The Holiday (Online Shopping) Gift Guide for Chinchilla Lovers #3 - Deck the Cage
Deck the Cage With New Accessories, Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la, la, la!
Spoil your chin this holiday with some new cage accessories! Here's a guide of some items I found that can ordered online if you're doing some holiday shopping for that special chinchilla in your life!
Homes, Sweet Homes!
These are durable houses and hideaways that you can place in your chin's cage to give them some security. As chins are prey animals by nature, they appreciate having a place to dart into if they happen to be startled. Why not give them a stylish place to serve that purpose?
Home in a home in a home - this gives me inception-like feelings as this metal 2-story home can be placed in your chin's home... inside your home! Hah! Before I bought this, I was actually a little afraid that the edges would be sharp but they're smoothed down and blunt. The quality is great - it's solid and durable, and because it's metal, it can keep your chin cool in the summertime if you first put it in the fridge or place it on a chin-chiller tile. It's also big enough that it can fit more than one chin, if your chin has cagemates!
This is the simpler hidey-hut version of the previous house, made by the same company. Again, great quality and can be cooled in the fridge to keep your chin cool in the summer. It also takes up less vertical space than the 2-story one, if you have a lot of other ledges and items in your cage.
Do you like warm earthy colors or Mediterranian design style? If so, this terra cotta hideaway would be a great addition! Terra cotta is a fired clay material that can be used as a chilling item if you place it in the fridge first. These hideaways are quite heavy so your chin can't move it around the cage or flip it over like they often do with wood huts. It's basically a cool tunnel that chins can hide and snooze in! Just make sure you get the large one and not the small (for hamsters)!
A lot of us have been forced to stay at home during the COVID-19 crisis and have had to completely change our exercise routines, investing in weights and home gym equipment. Compared to how pricey equipment is for us, exercise wheels for chins are relatively much less expensive, and they can be put directly in their home for their at-home fitness programs!
Let's be honest though - most pet store exercise wheels are NOT chin-safe. Many are too small in diameter which can cause your chin to injure its back from overly arching while running. Many are also made of unsafe materials like plastic (which chins will chew and if ingested, can cause impaction in their intestines!), wire mesh (these can catch toes!) or made with metal crossbars (quickly moving crossbars can injure limbs!) The wheels listed below all have a solid metal running surface and are large enough in diameter to not injure your chin's back.
They may seem pricey but consider them a purchase for the lifetime of your chin... I still have Chin Spin wheels that have been working since their purchase in 2006!
The Spin Safe by Felix and Fido has a solid metal running surface with a solid wood back. There is no plastic or exposed wood parts. The diameter is 15" to allow your chinchilla to run comfortably without arching.
The Chin Spin by Quality Cage Crafters is the original chin-safe exercise wheel with the solid metal running surface and solid wood backing. It has a 15" diameter and can be purchased in the original silver vein color or in several powder-coated colors.
If you're not in need of the Amazon Prime shipping speed, the XTRA Soundless Spinner is a solid metal wheel available on Etsy from Pandamonium Pets. It comes in many powder-coated colors including a really pretty iridescent rainbow color. This new XTRA version is also extremely quiet.
There's Levels to This
Chins are rock-hoppers in their natural habitat so providing different types of ledges and platforms at different levels of their cage can give them spots to hop and perch on. A lot of cages marketed for chinchillas actually have unsafe ledges or ramps made of plastic or improperly-sized wire mesh which can catch toes; removing those and replacing them with metal or wood (kiln-dried pine or aspen) ledges will make the cage much safer for your chin!
This item by Alfie Pet is both a ledge and a chew toy in one! The ledge attaches to the side of your cage and also has wood and pumice pieces strung on metal chain. The best part, even after everything is chewed up, you can reuse the chain and restring new chewing items onto it!
This platform is made with metal which is great for keeping your chin cool as it helps dissipate heat away from their body. Metal is also a great material as it is easy to clean and sanitize. Carolina Chinchilla Ranch also sells metal ledges if you contact them directly.
This bridge by Pandamonium Pets connects to opposite sides of the cage to create a unique path for your chin to traverse! It's wooden so can be safely chewed and new planks can be restrung on the metal chain if they chew it up.
Miller's Creature Comforts makes all sorts of cage items including these wooden ledges with sanded edges. They don't sell on Amazon but have great customer service - you just need to contact them through Facebook!
FURniture and Fleece
Time to eat! This picnic table originally designed for feeding squirrels makes for some cute photo ops, especially once your chin learns that there is food at the table! I'd only use the above as an out-of-cage photo prop because while it is made of safe kiln-dried pine, it does have visible wood staples so chins should be monitored while playing with it, in case they try to chew. Pandamonium Pets makes a version which just has a couple wood screws and Miller's Creature Comforts makes a version that only uses wooden pegs - no metal.
What chin doesn't like to chin-chill out in some cozy fleece? Fleece is a material that does not unravel and is generally recognized as safe for chinchillas. Of course, if your chinchilla is a voracious chewer, fleece shouldn't be used, but many chins do not chew fleece if given lots of other chewing items. Fleece items can add a nice touch to your chin's cage. The following vendors make fleece hammocks, beds, fleece-covered tubes and ledges, fleece hanging houses, tray/shelf liners, and even chin-shaped cuddle buddies for your chins to snuggle up with!
Have fun decking out your spoiled chinnie's cage! Someone needs to start a "Chinchilla Cribs" series so we can explore everyone's chinnie mansions! ;)