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Chins Chinchilla cage and bedding


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Oct 16, 2009
I got a chinchilla. Yes, I know I should have thought better before, but there was this student who bought her and didn't, didn't clean and forgot to feed her. His mom said that she would let the chin go into the woods beacuse it was a disgusting animal. A terrible story.
This sudent came to me for help and I said I'd take her and thayt's what I did.
I wanted to rehome her, but a week went by and I fell in love with her. We decided to keep her.
So now, Penelope is our new faily member. But, she came in a rabbit cage. I have easily found out she can escape from it. I've put her in a safe place she cannot escape from. But I am concerned about the cage. I love the homemade cages I've found and I am going to buy the material to build one this weekend.
It's going to be huge, beautiful and comfortable.
But I am having trouble to decide about the bottom of the cage. All vets I've talked to told me it should have a wire bottom, since chins can't get their fur wet at all, but then I surf on the net and see that they are bad.
So, if I can't have a wired bottom, how should it be? If you guys use fleece, I can't find it, I've tried to find it for the last 2 years with no success and the rubber carpets I use for my piggies would be completely chewed by Penelope.
Any help?
You can use wire but make sure it has small spacing. I know most people that build their cages use melamine or you could use ceramic tiles for the bottom. Do not use pine unless it is kiln dried as it is toxic to chins. Here is a good forum for chins:

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That forum ia great, thank you so much.

So, wires are ok if they have a small spacing. I was thinking of using silica, like I do with my rabbits, instead of pine. It absorbs more and smells less.

Chinchilla cage and bedding

I liked this kind of cage very much.
I also noticed thet chins are a lot less messier than piggies or rabbits when it comes to pee and poop. They seem easier to keep clean.
That cage is awesome (minus the plastic tubes). I wish I had room to build my 2 a cage that big!
I was also thinking that the plastic tubes probably wouldn't be good, but the rest looks great.
I am moving to a house by the end of the year, so I'll have all the space I want and more. I hope I can come up with something very nice for her.

Do they live happier alone or in pairs? I found a lot of controversial info on this.
It depends on the chin. Some will get along with another chin and some won't. I know a lot of people have single chins and they are fine. I got my 2 off craigslist already bonded.
I worry because Penelope has a strong personality. She gets angry easily, but she is adorable when I cuddle her. I guess I'll have to wait and see. I also believe it will be a long time until I find an adoptable chin to be friends with her. They're not so common around here.

I dont know how to hold her correctly. People tol me I should grab her by the tail, but that doesn't sound nice at all. I hold her the sae way I'd do with a guinea pig and she doesn't seem distressed by that.
My chin Lola hates other chins. We have tried to match her up with a buddy but she attacks other chins. She really loves people, tough! We have her on bedded on fleece and she has a litter pan with carefresh in it. Her cage is a bird flight cage, so it's big. She loves it so much. It's like a double sized flight cage that we added different levels to. It came with a wire floor but we took it out because IMO those are inhumane (just my opinion, though!). Since she uses her litter pan we don't have to worry about her getting wet.
Also, don't grab her by the tail!!! They can drop their tails when stressed! Never grab any animal by the tail because it's a part of their spine and they can really be hurt! When we pick Lola up we kind of scoop her and then let her perch on us since she doesn't like to be held on to.
Hmm... I just scoop her. I know if I had a tail I wouldn't want it to be held on to.
That's interesting about carefresh. Do you have a link about that? How does it cause impaction?
Maybe we will have to switch, could you please provide me with a bit more info?
I mean I literally scoop her from under her bum while she's sitting there. I don't touch her ribs.

edit: Sorry I meant BOXO not carefresh. We used to use carefresh but have been buying BOXO and mixing it with some kiln dried pine. I suppose BOXO could cause a blockage if she ingested it also, right? She has never eaten it though. She has too many toys that she chews on to eat the litter.
I can't find where I saw that but it is because carefresh is a compressed paper product and it can expand in the digestive system, causing impaction and blockage.
I just googled it and it sent me to the forum discussion on chins and hedgies. Do you think BOXO would cause impaction too? I hate pine. Even though it's kiln dried it's still too dusty in my opinion.

I suppose carefresh could cause a blockage in all small animals, then, couldn't it?
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hehehe! I guess I used a poor choice of words! Sorry I just woke up not long ago! I did not mean drop their tails like a lizard or anything. I simply meant that they are very fragile and delicate and that if you hold their tail the wrong way it could break or the skin could tear from the muscle and bone. I understand that you can hold on to the base to steady them, but personally, I would not take that chance. It just sort to freaks me out! I guess we are lucky to have a chin that doesn't try to get away when being scooped up, so we don't have to worry about her jumping when she is perched on us :)
I watched the dog show yesterday and I was surprised to see handlers lifting their dogs by their tails and under their front. I'd think that would really hurt.
@pinky, I agree. I usually go by the rule of "If I wouldn't like it, why would they?"
I suppose to each their own, though.
Penelope has no problem comig to me. The student told me she is still 2 months old, but she isn't afraid of people at all. I also think it would hurt being grabbet by the tail.
I went out today and bought a small wardrobe to make her a very nice house.
I found a metal net that is also used in windows, to stop mosquitoes. I think it's the best option, since I can't find fleece.

I made a safe wheel for her, but she could not have cared less about it. It's a shame. But she did like some bird toys I bought.
You'll have to post some pictures of her sometime! :)
Chinchilla cage and bedding

Here she is, in her tiny little cage. But I am going to solve that right away!
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