Rats & Chinchillas

Rats

Rats need plenty of space to explore and climb. They also need daily out-of-cage playtime, so please only take on rats if you can commit to meeting their needs. Below are a selection of cages suitable for various different group sizes. If you can go bigger, that is always better!

Chinchillas

Our favourite cage for chinchillas is the Liberta Explorer 2nd edition, which is entirely metal so you don’t need to worry about chins chewing shelves and ingesting plastic! The Savic Royal Suite 95 and Critter Nation Double are also a good size for chins, but the plastic shelves will need to be covered with fleece (or replaced with metal/wooden shelves) and regularly checked for any signs of chewing.

Chinchillas also need daily out of cage playtime, as they love to bounce around, jump off walls, and use you as a climbing frame! They live up to 15-20 years so this is a big commitment. Please ensure you have the time to provide chins with the care they need before taking any on.

Rats

Sawdust and woodshavings (unless the shavings are aspen-based or kiln-dried such as Bedmax/Littlemax) are not recommended as these can cause respiratory issues. Paper, cardboard, or hemp based bedding are suitable alternatives. 

Chinchillas

Unlike other small animals, paper/cardboard based bedding isn’t safe for chinchillas as they will most likely eat and ingest it, causing blockages/other serious issues. We use fleece to line the bases of our chinchilla cages and provide a litter tray (not plastic – again they will chew and ingest!) filled with either wood pellet litter or safe woodshavings as described above. Safe shavings could be used across the base of the cage as well.

Rats

We feed our rats a mixture of a ratrations.com mix and Science Selective Rat pellets, alongside fresh veg/fruit. Isamu rats have a useful guide to feeding fresh veg & fruit: http://www.isamurats.co.uk/vegetables-and-fruits.html

Chinchillas

Hay should make up the majority of chinchillas’ diets. We feed a mixture of meadow hay and timothy hay, with the occasional addition of oat grass hay and readigrass (dried grass). Alongside hay, we provide around 1 eggcup full of pellets for each chinchilla and a small amount of fresh herbs/suitable greens. Feeding fresh food to chinchillas is quite controversial, however following discussions with our exotics vets, and some research, we now feed small amounts a few times a week. Chinchilla Scientia has some great advice on feeding a ‘natural’ diet and research on the diet of wild chinchillas. Our recommended pellet brands are Supreme Science & Burgess. Chinchillas also enjoy dried herbs and flowers, rosehips, and shredded wheat as treats!