Chinchillas are clean, quiet, odourless and attractive rodents that have been bred and farmed for their soft dense fur.
They are quite shy and are more appropriate as pets for adults and older children.
Chinchillas can live for 10-20 years and have very specific dietary and housing needs.
Understanding chinchillas’ needs
Chinchillas have only been kept as pets for a relatively short time and experts are still learning about how best to care for them. Learning more about chinchillas’ biology and behaviour can help you to understand your pet chinchilla’s needs better, so why not check out our Chinchilla factfile to learn more.
Your duty to care
Owning and caring for a chinchilla can be very rewarding, but it is also a big responsibility and a long-term commitment in terms of care and finances. If you own or are responsible for a chinchilla, even on a temporary basis, you are required by law to care for him/her properly.
Read more about the Animal Welfare Act and your duty of care to your animals.
The five welfare needs
There is no one “perfect” way to care for chinchillas but certain essential needs must be met. It is up to you how you look after your chinchilla, but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all his/her needs.
Read our expert reviewed pet care information to find out more about the needs of chinchillas: Environment, Diet, Behaviour, Company and Health and welfare.