Chinchilla or Totoro? Read about them here!
Interesting Facts About Chinchillas.
1. Chinchilla is a furry little creature that belongs in the order Rodentia (which means “to gnaw”). All animals from the order Rodentia (ie. rodents) have a pair of incisors in each upper and lower jaw which will grow continuously throughout their lives.
2. To prevent overgrowth, they need to wear down their teeth by gnawing on twigs and wooden items.
3. Chinchillas need a constant supply of hay (in addition to chinchilla-specific pellets) to make sure their digestive systems run smoothly and properly.
4. Chinchillas hail from the rocky mountains in a South American region called Andes, in the high altitude of 12,000 feet from sea level.
5. Chinchillas have the thickest fur of all land animals. Because of this, any parasite that may try to inhabit the chinchillas’ fur will die of suffocation!
6. Because of the fur density too, chinchillas do not take water baths like any other pets. Moisture may stay deep inside the fur (even when you are sure you dried the fur properly!) and may introduce fungal growth on your chinchilla’s skin.
7. Another fun fact on chinchilla’s fur – they have a defense mechanism known as the ‘fur slip’. Fur slips happen when chinchillas release a part of their fur when grabbed (by predators). It will leave a bald spot but don’t worry – it will grow back. If fur slips happen when you handle your chinchilla, you may need to be gentler to assure your chinchilla that you don’t want to harm them.
8. Chinchillas stay clean by rolling in volcanic ash or dust baths. You may also use a chinchilla dry shampoo in case they get smelly.
A squeaky clean chinchilla fresh from rolling in dust bath!
9. As chinchillas are prey animals, provide a bunch of hiding places where they can go when they’re nervous or frightened.
10. They are crepuscular animals, which means they are most active at twilight (dusk and dawn). This cycle is developed to help them avoid predators and the scorching heat of the sun.
11. Chinchillas get overheated easily. The optimum temperature for them is 21C. If it gets too warm or hot for them, you can see it by the coloration on their ears. Pink or red ears means it is too hot and they are trying to combat it by circulating more blood to regions with less fur.
12. When chinchillas feel happy, they may jump around the room to show it! So get ready to face a chipper 6am-jumper!
13. Speaking of leaps and jumps, chinchillas may jump as high as 6 feet! Monitor their playtime outside the cage as they may get on counter tops and gnaw on wires.
14. They need to have their daily exercises – so install an exercise wheel and rearrange their items once in a while to stimulate them mentally and physically.
15. Chinchillas are sociable animals. They enjoy being in the company of familiar people and other chinchillas, and they love being petted and loved!
A loved chinchilla is a happy chinchilla.