Chinchillas, the adorable furballs, are the best self-groomers of the rodent world. They never miss their precious sand bath and can spend hours grooming their fluffy coats.
However, chinchillas have one not-so-cute habit – they pee on everything! Nothing is safe from their tiny bladders.
But why do chinchillas pee on stuff, and how can you stop them?
In this article, we’ll spill the beans on why chinchillas pee on things and how you can put a lid on their mini-bladder rebellion. It’ll help you keep your chinchilla’s cage clean and odorless and maintain a harmonious co-existence with your little fur buddy.
Chinchillas usually make a pee spot where they do their business; it could be anywhere in the cage. They also pee on things as a way of marking territory. When chinchillas pee out of fear and aggression, it’s known as spraying. A clean cage and taming can help prevent most of these behaviors.
How often do chinchillas pee? And does it stink?
We have all the answers for you below. Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Chinchilla Urine – Meet the Issue
Before getting to the whys and hows of chinchilla peeing, you must know what you’re dealing with. It’ll help you spot the signs of a pee rebellion and nip it in the bud before things get out of hand.
Do chinchillas pee?
Chinchillas are mammals. And like all other mammals, they have a proper urinary system with two kidneys, a bladder, and urinary tubes called urethras. So yes, chinchillas do pee. It helps them maintain the water balance in their little bodies and get rid of toxins.
What color is chinchilla pee?
Their pee typically ranges from yellow to reddish-orange. But it can get darker if they’re dehydrated or dealing with a UTI.
Does chinchilla pee smell bad?
Chinchilla pee has a very mild odor, so it doesn’t really stink if it remains in the litter box. But things can get nasty if your chinny pees on his bedding. Your chinchilla’s pee will also have a yucky odor if he’s dealing with a UTI.
Also, if you don’t keep up with cage maintenance, the pee can build up and stink up your house.
How often do chinchillas pee?
Chinchillas are pros at conserving water because they hail from the world’s driest area – the Andes Mountains. So, they don’t pee very often, around 3-4 times a day on average. But it can vary from one chinchilla to another. If your little whisker puff is physically active and sips more water, he may have to pee more frequently.
Do chinchillas pee everywhere?
Chinchillas are hygiene-conscious critters with a strong sense of smell. They don’t enjoy playing and resting in piss-soaked bedding. So, they usually designate a peeing spot in the cage. But some can be rebels and pee everywhere. They will pee on the ledges, food bowls, bedding, hammocks, exercise wheels – basically anything they can reach. When the cage gets too dirty, they’ll start peeing outside the cage bars.
The question is, why? Why do chinchillas pee on things?
Scroll to our next section to get your answer.
Why Do Chinchillas Pee on Things?
Chinchillas are full of personalities. Some are well-behaved babies, while others are troublemakers with bad peeing habits.
So, what’s the reason behind peeing on things? Let’s find out.
Chinchillas are territorial animals. They use urine to mark their space and let other chinchillas know about it. It’s an instinctual behavior that they inherit from their wild ancestors.
In the wild, chinchillas pee outside their burrows to mark their territory. In captivity, it can take on various forms - like peeing on ledges or furniture. This behavior is more common in females, but males can also do it when they feel threatened or want to impress a lady.
New Pee Pee Spot
Sometimes, your chinchilla may change its designated peeing spot in the cage. It often happens when you move things around in his home or introduce new furniture and toys. He’ll pee in places that smell like him to reclaim his territory.
Stress can make anyone do things they don’t usually do – and chinchillas are no exception. When chinchillas are stressed, their cortisol levels rise, leading to increased urine production. They may also pee more frequently when they’re afraid or anxious.
Not Enough Pee Spot
Chinchillas instinctively designate a pee spot in their cage – but what if that’s not enough? If the cage is too small, your chinchilla may have trouble finding a clean pee spot. He may also feel cramped and start peeing outside the designated area.
