Chinchillas rely on many factors to keep them happy, but perhaps the most important item they need is their bedding. What exactly makes a chinchilla bedding so important? Which brands can you choose from, and what elements are absolutely crucial?
Here we break down all that and more, so you can make the best buying decision for your chin.
Important Factors of Chinchilla Bedding
Chinchilla beddings have a two-fold function: protecting chinchilla feet and keeping the habitat clean.
- Padding: Chinchillas have very delicate feet. Their bedding shields their feet from the rough bottom of their cages, no matter what the cage is made of. To find a bedding that serves this function, look for soft varieties.
- Cleanliness: Chinchillas can be messy creatures. All the waste that they produce will eventually be caught on the bedding of their habitat.
Therefore, there are two things that you need to keep in mind when looking for chinchilla bedding:
- Softness: When looking for a good chinchilla bedding, make sure to put softness high on the list. A rough, coarse bedding may result in wounds and bruises on your chinchilla’s feet.
- Absorbency: The more absorbent the bedding, the better it will be in keeping your chinchilla cage clean. Absorbing urine, spilled water, and excess moisture ensures that your habitat stays free of bacteria, fungi, and odors. Depending on the material, and the process by which the bedding was created, one bedding can be more absorbent than others. For this reason, manufacturers have included ways to ensure that their bedding lessens waste. Some brands also include the ability to reduce odor, as well as reduce dust particles, to help keep your chinchilla habitat clean.
Several material varieties are available for chinchilla bedding – but not all are made equal. The following are common pet beddings that can be found on the market, and whether they are safe for your chinchilla.
- Pine: Many small pets use pine as bedding, but this is considered unhealthy for chinchillas. Pine oils are found to be toxic to their system. When compared to other bedding materials, pine is also not very absorbent.
- Cedar: Cedar is cheap, which makes it tempting to use as bedding. However, cedar is toxic to chinchillas, causing respiratory and liver problems.
- Aspen: Compared to cedar and pine, aspen is a finer wood shaving. It’s great when it comes to absorbency and odor, and is also relatively cheap. Unfortunately, due to how fine it is, aspen can be very dusty. It also sticks to everything, especially fiber. Aspen is a great bedding to use, but make sure that the product you choose lessens aspen dust.
- Paper Shavings: Paper shavings make an excellent material for chinchilla bedding. On the market, you can find paper shavings in blocks. Paper is excellent for absorbency and is also very lightweight. Commonly, paper shaving beds are made from recycled paper.
While these are the conventional materials used for bedding, here are other types you can use in a pinch.
- Fabric: Chinchilla owners can use fabric in chinchilla cages, as they make great hiding places for chins. Since fabric can be washed and reused, it’s highly effective. It can also be customized, giving your chinchilla habitat a pop of color. However, it’s recommended to use a fabric in tandem with another commercial bedding.
- Corn Cobs: Corn cobs may be unusual to use as bedding, but as a last resort, they can be quite effective. However, they’re not as absorbent as other materials. Corn cobs also develop mold quickly and should be closely monitored.
The Best Chinchilla Bedding
When looking for the best chinchilla bedding, there are many to pick from. Here are some of the best!
If your pet’s health is at the top of your list, the Living World Aspen Shaving is the bedding for you. Living World Aspen Shavings are widely considered to be one of the most effective beddings on the market. They’re made of 100% natural and organic materials, with scent-free aspen wood to create hypoallergenic bedding. As such, it’s ideal for pets that have respiratory issues or are otherwise sensitive to dust.
Living World Aspen can absorb up to four times its weight in moisture, ensuring that no harmful bacteria can thrive in your chinchilla habitat. On top of all of that, Living World Aspen is incredibly soft, making it ideal for your pet chinchilla.
Choose this one if: Your pets have respiratory issues, are sensitive to allergens, or you just want to make sure that your pet’s health comes first.
The Kaytee brand is known to pet owners as a maker of high-quality products, and their beddings are no exception. The Kaytee Clean & Cozy is super soft, which encourages burrowing behaviors. Burrowing behaviors lead to happier, healthier pets, and there’s nothing quite like one of the softest beddings on the market.
Aside from being incredibly soft, the Kaytee Clean & Cozy is also 99.9% dust free. Kaytee is perfect if you’re trying to avoid respiratory issues in your pet chin. Aside from that, this dust-free bedding can also absorb six times its weight in liquid, absorbing twice as much as wood shavings.
For those who want a bit more variation, the Kaytee Clean & Cozy also comes in a variety of scents and colors. However, it should be noted that scents and colors can trigger allergies in your pet chinchillas. The original Kaytee Clean & Cozy is your best bet in a completely hypoallergenic product.
Choose this one if: You want to get beddings that are as soft as possible, without sacrificing your chin’s health.
For those who prefer paper beddings, the Vitakraft Fresh World is the ideal pick for you. This bedding is made from 100% unbleached, non-toxic, recycled paper, making it both soft and safe for your chin.
Even better, Vitakraft sources its paper using PaperGator. PaperGator is an innovative program that ensures that less paper ends up in landfills. With Vitaakraft, you’re not just giving your pet chin great bedding – you’re helping the environment too.
Vitakraft is also an excellent product for those who want an easier clean-up process. The Vitakraft can absorb up to three times its weight in liquid, which means less mess and a more infrequent changing routine. The Vitakraft can control odor for up to two weeks, keeping your chin’s environment friendly to the senses. It’s 99.5% dust-free, keeping down respiratory issues.
Choose this one if: You prefer paper over other materials, and you want clean-up to be as easy as possible.
Carefresh Pet Bedding is made from reclaimed pulp, making it a great alternative to the Vitakraft. While Vitakraft excels in its easy clean-up formula, Carefresh excels in the ingredients it uses.
Carefresh uses pulp processing that ensures that their beddings are free from aromatic hydrocarbons, commonly found in pine and cedar oils. Carefresh even furthers their dedication to safety and health by testing for contamination. The wood pulp is finally sanitized by exposing the pulp to high temperatures to remove mold, bacteria, and fungus.
Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding also provides odor control by lessening the formation of ammonia in urine. The absorbency of Carefresh Complete bedding makes this odor control as easy as pie; Carefresh Complete can absorb liquid three times its weight.
Choose this one if: You want to use ingredients ensured to put your chin’s health first.
Now you know which beddings to use!