Chinchilla facts – just the sound of it sounds serious, since we know Chinchillas as cute creatures who are mild mannered and make adorable fluffy pets. But do you know where they come from? Do you know what you need to know about them? How about some interesting and fun Chinchilla facts? If you want to know more, just read below:
Fact #1: Nocturnal Nature
Chinchillas are nocturnal creatures who are mostly awake at night. They are typical asleep during the day. Therefore, it is best to place your Chinchilla cage in a quiet place away from direct sunlight.
Fact #2: Can Overheat
Chinchillas can overheat. No, not like a car, but a Chinchilla is very sensitive to heat and humidity. In their original home, the weather is cool and dry. They are best in temperatures of 15 degrees centigrade to 25 degrees centigrade.
Fact #3: Grows Teeth For Life
Chinchillas grow their teeth for life. It never stops growing and it can even grow as much as 12 inches per year. This is why it is very important to give your pet Chinchilla lots of safe things to gnaw on to make sure they do not hurt themselves by gnawing unsafe objects. If left on its own, a Chinchilla will gnaw electrical cords and furniture which can either hurt them seriously or even kill them.
Fact #4: Have The Softest Fur
Chinchillas have the softest fur in all of land mammals. Their fur is so soft and luxurious that the first reason why Chinchillas were hunted by the native tribes who lived in The Andes Mountains is not for their meat, but for their fur. It is very dense and have 50-80 hairs growing out of a single follicle compared to a human’s which only grows 2-3 hairs per follicle.
Fact #5: Can See With Whiskers
Chinchillas see with their whiskers. Even though they have big eyes, the eyes are under developed, making the Chinchilla not see well with it. They have long whiskers which can grow half the length of their body to help them ‘see’ or rather feel things around them.
Fact #6: Takes Dust Baths
Chinchillas take dust baths. Yes, they do not take water or wet baths. Their fur is so dense and will have a problem completely drying out. It is why they take dust baths instead to help get rid of oils and dirt. It is like a Chinchilla using a dry shampoo. They also roll in the dust playfully while bathing, being the typical cute and adorable animal that they are.
Fact #7: Does “Fur Slip”
Chinchillas can shed their fur in large clumps if they feel threatened or under attack. They do what is called a ‘fur slip’. This is not the same as shedding, plus a Chinchilla hardly ever sheds anyway. If your pet does suddenly have large amounts of fur falling off, it is either stressed, frightened, or been mishandled and you must soothe it until it feels okay again. The ‘fur slip’ will not harm your pet although it does look weird and the coat will not be so healthy looking. Do not worry though, the fur will grow back completely in 6 months or so.
Fact #8: Sexually Mature By 8 Weeks
Chinchillas are sexually mature by the time they are ready to wean at 8 weeks old. This is why it is important to wean early and do not let male kits be left with their sisters and mother if they are at this age since they can interbreed. Also, if a female is mated too early, she might have problems during pregnancy because her body is not fully mature yet to handle having Chinchilla baby or kits.
Fact #9: Are Natural Acrobats
Chinchillas use their tail for balance and are high jumpers and prolific climbers! In the wild, they lived in rocky and mountainous areas, so they are able to jump from high places (about 6 feet). They also use their tail to help them balance as they move and climb from area to area of their mountainous home.
Fact #10: Are Compassionate Animals
Chinchillas are very compassionate animals. If another female cannot produce milk, another female can adopt the babies. More so, unlike in other rodents, male Chins do not kill or harm babies, and in fact can baby sit the kits or baby Chinchilla if the mother is out feeding.
Now that you know all about these interesting and fun Chinchilla facts, doesn’t that make you love Chinchillas even more? We hope you learned something about the Chinchilla through this top 10 Chinchilla Facts sheet to really appreciate how adorable a creature it is.