Chinchillas are very intelligent rodents native to the Andes Mountains in South America. They are social animals and love the company of their owners and other chinchillas.
But chinchillas, although lovely pets, have the tendency to pee and poop in every corner of their cages and even your house if you let them.
But can you potty train your chinchilla?
Yes, you definitely can. Stick with us as we will show you how to potty train a chinchilla in 7 simple steps.
Potty train your chinchilla by observing where it urinates and putting a litter tray in that spot. When your chinchilla pees outside of the box, scoop up that section of soiled bedding and put it back in the tray. Do not change the litter in the box often while your pet is in training.
Are you ready to start training your pet?
Then keep on reading, as you’ll find an easy step-by-step guide to a potty-trained chinchilla coming up next in this article.
Table of Contents
Potty Training a Chinchilla
House training a dog or teaching a cat to use a litter box is relatively straightforward.
But can you potty train chinchillas?
Yes! You most certainly can train a chinchilla to use a litter box and that is exactly what we are about to show you in this section. Coming up, you’ll see 7 steps that will help you with this task.
Ensure Your Chinchilla Is Ready
Chinchillas are definitely harder to potty train than other larger animals like cats or dogs, but it is by no means impossible. One thing that will make it easier for you to train a chinchilla is to ensure it is ready for the task.
How can you be sure your chinchilla is ready for litter box training?
Your small animal will be ready for potty training if:
- It is more than 6 weeks old.
- It has had a couple of weeks to settle into its new environment.
A chinchilla that is less than 6 weeks old will be hard to potty train because it will not have proper control over its bladder yet. Younger chinchillas tend to urinate all over their cages, and this makes it more difficult to train them.
If you have a new chinchilla, you must also give it a couple of weeks to settle into its new cage environment. Then you will be able to pick up on its habits and train the pet accordingly.
Observe Your Chinchilla
An important stage of potty training chinchillas is observing them to get to know their habits. This will make it simpler for you to get your chinchilla to urinate only in its litter pan.
How should you observe your chinchilla?
To begin with, you will need to put critter litter and soft bedding all around the chinchilla cage because you will not be sure which area it will use for soiling.
Keep an eye on the areas where the chinchilla urinates. It will likely go in the same few places in the cage.
Your pet is most likely to urinate in spots far away from its food bowl and water bottle. Observing this behavior may take a couple of days or even weeks.
The more time you spend with your chinchilla, the faster it will get used to you, and you will have more opportunities to observe its habits. Once you have an idea of your pet’s favorite soiling spots, you will be able to move on to the next step.
Reduce Its Bedding
Once you have pinpointed your pet’s favorite soiling spots, you must begin to reduce the amount of clean litter that you put in the chinchilla cage.
How much of the cage bedding must you remove?
You must remove the bedding from the areas of the cage that the chinchilla doesn’t go to the toilet in. Put the majority of the wood shavings in the same spot it likes to urinate in.
To effectively litter train your chin, it is best you make these changes gradually. Slowly reduce the amount of bedding on the cage floor.
Introduce the Chinchilla’s Litter Box
It’s not enough, of course, for the chinchilla to urinate on the bedding alone, rather, we want it to go to the toilet in a litter pan.
Can chinchillas be litter trained?
Yes, it is quite simple to train your chinchilla to use a litter box. Here’s what you must do.
- Choose a chinchilla litter box (more about the best models a little later).
- Put the chinchilla’s litter box in the place where it likes to urinate.
- Scoop up some of the soiled bedding and chinchilla feces that were in that same area and put it in the box.
- Keep the litter box in that one spot without changing the soiled bedding for a few days. The smell of the pee and poop in the spot will remind the chinchilla where it used to do its business and will encourage it to continue doing so in that place.
Potty training a chinchilla is a process that requires a lot of patience. Your pet will get the hang of it, but you must be consistent and correct its mistakes.
What must you do when you find your chinchilla urinating outside of the litter box?
One thing you must never do when your chinchilla goes to the bathroom outside of its litter box is to tell it off. Your chinchilla will not understand what is wrong, and this can scare it.
Part of the potty training process is correcting the mistakes your chinchilla makes. This includes scooping up the bedding your pet soils outside of the litter box and putting it inside the box.
Doing this constantly will help train your chinchilla, and it will learn to pee and poop only in its litter box. While your chinchilla is in the early stages of its potty training, it is best to change the bedding in the litter box less frequently.
