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What materials in chinchilla cage? Answered

I'm making a chinchilla cage and need to know if the following can be used in it. I have researched and I know that the chinchilla likes to gnaw or chew everything in the cage. MDF wood? Paracord? Any fabrics? Any other woods? Plexiglass? Thanks!



Best Answer 5 years ago

Chinchilla are kissing cousins to rats and can gnaw their way through most anything not made of metal. I have seen rat holes gnawed through concrete masonry blocks. If you want to build an escape proof cage, build it out of metal.
I recommend 1/2" x 1/2" welded wire mesh for the walls and steel or aluminum sheet metal for the bottom. Use pop rivets to fasten it all together. You can buy both at most big box hardware stores.

A chinchilla can definitely chew through plexiglass but it would probably be alright for the vertical walls if you shielded the bottom 3 or 4 inches with sheet metal. But, you would have to keep an eye on it and it would restrict the ventilation in the cage. It will get scratched up from the chinchilla's attempts to climb, it could fog up on the inside and the cage will certainly start to smell without adequate ventilation. All said, I would use plexiglass only on a very limited portion of the cage, if at all.

Everything you mentioned will get chewed. Don't give it access to any paracord or MDF. Especially not the MDF. You never know if the glues used in the board will be toxic to the animal or not.

Chinchillas do not need much. They don't need any kind of fabric and you shouldn't put any in the cage. All you need in there is a good hard plastic bowl for food, a water bottle, an exerciser wheel and some wood shavings for it to nest and mess in. You can also line the bottom with news paper to help make cleanup a bit easier.

If you are looking to buold the cage out of these materials then you need to stick with metal bars or a glass fish tank. If you want to use plexi glass then make sure the sides are all sealed and its tall enough that the animal can't reach the top to chew on it. But you also gotta consider what your going to seal the edges with. You don't want the animal chewing the silicon or other sealant out of the corners and getting sick. I've known other rodents who have died from the silicone caulking on the inside of aquariums.

Google [chinchilla care] for lots of links to care sheets and instructional videos.