Chinchillas have an exceptionally long life expectancy for rodents, which is often an attractive and decisive factor in choosing a pet.
In their natural habitat in the Andes of South America, they usually live from 8 to 10 years, but in the home, many chinchillas live from 15 to 20 years. To maximize the life expectancy of a chinchilla, proper care is essential.
Chinchilla life expectancy in the wilderness
Chinchillas live in the foothills of Peru, Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. In the wild, they do not live longer than 10 years on average. Owls and other birds of prey, as well as foxes and wild cats, are the main threats to the life of the chinchillas, and often do not allow them to reach their biological potential.
Another major threat to the lives and populations of these rodents is human activity. The fur of chinchillas is of great value for sewing clothes, and even though hunting them is illegal, it continues. Also, the anthropogenic impact of humans on the natural habitat of animals reduces their habitat and population as a whole.
Chinchilla life expectancy at home
Like most other animals, chinchillas live much longer at home, up to 20-25 years. The oldest registered chinchilla named “Radar” lived 29 years and 229 days and died September 18, 2014, in Acton, California. She was born in Germany on February 1, 1985, but then moved to America with the owner in 2002.
As pets, chinchillas obviously do not fall prey to predators and hunters, which greatly increases their potential life expectancy. Moreover, as pets, they are provided with all the necessary food and no longer have to fight for a life in the harsh wild climate. Veterinary care also helps to increase their quality and life expectancy.
How do I increase the life expectancy of a chinchilla?
Nutrition is extremely important to keep your chinchilla in good shape. Specially formulated feeds without nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and corn are well suited for these rodents. Nuts, for example, are very fatty food for them, which in large quantities can provide a strong blow to the health of the animal. Chinchillas need constant access to hay from Timofei, clean and freshwater, as well as toys and other items that can be chewed safely.
It is also important to provide the chinchilla with sufficient space to move, and at least one companion: these animals are used to nesting in packs and do not like to live alone. Environmental hygiene will also contribute to longevity. Daily change the dirty bedding and old food to new ones. Cleaning the cell is recommended every week. And, of course, carry out regular checkups and pay attention to any possible changes and problems.
Tips about chinchilla life expectancy
Unlike other rodents such as hamsters, mice, and guinea pigs, chinchillas as pets live much longer. And it’s important to consider this because chinchilla content can be a potential 20-year commitment. This means that all this time you will need to clean the cage, fill the water bowl, buy food. And the mass of things besides that: bedding, toys, bowls, games, organization of care when you will be absent. And also do not forget that ideally chinchillas should be kept at least in pairs, so you will probably take care of more than one chinchilla.