Change the Litter Pan More Frequently
Getting your chinchilla potty trained is a gradual process, but it will get used to going to the bathroom in the litter box.
What must you do when your chinchilla gets used to peeing in the litter box?
Now your chinchilla is more advanced in its litter training; you will be able to change the litter box more frequently. Every time you give the chinchilla’s cage a thorough clean, make sure you clean its litter pan too.
You must clean it with hot water and soap or a pet-friendly disinfectant to get rid of the smell of urine and keep the pan hygienic.
Complete the Training
You’ve made it! You’ve almost finished the potty training process for your chinchilla.
What must chinchilla owners do to ensure their pets keep using their litter pans?
Chinchillas are creatures of habit, so any changes in their cage environments could make them begin to make mistakes again. For this reason, it is best you keep everything in your chinchilla’s cage the same for a few months.
Here’s what you must bear in mind:
- Do not change the chinchilla’s litter box. A new type of box will confuse your pet.
- Do not change the position of the box. Keep it in the same particular corner or spot in the cage that it has been in since you started the training.
- Do not change the amount of bedding in the box. Chinchillas are very sensitive to change. If possible, use the same bedding brand the whole way through its training.
Simply put, do not change anything in the chinchilla’s cage unless you really have to.
Chinchilla Litter Training – What You Must Know
Chinchillas from local pet stores are pretty low-maintenance animals.
But are chinchillas potty trained at the pet store?
No, most chinchillas at pet stores are still very young. And young chinchillas are very difficult to train as they do not yet have control over their bladders.
This means that if you get a young chinchilla from a breeder or a pet store, you will likely have to toilet train the little guy yourself.
To potty train a chinchilla, you will need to be more patient than you would with other animals. Pet owners must also know which tools are good for training chinchillas and which are potentially dangerous to them.
Let’s take a look at three things you must know to potty train your chinchilla successfully.
Never Use Cat Litter
You must never use cat litter to potty train chinchillas.
Chinchillas are inquisitive animals and often chew on and ingest the litter in their cages. For this reason, you must only use chinchilla-proof litter to train it.
Here are some examples of bedding that is appropriate for use in chinchilla cages:
- Shredded paper*
- Wood shavings (low dust)
- Timothy hay (meadow, orchard, and similar low dust hays are also good)
- Washable fleece liners
*Note: Using recycled paper is a good way for you to line your chinchilla’s cage and will also help you do your bit for the environment.
Get a Good Litter Tray
Pet owners do well when they invest in a good litter tray. A good tray is like a mini toilet, is easy to disinfect, and helps to keep the cage cleaner.
The best ones are:
- Made of metal. They are easiest to wash.
- Have a removable wire mesh floor. These collect urine in the base compartment and help to reduce the odor inside the cage.
- Have a splash guard. These stop urine from spraying to other parts of the cage, keeping it away from where you keep your chinchilla’s food and water.
- Able to fix onto the cage. They have a secure attachment that keeps the box in the same place and makes potty training faster.
When considering training an animal, many people think they need to use treats to get it to do what they want. But training chinchillas is slightly different for the following reasons.
- A chinchilla must not eat sweet food. Treats from pet stores are often full of sugars and fats and are not good for the health of this animal. Dried fruit like cranberries and raisins are suitable for chinchillas, but you must only give them once a week.
- You must only give the chinchilla a treat after it has gone to the bathroom in the right place, but the chinchilla is a rather discreet animal, and you might find it difficult to notice what your fluffy friend is doing.
So, if giving treats to your chinchilla doesn’t work, what is the best training method for this animal?
The easiest way to potty train your chinchilla is by using the scent of its own urine to guide it where it needs to go to the bathroom. You do this by scooping up any mistakes it makes outside of the designated tray and putting it into the tray.
Potty Training a Chinchilla – In a Nutshell
Training a chinchilla takes time and patience, but as we have seen in this article, it is possible for you to teach your chinchilla to use just one corner or section of the cage as a bathroom.
By observing where your chinchilla relieves itself and then reducing the bedding in other areas of the cage, your pet will soon figure out where it needs to go to the bathroom. You reinforce that by scooping up any accidents and returning them to the right corner of the cage.
Did you find this article interesting?
At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best articles about how to look after chinchillas and other small pets. For more information on what food you must give your small pet and what kind of treats it can eat, check out our website.
Thanks for reading!