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The World of Chinchillas

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Care

Chinchillas are relatively easy to care for. I keep mine if a simple metal cage, 22"w x 18"d x 17"h, with a pull out bottem. You can certainly get bigger cages if you desire. The more room your chin has to run the happier he will be. You will also need a water bottle, a food dish (one that either hooks to the side of your cage or a heavy bottem one), and a house for him to sleep and hide in (makes a nice touch) is really all that you will need. Some wood chips (never cedar!) in the bottem to help absorb waste is also a good idea.

They require a special diet that you can find at almost any pet store, either prepackaged or in bulk. They also make treats which are nice for special occasions or for use in training. I used raisins when training mine. They love them !! It did not take long for them to come running when I called their names, thinking they were going to get a raisin. It does not hurt to get some wood chews also, as they need to chew to keep their constantly growing teeth trim.

You can buy wheels and plastic balls big enough for chinchillas. I do not have any of these items, I just let mine run free. Be very cautious if you decide to do this because it will not take long for your friend to get in to trouble. He will be able to squeeze in places you wouldn't dream (like under the fridge, beside to stove...trust me I know). Rocky, my first chin, loves to get under the couch and crawl up inside and will sit there for hours if you let him (I don't reccommend that, for the sake of him and for the sake of your couch). My solution was to take big cardboard boxed and cut them into sections to block off areas I did not want them to go. Sometimes they are still sneaky and finds ways to bipass them, but if you watch them this method works pretty well. I would never reccommend leaving your chin to run lose while you are not supervising.

These wonderful little creatures can make very good pets if bought when young, or from a breeder who handles them often. A chin bought from a pet store who is already an adult may be difficult to train, as far as being friendly. They get very stuck in their ways, just as people do. With a litte patience and lots of love you can have a friend for the next 20 or so years.

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