Can Chinchillas Get Too Cold? Understanding Chinchilla Temperature Needs

Chinchillas are adorable, furry creatures that require special care to keep them happy and healthy. One of the most important aspects of chinchilla care is maintaining the right temperature in their environment. Chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains in South America, where temperatures are cool and dry. As such, chinchillas are adapted to cooler temperatures but can still get too cold. In this blog post, we will explore whether chinchillas can get too cold, the temperature range they prefer, the signs and symptoms of cold stress, how to keep chinchillas warm in cold temperatures, common mistakes to avoid, and other factors to consider when keeping your chinchilla warm.

What Temperature Range Do Chinchillas Prefer?

Chinchillas prefer a cool and dry environment, ideally between 60-70°F (15-21°C). Temperatures above 75°F (24°C) can stress chinchillas and lead to heat stroke. Temperatures below 60°F (15°C) can also stress chinchillas, leading to hypothermia. The ideal humidity level for chinchillas is between 40-60%, and anything above 70% can lead to respiratory problems.

What Happens When Chinchillas Get Too Cold?

When chinchillas get too cold, they can experience hypothermia, which is a medical emergency. Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature drops below 95°F (35°C). Chinchillas are susceptible to hypothermia because they have a high surface area to volume ratio, which means they lose heat quickly. When chinchillas get too cold, their metabolism slows down, and their body functions shut down, leading to organ failure and death.

Signs and Symptoms of Cold Stress in Chinchillas

It’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms of cold stress in chinchillas to prevent hypothermia. Some common signs of cold stress include shivering, lethargy, huddling, decreased appetite, cold ears, and feet. Chinchillas may also become dehydrated because they’re not drinking enough water, and their digestive system slows down, leading to stasis.

How to Keep Your Chinchilla Warm in Cold Temperatures

To keep your chinchilla warm in cold temperatures, you need to provide a warm and cozy environment. You can do this by placing a heat lamp or ceramic heater in your chinchilla’s room. Make sure the heating source is not too close to your chinchilla’s cage, as this can cause burns or overheating. You can also use a heating pad or a snuggle-safe heat pad placed under or next to their bedding to keep them warm. Additionally, you can provide your chinchilla with extra bedding and nesting material to snuggle into.

Common Mistakes When Keeping Chinchillas Warm

One common mistake people make when keeping chinchillas warm is using a traditional space heater. Space heaters can be dangerous because they can overheat, cause fires, and produce toxic fumes. Another mistake is using a hot water bottle or microwaveable heating pad, as these can overheat and cause burns. Finally, avoid placing your chinchilla’s cage in direct sunlight or near a drafty window. This can cause fluctuations in temperature and humidity, which can stress your chinchilla.

Other Factors to Consider When Keeping Your Chinchilla Warm

Aside from providing a warm and cozy environment, there are other factors to consider when keeping your chinchilla warm. For example, you should ensure that your chinchilla has access to clean and fresh water at all times. Chinchillas can become dehydrated when it’s cold, and they’re not drinking enough water. Additionally, make sure your chinchilla is eating a well-balanced diet that provides them with enough energy to stay warm. Finally, avoid handling your chinchilla too much when it’s cold, as this can stress them out.


Chinchillas can get too cold, which can lead to hypothermia, a medical emergency. To keep your chinchilla warm, you need to provide a warm and cozy environment that’s between 60-70°F (15-21°C) and has a humidity level of 40-60%. You can achieve this by using a heat lamp, ceramic heater, or heating pad. Avoid common mistakes such as using a traditional space heater or hot water bottle, and make sure your chinchilla has access to clean water and a well-balanced diet. By following these tips, you can keep your chinchilla happy, healthy, and warm.

ThePetFaq Team