Chinchillas are rodents.
They originally come from South America and live on the rocky mountains of the Andes. As they are prey animals they are quite shy, so they make better pets for adults or older children.
They have really soft fur, strong back legs, large ears and a tail which makes up a third of their whole body length. Like other rodents they’re most active in the evening and night and tend to sleep during the day.
They are incredibly sociable – in the wild they live in groups of more than 100 individuals – so they shouldn’t be kept on their own, unless advised to by a vet.
Chinchillas can jump over six feet high and pet chinchillas have been reported to jump onto the top of refrigerators! Ha ha!
Chinchillas don’t burrow, they live in rock crevices. That’s why you’ll find that pet chinchillas will sleep squeezed into very small places. They usually sleep upright, but will also sleep on their sides or upside down! Weird!
‘Fur slip’ is a process whereby a chinchilla will lose a tuft of its fur when it’s in a tight grip by a predator. This is a natural defence mechanism but it has been known to happen with pet chinchillas too, if they’re not handled properly. Oh dear!
If you’ve got chinchillas, or are thinking of getting some, make sure you read the attachment below so you know exactly what they need to have the best life possible.
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