Chinchilla Cage Accents

Muff hilarious face tube

In tandem with recent posts about Ferret Nation Cages and How To: Build a Custom Chinchilla Cage, this post is all about cage details – all the necessary components that help make your chin’s cage feel like a meaningful, functioning home! Although there are online vendors for listed accessories, all items that are realistically able to be made at home have been described in a DIY manner.

Ladies cage

Platforms & Ledges: I suggest keeping platforms 4-5″ wide, installed under 6” apart height-wise for safety. Any higher, and a fall could potentially hurt your chin. And don’t forget ledges – fun shapes for corners, sides, and all around. Sizes can vary, from 3″ upward. The hardware part is simple: screws, washers, and a drill will keep your items snug and secure.

LYC Hay Feeder

Hay Feeders: Hay is an integral part of any healthy chinchilla diet, and it gets everywhere! Our cages have DIY hay feeders, complete with a standing perch for easy eating. Connected with two sturdy hooks, these feeders are a chin favorite, adhere to horizontal bars with ease, and keep the mess minimal!

Food Bowls: We recently switched from bottom-heavy bowls to stainless steel bowls that adhere directly to cage bars. It’s been a wonderful transition, as the stainless steel bowls are sleek, safe, attractive – and most of all, easy to use.

Koko litter box

Litter Boxes: Read this post all about DIY litter boxes and litter training! Litter boxes can be a tidy addition to your chin’s cage, encouraging your pets to maintain their space and keep clean. Of course, not all chinchillas can be litter trained, but it never hurts to try.

Muff Home

Huts & Houses: The fluffs love hiding houses, tight corners, and crunching down on the very infrastructure they inhabit. The best way to inhibit this type of behavior is by encouraging it in a safe, healthy manner! Our hideaways are made from kiln-dried pine and offer privacy-seeking chins a lovely respite from the craziness of their peaceful environments (because we all know being a well-cared-for chinchilla is exhausting). 😛

Mitty Granite Marble Tile

Stone Cooling Tiles: Our chins prefer marble or granite cooling tiles; they are a great accessory for the active buggers who dart all over their cages, working up some heat! The tiles offer temporary relief for warm tummies, but only act effectively if hand-in-hand with low temperatures or air-conditioning.

Girls Cage Toy Bowl Hay

Hanging Toys: Hanging toys are quite simple to make, and shockingly fun to watch as your chins swing them from side to side in impatient demolition attempts. Some drilled apple sticks, chunks of kiln-dried pine, and pumice stones make for a really great time – especially for the attention deficit types!

koko hammock

Hammocks and Tubes: While not every chin enjoys hammocks, a lucky few really do love lounging in comfy floating fleece blankets. There’s nothing like a softly swinging sleepy chinchilla to bring a smile to your face! Tubes are also great accessories, offering a round retreat for your fluffballs. I use galvanized steel ducts, which have rounded steel that can be used safely without fleece coverings. Other tube options include PVC or cardboard tubes with snug fleece covers to prevent harmful ingestion.

Muff Heart

Cuddle Buddies: Fleece teddies can be perfect for solo chinchillas! As long as the cuddle buddy has fine stitching and good construction, your chin will be snuggling up next to their new friend (or tossing it around) in no time.

Water Bottle: Water bottles are the bane of my existence. As I’m living in the city, I do not have an adequate setup for a water pump system. So, I run through glass water bottles every few months. I always have two water bottles in each cage, a 32 oz. and an additional 16 oz., just in case. Currently, I use Kaytee, Living World, and Lixit (although I’ve tried more than a handful of brands), and simply cross my fingers. I have never understood why water bottles do not have any type of manufacturer’s warranty, as they are often faulty and fail to stand the test of time.

Ladies FN

Running Wheel: Although chinchillas do not require a wheel, it is nice to have one for exercise purposes. My chins have a running wheel in a separate playtime cage, which is an excellent way to encourage a weekly allotment of exercise while teaching them to manage their stress when being introduced to different environments.

Koko Fleece Cage

Fleece: The safest fabric for chins, fleece is a good way to cover up harmful plastics in your cage or line the bottom of your cage with a pretty pattern. While fleece is not necessarily easier to clean than bedding, it does help make your chin’s home more personal. If your chin is litter trained, I suggest washing fleece every 2 weeks with a hot water and lemon juice/vinegar mixture. If your chin is not litter trained, fleece should be washed weekly to prevent urine buildup. It’s important to note that while most chins do not eat fleece, some will try! If that’s the case, then fabric should be removed immediately to prevent consumption.

Mitty pan

Custom Steel Pans: Galvanized or stainless steel pans for your chin’s cage are an awesome investment – they are easy to manage and long lasting with proper care. Swapping out plastics for steel is a simple way to prevent harmful ingestion, blockage, or impaction that can come with gnawing malleable plastics.

