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How Much Are Chinchillas? Cost of Supplies & Care

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Chinchillas cost $150 to $400, depending on the breeder, coat color, and age of the pet. You can also be lucky to get one for free. These rodents do not cost much in annual maintenance compared to other pets.

Chinchillas are considered exotic pets known for their soft fur. 

They are less expensive compared to other pets but can have a higher price tag depending on color, breed, and other factors.

These small rodents originated in the Andes mountains of South America and need some maintenance to remain healthy. 

If you are considering buying a chinchilla as your next pet, you should know about the costs associated with caring for it.

This article discusses the different costs of having a pet chinchilla and provides a brief overview to help you make a better decision when buying it.

How Much Are Chinchillas?

Chinchillas cost between $150 and $400 to buy, and anywhere from $200 to $300 a year to keep. They need a clean cage and a healthy diet to remain active and fit.

There are two costs associated with chinchillas:

  1. The purchase price, which is a one-time expense.
  2. The maintenance and care price, which are recurring expenses.

The cost of the chinchilla itself varies depending on the following factors:

  • Availability
  • Coat color
  • Rarity
  • Demand for the breed
  • Breeder costs

The pet itself usually costs between $150 and $400. This depends on the breed, color, and place of purchase.

Maintaining a chinchilla can cost you anywhere from $200 to $300, depending on the luxury and add-ons you provide your pet chinchilla.

Chinchilla Price

Cost of Different Breeds

Short-tailed chinchillas are classified as endangered, making them rare[1]. These rodents are commonly found in the wild but are also available at certain breeders. 

You are more likely to find the other chinchilla breed, the long-tailed chinchilla, instead of the short-tailed one.

Chinchilla Cost According to Coat Color

The cost of a chinchilla is highly dependent on its coat color. Chinchillas are available in a variety of colors, and some are even crossbred to produce high demanded and expensive colors. 

The most common naturally occurring chinchilla coat color is the standard grey.

Standard Grey 

Due to their high availability, standard grey chinchillas cost significantly less than other chinchilla breeds. This type of chinchilla can be bought for between $100 to $250, depending on the breeder.

Other Common Colors 

You can also easily get brown, beige, or ebony chinchillas from most pet breeders. The cost of such chinchillas ranges from $150-$250.

Crossbred Mutations 

Violet, white, chocolate, pink, black, mosaic, and other chinchilla mutations are available at select chinchilla breeders and cost significantly more than the naturally occurring chinchilla breeds. The cost of these chinchillas is between $200-$300

These are average estimates, and the price can vary. Rarity, mixture, and unique mutations add to the cost of a chinchilla. You should have a clear idea of which chinchilla breed you want as your pet and make a budget accordingly.

Chinchilla Cost According to Coat Color

One-Time Cost of Buying Your Chinchilla

The one-time cost of bringing a chinchilla home depends on where you got it from. You can get a chinchilla free of cost, or you can choose to buy it from a professional breeder to get a healthier chin.

The most expensive one-time costs are the chinchilla and its cage.

The initial cost of getting a new chinchilla varies significantly. You can get a healthy chinchilla from professional breeders at a high cost, or you can adopt one at a lower cost.

Standard grey is usually the cheapest chinchilla breed. Chinchillas with exotic color coats are more expensive. Quality chinchilla pedigree has an even higher price tag.

You need a cage to house your pet chinchilla, which is also a one-time cost.  These go for about $150 to $300.

There are three types of chinchilla price categories.

MethodPrice
Get your chinchilla from someone else$0
Adopt a chinchilla$50–100
Buy from a breeder$150–400

Free

Many pet owners rush into things and buy pets they cannot care for. Chinchillas are big responsibilities and need adept care and maintenance. Some people aren’t cut out for that. 

As a result, it is not uncommon to find people giving away their pet chinchillas so they are well cared for.

Chinchillas breed rapidly, and keeping a male and female chinchilla in the same cage can result in unwanted kits.

Some pet owners decide to give away their chinchilla babies mainly because of affordability. Multiple chinchillas cannot live in one small cage, so buying multiple new cages would be needed.

