Like many furry little animals, chinchillas can be pretty quick. If you’ve tried chasing one, you’d know that it’s almost impossible to catch them.
They are quick little furry things that can get out of sight pretty quickly. So before getting one, or if you already have one, it’s important to know how fast they really are.
So, how fast can a chinchilla run? The first thing to note is that chinchillas don’t typically run.
However, when they do, they can reach speeds of 15 miles per hour. But they usually only reach this speed while escaping a predator.
Summary of today’s article:
- How fast can a chinchilla run
- How to create a safe space for your chinchilla to exercise
- Why do chinchillas hop?
How Fast Can A Chinchilla Run
Chinchilla’s don’t usually run. In fact, running in chinchilla’s is a trait that comes from when they were not domesticated.
What do chinchilla’s do instead, then? Instead of running, they hop.
Anyone who owns a chinchilla would tell you that they usually hop. And they can hop high and far, so if they start hopping around you, you should be careful.
On the rare occasions that chinchillas run, it’s probably because they are trying to run away from a predator. When they start running, their little feet can take them up to 15 miles per hour.
So you can probably outrun them. However, since chinchillas are pretty small and can get into nooks and crannies, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to catch them.
And even if you catch them, chinchillas have this mechanism called the fur slip that allows them to easily get away from your grasp.
The fur slip is a natural defence organism, and it allows chinchillas to escape predators. It basically allows the chinchilla to lose its fur when it is held.
The fur will only leave the area of the chinchilla’s body that you touched, and it will eventually grow back, so it’s no danger to the life of the animal. If your chinchilla is constantly initiating the fur slip when you grab it, you should probably hold off interacting that way with them until they become comfortable with you.
Why Does My Chinchilla Run Often?
Chinchillas, in general, do not run very often. However, chinchillas that are kept as pets tend to run faster than other chinchillas.
This is because they need to exercise more than other chinchillas. Besides, where can a chinchilla in a cage run to?
Nowhere of consequence, that’s for sure.
That’s why a lot of people recommend putting out your chinchilla “for a run” after they’ve been kept in their cages for a while. During this time, it’s important to keep a close watch on the chinchilla so that it wouldn’t be stepped on.
Should I Get My Chinchilla A Wheel To Run On?
This is a very sensible question. You may not always have the time to release your chinchilla for a run, and you may not always be able to keep a close watch on it while it runs outside its cage.
If that’s the situation you’re in, you should consider getting a wheel for your chinchilla to run on. Chinchillas are very energetic little animals, and they need an avenue to stay active and release that excess energy.
In the wild, chinchillas spend their time running and hopping about, but it’s very difficult to do this in a cage. In fact, when chinchillas cannot expend this energy in the right way, it could lead to health problems.
That’s why it’s advisable to get your chinchilla a wheel to run on.
Exercise wheels have been a staple of chinchilla cages for the longest time, and they’ve been used by owners to get their pets to exercise more. These wheels help bored chinchillas to work out and stay happy.
So if you can get your chinchilla a wheel, you should. However, it’s important that you get your chinchilla a proper wheel.
And a proper wheel here refers to big ones that have solid metal construction and no central axel.
How To Create A Safe Space For Your Chinchilla To Exercise
If you cannot get your chinchilla a wheel to run on, or if you think your chinchilla would be better served exercising in an open environment, you’d have to create a safe space for it. Since chinchillas are small animals that can easily disappear if you give them enough room, you’ll have done a lot of work to make your room safe for it to run about in.
The first thing you have to do is to choose rooms that are easy to chinchilla proof. Make sure the room has as little furniture and as much open space as possible.
Avoid bathrooms or anywhere with a sink, as chinchillas can make a mess when they get under one.
You should also take away all your electronics, and other valuable things. Electronics are especially vulnerable because chinchillas love chewing, and it’s not beyond them to start nibbling at cords.
If you don’t want your electronics to get spoilt, keep them away. Additionally, if you have a lot of exposed wood around, you should get a deterrent spray and spray it on them.
This will deter the chinchilla from chewing into the wood.
Lastly, make sure you close all doors and windows. Chinchillas are excellent hiders, and they love adventure, so they are pretty good at finding their way out of somewhere.
It’s your job to make that impossible.
If you find out that your room is difficult or just downright impossible to chinchilla proof, you can just get a small exercise pen at a pet store or online. Put the pen on a wide area of the floor, and place your chinchilla in it.
After a while, pack it up, and put the chinchilla back in its cage.
How To Encourage Your Chinchilla To Exercise
Chinchillas need exercises more than most of their owners realize. To stay in good health, they need at least hours of “floor time” every day.
The best way to ensure that they get this time is to incorporate it into your schedule.
You can do this by finding a time that works for you. It could be two hours before dinner or even after.
It’s important to encourage chinchillas to exercise at night since they are nocturnal animals. Try not to wake your chinchilla in the middle of the day to exercise, though.
During your chinchilla’s exercise time, make sure to keep a watchful eye over it. If left alone, chinchillas can get into a world of trouble.
You shouldn’t want that for your furry pet. Try to stay in the same room, and notice what your chinchilla gets into.
If it gets into something that looks dangerous, try to distract it with a toy or gently remove it from the area.
If you have two chinchillas, try to exercise one at a time. Especially if one of them is female.
They can be very territorial about space and could get into fights.
Lastly, try to provide toys for your chinchilla to chase about. Chinchillas absolutely love plastic tubes and cardboard.
You could either buy these for them at the store or give them paper towel rolls.
Why Do Chinchillas Hop?
Chinchillas, for the most part, don’t run— they hop. But why do they hop?
And what does hopping even mean in this context, anyway?
The clue lies in where chinchillas originated from. They originated from the Andes mountain, a region where they naturally had to jump on rocks up and down the mountain in order to find food and shelter.
Hopping is also one of the ways chinchillas show happiness and excitement. They may either hop around their cages or just jump right into the air.
They can even jump as high as six feet into the air.
If you have a chinchilla, you’d know that their hopping is extremely cute. And if you had one, you’d know that it’s important to make sure that their environment is safe from sharp objects.
Some chinchillas have been known to accidentally hop into large containers. If you have a large container around you, make sure it’s covered so that your chinchilla won’t hop into it.
How To Manage A Hoping Chinchilla
Chinchillas can jump up to heights of three to six feet, and this happens when they are experiencing heightened emotions. For example, they may jump high when they are scared, excited, stimulated, or happy.
If you have a chinchilla that loves hopping about, make sure to keep them in a partially empty room. This would make sure that they don’t break any valuable item in the house, or get themselves in danger.
Chinchillas are pretty fast for their size. They can reach speeds of about 15 miles per hour.
However, running isn’t the only way chinchillas move about. They also have a tendency to hop about at great heights.
In any case, it’s important that you allow your chinchillas to exercise and run about as much as possible. Not allowing this may lead to adverse health effects.