying.

  35. I was worried about this, too. I had to move to Arkansas from California in April for work. I think I was more stressed than the chinchillas were about the whole drive. They arrived just fine, if not a bit exhausted. What I did is stopped at a hotel each night and let them dust bath/run around the bathroom at the hotel so they could play off some stress. I just kept them in their smaller cage (24inx24x12) strapped down tight in the backseat, covered, kept the AC on high, and played low, soft music and tried not to make any sudden stops :)

    I'm moving back to California in a few weeks, so they'll be well-traveled chinchillas with about 8000 miles by that time.

  36. I have to visit family that lives about 3 hours away and im staying there for a couple weeks. I Have to take my chinchilla and everything would be fine if my car had air conditioning. It's hot here right now and I dont know what to do. Any ideas?

  37. I have a chinchilla named Chico and he is a little over 1 years old, My family and i live in Alaska and were moving to Georgia but theres a problem.. We dont know how to Drive my chinchilla there.
    We have two other dogs, (Shihu Zu, and a miniture Snouzer). Can someone help me figure out how to take him there? I dont want to get rid of him.

    • Your last name isn't Boudre by any chance is it?

  38. im about 2 get a chinchilla from my boyfriends cousins, its 9 months old and aparently quite timid so they dont want it wanymore, the only problem is that its a 5 1/2 hour train journey home 4 days after i meet it, is there anything i can do 2 make this less stressful for it? thanx

    • When my Chin was moved we found him quite calm with a cover over his cage while moving. Upon stopping gave a treat and allowed time for the Chin to check out where it was. After arriving at the place to stay allowed time to let him check it out before changing cages.... I allowed an hour in the quiet. Good luck but travel should be fine.

  39. When you think about traveling with a pet most people think of taking them on holiday, however a couple of years ago I was faced with relocating from USA back to Europe, with 2 dogs, 2 ferrets and a chinchilla. The dogs and ferrets were easy, I had done it before, but I struggled to find helpful advice on how to move a chinchilla, about suitable caging, how a flight might affect him, and all the other worries you have when putting a loved pet on a plane. I tried to find the information as I did not want to risk harm to our chinchilla, we would sooner have re-homed him, Some sites hinted that Chins travelled successfully so I decided to try, even having a special metal cage made for him. Luckily, I made the right decisions, and our little chinchilla made it safely to the UK, and actually seemed quite relaxed and excited by his adventure when we left him at the airport, not the nervous animal I had anticipated.
    I have only recently come across this site and think it is very useful, but as one who felt very alone when making decisions about the details of my chinchilla's travels, please write something from the perspective of 'if you have to do it, then try this...' as I am sure people would find it very useful.

    • Hey.. my sister is flying toronto to nova scotia and is suposed to be brining my chinchillas with her. The flight is only about 2 hours or so but im nervous as to how to comfortably fly them. I dont want them getting too stressed out and dieing or something. I have two of them and the airport told me i could have them both in the same carrier except i would need to divide it somehow because one is male and one is female.. I was just curious as to what type of carrier you had or if you had a picture or any tips/ advice for me to pass along to my sister. I was considering getting two of the small fabric travel carriers so they cant jump around and then putting the two small travel carriers in a bigger carrier together which would obviously be hardcovered. Is this a good idea? let me know thanks a bunch!

