Chinchillas are smart, inquisitive, and loving animals. They are active, vocal, and entertaining to watch. Not recommended for young children or as a first time pet.
Size: Chinchillas are typically 9 to 15 inches (23 to 38 centimeters) long, but the tail can add another 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm) to their length. They generally weigh 1.1 to 1.8 lbs. (0.5 to 0.8 kilograms).
Temperament & Personality: With gentle handling from a very young age, most chinchillas will become quite tame and bond closely with their owners. Chinchilla temperament is mostly inherent, so it is important to start your herd with reasonably tempered chinchillas. No amount of handling will make a mean or high strung chinchilla pleasant.
Activity Requirements: These adorable creatures are social animals and need a lot of interaction. A lone chinchilla requires a great deal of attention and can become very attached to its owner. If you are unable to devote that much time to your pet, it is better to have two chinchillas than one lonely unhappy pet. Two chinchillas can play and interact and not be completely dependent on their owner.
Breed Traits: Their good qualities include a beautiful soft lush fur, an inquisitive, boisterous nature and no objectionable noises. They are very low-maintenance pets. On the down side, chinchillas are somewhat high-strung, and they have relatively short attention spans.
Diet: A small amount of chinchilla pellets, along with a good quality grass hay. Pellets can be substituted with rabbit or guinea pig pellets. Be sure the food stays fresh and clean. Some chinchillas love a raisin or an apple slice as a treat.
Grooming Requirements: They need regular bathing in a special substance called chinchilla dust. A good quality chinchilla dust is a natural powder which is used to penetrate the dense fur of a chinchilla. It works to protect their coat by removing excess oils and moisture.
Colors: By combining individuals with specific characteristics, breeders later managed to produce different color mutations. These mutations have then been crossbred to create even more variations. That’s why the number of colors are continuously increasing.
Eight of the most common ones are: Standard Gray, Ebony, White, Heterozygous Beige, Homozygous Beige, Violet, Sapphire, Black Velvet
History: They live in colonies called "herds" at high elevations of up to 4,270 m (14,000 ft). Historically, chinchillas lived in an area that included parts of Bolivia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile, but today, colonies in the wild are known only in Chile.
Origin: South America, Chile, Peru
Life span: 20 years
Temperament: It is very hard to make a high-strung chinchilla calm or a mean chinchilla pleasant. Chinchilla temperaments are mostly inbuilt. Chinchillas are quick, perky and nervous little animals.
Height: 3 feet
Colors: gray, beige, tan, black or white