Sometimes, chinchillas may pee more often or in unusual places due to medical problems like a UTI or bladder stones. If you notice any changes in your chinchilla’s peeing habits, it’s best to get him checked by a vet.
Do Chinchillas Spray?
Besides peeing on things, chinchillas show another bizarre behavior known as spraying.
What is chinchilla spray?
Chinchilla spray is simply urine. What makes it different is the intent. While chinchillas pee on things for medical or environmental reasons, spraying is more behavioral. It is when they purposely aim at something to cover it in pee. Contrary to common belief, chinchilla spraying isn’t smelly or stocky like other animals.
How can I tell between peeing and spraying?
Spraying isn’t limited to the jet of urine; it’s also the peculiar body language that comes with it. A chinchilla will make weird sounds of spitting and squeaking when spraying urine. He’ll also stand on his hind legs and move his tail up and down.
Do Female Chinchillas Spray Urine?
Oh, they do! Female chinchillas are the aggressive and dominant members here. Cross them, and they’ll shower you orange!
Female chinchillas also spray urine to scare off predators and other chinchillas. Spraying is also their way of telling eager males that they aren’t in the “mood.”
Do Male Chinchillas Spray Urine?
Chinchillas spraying urine isn’t limited or exclusive to their gender; they both spray urine when agitated or frightened. So, yes, male chinchillas spray too.
However, they have more of an “I’m warning you” approach to spraying. They’ll stand on their hind legs, aim at you, and make noises to scare you.
So, a male won’t piss on things or me?
He will urinate (or spray), but it won’t reach you. It’ll be more like a dribble. Thank Chinchilla Anatomy for it!
Do Baby Chinchillas Spray Urine?
Yes, baby chinchillas spray urine. However, it doesn’t start right away. Baby chinchillas will learn it from their parents gradually. So, if you are adopting a newborn chinchilla, you are safe.
Reasons Your Chinchilla Sprays Urine
Chinchillas have their way of expressing their feelings. If you’re lucky, they’ll stick to their arsenal of squeaks, barks, and chatters for communication. However, when things get tough, they’ll use the urine card. Yep, they go there.
Here are a few reasons why chinchillas might turn into pint-sized pee warriors:
Chinchillas Spray Urine to Scare Predators
Chinchillas are prey animals; they’re hardwired to be scared of anything bigger than them. So, when a predator comes along, they’ll do whatever it takes to survive.
They’ll spray urine, chatter their teeth, and even make a run for it. This is why you should ideally keep chinchillas in pairs or groups; they can look out for each other.
Why is my chinchilla spraying urine on me? I’m no predator!
If your chinny isn’t feeling the love, he’ll let you know by spraying on you. It could be because of something you did or perhaps because he doesn’t feel safe around you.
Angry Chinchillas Spray Urine
Chinchillas are usually pretty calm. They enjoy their time jumping around, nibbling on hay, and snoozing. However, there are times when they get angry or stressed out.
Angry chinchillas will spray at you or anything that’s making them mad. It could be an annoying cage mate, too much handling, or even a dirty cage. Small and cramped cages stress them out more than you’d think.
Female Chinchillas Spray Urine at Male Chinchillas
A female chinchilla follows a 28-day cycle. However, she’s on heat for only two days during that time. Males, on the other hand, get too eager during the season. They’ll wag their bushy tails and chase the females around the cage, hoping to get lucky.
So, whenever a male chinchilla gets too clingy and tries to copulate, she’ll spray him with urine. This is her way of saying, “Not today, buddy.”
Ways to Stop a Chinchilla from Spraying Urine and Peeing Everywhere
My chinchilla keeps spraying and peeing everywhere. EW! What do I do?
It’s never pleasant dealing with a pee-soaked cage and that pungent odor. So, here’s how you can tame your chinchilla’s pee habits:
Spend Time With Your Chinchilla
Your chinchilla needs to understand and believe that you mean no harm. Spend time with your fur buddy every day and talk to him in a soothing voice. Also, take the little guy out of his cage and give him some playtime.