Ko ball

As always, try to incorporate safe woods into your chin’s environment, and understand the importance of choosing wood over plastic. Be sure to always have an air-conditioning unit (or two!) during warm months, keep a regular dusting routine, and monitor your chin’s weight for changes in consumption in order to catch early warning signs of illness. 🙂

Mitty tail tube

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26 comments

    1. Hi! Yes – the structure of this iron cage looks great! However, it’s important for you to remove all the plastic ledges and metal ladders – chinchillas don’t need ladders because they’re great jumpers and ladders can actually catch their toes or paws and cause injury. I would suggest removing everything inside the cage and building ledges and platforms for Chillibug out of kiln-dried wood. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ve looked at those galvanized ducts in the hardware store and thought they’d make wonderful chin toys (I think I look at everything these days in terms of whether my chins would like it. I have no life.) but I’ve always been concerned about sharp edges. Do you take a grinder to them or are they fine as is from the store?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do the same thing – chins are always on my mind! 😀 As for the ducts, I bought mine at Home Depot and they are the standard thickness for steel ducts at a 5″ diameter (perfect size for single chins). The edges are perfectly fine for daily chin usage and are completely safe – the only way they could injure skin or fur is if applied with a great deal of pressure. A good way to check is to run the back of your hand against the edge of whichever duct you’re thinking about, and test the thickness for yourself – if the edge can’t hurt you with some pressure, then the chins would have a very hard time getting hurt as well. I’ve had these tubes for over a year, and they’ve been proven safe for us! 🙂

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    1. No particular brand – the ones I have are from Home Depot, but it took a bit of searching for the cleanest, nicest ones! A high volume store is best; they have a lot more selection and a better chance for finding the perfect duct. Keep an eye out every time you’re at a hardware store – I’m sure you’ll come across some smooth nice ones! 🙂

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      1. I got lucky! I happened to spot a garage sale when driving into town yesterday and there was a huge bag full of duct parts. All older ones but never used. Made in Canada and made well with perfect seams and no pointy bits sticking out. $10 for the whole huge bag! I wonder if it’s still possible to get quality duct fittings without having them custom made…

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, love this post! I’m new to chins and being a DIYer myself, I love all of your ideas. Tell me, what do you use to assemble your hay feeders? Nails? Screws? I’m getting ready to make some, but I don’t know what is safest.

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    1. Hi Kristi! So glad you stopped by! I use screws, but adhere them far enough from corners and take care to note any potential chompage around the area – most chins won’t go for the screws, but they may if they are too close to the edge of the wood, which could be harmful to their dental health. Nails could work too, but I find them much less sturdy than screws.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your webpage!! I have a two questions where did unbuy ur metal bowls that attach to the cage? Andnwhat arenthe dimensions? I ordered some from amazon but they were huge! Yours look perfect size! And also where did u purchase ur metal wheel? And is it quiet?

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    1. Hi Nadia! Thank you so much for stopping by. To answer your questions, I bought my metal bowls at http://www.drsfostersmith.com/ – they are the medium sized Stainless Steel Cage Cups, 4 1/2″ in diameter and holds 20 oz. The metal wheel is Silver Surfer brand, and can be bought at http://www.chinchillas.com/estore/detail.aspx?ID=106. I had to have the wheel replaced once because it was a little shaky and loud but since it has been replaced, it’s really great and very quiet! Hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your prompt reply! I just put in an order for a bowl and will be purchasing a wheel from the page you recommended 😄 i been devating between the chillawheel and the chinspin but i like the desing of this one a lot! I know some ppl prefer the 15″ wheels and wider running track but if you and your chinnies love this wheel i trust your recommendation! I inow u wouldnt use it if you thought it would hurt their posture or didnt think itbwas a safe wheel! I will be looking forward to ordering it soon! Thanks you for replying i really appreciate it!! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Nadia,

      In my opinion, as long as you take good care of the galvanized metal pans, there’s absolutely no difference. It’s simply a matter of using fleece over the pan and cleaning with 1/3 mixture of vinegar and 2/3 water every month or so. 🙂

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    1. Hi Kelly! To answer your question, of course! But not at this point in my life. I know I’ve reached my personal limit as far as love-spreading and cleaning/maintenance work. Any more and I’d be swamped right now! Perhaps down the line. If you’re looking to answer that question for yourself, you should check out this post 🙂

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  4. Hello! I am curious about the metal pans you have lining the cages. The fleece is a great idea, and I’m assuming you haven’t had any trouble with the corners of the pans being too sharp? I am hoping to replace our current pans with these. Thank you!

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