How Long Do Chinchillas Live?

Chinchillas can live 20+ years!

That is surprising if you are just learning about chinchillas! After all, degus- a chinchilla’s closest domesticated relative- have a 5-8 year average lifespan. Guinea pigs- the next closest relative- average about 4-7 years. Other rodent pets have pretty short lifespans in comparison to any of those. That’s a long commitment for a pet. Even cats and dogs struggle to reach such an age. How do you ensure your chinchilla will be with you for many years to come?

Even though chinchillas can live into their late teens and early twenties, many do not. There is a lot of misinformation out there about chinchillas and it is easy to get misled. Incidentally, many owners give their chins improper care that shortens their overall lifespan. It’s important to give the the best care we know to ensure your chinchilla will live healthily for a long time. Who knows? Your chin may even beat a world record!

The Guinness world record for oldest chinchilla went to a little guy named Radar. Radar was born in Germany in 1985 and passed away in California in 2014 at 29 years and 229 days old!

Be sure to read our other blogs for more information on proper care. We are happy to answer any questions you may have! You can email us at or use our chat feature anytime! Please leave an email through chat so we may get back to you if we are away!



I have had my Gizzmo since 2009. He gets a dust bath every day and 3 organic dried blueberries a day. Muzzuri brand pellets are what I use and are used in zoos around the world. When I used a brand of food that had dried fruit, he did what is called selective eating, while making quite the mess.
He loves Timothy brand hay, I put a couple fresh handfuls a day in.
One more thing, I have been through about 5 water bottles the seals deteriorate.
They absolutely must have a working running wheel.

Aug 04, 2020


Sometimes theres nothing you can do I had 2 chinchillas and one passed away at 5 because he had to have 3 surgeries on his back teeth as he wasn’t keeping them trim even though he had everything in his cage to help that…he had timothy hay and good food pellets and plenty of wooden toys to chew on. Yet my other chinchilla’s teeth are fine. Sadly it was becoming every 4 weeks which is no life for a chinchilla as they take longer to recover. They have their sandbaths frequently (twice a week) and cleaned out every week on the same day without fail.

Jun 07, 2019


I recently got two chinchillas for Christmas and have done LOTS of research. A lot of websites say they live 10-15 years, and before I got them I had a hamster and he only live for a year, so when he died a wanted a pet that lived longer. (hamsters live for 1-2 year(s) first I researched gunia pigs and I used this website and realized it mentions chinchillas live 20+ years! -This website was very helpful to me thank you, this is why I got my beloved snowball and willow.

Jun 07, 2019


I am trying to convince my mom to get me a chinchilla for Christmas. The first time I saw these fluffy fur balls I knew I needed one. This sight really helped me for all the facts I needed to help convince my mom. Especially the story of radar it was very heart warming. I hope this sight does good and gets every thing it needs to thrive and get popular. Hopefully my mom says yes! And again thank you so much for the help.

Dec 03, 2018

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