Why Do Chinchillas Shed So Much


If you’ve just gotten a chinchilla, you may notice a lot of furs everywhere. There are several plausible reasons for this. It could be a result of sickness, or it could just be that your chinchilla is shedding.

We know that this is caused by your chinchilla shedding excess fur. But why do chinchillas shed so much fur?

There surely must be a good reason for this, wouldn’t you say? 

 So, why do chinchillas shed so much fur? One of the reasons why chinchillas shed so much fur is the fact that they shed their entire fur every three months.

However, there are other reasons attached to it too. 

Summary of today’s article:

6 Main Reasons For Chinchilla Shedding

Reason 1: It’s Normal For Chinchillas To Shed Fur

If you’ve just gotten a chinchilla, you may be alarmed at the rate of fur you see around. But do not be alarmed.

Chinchillas, like humans with skin cells, are constantly renewing their fur. As new fur grows, the old fur gets shed.

This shedding helps chinchillas regulate their temperature, and it’s one of the reasons why chinchillas shed more at the change of seasons. 

In the summer, as temperatures rise, chins will shed more fur to provide better ventilation and air circulation within their furs. Chinchillas can only thrive in specific temperatures, that’s why they’ve evolved a method to help them keep their temperature stable. 

Reason 2: They Have A Lot Of Furs

chinchillas have a lot of fur

This seems pretty obvious, but it must be said. Chinchillas may not be the biggest animals in the world, but they sure are one of the hairiest. Chinchillas have the densest fur in mammals.

They have about sixty strands of hair per follicle while human beings have only about three. It only makes sense that when they do shed fur, there will be a lot of it around.

Since chinchillas shed fur all year round, it’s perfectly normal to find hair around your home and its cage.  However, bald patches on the coat of your chinchilla aren’t normal. If this happens, you should consider taking your chinchilla to see a veterinary doctor.

Reason 3: Fur Slip

Chinchillas have evolved an ability called fur slip. This ability allows them to quickly slip away from the hands of anyone holding unto them.

However, they have to do that by releasing a lot of their fur. That’s why it is called a fur slip. 

Fur slips often happen when you try to hold your chinchilla. One thing you should know about chins is that they aren’t the biggest fans of being held.

So when you get one, try to take your time and be patient. Don’t go in for the grab on the first day— if you do, your chin will activate the fur slip and will shed a lot of furs.

If you do have to hold your chin, make sure you support its lower legs and hold it close to your chest. 

When held by unfriendly characters, chinchillas activate the fur slip which often leads to you holding their fur in your hand. If this happens often, you’ll definitely find more chinchilla fur around the home than normal. 

Reason 4: Fur Barbering

Fur barbering happens when your chinchilla decides to chew on its fur or the fur of a companion chin. Most people don’t know that their chin is chewing on its fur or that of its companion.

This is probably because they don’t witness their chin’s actually chewing. 

However, there are other ways you can check whether your chin is fur barbering. One of these ways is by checking for a patchy coat on your chinchillas.

There are lots of reasons why chinchillas fur barber. One reason is that they’ve become bored.

If your chin has nothing to do, it will try to fill its time with fur barbering. Another reason why your chinchilla may do this is that it doesn’t have a dust bath.

Chinchillas without dust baths to clean themselves tend to do it manually through fur barbering. Fur barbering could also be caused by genetic factors as there are some chin’s that may be genetically predisposed to biting their fur.

An easy way to solve this problem is to provide your chinchilla(s) with a dust bath(s). That way, they would be able to clean themselves often.

Dust baths shouldn’t be left in their cages with them though. They may mess it up with urine and poop. Lots of wooden chew toys should also be provided.

READ :  Chinchilla Cataracts and How to Take Care of Them

This will stop your chinchilla from being bored to the extent of chewing its fur. If your pet chin doesn’t stop barbering after you’ve done all this, take it to the vet. Since some chin’s continuously barber in reaction to internal pain, this is a smart decision.

Fur barbering

Reason 5: Slobbering

The teeth of chinchillas grow continuously. To gnaw them down, chinchillas have to eat a lot of fibre.

Sometimes, chins don’t get the amount of fibre they need to wear their teeth down. This may lead to malocclusion or uneven wear of the teeth.

If this happens, your chin may start to slobber down its chin. Your chin could lose hair down its chin and chest as a result of the excessive salivation caused by slobbering.

This could lead to weight loss and loss of appetite, so it’s no joking matter. If you find your chin with a patchy chin/chest, try to take it to the vet.

The vet would trim down its teeth and restore it to proper health. 

Reason 6: Diseases 

Your chinchilla may be shedding loads of fur because of skin disease. There are lots of skin diseases that chin suffer from that could cause them to shed a lot more fur than normal.

Some of these diseases include abscesses and fungal infections such as ringworms. If you notice bald patches on the fur of your chin, this may be the symptom you’re looking for.

You can solve this problem by taking your let to a vet and having them prescribe medications for your chinchilla.

Is Excessive Shedding Normal

This is an important question, but it is rather difficult to answer. It is difficult to answer because of the definition of excessive shedding.

There’s no objective measure of what is considered normal fur shedding. For example, someone who pays close attention to things may consider normal chinchilla fur shedding to be excessive while others may not. 

Most chinchilla owners don’t think Chin’s shed excessive fur. However, if you believe your chin is shedding too much fur, examine its body for bald patches.

If you can’t find any, your chin is probably shedding just the right amount of fur. 

Should I Groom My Chinchilla?

This is a question that lots of chinchilla owners have struggled with. On one hand, they want to groom their pets, and on the other hand, their pets may not like grooming that much. 

There’s one reason why you may want to groom your chinchilla, even against its wish. There are times where chinchillas fail to groom themselves and this could lead to them having excessive fur.

If this is happening to your chinchilla, you may have to groom it to stop it from having excessive fur. Since chinchillas are not groomed in the wild, it’s very unlikely that your chin will be used to this treatment. 

Should I Groom My Chinchilla?

While some chinchillas will enjoy being groomed, most will refuse the experience out rightly. You mustn’t force your chinchilla to be groomed.

If you do, it’ll only end up activating a fur slip and getting away from you.

In any case, you must know the personality of your chinchilla before you try to groom it. If your chinchilla doesn’t like to be groomed, try to brush it.

That way, you’ll be able to remove excess fur.

Additionally, you should let your chinchilla take dust baths regularly. Chinchillas mostly use this to remove dust and oils.

Since chins only need dust baths about two to three times a week, this should be easy for you to do. 

Difference Between Shedding And Fur Slip

These two processes may look the same, but they aren’t really. There’s a marked difference between them.

Shedding is the normal process chinchillas use to refresh their coats, while a fur slip is a quick release of a patch of fur. A fur slip is a defense mechanism mostly used by chinchillas when they are in a stressful situation, while shedding is the natural release of chinchilla fur. 


Getting a pet comes with a lot of baggage. They may poop where you don’t like, and they make noise all the time.

If you have a chinchilla, this baggage may come in the form of fur everywhere. But don’t be worried.

Chinchillas shed their entire fur every three months. So it’s a fairly normal occurrence.

However, if you notice bald patches of fur on your chin, that may be signs of illness. Try to get your pet to them very quickly if you notice that.

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