There are chances he might pee once or twice when outside his cage (because of a full bladder). Don’t mistake it for spraying.
Learn to Hold Him Right
Love doesn’t come easy in a chinchilla’s world. They’re naturally shy creatures and don’t like being held. If you do it the wrong way, he’ll bite you, make angry sounds at you, or worse, spray you with his orange pee.
If you want to avoid all that, learn to hold him the right way. Don’t squeeze or scare your chinny in any way. Hold him tightly but gently so he doesn’t feel like you’re going to drop him.
Reduce Stressors in the Environment
Loud noise, sudden movements, and unwanted guests (read predators) can scare away your little rodent friend. He’ll also be annoyed if you keep him in a small cage with other chinchillas or if you change his food all of a sudden. All these stressors can cause a chinchilla to spray urine out of discomfort, anger, or frustration.
Don’t want that, right?
Then, it’s best you reduce stressors in your chinchilla’s environment. Keep him in a quiet place, clean his cage regularly, and introduce new things or food gradually.
Train Your Chinchilla to Pee in His Litter Box
Pet chinchillas are easy to train. They’ll observe you, imitate your habits, and learn. So, if you train him to use a litter box for pee and poop, he will eventually learn to do it on his own.
Here’s what you have to do:
- Identify the spots your pet usually pees at
- Place litter boxes in those areas and add some hay
- If your chinchilla pees outside the tray, pick the soiled bedding and put it in the tray (while he watches)
This will tell your chinchilla that he’s supposed to pee in the tray. Give the little fuzzter a raisin or two every time he gets it right.
How to Rid a Chinchilla Cage of Pee Smell?
Even a well-trained and happy chinchilla can have pee accidents once in a while. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
But chinchillas are sensitive to smell, and they prefer eating and playing in clean homes. If your chinchilla’s cage gets too stinky, he’ll start peeing outside the cage bars on your carpet, couch, or bed. You don’t want any of that. So, do what you can to get rid of the stench.
Here are a few tips for you:
- Use a chinchilla-safe cleaning solution like vinegar and water mix to clean the cage and all the surfaces.
- Place absorbent cloth or bedding underneath the litter tray so it doesn’t leak out.
- Keep baking soda around your chinchilla’s stuff (not near him) to neutralize odor.
- Use an absorbent bedding material like aspen shavings or paper bedding, which will soak up the urine and keep the cage smelling fresh.
How to Clean Urine Off a Chinchilla?
Chinchillas are pretty good at self-cleaning. They spend hours grooming themselves, so you don’t have to do it for them. However, if your pet has a pee accident that’s making him uncomfortable (and smelly), then you need to step in.
Don’t worry, though. Cleaning urine off of your pet chinchilla is easy. Just add a tablespoon of cornstarch to his dust bath and let him roll around in it for a few minutes. Then brush off the excess powder, and there you go! Your chinchilla’s fur is now clean, dry, and stink-free.
Another trick is to use a damp towel or a scent-free baby wipe to clean the stained surface. Just the surface! Don’t wet too much fur. Your chinchilla will do the rest himself.
Chinchilla Pee-ventures: Wrapping Up the Story
Chinchillas are amazing pets, but are they perfect?
They can get messy, aggressive, and stinky, too. Surprisingly, most of this has to do with their weird peeing habits.
Chinchillas pee anywhere and everywhere in their cages. They usually do so to mark territory and prove dominance. Chinchillas with UTIs will also pee in places because of weak bladder control.
If a chinchilla is standing on his hind legs, making weird noises, and taking aim, he’s preparing to spray pee! Chinchillas do this to protect themselves from predators, humans, and other chinchillas.
The good news is that you can easily train your chinchilla to behave. And even if accidents happen, you can get rid of the smell with simple pantry supplies.
Did this article help you?
At Oddly Cute Pets, our goal is to educate pet owners and help them deal with their furry friends. If you want to learn more about chinchillas, we have a lot of useful articles on our website. Please check them out.
Thanks for reading, fur lovers!