      • If you have to fly with them, keep reading, there are options, however, it will stress them out, and chinchillas that are stressed do not act predictably. There are horror stories of chinchillas in stressful situations turning on their "mates" or "roommates" which would normally be completely unexpected. Also, in a soft-sided carrier, they can chew pieces of the carrier off and eat them, also a potential of creating an escape hole, let alone them getting sick on plastic in their system.
        I bought a hard sided small size carrier that had lockable sides (necessary to travel with any pet on an airline), put in it his plastic fish bowl on its side with chinchilla sand in it, it calms him when traveling to sit in the sand. I think he likes the small confined space with no sharp edges, therefore if he's bounced around, it doesn't hurt as much.
        That being said, one carrier to travel with is cheaper than two (although cost it out because a carrier big enough to hold both small carriers will probably cost close to what it would cost to ship them both in separate smaller carriers). Definitely if their cages could be next to each other, it would reduce the added stress of being separated during travel.
        Also, be aware of the temperatures when you're traveling, too cold, or too hot, not good. Travel in spring or fall when temperatures are more moderate in both the location you're leaving and the location you're going to.
        LOCK THE CAGE WITH TIE STRAPS OR SOMETHING EQUALLY DIFFICULT TO REMOVE AND REPLACE WITHOUT NOTICE. Sometimes airport staff get curious and if they stick their fingers in and it seems friendly, they may try to take it out of the cage which could mean it gets lost. Also, if for some reason turbulence causes the cage to bounce, it won't open.
        Afterwards, when you get home, have plenty of sand on hand so they can spin and clean themselves lots, they've probably peed on themselves during the flight and will need to be clean. My chinchilla went through 3 pouches of sand, successively, cleaning out the fish bowl in between each, before he was looking like normal after the flight. But after that he seemed fine in about a week after.
        Just think of us on the plane if we'd never seen or heard of a plane before, it bothers our ears, creates stomach upsets because of turbulence, it's scary and loud and the sensations are inconsistent throughout the flight, one minute up, one minute down, one minute side to side. It's got to have similar effects on the chinchillas ears and body systems to some degree or other.
        And I agree with Amanda, sometimes traveling with your pet chinchilla is necessary and advising people simply not to do it, isn't very helpful. Overall, my chinchilla has never been as skittish as the chinchillas described on this site. Don't know why. He just seems to be more mellow than described here. Much more "socialized" to the human way of life. Maybe the founders of this site think that's wrong, I don't know. I do know I've found lots of useful information on this site and it educates people generally about chins. I recommend it to people, but I also tell them each animal is different and has it's own personality. You'll know if you're stressing your chinchilla out too much.

      • When I moved our chinchilla he had to be double crated. I would recommend that you make the space as safe as possible, to avoid them getting hurt. I think you want to avoid them having space to jump around in, as that risks injury if for example there is turbulence. If you look at some of the dedicated sites they have compartmentalised cages, which allow the chinchillas quite small amounts of space, also you need to look at the airline regulations. Maybe because it was international he had to be in a metal cage that was then surrounded by another crate. Also Internationally some airlines do not take all animals, so be sure to check that an airline will take a chinchilla.

        I have shipped my chinchilla twice and he coped fine. He was much more confident than I had expected.

        All I can advise is think of the safety of the chinchilla make sure there is a small snack and a small amount of water. water containers get jolted when they are moving the animals and you do not want too much water around that makes the cage wet. Best of luck

        • Hi Amanda,
          Thank you so much for the information you've shared about flying with chinchillas! It's incredibly hard to find!! This post may be far too old to get a reply, but I thought I'd try: I'm doing the reverse trip as you took with your chins, so from the UK to the USA. I have their special airline approved wooden/metal crate ready to go (2 compartments with a mesh divider between so that the two chins can chat during the trip -- hopefully minimize some stress), but am seriously wondering about the water bottles. I am really worried about them being jostled or leaking/dripping on the flight with no one noticing. May I ask if you remember how much water you put in for the transatlantic flight? And how was it secured to the crate?
          We've been provided plastic bottles by the pet travel agent. I normally use glass ones, but given the risk of the glass shattering, I can see why they opt for plastic. But I'm obviously worried about them finding a way to chew either bottle or plastic zip-ties.

          I'm also planning on putting in KD pine shavings to absorb pee (and potential water drips), but they have a tendency to dig especially by the doors (where a bottle would hang) when they're initially getting settled. Do you happen to remember how you lined your carriers? An inch of litter? More? Many, many thanks in advance!

    • How did you fly your chinchilla to the UK. I am looking to move back to the UK and would love to know how you did this as I do not really want to give the little guy up as have had since I came to the states 9 years ago. Thanks

      • You need to check the rules on quarantine, I had to fly him in to be taken into a quarantine kennels. If you go to another European country you might not have to do quarantine, a good starting point is the government web-site The actual flight etc was quite simple to do. Some airlines are picky about what animals they will take, I had to double crate him, so a metal cage inside another, so there was no risk he could bite anyone. The cage was covered in labels warning of my darling little chinchilla being a rabies threat.
        Fortunately he did not have to stay in quarantine for the full 6 mths as I took him to another country, with more relaxed rules. However, he did not seem to suffer from his experiences, and the kennels were very good, I was even able to visit him.

