Temperament: With gentle handling from a young age most chinchillas
will become quite tame and bond closely with their owners, although sometimes they do not like to be held or cuddled. They
are very active and playful. Chinchillas can be kept singly, and usually will do fine as same sex pairs especially if they
are littermates or introduced at a young age.
Habits: Chinchillas are nocturnal so will be most active in the evening
and night. They should be kept in a fairly quiet area during the day. They prefer a consistent routine for handling a feeding
times and may be stressed out by changes to their routine. Since they are so active and playful, chinchillas need a roomy
cage for exercise as well as daily playtime. Warm temperatures are more of a concern for chinchillas than cool temperatures,
so care must be taken that pet chinchllas do not become overheated.
Feeding: Chinchillas require a lot of roughage, and the diet should
mainly be made up of a good quality grass hay along with pellets made for chinchillas. Treats should be given in moderation
(one teaspoon per day in total) and can include fruits (eg fresh or dried apples, grapes, raisins), vegetables (carrots, celery),
sunflower seeds, and rolled oats. The digestive system of chinchillas is fairly sensitive so any diet changes should be gradual.
Chinchilla cages must be large, and multi-level cages with
platforms, ramps, and perches are ideal. For more information, see Cages for Chinchillas
Dust Bath and Toys:
Along with regular access to a dust bath, chinchillas
need a variety of toys to keep them busy and active, especially items for chewing to keep the incisor teeth in good condition.
See [link url]http://exoticpets.about.com/od/chinchillas/a/chindustbath.htm[/link] and Toys for Chinchillas
for more on these necessities.
Handling and Taming:
You must be gentle and consistent to gain the
trust of a chinchilla. Find out the steps to taming chinchillas in How to Tame a Chinchilla