A happy and healthy chinchilla usually does not require strenuous care. They aren’t as tough to look after as other animals, but they still need some upkeep, such as keeping their cage clean!
At least once a week, chinchillas should have their cage cleaned. Deep cleanings can be done twice a month, but the more often they are done, the better. Cleanings regularly help avoid the growth of potentially hazardous bacteria and improve your pet’s overall quality of life.
This guide will go over everything you need to know about cleaning and maintaining your chinchilla’s cage. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to make sure they get the best treatment possible.
Summary of today’s article:
Cleaning your chinchilla’s cage can be broken down into three stages to make it easier to manage: daily, weekly, and monthly.
Cleaning their cage daily isn’t as difficult as you would imagine, and it merely takes 5 to 10 minutes per day to do so. Daily cleanings not only provide a cleaner environment for your chinchilla, but they also make deep cleaning much easier when the time comes. You’ll thank yourself later.
Simple actions such as giving their food bowl a quick wipe down while feeding them fresh food are part of daily cleaning. If it isn’t unclean, a simple wipe with a towel will suffice, but soap should be used if it appears to be becoming filthy.
It’s the same with their water bottle. The outside of their water bottle won’t need to be cleaned very often, but the spout will. Bacteria can begin to grow if the waterspout is not kept clean, leading to infections and other ailments.
Second, you should spot clean their cage. Make sure they’ve got clean bedding.
Chinchillas can quickly soil their bedding, but it’s simple to sweep out and replace it with new bedding. This should be done daily to prevent urine from soaking into the fleece lining below.
Sweeping up their excrement is also part of spot cleaning. Chinchillas poop a lot, so there isn’t a separate part in the cage where they can poop. Sweeping the poop is recommended daily under their shelters, in their hammocks, and occasionally in their feeding bowls.
It’s important to remember that chinchillas aren’t the cleanest eaters. They like to eat hay and leave it scattered around their cage.
Sweep up any discarded hay that has become moistened or soiled, as this can cause unpleasant odors. This can be done while sweeping up the poop.
Last but not least, make sure they have a clean dust bath. Although a “clean dust bath” may seem odd, fresh dust allows the chinchilla to bathe and clean itself. Chinchillas are typically odorless, so if they start to stink, it’s usually a sign that their dust bath needs to be cleaned and refreshed.
Although this may appear to be a large amount of “daily cleaning,” the process is actually pretty straightforward, and many of these jobs may be accomplished at the same time.
While some chores must be completed daily, others can be completed once or twice a week.
The cage lining must be changed regularly, although it does not have to be done every day. A material known as a “substrate” is required for every pet maintained in a cage. A substrate can be built out of a variety of materials, although fleece is the most common.
A substrate’s job is to line the base of the cage to absorb urine, poop, and other wastes and protect the cage’s bottom. It also includes additional padding to make things a little comfier for your pet.
Fleece appears to be the most popular choice for chinchilla substrates. It’s super-absorbent, super soft, and easy to clean by tossing it in the washing machine.
Maintaining good “everyday” maintenance can assist in extending the life of this chore, but it should be done at least once a week, if not twice a week.
The regular daily and weekly upkeep of your chinchilla’s cage will help to prevent apparent messes and unpleasant odors, but the cage will ultimately require a “deep clean.”
This is because bacteria will begin to build up no matter how often you spot clean and change the cage lining, necessitating an antibacterial wipe down. This is the only way to stop bacteria completely and other pathogens from multiplying.
Remember that chinchillas are prone to infection. Therefore this is a crucial component.
This is the most time-consuming and difficult part of cleaning a chinchilla cage. All items must be removed to clean and disinfect the cage, including bedding, hides, hay, food bowls, and toys. This includes emptying and wiping down all levels of platforms and walkways with antibacterial soap.
The antibacterial cleaner should be used to wipe down the cage’s floor and bars. Pay special attention to the floor, as here is where the majority of the pee and excrement ends up seeping through.
The time between deep cleanings is entirely determined by how thorough and often your spot cleanings are. The longer you wait to do a deep clean, the more thorough your daily and weekly cleaning should be.
However, don’t rely entirely on this. If you can smell odors building or the cage appears to need a good clean, go ahead and clean it. Fungal spores can grow in cages that haven’t been sterilized, posing a significant health risk to your chinchilla.
