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If you're bringing home your very own cute new baby chinchilla, you need to make sure his cage is safe for him. The last thing you want is an accident or injury caused by an improper cage setup. As long as you're careful and do your research, there's no reason why your chinchilla's cage shouldn't be perfectly safe.
The first thing you need to check about the construction of the cage is the spacing of the wire mesh on the sides of the cage. It should either be 1 by 1/2 inches or 3/4 by 3/4 inch. Any larger and your baby chinchilla might be able to stick his head or other body parts through and get stuck or injured. You also need to ensure the cage is large enough to keep your pet happy and healthy. There's no such thing as too large a cage, but it should be at least 4 feet tall, 3 feet wide and 2 feet deep.
A chinchilla should never live in a cage where the floors or platforms are made from wire mesh. Your baby chinchilla's feet can get stuck in a wire mesh floor, plus they can cause pain, injuries and even foot deformities or arthritis. If your cage has wire mesh platforms, you can cover them with magic mats -- available in pet stores -- or carefully cut carpet, vinyl or ceramic tiles, or cardboard to size.
For your chinchilla's safety, you must choose your cage location carefully. Your pet is sensitive to temperature, so he must be housed indoors. However, it's important he doesn't get too hot, as warm and humid environments could give him heat stroke. He shouldn't be exposed to temperatures above 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, so ensure he's kept in an air conditioned area if you live somewhere hot. Also locate his cage in a quiet spot where he won't be disturbed by people or other pets during the day, which is when chinchillas sleep.
The choice of bedding inside your baby chinchilla's cage is another factor to consider. Some popular bedding materials are poisonous to these animals, and should always be avoided, and other are generally unsuitable. Pine and cedar are both poisonous, but you should also avoid sawdust, corn cob bedding, chlorophyll bedding and cat litter. Specialist recycled wood pulp bedding for small animals is the best kind you can use, but aspen fiber bedding is another good choice.
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