Active animals with a sensitive character
The fluffy chinchillas jumping through life happily with their strong hind legs. They are nocturnal animals which like to have their privacy. Within our portraits we have collected the most important data about chinchillas
One of the reasons Chinchillas are so popular is down to their big eyes, beautiful soft fur, compact body and round head. They also have a long, bushy tail and big, long ears. Adult chinchillas grow to around 25 cm. Naturally grey, a number of other colourations also exist today, including white and black.
Chinchillas are native to the Andes mountains in western South America. The two living species of chinchilla are Chinchilla chinchilla and Chinchilla lanigera, the latter having a longer tail. Both are considered endangered in the wild. Domesticated chinchillas are thought to have come from the C. lanigera species – initially for use in the fur trade, but more recently as collector’s breeds.
The chinchilla’s soft fur requires special care. Chinchillas therefore require – and enjoy – a daily sand bath. If given proper care and attention, these adorable pets can live up to 20 years.
Their coat is particularly sensitive: they do not like being stroked too frequently because hands transfer grease and moisture to their coat. Chinchillas should never be grabbed by the scruff of their neck because it will make the fur fall out. To pick up a chinchilla, therefore, place one hand under its stomach and the other at the base of its tail. Once you have lifted it up, place it in the crook of your arm to keep it secure. This is particularly important with more timid chinchillas.
Do you have questions about chinchillas? Here you will find the answers and a contact form.
Explore our guide to chinchillas, their behaviour & familiarisation.