Some advice on cleaning a chinchilla's cage
Chinchillas are not graceful when it comes to creating a mess in their cage, but it's also dangerous to keep a dirty cage for too long. So we have put together some ideas on how best to clean those cages and keep your chinchilla safe and happy.
We asked our community of chinchilla owners and lovers online this question asking for advice,
"What are the best methods for cleaning a chinchilla cage."
Their responses were all similar, but some answered with unique advice to share.
Here's what they said.
Basic Chinchilla Cage Cleaning
Sweep and lightly clean daily.
Owning chinchillas is not an easy task, it takes commitment and a lifestyle agreement in order to fully take care and appreciate the amazing capabilities of these little fluff balls. A lot of the commitment toward these animals is ensuring their cage is kept clean daily, and deep cleaned weekly.
According to many chinchilla owners every day the cage needs to be swept or vacuumed. Some owners have lined their cage bottoms with tile flooring to make this sweep or vacuum easier each day. As we mentioned in our Travel Advice article using tile can also help keep your chinchilla cool and it is a lot better than having a grid floor which can harm your chinchilla's hands and feet.
Shop vacs can be purchased online or at most home improvement stores. You don't need a large vacuum for your cage cleaning, a small compact one will do and will be easy to work with daily.
Deep clean weekly.
Chinchillas need daily spot cleans, and weekly deep cage cleans. Many owners use fleece liners in their cage so they can vacuum with a shop vac to remove hay and poops, then they put the liners and any other fleece items (anti pill fleece are a safe fabric) in the washer with warm water and a cup of vinegar. The shelves and any toss toys (if peed on) should get sprayed with a 50/50 vinegar/water mix and wiped down.
It's also a good idea to make sure you have either another cage that you can have your chinchilla Chin-chillin' in while you deep clean their primary cage, or have a safe play area in your home where they can safely play while you clean.
***For a further break down of cleaning products read our Cage Cleaning article.
[Cleaning regimen] Poop daily...cage weekly...fleece a couple times per week.
— Chinchilla Lover
Unfortunately this type of care is beyond the physical capability of some owners, if this is the case then it may be a good idea to consider if you want to physically provide this for them, as it is very essential to their care. But if you can't provide them the care they need it would be the responsible thing to do to consider finding them a home where someone can. Or do not pursue owning a chinchilla.
It's important to note that it's very dangerous to neglect and leave chinchillas in a dirty cage for too long. There have been stories of rescued rodents who have had burns and infections on their tail and feet from sitting in dirty cages soaked in their own urine.
Caring for these small creatures can be very rewarding and they are worth all the love in the world. But it's not easy and that is why there are communities out there to help educate and assist anyone who is willing to learn. If you or anyone you know is looking for help please reach out to us and we will point you in the right direction.
Thank you for reading! If you have any questions or comments on cleaning and disinfecting around chinchillas, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need to replace a worn out chinchilla cage tray or get another one just in case we can help with that!