By Euro Weekly News Media • 18 June 2016 • 6:00
Chinchillas: Inquisitive and gentle creatures
CHINCHILLAS are among the most suitable rodents to be considered as a family pet, despite being predominantly nocturnal.
They are relatively low maintenance, quiet, and do not produce offensive smells, while they can also become quite tame if handled from a young age, even forming a bond with their owner.
In Spain, the main issue is temperature, since chinchillas require a constant range of 60-75°F, meaning they are unsuitable for owners without a basement, or those unwilling to use air-conditioning during the summer.
They are extremely active and should be provided with a suitably large cage, ideally with multiple levels and a solid base to avoid them trapping their feet. A solid exercise wheel can be added, and if you let your fluff ball out for play time, be aware that these animals can jump several feet in the air, squeeze through surprisingly small spaces, and will likely gnaw on wires, furniture and other items.
Feeding should consist only of hay, chinchilla pellets, with treats best avoided or offered only occasionally.
Clean water should be regularly provided and soiled hay or bedding should be removed daily with the entire cage cleaned each week.
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