Chinchillas are cute furry little rodents that make great pets. As with other pets, you must consider not only the cost of the pet itself, but housing, food, bedding, and other specialty items you may need for your pet. In this article, I will breakdown the costs for each item you will need for your chinchilla.
The most common chinchilla is the standard grey, they cost the least. Other color options such as Ebony, White, Heterozygous Beige, Homozygous Beige, Violet, Sapphire, and Black Velvet color mutations are more. If you opt for a baby to raise, the cost will be more.
How Much Does a Chinchilla Cost?
On average chinchillas cost between $80 to $400.
Where Can You Get Your Chinchilla?
- Breeder. If you go with a breeder, do your homework and research them to be sure you get a reputable one. Usually, they care for their chinchillas better than a pet shop would. A reliable breeder hand raises the babies, so they are used to human contact before you get them. Breeders are the most expensive option. If you find a reputable one, this may be your best option. $150 to $400.
- Rescues. These are another option when looking to get a chinchilla. As with breeders, you should research them to find the best one for you. Rescues aren’t as expensive as breeders, and you’ll be giving a homeless chinchilla a home. $80 to $100.
- Classifieds. You can find chinchillas in the pet section of your newspaper. With this, you should be cautious, ask questions about the pet you want to buy. Be sure to check your potential new pet over before exchanging money. Sometimes people will pass off an elderly chinchilla for younger than it is and may not tell you about health issues. Again, be cautious. Possibly a cheaper option than breeders or rescues. $100 to $350
- Pet Store. Pet shops have the lowest prices. It isn’t recommended you buy a chinchilla from a pet store. These pets are not cared for as they would be with a breeder. This may be the cheapest option, but not the best. $80 to $150.
Cost To Keep a Chinchilla
Now that you know how much your chinchilla will cost, let’s look at what you need to keep your furry little pet and how much that will cost.
You will need these basics:
Cage made for chinchillas. Cages should be at least 30″ tall x 24″ wide x 15″ deep. A 6 x 6 x 3-foot cage would be ideal for a single chinchilla. Cages with several floors give your chinchilla room to run, play, and jump. This cage is what you need for an ideal set up, we recently wrote a on post on the best chinchilla cages. Enclosures cost $170 to $400.
Bedding. Bedding is made from softwood shavings, shredded paper, or fleece pads. This should be changed regularly. Depending on what size package you get or how many pads you buy the cost for this is $5 to $100. The more expensive being bulk buys.
Wooden ledges for climbing. You must be sure you get chinchilla safe wood. Safe woods are Mulberry, Apple, Pear, Hazelnut, Manzanita, or Willow. These ledges cost anywhere from $8 for a single shelf to $85 for a set of fourteen, found at Amazon.
Metal or ceramic food and water dishes. Chinchillas like to chew so, no plastic bowls. These dishes cost $7 to $17 depending on what you get.
Glass water bottle. Use a glass water bottle for the same reason you use a metal or ceramic bowl for food. The like to chew and may eat their water bottle, which isn’t a good thing. These bottles run from $6 to $26. We reviewed some of the best chinchilla water bottles recently.
Dust bathhouse. Dust baths are necessary for your chinchilla’s health. They help prevent matting and keep their fur soft, clean, and in good condition. Dust baths should be provided daily or at least several times a week. Sanitized chinchilla dust or a 9:1 mixture of silver sand or volcanic ash and Fuller’s earth can be used. These houses cost $7 to $30.
Hidey house. This allows your chinchilla to have a safe, hidden haven to sleep or as the name suggests, hide. These cost from $5 to $30 with a few that cost more.
Hay feeder. This is used to hold the timothy hay or other chinchilla safe hay, these range from $5 to $35.
Chinchilla or Rabbit pellets. These are part of a healthy diet for your chinchilla. The cost for pellets for your chinchilla is $5 to $16.
Timothy hay or another chinchilla safe hay. This is for their nutrition. The timothy hay and chinchilla pellets will give your chinchillas the food they need. The grass costs anywhere from $5 for a couple of pounds to $55 for a fifty-pound bag.
Safe treats. Always make sure you choose a safe treat for your chinchilla. Goodies cost anywhere from $10 to $20 with one brand selling eighteen pounds of Fruit Medley or Island Blend for a high price of $139.
Bathing Dust. This is what your chinchilla will bathe in. Chinchillas in the wild don’t water bathe thus the reason for the dust. It allows them to bath in their natural way. Sanitized chinchilla dust or a 9:1 mixture of silver sand or volcanic ash and Fuller’s earth can be used. $5 to $18.
Chew toys/sticks/blocks. These will help keep your chinchilla’s teeth ground down. Chinchillas’ teeth continue to grow, and they need a way to grind them down. These are anywhere from $3 to $50 for a bundle of chew toys.
Granite stone. These are also called chinchilla chillers. Granite is always below room temperature. This can help your chinchilla stay cool as overheating can be an issue with these furry little animals. Granite stone costs $6 to $25
First aid kit. You should have a first aid kit on hand for your chinchilla. A pet first aid kit costs about $13.
Optional Supplies for Cage
You may want to purchase these items for your chinchilla. They are items that will help make your chinchilla happy.
Tunnels. Chinchillas are chewers so it would be a good idea to find a tube that is safe for them to chew or that they can’t chew or chew easily. Safe chinchilla tunnels cost $30 to $35.
Fleece hanging cube houses and/or hammocks. These items give your chinchilla a place to hide, play, or sleep. They cost $10 to $20. I recently wrote a post on the best chinchilla hammocks.
Play Structures, Lava Ledges, Bridges, and/or an Exercise wheel. Make sure the exercise wheel is big enough for your chinchilla, 14 inches or larger. Lava ledges cost $5 to $13 and help with the innate perching habit a chinchilla has. Bridges cost $5 to $20. An exercise wheel will keep your chinchilla busy and happy if it’s big enough for them. These cost $12 to $80.
You should also consider that your chinchilla will need regular vet’s visits, and there is a chance that at some point, you may have an emergency. There may be a need for flea and tick prevention and/or medicines and supplements. I won’t put a cost here because it will vary on the circumstance.
To help with medical costs, you could purchase pet insurance for your chinchilla. We can’t give you a price here as there are many variables that determine the price. Several companies have exotic pet coverage. Nationwide, 365 Pet Insurance and Pet assure all have exotic pet insurance.
Chinchillas aren’t the cheapest pets to own, considering you could shell out $397 to $1,470. However, if you’ve done your homework and are prepared for a bit of expense, you shouldn’t be deterred in getting one of the fuzzy little critters. If you have questions or comments, please let us know below.