Do you keep or are you planning to keep chinchillas? They are cool pets to keep but like any other pet, there are few challenges when raising chinchillas.
One challenge chinchilla owners face is when their chinchillas throw poop out of the cage and litter the floor around the cage. Do your chinchillas throw poop out of the cage? What can you do to stop this mess?
Chinchillas throw poop for a lot of reasons. For example, your chinchillas may throw poop when they are bored or stressed. If your chinchillas throw poop, there are a lot of ways to fix or manage the issue.
Why chinchillas throw poop
There are a lot of reasons chinchillas throw poop. Here are some of them:
- They are bored – When your chinchillas are bored and have nothing to do and nothing to play with, they may throw poop out of the cage for fun and entertainment.
Chinchillas throw a lot of poop out of the cage when there’s no one in the room and no other pet in the cage.
- They crave attention – Your chinchilla may also throw poop when you are in the room but not giving it attention. Chinchillas bond with you and when they do, they need your attention.
- Unintentionally or by mistake – If the cage is not large enough for your chinchillas and you do not clean the cage often enough, your chinchillas can mistakenly push some poop out of the cage. This may seem intentional, but it’s not.
- Chinchillas poop a lot – You have to understand that chinchillas poop a lot. An adult chinchilla can poop an average of 200 times daily. Based on the diet of chinchillas, they pretty much poop non-stop.
Since the cage will be full of poop if you do not clean it often, some poop might fall out of the cage. It does not mean that the chinchillas are responsible for pushing it out.
- They just feel like it – Chinchillas are animals and sometimes animals just do what they feel like doing. Your chinchillas can just feel like throwing poop and they will do just that.
As you can see, there are intentional and unintentional reasons why it may seem that chinchillas throw poop out of the cage.
What you can do to stop your chinchillas from throwing poop
Here are some tips to help you handle the issue of your chinchillas throwing poop out of the cage:
- Install cage scatter guards – Scatter guards for cages help keep poop, bedding, and other material from falling out of the cage. If your chinchillas continue to throw poop, you should install scatter guards in the cage.
- Clean the cage often – When you clean the cage often, there will be less poop for your chinchillas to throw. Always clean the cage and change the bedding when needed.
- Give your chinchillas toys – If your chinchillas throw poop out of the cage because they are bored, you can give them chew toys. Aside from entertainment, chew toys help chinchillas to control the growth of their teeth.
- Give them a bigger cage – Maybe your chinchillas throw poop because the cage they currently live in is tiny. Chinchillas need a cage big enough for them to run around. The cage can optionally have stairs and shelves.
- Keep trash cans and other receptacles near the cage – If your chinchillas continue to throw poop, you should place a trash can, paper, or something the poop can fall on. Chinchillas mostly throw poop right out the side of the cage, so keep the receptacle object in that area.
- More bonding, fewer troubles – Many chinchilla owners say that the more they bond with their chinchillas, the less poop their chinchillas throw.
If your chinchillas throw poop because they need attention, you should give them more attention and bond well with them.
- Use a vacuum – You should keep a vacuum nearby if poop is still falling out of the cage after you have tried several ways to stop this from happening.
- Cover the lower parts of the cage (especially when expecting visitors) – You can use a liner to cover the bottom region of the cage so that your visitors will not see your chinchilla’s poop. Remember to clean the cage regularly.
- Use a cage that has a wire bottom with a tray underneath – Some cages are made of mesh and the poop of your chinchilla’s poop can easily fall off into a tray underneath the cage.
Make sure your chinchilla’s will not get stuck in such a cage. If you feel that this kind of cage is harmful to your chinchillas, you should consider other options to prevent your chinchillas from throwing poop.
Potty training your chinchillas
It is possible to potty train chinchillas, but you can only potty train them for peeing and not for pooping.
It is difficult (or almost impossible) to train chinchillas to control the way they poop and where they poop since chinchillas poop a lot and can’t really control when poop comes out.
To potty train your chinchillas for peeing, follow the steps below:
- Identify a peeing spot in the cage: Chinchillas usually pee at the back of the cage, usually at the side of their sleeping area.
- Keep a litter box at the spot: When you know where your chinchilla pees a lot, you should keep a litter box there.
- Place litter or bedding in the litter box: Litter is better, but you can also use bedding (which you have to change more often).
- Check for more peeing spots: Chinchillas might not quickly accept the litter box and can go pee somewhere else. In this case, you should take some soaked bedding from the new area and place them in the litter box.
- Keep trying: You will need 3-6 months to potty train your chinchillas.
It’s not very easy, but when you finally potty train your chinchillas, it will save you the stress of always cleaning their cage. Potty training chinchillas also reduces the use of bedding.
Related questions and answers
- Do chinchillas throw poop at people?
Chinchillas throw poop out of the cage, but they do not throw it directly at people. It is not common for chinchillas to throw poop at people. If your chinchillas throw poop at people, that’s a special (i.e. very rare) case of bonding.
- Can you give a wheel to chinchillas?
One way to keep your chinchillas entertained is by giving them a wheel. Note that chinchillas do not need a wheel, but you can give them if you want to. Make sure that the wheel is stable and has a form base that will not harm your chinchillas.
- Why do chinchillas poop a lot?
Chinchillas poop a lot because of their feeding behavior and also because of what they eat. Chinchillas eat a lot. As rodents, chinchillas need to eat continuously to help reduce the growth of their incisors. The Chinchilla diet is mostly composed of hay which is mostly fiber.
Since chinchillas need a lot of fibers to aid their digestion, they have to poop a lot since they cannot digest fibers.
- How do you keep your chinchillas entertained?
Give them chew toys
Get them out of the cage in the evening
Play and bond with them
Get more than one chinchilla
Give them treats
If your chinchillas are not bored, they will not throw poop out of the cage.
- How does normal chinchilla poop look?
Normal chinchilla poop is small, dry, looks like rat poop, dark brown or black, odorless, etc. and has the shape of rice. It also looks as if it is not fully digested (because of so many fibers present).
It is common for chinchillas to throw poop. Chinchillas will throw poop when they are bored, need your attention, or even by mistake.
You should always clean the cage of your chinchillas and keep them entertained.
Also, remember to potty train your chinchillas.