Minimum size for chinchilla cage and cage size

Our recommendation (based on TVT)

The accommodation for chinchillas can not be big enough. The minimum dimensions recommended by us, based on the TVT (link see below) and taken into account by the veterinary office, are:

  • For 2-3 animals: 3 cubic meters of volume (WxDxH), ideally with a minimum width of 2m, a minimum depth of 0.8m and a minimum height of 1m
  • For each additional animal 0,3-0,5m² more area
  • Note: Only the floor and the full level in the middle of the cage are counted as living area
This cage corresponds exactly to the minimum dimensions of 3m3 (2,3,x0,7x1,8m (W,D,H))
This cage corresponds exactly to the minimum dimensions of 3m3 (2,3,x0,7x1,8m (W,D,H))

Legal requirements and animal welfare requirements

3 cubic meters would have, for example, the following cage dimensions (each W, D, H) :
3m x 1m x 1m
2,5m x 1m x 1,2m
2m x 1m x 1,5m
2m x 0,8m x 1,9m
1,8m x 0,8m x 2,1m

However, the width should not be less than 1.8m


Exemplary cages

Enjoy more chinchilla-friendly cages in our cage gallery

Significance of the minimum cage size

A sufficiently large self-build or wooden cage - or even more appropriate a chinchilla room - including a reasonable cage design is essential for the psychical and physical health maintenance.

Physically: With "enough" space for movement, the ingested feed can be better transported in the digestive system (chinchillas have only a small intestinal movement, which transports the food mush), so you prevent constipation and gas formation. In addition, this way overweight is counteracted and the muscles and joints are exercised.

Psychological: Animals that have too little space available develop behavioral disorders such as fur biting or movement stereotypies in the worst case. In addition, mental dissatisfaction promotes aggression, depression and weakens the immune system.

And: A sufficient cage size is important so that our pet chinchillas can perform at least a part of their species-specific movements. Therefore, you should give your animals as much space as possible - but at best even more. More need-oriented is a width and height of at least 2m. From a height of 1.8m, an intermediate floor should be built in halfway - i.e. at 0.8m height - so that excessive drop heights are avoided. At lower heights, full floors take up unnecessary space and freedom of movement for the animals. In this case, seat boards, branches and partially retracted floors (e.g. 1-2 3/4 floors), which are installed in such a way that the animals cannot fall too far, are completely sufficient.

Too many intermediate full floors restrict the animals' freedom of movement. Chins love to sprint, jump and run from top to bottom at lightning speed and without a stop in between.


Can the cage be smaller if the chinchillas get several hours of run time?

If you can guarantee your chinchillas at least 6h daily and that late in the evening and at night (= activity time), run, then the answer is yes. Otherwise in no case. Most of the time the animals would sit in their little prison and they would lack enough space to let off steam. No chinchilla deserves that.