        I hope this helps, if you want more info just contact me.
        Good luck

    • Hi Amanda,
      i really would like to get a chinchillia because i think there amazing, BUT we are CURRENTLY living in the usa but if we were ever to move back to the UK how would i go about with the quaratine? i took my hamster from UK to USA no problem but that was because it was a free rabies country.. would my chinchillia have to go into quartine?
      Harriet x

  40. im looking into buying chichillas over the summer, and im planning to bring them with me to college and its a 2 and half hour drive... does anyone think they should be fine. i will also be working in my hometown on the wknds, wat do u think? i had a guinea pig before n i think she got used to it, at first she would hide in her igloo for a bit after travels...

  41. I don't have problems travelling with my chinchilla, but I think that might be because I have yet to buy a carrier, so i manage to fit his whole normal cage in the car, so maybe because he is used to that environment, it doesn't bother him as much. also, my mother, who does the driving, likes frigid temperatures, so Chilla doesn't seem to mind the car temperature.

  42. Will it be too much for my chinchilla to come back and forth with me to college four times a year? It's a four hour car ride.

    • I think it tends to stress them out. but try it and see. Temperature is a biggie, you have to make sure he stays cool and ventilated. it's also nice for him to have a place to hide.

  43. Hi Katie:
    I just relocated and brought my chinchilla on the plane with me (Westjet). I think it was a very stressful experience for him since he urinated all over himself while travelling.
    Also, rabbits, small cats and dogs are allowed in the cabin with you. Chinchillas are not and the airline I travelled with specified chinchillas as having to go under the plane. If I had had him with me I'm sure I could have kept him calmer.
    That being said, I watched him being loaded into the plane and the Westjet staff treated him with care and concern, sat with him until right before take off, and generally treated him the same way I would.
    He's still recovering and seems to be more cuddly and "needy" than before. He's slowly calming down though. I've been here a week now.
    Good luck!

  44. Avatar photo


    There is no exact temperature that is too high because humidity is a factor as well, but generally the upper limit is considered to be 75 degrees. We don't know of any specific airlines that allow chinchillas but the trickiest part will be explaining what they are. It probably makes sense to ask if they allow rabbits or guinea pigs and once you get a yes to move in to the area of chinchillas.

  45. What tempeture is exactly too hot for your chinchilla and are there any airlines that allow chinchillas?are there any saftey issues or things I shoud purchase to make sure my chinchilla is out of harms way?

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    We don't know of a good resource. The first thing you'll want to check is whether the airline you plan to use allows it. Other than that, you'll want to make sure you have the usual things covered such as temperature, safety, and food/water if the trip is a long one.

    Good luck!

  47. Where should I look for information about flying with a chinchilla?

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    Sounds like you carefully planned each element of the trip. We're glad to hear things worked out. Well done!

  49. I took my chinchillas with me when I went to visit my parents. We had left late in the afternoon around 5, so the sun would be going down soon and while the sun was still up a little the chinchillas sat and pouted. Then as soon as it got dark they were running around the cage and running on their wheel like they weren't even in a car. We took emergency frozen bottles to keep them cool incase it got too hot, but since we traveled at night it was pretty cool and the chinchillas didn't seem to mind.

    Then when we got to my parents house I thought that the chinchillas would be reserved and not want to greet everyone like they normally do but I was very wrong. They had an awesome time running around the kitchen and just doing their little jumps and bounces off the walls. I suppose that might have been because I was there with them but they just made themselves at home. All in all the trip went very well. However, I would not recommend traveling with chinchillas a lot, because I believe that would cause them a lot of stress.

  50. Avatar photo

    If your chinchilla squirms around and tries to jump out of your or your friend's hands, then that means you are scaring her.

  51. Hi. I was wondering if it would cause my chinchilla harm to have my friends over to see her. My friends are very excited about it and they want to hold her all day long. It's good to give her cuddled, but will it make her scared?

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    So far we haven't needed to travel with our chinchillas and so we don't have first hand experience. The biggest thing that you'll want to pay attention to is heat. In small cages in your car with the sun beaming it is quite possible that your chinchillas will get too hot. They're not as tolerant as people are. Traveling at night will also help eliminate the risk of too much heat from the sun.

  53. I have 2 pet chinchillas and I was wondering if I can travel with them to my parents house. Their house is about 700 miles away but I know they would love to see my 2 adorable chins. I know it is not recommended to travel with them but if I were to travel with them in a car what would be the best way to transport them. I read that traveling during the night would be best because that is when they would be most alert. Can you please give me your comments. Thanks!

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