|$ $ Continuous Expenses: $250 - $570||$ $ $ Primary Expenses: $210 - $750|
Chinchillas are rodents native to South America.
Their natural habitat is in the Andes Mountains, where they live in colonies -herds- with over 100 other chinchillas, so they are extremely social animals.
Because they’re native to the Andes, they have dense fur that protects them from low temperatures.
This special and soft fur was the reason why they almost became extinct: people were hunting them to make coats, hats, and any other product with their beautiful fur.
Nowadays, chinchillas are still considered an endangered species because their numbers in the wild are still very low, despite the prohibition to hunt them.
That’s also why they’re considered exotic pets, not only because of where they come from but because they could become extinct in the next few decades.
The chinchillas found in the United States are mostly descendants of chinchillas that first arrived in the 1920s.
These are adorable creatures that could become part of your family, but there are a few things you should know about them before getting one, as well as how much they cost as pets.
Table of Contents
Is A Chinchilla The Right Pet For Me?
Even though they are social animals, they are social with their kind.
Chinchillas have different personalities and they haven’t been pets for long, so they’re not as domesticated as other pets.
You’ll have to be patient to get them used to you, your house, and other family members.
Kids could make chinchillas anxious because they’re not used to being cuddled and because they are fragile rodents, they’re smaller than cats.
They can live between 10 and 20 years, so you should be ready for that kind of commitment.
Chinchillas need to live in places where the temperature doesn’t exceed 75- or 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
Their dense fur won’t let them survive in warmer temperatures.
They’re also nocturnal and very active, so they need a lot of space to exercise, and in addition to that, they need a place to hide and feel safe whenever they want to.
These are the things you’ll have to buy or get only once when acquiring a chinchilla.
The prices will be greatly determined by the city where you live and your personal preferences.
Adopting Or Buying A Chinchilla
There are two options, as with other pets: adopting or buying.
There are people that after getting a chinchilla, realized that it’s not the pet for them, so they take them to shelters or community associations where they will put them up for adoption.
The price for adopting a chinchilla is normally between $50 to $100.
If you decide to buy a chinchilla, the price can be from $250 to $1,000, depending on the type of fur and species.
Cage, Feeder, And Water Bottle
The cage for a chinchilla should be big enough to provide enough space to exercise and to put accessories, a feeder and water bottle.
Cages like these could cost from $100 to $400.
Chinchillas eat mostly vegetables, pelleted food, and hay, so they need a special feeder.
These can cost between $9 and $20.
You’ll find water bottles from $5 to $20.
Bath Supplies And Toys
Chinchillas bathe with fine dust, no water, so they need a special bathing house to do this.
These can be made of plastic or ceramic, and they usually cost from $10 to $20.
Chinchillas need toys as well since they have very high energy levels.
These could be chew sticks, exercise wheels, or balls. Toys are found from $5 to $35.
In this section, there are some of the most common expenses you’ll make monthly or annually to keep your chinchilla in good health.
Thanks to their size, chinchillas don’t eat a lot, but you’ll still spend from $60 to $200 per year.
Food could be hay, pelleted food, dried vegetables, and fruits.
Your vet will advise you on which options are best.
There’s special dust that chinchillas use to bathe themselves which costs between $8 and $20 per 2.5 lb, depending on the brand.
Unlike other pets, it could be difficult to find a veterinarian that has experience with chinchillas.
This tends to increase the vet’s fee since chinchillas are classified as exotic pets.
Annual visits could cost from $60 to $100.
Even if chinchillas are healthy animals when you take good care of them, you might still want to get health insurance in case of emergencies or any special treatment your pet might need.
Annual health insurance costs between $120 to $250.