Giving away these kits helps owners save costs. You can search for people who are giving chinchilla babies for free in your vicinity.

One-Time Cost of Buying Your Chinchilla

Adopted Chinchillas

One of the best ways to get a new pet is to visit pet shelters. 

Pet shelters have all kinds of animals that deserve a second chance. Adopting a pet chinchilla is the best way to get one while saving on the extra costs.

Chinchillas from shelter homes cost significantly less than at the breeders. The costs are mainly associated with overheads with small profits. Another plus is that you get to give a chinchilla a new home and family.

Adopted chinchillas cost $50-$100 depending on the age, breed, shelter, and health.

Breeders

Chinchillas have been domesticated for almost a hundred years[2], which is why there are many chinchilla breeders across the world. These breeders crossbreed different chinchilla breeds to produce a more desirable pedigree. 

You can also find chinchillas with mutations at pet breeders.

Reputable pet breeders are usually associated with a breeder’s association. Check for testimonials of their past clients to ensure that they provide healthy chinchilla kits.

Chinchillas from breeders cost anywhere from $150 to $400, depending on the rarity of the breed.

The Royal Persian Angola chinchilla breed can cost you upwards of $1,000.

Avoid buying chinchillas directly from pet stores as they are kept in unhealthy environments and are bred without considering their lineage.

Chinchilla Breeders

Chinchilla Supplies Cost

The most important chinchilla supply is the cage which costs $150-$300 (or more if you prefer a high-end cage). Food bowls, hay feeders, and water bottles are other necessary items that cost an average of $10 each.

SuppliesCosts
Cage$150-$300
Food Bowl (Ceramic or Metal)$5-$20
Water Bottles (Glass)$10-$20
Hay Feeder$5-$10
Bedding$10-$100
Climbing Ladders, Ramps, and Ledges$10-$30
Bed/Hammock$10-$15
Dust Bath$10-$20
Nest$10-$20
Chew Toys$5
Carrier$20-$40
Exercise Wheel (Optional)$15
Food$200-$300
Treats$10-$30

You cannot put a chinchilla inside a cage and expect it to live happily. Chinchillas need some supplies to live a healthy and active life. 

These supplies are of two types:

  • Initial (one-time expense) 
  • Recurring (recurring monthly or yearly expense)

In other words, some items need to be bought once and can be reused, while others need to be bought multiple times throughout your chinchilla’s lifetime.

Initial supplies:

  • Cage
  • Nest
  • Wheels
  • Toys
  • Hay feeder
  • Food bowl
  • Water bottles

Recurring supplies:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Bedding
  • Dust bath

Cage

Chinchilla Cage Bar Spacing

One of the essential supplies is a high-quality cage. Chinchillas should not be left roaming inside the house unattended. A cage helps keep them inside a safe box away from danger.

The cage should be made to accommodate your pet. Chinchillas require a lot of space to remain active. An average chinchilla cage should be around 2 x 2 x 3 or 12 square feet in volume.

The cage should not include any pointy objects or wires as they are dangerous. Horizontal bar spacing is preferred as chins can climb up and down these easily.

There are hundreds of different chinchilla cages available in the market. A high-quality chinchilla cage costs between $150 to $300.

Food, Water, and Bowls

Chinchilla Supplies

Chinchillas love to chew, which is why a food or water containers made of plastic are not a good idea. Your chinchilla will end up chewing through it. 

As for their diet, chinchillas eat pellets. High-quality chinchilla pellets cost anywhere from $100-$200 per year.

They also eat hay. You should set up a hay feeder inside the cage, which will cost you around $10. Hay is cheap and can be bought for around $50-$100 annually.

You also need to set up a ceramic or metal bowl for the pellets. A good quality pellet bowl is available at around $5-$20.

Some pet owners use a wooden bowl.

Lastly, Chinchillas need water. Set up two glass water bottles in the cage. They need water all the time to cool themselves. Their heavy fur is great at keeping them warm but can cause heatstroke during hot summer days.

Water bottles are easily available everywhere and can cost you $10-$20.

