More so than other indoor pets (such as cats or dogs), chinchillas can be a bit high maintenance.
There are only a handful of things which can be included in their regular diet, a lot of care needs to be taken in terms of how they are housed, and their cages need to accommodate their fondness of jumping and climbing.
Above all, their cages need to be kept clean.
So, in this article, we’re going to tell you how to clean a chinchilla cage.
Chins are highly sensitive animals in terms of how they respond to their food and their environment. For instance, being prey animals, chinchillas’ cages need to be set high up so that they are not intimidated by humans looking down at them.
As per the Pet Advisors, a chinchilla’s cage should be cleaned daily, weekly, and monthly, each time to a different degree. When you put your chin in a spare cage or playpen while you are cleaning out their cage, make sure gaps between the bars of that cage or playpen are not too far apart.
Chins are very furry animals with small bodies underneath it all, and so it is very easy for them to escape through gaps that seem much smaller than their own size.
There are a few things you should have at hand before getting on with cleaning up your chin’s cage, such as a brush and a dustpan, all-purpose cleaner spray (avoid bleach products as they can be harmful to your pet), a vacuum cleaner, anti-bacterial wipes, and a playpen to put your chinchilla in while you are cleaning up.
Daily, you should empty your pet’s food and water bowls and put in fresh food (such as pellets) and water. Sweep up any droppings, wet hay, discarded food, etc. Wipe down any urine sprays using a wet rag or anti-bacterial wipes.
Try to spot clean any area that you think needs it. If your chinchilla has a hay bag, refill it as needed.
Every week, you should take out your chin’s food and water bottles or bowls and give them a thorough wash in the sink. Be sure to dry them properly before replacing them in the cage. This would also be the perfect time to clean up the chin’s waste tray or bedding.
Given chinchillas’ fondness for chewing on everything, the cage would have a lot of wood shavings lying about which would need sweeping up or vacuuming. Additionally, you should also sand down any wooden toys or houses so that your chin is not harmed by the harsh edges of the wood.
Every month, you should perform a deep cleaning of your chinchilla’s cage. This would involve taking your pet out and putting them in a playpen or a spare cage whilst you clean.
Take out most of the components of the cage such as trays, toys, running wheels, wooden houses, etc. and wash and/or wipe them down. If your trays have a fleece lining, then take them off, wash or wipe down the tray, dry it, and put on a new fleece lining while the used one goes in the wash.
You could also place potty pads on your trays before putting on the fleece lining. This would help any urine spraying absorb faster and keep the tray dry for your chin.
Be sure to wheel the cage aside to vacuum clean the droppings, discarded hay, etc. off the floor underneath. Give the walls of the cage a general wipe-down using anti-bacterial wipes or a rag and some all-purpose cleaning spray.
Once a year, you would want to take everything out of the cage (such as trays, bowls, toys, bottles, wheels, houses, ledges, etc.), and hose it down outdoors. While it is wet, use a brush or rag to wipe down hard-to-reach corners. Of course, your chinchilla should be in a spare cage or playpen during the lengthy washing and drying time of the cage.
When you are done, put everything back in its respective place inside the cage and then place your chinchilla inside.
For their dust baths, pour out some chinchilla bath dust in a dry bowl. Place the bowl somewhere you would not mind the dust getting onto. When your chin is done adorably rolling around in it and cleaning up, use a dry brush to sweep up any dust that got outside the bowl.
Once the dust starts looking clumpy (usually) within the week, it is time to discard it and replace it with another pouring of fresh bath dust.
Chins are easily scared animals and are creatures of habit. The smallest incidences could cause them to become anxious. That is why it is very important to not move their things around too much.
If you take off a ledge while your chin is still in the cage, they may try to jump up onto that ledge and hurt themselves when they find it is no longer there.
Initially, you may think that chinchillas really are much more high maintenance than other, more common furry friends. But once you get the hang of taking care of them, it becomes the most rewarding thing to have a cute chin as a pet.