Traveling with your chinchilla

Happy September everyone!

For the month of August, three (3) chinchillas were surrendered and one (1) chinchilla was adopted.

At this time we don’t have a whole lot to report. Actually, there is a whole lot going on, but it’s a secret for a little while longer. *Shhhhh* And to help distract you, we’re going to talk about traveling with your chinchilla.

Not to make light of the historically high numbers of catastrophic national events lately, but we often hear from folks regarding how best to travel with their chin. We have a few tips to share that will help make transport a smoother ride.


First if your chin can travel in their regular cage, that would be ideal. If not, how about a section of their cage? If you have a Ferret/Critter Nation brand cage, this should be easy. If even that is not possible, you’ll need a sturdy hard plastic or wire carrier. A hard plastic cat carrier works well in pinch, but for longer trips (days) a chin can chew through the plastic.


Do not, I repeat, do NOT use fabric carriers,  screen mesh material, cardboard boxes or cutesyKardashian type carriers. These may be fine for micro pooches and cats, but not for house beavers. Once you have an appropriate carrier, line it with your bedding of choice: fleece, shavings, hay, or shredded ink free, unbleached paper. Fabrics  and recycled paper fibers are not appropriate bedding. Each pose a risk for impactions if your chin ingests the strings and strands.  It helps to place used bedding from your chin’s cage in the carrier so that it smells familiar. If there is room, place a favorite hidey house in there too.


Do not cover your carrier! Good air circulation is extremely important. If the cage is open wire, you “can” partially cover the cage to provide a sort of hiding place. But that would be better served by including a hidey house, tube or even a small cardboard box.

Bonded chins should always travel together. Even if the space is cramped, they will take comfort from each other. Traveling in separate carriers gives them compounded stress if they do not have their cage buddy with them and could result in a broken bond.

The emotional well-being of your chinchilla depends on their inborn temperament. Traveling is stressful, but not necessarily bad. Some chins handle a traveling adventure better than others. Actually, the majority of chinchillas simply fall asleep once the road vibrations lull them.


And speaking of road vibrations, do not attach a water bottle to your carrier. Those same vibrations shake out water droplets all over the cage floor which makes a miserable mess for your furry traveling companion. Chinchillas do not drink while traveling. More likely they will do so at a stopping point when no one is looking. So save the water bottle for rest stops and don’t fret if the chinnie shuns it. Chinchillas will drink when they are good and ready.

If you are traveling in the summer, remember that car temperatures rise rapidly if the air conditioning is off. If you need to stop for gas, have someone bring the carrier inside during the time it takes to fill the tank. Same goes for pit stops, food breaks, etc. Travel by air is not recommended unless you are able to personally transport the chin, with you, on board, inside the cabin.

And finally, to keep your pet distracted, make sure the carrier is full of fresh, dried hay and clean, new chew toys.

I hope this information is helpful. And I hope if you have to travel with your chinchilla that it is not because of an emergency situation.

Blessings and safe travels  to you all!