Nest

Chinchillas are easily startled. When they get scared, they run to their safe spot. Pet chinchillas need a nest or a hiding spot where they can hide. 

These small boxes also serve as safe areas for chinchillas to rest in and seclude themselves from the world.

The nest should be made of fabric, wood, or any other material that poses no risk to chins. You can easily buy a nest for between $10-$20. If you are planning to save costs, you can even make a hiding box at home.

Dust Bath

Chinchillas Require Regular Dust Baths

Unlike most other animals, chinchillas do not need water baths. Their fur is extremely dense, around 20,000 hair per square centimeter[3]

This extreme density makes it difficult for water to dry, resulting in skin infections and allergies when they get wet.

Instead, they need dust baths to clean their fur and distribute oils evenly on their body. Rolling in the dust helps chins keep their hair soft and shiny. You should give your chinchilla a dust bath multiple times a week.

Chinchilla dust is inexpensive and costs around $10-$20.

Bedding

Chinchilla Bedding
Image Source

Another essential part of a chinchilla cage is bedding. 

Chinchillas have small feet which can get tangled in the steel bars of the cage floor, leading to injuries. Proper bedding helps chins avoid these issues and keep their paws safe. 

Bedding also helps keep the cage free from smell and absorb urine. 

There are many types of bedding you can use:

  • Recycled paper
  • Wood shavings
  • Fleece

The costliest and yet most effective is fleece bedding. They are reusable and easy to clean. Fleece bedding costs around $100, while other types of beddings are generally cheaper and cost upwards of $10.

Chew Toys and Wheels

Chinchilla Exercise Equipment
Image Source

Chinchillas need regular exercise both inside and outside the cage. Placing an exercise wheel in your chinchilla cage can help keep it fit and happy. 

Chins are awake at night, so an exercise wheel fulfills its exercise needs when you are asleep.

A high-quality chinchilla wheel costs around $15.

Chinchilla teeth never stop growing. If they get too big, a chinchilla’s teeth can harm it, which is why they should be trimmed. Chew toys work best at trimming excessive teeth. 

Chew toys cost up to $15 per piece.

Treats

Are Vegetables and Nuts Good Treats for Chinchillas

Chinchillas should be given treats occasionally to provide extra nutrition and a change of taste. 

Treats are used to reward good behavior and to train chinchillas. There are a lot of foods chinchillas can eat, so make sure to identify which food is healthy for the chin and which is toxic.

High-quality treats are inexpensive, costing up to $30.

Veterinary Costs for Chinchillas

Veterinary costs vary among different vets, but an average visit to a veterinarian will cost around $50 to $100 per chinchilla. Consider buying insurance.

Good pet owners pay attention to their chinchillas’ health and take them to regular veterinary visits. Chins do not get sick often, but routine checkups can help diagnose potential medical issues beforehand.

Different vets charge different prices depending on the location and experience, but an average veterinary visit costs up to $100.

Conclusion

Chinchillas are easy to keep and do not need a large upfront investment. The most substantial costs are the cost of the chinchilla itself and the cost of the cage. They also need food bowls and feeders along with glass water bottles.

Bedding, nests, and treats are also essential items, but chins can live without them. 

Other optional items include chewing toys, exercise wheels, hammocks, and ladders which provide additional happiness and comfort to chinchillas.

FAQs

How Much Is a White Chinchilla?

White chinchillas are highly demanded due to their coat color and beauty. A white chinchilla can cost you around $150 to $200, depending on the breeder.

How Much Do Chinchillas Cost at PetSmart?

PetSmart has a variety of chinchillas in different breeds and ages. An average PetSmart chinchilla can cost you anywhere between $150 t $400 depending on the breed, color, size, health, and demand.

How Much Does Chinchilla Food Cost?

Chinchillas eat hay and pellets. Hay is available cheap at several pet shops across the world. Pellets are a bit expensive and can cost an average of $150 to $200 annually.

About Misfit Animals Staff

The Misfit Animals staff consists of animal lovers, pet enthusiasts, veterinarians, zoologists, and other animal experts. Our goal is to provide people with information on proper animal care.

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