cute white chinchilla sitting

How Much Is a Chinchilla?

By now, you’ve probably watched a bunch of YouTube videos about cute little chinchillas and what it’s like to have them as a pet. But how much can you expect to spend on owning a chinchilla?

Typically, chinchillas will cost anywhere from $150-$400. That’s just for the animal.

If you look online, you’ll find plenty of chinchilla buying options. However, you should know that not every person or place selling chinchillas is equal.

The amount you spend, and the health and quality of your chinchilla depend on finding the right seller and getting all of the supplies and equipment your chinchilla will need to live a happy and healthy life.

Here are some important things you need to know about how much chinchillas cost and what you’ll need to get started with your pet.

Chinchilla on a wooden moon ledge

Finding a Reputable Breeder

Yes, you might be able to find a chinchilla for sale at a bargain price on Facebook Marketplace or some other public sale site. Before you jump on eBay and browse listings, though, you should make sure that you find a reputable breeder.

A good breeder will have plenty of reviews and offer up a lot of information about their animals and how to properly care for them.

Look to make sure they have a lot of good testimonials, and, if possible, talk to some of their past clients to see if there are any red flags like people getting sick pets, billing or payment disputes, etc.

There are breeder directories online that you can rely on to find a good chinchilla in your area. If you can’t find the exact pet you’re looking for, though, you can look for a national breeder who will ship it to you for an extra cost.

Supplies You’ll Need to Buy for a Pet Chinchilla

Ok, so you know how much your chinchilla is going to cost, but you can’t just have it sit at the dinner table and eat with you. You’re going to need feed, water, a pen, and other supplies to keep your chinchilla comfortable and safe.

Here is a list of basic supplies that you’ll need.

A food dishYou’ll want something sturdy that will last. Look for a ceramic or metal food dish. Stay away from plastic that they may be able to take chunks out of with their sturdy teeth. Little bits of plastic can get stuck in their organs and kill them. Go for something solid that they can’t break. This will only cost you around $10.

Water Dispenser – For under $10, you should be able to find a water dispenser or bottle that will hang in your chinchilla’s cage. If you want to get a larger, fancier water bottle, it can run up to $25, but generally, this is not a huge expense.

Chew Toys – Pet stores sell calcium blocks and other chew toys that will help your chinchilla work on its teeth and have a little fun at the same time. Usually, you can find these types of toys for $5-$10 apiece.

Getting your chinchilla a toy they can use to entertain themselves is important. You’re probably going to be away at work or school for several hours a day, so they’re going to need something to keep them busy.

chinchilla on a white background with a human hand

Cage – The cage will be your biggest expense when it comes to chinchilla supplies. The size is important. You’re going to want something that is at least a couple of feet wide and tall to give them the space they need to not feel cramped.

High-end cages will cost you over $200, but if you want something more basic you’ll pay around half that much. Cages come in all different sizes, and you may have a hard time finding a cage that’s specifically for chinchillas. Hamster cages and other enclosures will work just fine.

Cage Design – Of course, you can’t just have your chinchilla walking around the floor of an empty cage. You’ll want to take advantage of all the space by installing wooden ledges, perhaps a wheel, a hidey house, and a sand bath to keep your chinchilla clean. All of that will cost you approximately $100, but it will give your pet a nice home that they will feel comfortable in.

Food – Food is an ongoing cost that you should factor into how much it costs to own a chinchilla. For the most part, people should expect to pay around $10 a month for chinchilla pellets. That gives them enough food to stay healthy, and a five-pound bag will last you a couple of months.

When you can, you can start to learn about the different types of chinchilla feeds and how different mixes will affect their coats and their overall nutrition. High-quality chinchilla food will likely be more expensive than basic feed, so if you’re concerned, you can always ask other owners online or a vet to find out the best option for your budget.

Medical Costs

With everything included, getting a chinchilla can cost you anywhere from $300 to approaching $1,000. It all depends on how upscale you want your chinchilla pen to be.

In addition to acquisition costs, you should know that, as with any pet, there could be medical expenses that make owning a chinchilla a lot more expensive.

These can be fragile animals, so if your chinchilla eats the wrong thing or has an accident, you could be looking at a steep bill from the vet. It’s something every potential owner should be aware of before they leap.

Chinchillas can be wonderful pets. Unfortunately, people buy them just because they are cute animals, and they don’t take the time to understand what ownership involves. Do the research and understand the costs associated with owning a chinchilla before you buy one.

Once you know what you’re in for, and you still want a furry chinchilla, then you should go for it! Enjoy spending time with your pet and have a great time building a wonderful home for your chinchilla.


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