With so many around, it's strange that people still ask what Chinchillas are. Some say they are little furry creatures with the Body of a Rabbit, the ears and feet of a mouse and the tail of a Squirrel. Others say they are simply a rodent.
They are very curious little creatures, who can be very cute, cuddly and affectionate. They create very little odour, and when cared for properly and well mannered and don't bite.
With gentle handling from a young age most chinchillas will become quite tame and bond closely with their owners, although sometimes they do not like to be held or cuddled. They are very active and playful. They can be kept singly, and usually will do fine as same sex pairs especially if they are littermates or introduced at a young age.
Chinchillas are nocturnal so will be most active in the evening and night. They should be kept in a fairly quiet area during the day. They prefer a consistent routine for handling a feeding times and may be stressed out by changes to their routine. They are very active and playful and need a roomy cage for exercise as well as daily playtime.
Chinchillas require a lot of roughage, and the diet should mainly be made up of a good quality grass hay along with pellets made for chinchillas. Treats should be given in moderation (one teaspoon per day in total) and can include fruits (eg fresh or dried apples, grapes, raisins), vegetables (carrots, celery), sunflower seeds, and rolled oats. The digestive system of chinchillas is fairly sensitive so any diet changes should be gradual.