Are Chinchillas Suited to Being Kept as Pets?

The sad truth is that, due to their extremely soft fur, there was a time when chinchillas were primarily raised for high-society women to have something fancy to drape themselves with when they were out on the town.

Luckily, times have changed. Coats made of chinchilla fur are pretty much out of fashion. Now it's much more common to see such an animal for sale as a pet rather than as a piece of clothing. And these creatures are so adorable, you might just find yourself interested in owning one yourself. But do they make good pets?

Pros of Owning a Chinchilla

If you want an active pet, a chinchilla will do quite nicely. Although they do have fits of downtime, chinchillas have been compared to park squirrels in the way they run and jump around. This is why keeping one in a sizable cage is essential.

For the most part, they are very low-maintenance pets and don't typically make a lot of noise. Chinchilla owners typically gush about how great they are to have around, not to mention how soft their coats are. And unlike many rodents, chinchillas live quite a few years, usually between 9 and 13.

Cons of Chinchilla Ownership

Being active can also be a negative element of the chinchilla persona if you're not really interested in a pet that's going to be running and jumping around at various times of the day. If you need a more laid-back creature, a chinchilla may not be the best choice for you.

If you have small children, owning one of these animals could be a bad thing, as they have a tendency to bite when they're squeezed — and we all know how little kids love to pick up and play with animals. And if you live in a warm, humid area, be aware chinchillas don't fare well in those locales.