The furnishing of the chinchilla cage should be based on the needs of the animals. Specifically, the need for:
Running, sprinting, wall jumping.
Anyone who has seen their chinchilla run knows how fast they can run and how happy they look doing it. Moreover, sprinting exercises their muscles and increases their well-being (cf. digestion).
In order to be able to let off steam, keeping to the minimum cage dimensions has first priority!
Furthermore, in addition to (not instead of!) a sufficiently large enclosure, offering a running plate or running wheel is a nice idea especially for underchallenged or very active, but also stressed chins.
Gnawing and nibbling
Chinchillas are rodents. They must always have access to gnawing material. Gnawing is a very important employment opportunity that prevents boredom. Animals that are bored are prone to behavioral disorders and stereotypies such as fur biting.
Suitable for gnawing are:
Jumping and "climbing
As incredibly good jumpers, chinchillas of course need opportunities to live out these natural movements. If these are missing, the animals get bored, which can lead to behavioral disorders and stereotypes such as fur biting or movement stereotypes. In addition, the animals can become fat due to lack of exercise and develop digestive disorders, the muscles can regress - the animals become both physically and mentally ill.
Climbing in the classical sense - like e.g. rats, monkeys, mice or chipmunks - Chins cannot do. They do not have claws and front paws that can hold on to something, pull themselves up and balance. Therefore, they cannot do anything with, for example, ropes or climbing branches that are too vertical.
In order to be able to move freely, a sufficiently large enclosure is first and foremost the prerequisite. Beautiful, species-appropriate jumping and "climbing" opportunities are created in this by the following furnishings:
Hide and seek
Chinchillas are flight animals. If there are no hiding places, the animals are permanently stressed and fall ill. The following items can be used for hiding:
Most of the above mentioned furnishings can be bought online or in pet shops. And: Nature offers us a lot for free: stones, branches, tree trunks, bark, foliage