Chinchilla Cage Cleaning
Cleaning your chinchilla’s cage may not be the most fun job in the world,
but it is very important for your chinchilla’s health and the general cleanliness
of your home.
By nature chinchillas are very clean animals. Unlike Ferrets they have no
natural odor. They also spend much time grooming and cleaning their whiskers
and fur. Also unlike ferrets they cannot really be litter trained. Though they
will tend to urinate in one specific area of the cage (generally the corners) they
cannot help where they poop.
You will need to spot clean around the edges of your chinchilla’s cage
daily. For spot cleaning a small shop vac is nice to have around, and a dust
pan and broom will also be handy. We also purchased tile to place under our chinchilla’s
cage to help keep things clean. You will not want to place your chinchilla’s
cage directly on carpet or hardwood, because it will likely become soiled.
Title or even plastic runners are durable and easy to clean. You may be able to
get extra tile from your local hardware store for a discount price. There are
often scraps left over after a bathroom or kitchen has been tiled.
Your chinchilla’s cage will need to be cleaned thoroughly once a week. This
means changing the bedding and wiping down bars that have become soiled. Be careful
which kind of bedding you use. Both cedar and pine bedding are toxic to
chinchillas and other small pets. They contain phenols, used to make them smell
pleasant. These compounds cause constant irritation to the nasal passages,
throat, and lungs of small animals giving bacteria an easy opening, thus
commonly causing pneumonia. Phenols also affect organs such as the liver and
kidneys, because these organs are responsible for filtering toxins out of the body.
When presented with a large amount of toxins over time, they are unable to
filter it all out and begin to fail. An animal with a damaged liver will have a
depressed immune system, which can lead to other medical conditions and
We use Kaytee Soft-Sorbent Bedding. The bedding
comes in natural scents of lavender, mint or rose and is made from reclaimed
resources. Lavender is our personal favorite. Lavender is known to remove
nervous tension and have an overall calming effect, it also smells good! For a
list of other pet friendly bedding please visit http://www.afrma.org/rminfo2.htm
Many people have asked me about newspaper. In the past I had heard that
newspaper was not a great alternative because when it becomes soiled ink could
become toxic. Also I had heard that it was not as absorbent as pet bedding and
thus would cause excess odor and need changed far more frequently. However,
according to an article published by Ohio State University regarding using
newspaper as bedding for livestock, newspaper is now a safe alternative. Most publishers
today use organic pigment and the study seems to suggest that it is a safe and
cheap alternative. You can read more about this option at http://ohioline.osu.edu/cd-fact/0136.html
If anyone out there happens to know other cheap, safe, and earth friendly
alternative to purchasing bedding please let us know!