Chinchillas make great pets. They are not as popular as dogs and cats, but their good nature and desire to play are a good reason for you to catch the chinchilla craze.

Despite their soft and cuddly bodies, chinchillas resist being held for long periods of time. They enjoy moving around and can appear rather skittish. Their movements are very similar to the squirrels you may see in your local park. This characteristic of most chinchillas means adult supervision is needed when your pet chinchilla is handled by small children. Chinchillas will make a great edition to any family. However, families with small children may want to wait until a few years before bringing a chinchilla home to stay.

Chinchillas are low maintenance but they do require special care. However, it is not hard to meet the needs of your chinchilla. As a native of the Andes mountains, chinchillas require a cool environment. If you live in a warm climate, make sure your chinchilla has an air conditioned place to stay. Do not allow them to be in 80+ degrees temperatures for long periods of time.

Female chinchillas will grow bigger than their male companions. Generally, females will weigh about a pound and a half. Their life span is long, about 12 to 20 years, when compared to other pets in the rodent family.

Chinchillas love to chew. I am not talking about chewing tobacco! They have teeth that continue to grow throughout their lifetime. Chewing and gnawing is the natural way for chinchillas to keep their teeth under control. Chinchilla owners need to provide their pets with a chew friendly habitat. Use chew proof cages and accessories. Provide them with chewable items as well, such as small hay bales. Use simple items such as cardboard boxes for them to hide in and eventually destroy by chewing.

Dust baths are one of the chinchillas unique pleasures. Dust bath products can be purchased at your favorite online pet shop. Corn starch and corn meal make great alternatives to store bought dust bath products.

Chinchillas are fun active pets. They are easy to care for but they do need a family who will spend time with them. Do not buy a chinchilla and just leave it in a cage 24 hours a day. Play with and love your pet. This is a sure fire way to get caught up in the Chinchilla craze.