Chinchillas are crepuscular rodents, an active rodent during the night instead of the day, and are much bigger than normal squirrels. They can live for as long as 15 years. However, there are cases where Chinchillas can live up to 18 to 22 years long as well. Some people are confused that Chinchillas are from Japan, although originally they are from Andes Mountain in South America. Recently, these little creatures have made quite a big impact as household pets for many. In the Andes, Chinchillas are hunted for their fur but recently such activities have been banned due to its decreasing population and the fear that Chinchillas are now one of the many animals on the verge of extinction.

Chinchilla resting on a sofa
Chinchilla resting on a sofa

Different Types of Species
There are two different of breed of Chinchillas. One is known as Chinchilla brevicaudata which has a shorter tail and bigger shoulders but with a smaller pair of ears. This type of Chinchilla looks like they have much more fur than the other type of Chinchilla, when they really just have more fur around its neck and shoulders. The other breed of Chinchilla is called Chinchilla linger. This is the more common Chinchilla that many have as household pets. They look relatively smaller than the other Chinchilla with bigger pair of ears and longer tail.

Hunting of the Chinchilla
Since the 16th century, Chinchillas have been hunted for their thick fur in the Andes. As they are smaller in size, they are usually hunted in large numbers to help make fur coats during the cold winter season in the mountains. Such activities have caused the Chinchillas’ population to decrease. However, as mentioned above, the hunting activities for Chinchillas’ have been banned in the fear that Chinchillas may be extinct at a certain point.

Household pets
Chinchilla make good household pets because of their small size and their lack of needs. However, Chinchillas are normally active during the night and they require a good dose of exercise to stretch their muscles. Many would opt to provide Chinchillas with the circular ball so they could run around the house without getting lost. Some will buy the turning wheels to be place inside their cage which many may not have know it, it is a bad idea. Chinchilla are partially wild so they do not like to be contained despite the fact that they are also docile creatures. Letting them run and moved around the spacious area of the house rather than the controlled cages, will certainly avoid depression on Chinchillas which can ultimately result to their deaths.

A female pet Chinchilla
A female pet Chinchilla

In the market, Chinchillas are relatively hard to find because their original habitat is in the Andes Mountain. They cost quite high in countries like Asia because they are imported, exotic animals. Although caring for Chinchillas are easy, the cost of raising them can be quite high. Chinchillas are fed with good quality hay as well as pellets that are specially made for this animal. In addition, their treats can be costly.

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