Chinchilla Lifespan: How Long Do Chinchillas Live?

Are you thinking of getting a cute furry companion for the rest of your life? 

But, worried about the amount of time you’ll be able to spend with it? 

Do you think being small and vulnerable your chin can die very easily?

Well, you are not wrong on all counts.

In this article, we have discussed the average life cycle and lifespan of chinchillas, how to keep them alive longer and what not to do to make chinchillas opposed to you, or sad and depressed thereby decreasing their lifespan!

Average Lifecycle of A Chinchilla

Chinchilla lifecyle

Chinchillas are known to be unique rodents because unlike many others of their species they prefer to live at higher altitudes. Male chinchillas are called bucks and females are referred to as doe and the baby chinchillas are called kits.


Talking about the lifecycle of chinchillas, the gestation period of chinchillas varies between 100 and 112 days (give or take a few). Four to six kits are born per litter. The unique thing here is that the baby chinchillas are born with fur on their bodies with working sense organs (unlike squirrels and many others).


However, for weaning the kits will remain with the mothers for the first eight to ten weeks of their lives. The time between three months and one year is when the kits grow into young chinchillas. During this time their size slowly increases, and they learn to become self-sufficient and fend for themselves.


After the completion of a year, the chinchillas are referred to as adult chinchillas. Now they are entirely self-dependent and can find food for themselves. Though even now some chinchillas are seen growing. 

But in most cases this growth is limited to an increase in muscles; that means as the activity of an adult chinchilla has increased, jumping and leaping are all they do, they start building muscles and become more agile and flexible. This helps them in their daily lives. 

Old Age 

As the chinchilla approaches old age, its immune system weakens, its bones and teeth become more brittle, its coats start losing the luxurious texture and they also start getting infected with many diseases associated with chinchilla old age. 

Now, this old age could appear anywhere between the years 10 and 20 depending on the amount of care it receives.

Average Chinchilla Lifespan

Average lifespan of chinchilla
  • On average chinchillas can live up to 10-15 years. 10 years is the minimum number of years chinchillas survive in the wild. As we know they are very vulnerable creatures and most of the time are hunted down by predators.
  •  Also surviving in the wild requires winning the competition for resources like food, water, and shelter. Chinchillas are too small and weak to take out other species. As a result, they die faster in the wild. Especially once they grow old and their weaker bones cannot cope with the chase and runs.
  • Since the beginning of the 1900s, there has been a deterioration in the number of chinchillas in the wild. Thus nowadays most Chinchillas are domestically bred. A chinchilla in captivity can live up to 15-20 years.
  • The biggest reason for this would be that here the chinchillas are safe from the larger predators. And additionally, if you, being the caretaker, provide it with proper necessities then of course the chinchillas would have a better chance of surviving longer.

How to Extend Chinchilla’s Lifespan?

Extending the lifespan of any creature is not magic. The few things that can extend the lifespan of your chinchilla are the obvious stuff. 

Proper Diet!

Proper chinchilla diet

Be it your chinchilla or any other pet, appropriate food at regular intervals is a necessity. If you want a chinchilla companion for a long, then you cannot let it go hungry.

A proper chinchilla diet includes lots of hay, green leaves, and twigs. Dried pellets are also good for them. Remember that the chinchilla’s digestive system needs the fiber provided by greens to function properly. Without enough fiber, they might suffer from indigestion. 

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the timing of the feeding should not differ daily. A set timing of feeding is desirable or else irregular feeding might lead to digestive problems in chinchillas.

Keep Them Hydrated!

Hydration is another important aspect that needs to be kept in mind. Always keep more than enough water inside the chinchilla cage. And ensure that your chinchilla is drinking enough water.

The remaining water in the cage should be changed daily (or twice a day if possible) to prevent any contamination from dispersed pollutants.

Keep Their Abode Mess-Free

Always ensure that your chinchilla’s cage is clean and without any leftover food. Wipe off any accidentally spilled water inside their cage (chinchillas hate getting wet). 

Clear out their droppings daily.

Lookout For Abnormal Behavior

Abnormal chinchilla behavior

Chinchillas are generally playful creatures with a perpetually uplifted mood. If you observe any behavior that is different from your chinchilla’s usual behavior, pay closer attention. Try to figure out why it is behaving like that. 

Is some outer disturbance bothering it? Is it sick? For instance, chinchillas generally pass dry excreta. If it is something other than that, you should immediately consult the nearest vet.

Remember any sort of stress has the potential to be fatal to your furry pet!

Keep Them Happy

A happy chinchilla is a healthy chinchilla. So try and do every possible thing to keep those furries happy. Give them lots of attention, occasionally let them out to play, create ledges inside their cages to help in their play, and give them chewable toys to chew on.

Remember Chinchillas have ever-growing front teeth. So they require plenty of things to chew upon.

What Hampers Chinchilla Lifespan

  • Firstly, try to keep your chinchilla stress free. Remove any sorts of predators from around them since they are very easily scared.
  • Secondly, while attempting to give them snacks in the form of fruit slices, the quantity should be less. Remember chinchillas’ bodies cannot process sugar or much calcium. 
  • Do not ever give them nuts or berries even. The fat contained in these food items is not okay for chinchillas. 
  • Avoid giving your chinchillas plastic balls to play with. Sometimes they might get stuck inside it. As a result, their body temperature rises and this condition is often fatal for such creatures leading to a heat stroke.

Final Words

So, although the average lifespan of a chinchilla varies from one to another, if you can take proper care of your pet chinchilla then there are chances, that it might live more than 20 years too!

You cannot artificially increase their lifespan, but naturally, with proper food and regular health checkups, I am sure you can create a noteworthy schedule for your chinchilla to live a long life.

And the most important factor in raising a pet is to build a quality and emotional relationship with one another and utilize every bit of time. In terms of that, we assure you that your chinchilla won’t disappoint you on that part from their side. No matter how long they live, these little rodents will surely build some memories from the get-go!

Hope this article was informative and could add to your knowledge about chinchilla lifespan!