How Often Should Bedding be Changed?
Once a Week (At Least)
As previously stated, the bedding of a chinchilla should be replaced at least once a week, and this prevents urine and other filth from soaking into the bedding and contaminating the cage floor. Soiled bedding emits foul aromas, which are unpleasant to both you and your chinchilla.
Replacing the bedding once a week also helps your chinchilla’s bedding “fluff up,” making it comfier for them.
Do They Need Bedding?
A chinchilla, or any other pet that lives in a cage, requires special bedding. It not only protects the floor of your cage from bacteria and fungus by absorbing messes, but it also improves the comfort of your chinchilla.
By collecting urine and feces and decreasing their exposure to the air, bedding also prevents terrible odors from accumulating.
Best Type of Bedding
Bedding, usually referred to as a substrate, is available in a wide range of materials. Fleece, aspen, and kiln-dried pine shavings are the most common choices, and these are the most efficient and safe bedding choices.
Fleece is typically considered to be the best of these materials. It absorbs a lot of moisture, doesn’t leave a mess, and doesn’t retain a lot of heat (chinchillas prefer cooler temperatures).
Also, it’s straightforward to keep clean. Unlike other bedding materials that must be swept and replaced, Fleece liners may be washed in the washing machine. The majority of owners have two sets of fleece liners, which they alternate between washes.
Using bedding that a chinchilla can consume, such as paper or hay, is always a bad idea. It’s not a good idea for your chinchilla to consume something it has soiled because it might be harmful to its health.
Any bedding that has been artificially colored or bleach dried should also be avoided. Synthetics can cause chinchillas to have a variety of issues, including respiratory problems.
Corn cob litter, cedar, synthetic beddings, and any wood shavings are examples of toxic substrates.
How Often Should You Change Their Water?
Fresh water should be provided to your chinchilla daily. Rinse out their bottle every day, even if it still has water in it, and refill it with fresh water. Although contaminants are unlikely to enter inside the bottle, you should ensure that they have clean water free of specks and other debris.
What to Use to Clean a Chinchilla Cage
The most excellent part about cleaning a chinchilla cage is that no special tools or equipment are required. All you’ll need are standard cleaning supplies that may be found in every home.
You’ll need the following items:
- Sponges • Paper towels • Cloth rags
- Antibacterial disinfectant • Broom and dustpan
Cleaning a chinchilla cage isn’t particularly difficult. You may come across advertisements for “specialist cage cleaning tools,” but don’t make the work too difficult for yourself.
What Disinfectant is Safest for My Chinchilla?
Your chinchilla will benefit from a cleaner that is as natural as possible. Cleaning cages with vinegar is very popular, and it’s antibacterial and combines well with water to make a completely natural cleaning solution. Another great option is to use lemon, and it has a similar effect as vinegar and is simple to make at home, and lemon also has a much nicer fragrance than vinegar.
It is not advisable to use bleach. Although it may be used to clean a cage safely, it still poses a risk to your chinchilla’s health. Bleach is a strong abrasive chemical that can have serious consequences, and Bleach will injure your pet if you don’t rinse thoroughly.
How to Clean a Chinchilla Cage
- Remove everything from the cage, including all platforms, bowls, water bottles, shelters, and cage lining, if you’re doing a deep clean.
- Next, make a “soak” with your antibacterial cleaning solution and submerge all accessories while cleaning the rest of the cage.
- It’s now time to clean the cage. Wipe down the entire cage with your clean rag. Make sure to clean the bars since bacteria loves to lurk there thoroughly. Carry on with the platforms and walkways in the same manner. After wiping them down, please give them a thorough rinse and dry them with a clean towel.
- Remove all of the soaked things and wipe them down again. Please make sure they’re clean by rinsing them well and drying them with a clean cloth.
- Here’s a cleaning tip for the bedding. Attach the fleece substrate to a narrow wood plank that fits within the cage. You have to remove the wood plank and replace the fleece liner with a new one around it, and it simplifies the process of changing the bedding.
You can put your chinchilla in their playpen or have someone monitor them while you clean the cage. It simply takes about 20 minutes to complete the process.