While there are many accessories on the market to outfit your chinchilla’s cage, hammocks have proven to be one of the most sought after items. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the existence of chinchilla hammocks.
I decided to write this article as a handy guide for chinchilla owners who are looking to spruce up their pet’s cage.
Why do chinchillas like hammocks?
Chinchillas like hammocks because they are useful for relaxation, exercise, and even the occasional nap. Hammocks can be a great addition to your chinchilla’s cage and should be included on your list of chinchilla accessories.
Summary of today’s article:
- Reasons why chinchillas like hammocks
- What type of chinchilla hammock style should I choose?
- Are chinchilla hammocks safe?
- How can I get my chinchilla to use a hammock?
- What if my chinchilla doesn’t like their hammock?
- Patience is key
Although chinchillas all have their own personalities, there are some common reasons why many will fall in love with hammocks. In this section, we will discuss why your chinchilla may be happy with a hammock in their cage.
Reason #1. Hammocks Feel Safe And Cozy
Lots of people enjoy lounging in hammocks and many chinchillas do as well! In their natural habitat, chinchillas spend a lot of time in underground tunnels and rock crevices.
Chinchillas are prey animals, so being surrounded by a familiar cover makes them feel secure while also hiding them from predators. Although chinchillas are often hyperactive, hammocks can be a place for them to wind down and relax for a bit.
Chinchillas are observant and constantly taking in the sights, smells, and sounds around them. Although this trait is necessary to survive in the wild, it can be exhausting for a domestic chinchilla to always be on high alert for danger.
Hammocks provide a space for chinchillas to let their guard down for a while.
Reason #2. Your Chinchilla Can Use Hammocks For Climbing And Play
Chinchillas require a lot of exercise and hammocks are fun for them in a multitude of ways. Chinchillas love to climb and will find the means to bounce off of anything.
Hammocks are a wonderful approach to encourage playful behavior. A strategically placed hammock will not only be a lounge spot but can also double as playground equipment.
You can hang the hammock near ledges as an alternative for climbing to the top of the cage. Another neat idea is to buy multiple hammocks and stagger them like an obstacle course.
Your chinchilla may climb underneath or even behind the hammock. Get creative with the hammock placement and see how your chinchilla responds!
Reason #3. Hammocks Are A Comfortable Place To Sleep
Just as humans have preferences when it comes to their bedding, your chinchilla will also have preferred sleeping arrangements. Although many chinchillas sleep sitting up, some prefer to lie down on a soft surface.
Hammocks can be a great option since the gentle fabric feels nice on your chinchilla’s skin. Hammocks have an additional benefit of privacy.
Most chinchillas won’t sleep if they feel like they are being watched and a hammock is a great option to give them some seclusion. A chinchilla nestled in a hammock will also have some protection from light that may leak into their cage, ensuring a more peaceful slumber.
Reason #4. Chinchillas Are Curious
Chinchillas are naturally inquisitive and are drawn to things that are new and exciting. A hammock can provide a fantastic way to engage your chinchilla’s brain and tap into their exploratory nature.
Chinchillas will entertain themselves when alone, and hammocks are a great object for your chinchilla to interact with.
There are many hammock designs to choose from, many of which are quite fashionable. When deciding on the style of hammock for your pet, take into consideration their common behaviors.
If your chinchilla is the type who will lay spread out, then a more open design may be the best fit for them. These will usually resemble a simple rectangle with four attachment points.
Chinchillas who spend a lot of time engaged in burrowing behavior can greatly benefit from a tent design. Tent hammocks look like little houses or tents with a small hole for your chinchilla to climb through.
This design allows your pet the most privacy and is great for shy chinchillas or those who are not quite acclimated to a new home. Tent hammocks come in many shapes, including pirate ships and pineapples!
Large corner hammocks are an excellent choice if you have multiple chinchillas. These hammocks attach to a corner and take up a decent amount of space.
They are ideal for chinchillas who like to cuddle together and can easily accommodate two animals. The fact that they are placed in a corner offers an additional benefit for those chinchillas who like to feel surrounded on multiple sides while sleeping or relaxing.
As with anything related to your chinchilla, don’t rely on labels claiming that an item is chinchilla safe. There are a lot of rodent hammocks on the market and few of them are actually suitable for chinchillas.
Chinchillas have a tendency to chew everything and the wrong type of hammock can become a safety hazard. Fleece is not toxic to chinchillas and is the best choice for hammocks.
Fleece is a durable fabric and comes in a variety of colors and prints. Items made from fleece are soft, making it a great choice when it comes to comfort. Additionally, fleece is easy to wash, which is especially helpful if your chinchilla becomes comfortable enough to use their hammock as a bathroom!
When it comes to rigging a chinchilla’s hammock, you will want to make sure that anything you use attaches securely. Some hammocks have clips that connect directly to the cage bars.
Verify that the metal has no sharp edges and that the loops close tightly to avoid potential injury. If the hammock you are considering utilizes chains, ropes, or straps, test them for strength and confirm that they are made from a material that can be chewed safely.
Beware of any hammock that looks poorly made and inspect all components frequently to make sure that there are no weak spots.
Chinchillas are curious creatures, however, there are times where they will be indifferent to something you put in their cage. If you set up a hammock for your chinchilla and they completely ignore it, there are a few steps you can take to pique their interest.
First, confirm that they can actually access the hammock. Verify that their ledges and ramps are placed in the proper position for the chinchilla to hop or climb to the hammock.
Check that there is an opening for them to enter into the hammock easily otherwise they may get discouraged by making multiple failed attempts.
Although it’s exciting to watch a chinchilla’s reaction to something new, don’t hover over them while they are trying to explore. Chinchillas can be very shy and may not feel comfortable examining a new item in their cage while being observed.
Give your chinchilla some space to investigate the hammock before determining that they aren’t interested in it.
Another technique is to bribe your chinchilla with toys or healthy treats. Put a chew stick or other item that they enjoy inside of the hammock. This may lead your chinchilla to the hammock in order to retrieve what is inside of it, and once they are there, they may decide to stay.
Don’t give up too soon as your chinchilla may secretly be using the hammock when you aren’t around! Be patient and allow your pet plenty of time to become acclimated to something new in their environment.
Chinchillas have distinct temperaments and may not ever warm up to something that you introduce them to. If you have tried the above suggestions to no avail, it may be worth testing out a few different hammock types.
Chances are that your chinchilla will positively respond to another design. You may also want to rearrange the placement of the hammock to see if that is the issue.
Should you find yourself with a chinchilla that has zero interest in hammocks no matter what you try, there is no need to worry. Chinchillas can be very finicky and may develop a dislike for something even if it appears to be nonsensical.
If a hammock is a complete non-starter, there is no shortage of other cool cage accessories to experiment with.
Although not all chinchillas will like hammocks, it’s worth allowing your pet the opportunity to test one out. Hammocks can be a wonderful addition to your chinchilla’s cage and there are a variety of options to choose from.
Do your research to make sure that the hammock you buy is safe for chinchillas. Be patient when introducing your chinchilla to a new hammock and find ways to spark their interest if they don’t immediately respond.
Your chinchilla’s home is their castle and hammocks are a great way to create a healthy environment for your fluffy companion!