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Chinchillas are very active and need to have plenty of cage space to move around in. They love to climb and perch up high so tall cages are more important the wide cages. My chins live in 18" wide X 24" deep X 28" high cages. I recommend at least 2 stories in a chinchilla cage so they have the ability to climb and perch as they love to do. My cages have 2 stories with wooden ledges used as 'steps' for the chins to hop from 1 level to the other. Some people prefer to use ramps. Either one is fine. Baby chins need no larger than 1/2" X 1" wire since they can escape through anything larger. Adult chins can have larger spaces. I use 1" X 1" for my adults. The floor should be 1/2" X 1/2" for adults but babies need solid floors so their feet can't get stuck in the wire. No one wants those delicate little legs to get broken. Sleep houses are great additions to any chinchilla home. They love to take their daytime snoozes in these hideaways. Some chins appreciate a fleece hammock for nap time as well (fleece is the only safe fabric for chins since it doesn't pill or fray & won't cause intestinal blockage). Since chinchillas love to run it is a good idea to provide them with a exercise wheel. Chins need the extra large ones that are about around 10" in diameter. Running in one smaller can cause the chins back to get deformed. Toys and things to chew on a important as well. Apple wood and pine blocks are excellent chew items as are hay cubes. My chins also have hanging toys loaded with wood blocks and crispy chews made from dried gourds. I also provide each of my chins with a chew proof plastic bell ball. They enjoy tossing them and rolling them around the cage. Be certain any toys you give are sturdy chew proof plastic so your chin doesn't choke on any small parts or get anthing stuck in it's digestive tract. Of course any cage would not be complete without a food dish, treat dish, and a water bottle.
Chinchillas should not be housed outside since the temperatures fluctuate to much and could be fatal. Chins thrive best in temperatures between 50-70 degrees. Chins are very susceptible to heat stroke so air conditioning or fans are very important with high temperatures or high humidity. I have a fan blowing towards my chins (but not directly on them , which can cause a chill) in temperatures of 80 or above and when humidity in summer is high. If a chin is getting overheated it's ears will turn red and it will get more lathargic. Please don't take your chin outside in a play pen to give it fresh air or you'll likely be minus your beloved pet. Keep him inside where he is comfortable and safe from the elements. Fresh air is good for your chin however, so be sure he has good ventilation where he lives. Opening windows to let in a little air is fine as long as his house isn't located to close to the air source where he could get sick from the draft.

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