Due to their high-fiber diet and their small, sensitive digestive systems, chinchillas can poop an average of 250 times per day. Whenever and wherever they are, you’ll find an abundance of poop. This gives them plenty of ammunition to throw.
A chinchilla may throw its poop when it’s going through emotional issues. There are many things happening in a chinchilla’s environment that could negatively affect it. For example, stress and boredom can frustrate a chinchilla, leading it to throw its poop outside of its cage or at its owner.
When a chinchilla starts throwing its poop, there’s almost always an underlying reason for this behavior. Getting to the root of the problem and solving it should stop your chinchilla from throwing its poop. Read on to learn more.
Why Do Chinchillas Throw Poop?
It’s not common behavior for a chinchilla to throw poop. If your chinchilla suddenly starts throwing poop at you or outside of its cage, there has to be a reason behind it.
We don’t know the exact reason why chinchillas throw poop, but they seem to do this when they’re undergoing emotional turmoil. Therefore, you may need to take a closer look at what could be causing your chinchilla’s behavior.
Stress and Frustration
A chinchilla will most likely start throwing poop when it’s stressed out or frustrated. There are several things that can frustrate your chinchillas.
- Confined spaces
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of attention and care
- Living alone
- Bright lights and loud noises
If a chinchilla’s cage is so small that it can’t move freely, it might get stressed out. In addition, if the cage isn’t equipped with shelves that the chinchilla can use to move around, it won’t get enough exercise and enrichment.
Moreover, chinchillas can feel frustrated if they don’t receive enough attention. These rodents are capable of bonding and forming emotional attachments to their owners. So, when they don’t receive enough love and care, they can feel frustrated.
When your chinchilla starts to feel abandoned, it might start throwing poop directly at you to grab your attention.
Another reason why your chinchilla could be throwing poop is that it’s living alone. Chinchillas are naturally social animals, so they need to be in the presence of other chinchillas. If they can’t socialize, chinchillas become prone to stress and depression.
Bright lights and loud noises can be a cause of stress in chinchillas as well. This is because a chinchilla is constantly monitoring its surroundings, so any strong light might irritate it. What’s more, loud noises can startle it, which could cause stress.
Evidently, chinchillas are quite prone to stress. However, if you ensure that their surroundings meet their needs, they may hardly ever feel stressed and throw poop.
Chinchillas can often have bursts of energy that need to be expended on running and climbing. If your chinchilla is constantly kept inside its cage without releasing these energy bursts, it might start feeling bored and restless, and in turn, start throwing poop.
It’s necessary that chinchillas are given some time out of the cage. You should let your chinchilla out of its cage for at least an hour every day. This hour or so will give them the chance to release any repressed energy and get their daily exercise needs.
How to Stop Chinchillas From Throwing Poop
We’ve established that chinchillas will most likely throw poop if they feel stressed out or bored. Therefore, you should strive to make your chinchilla’s surroundings as stress-free as possible.
There are numerous ways you can alleviate stress in a chinchilla.
Create a Loving Environment
Chinchillas are social animals, so it’s imperative that they interact with you or other chinchillas. If you can only have one chinchilla, you have to understand that you’ll be the chinchilla’s source of socialization.
A chinchilla that doesn’t receive social interaction can become prone to stress and depression. To avoid this, you can allocate some time in your day to taking your chinchilla out of its cage to play.
You can show your chinchilla some affection by giving it a dust bath. If the weather is hot, a chinchilla will need to bathe from two to four times per week. In colder or dry climates, two times a week is enough.
When your chinchilla throws poop, sometimes, all it wants is your attention. So, spend some time with it and let it play around with you.
Change the Location of Its Cage
Chinchillas are quite sensitive to their surroundings, so the placement of your chinchilla’s cage can either make it comfortable or stressed out.
Your chinchilla’s cage should be located in a quiet room that doesn’t receive excessive sunlight. This is due to the fact that chinchillas have sensitive hearing and prefer to sleep during the day.
Moreover, chinchillas can’t handle high temperatures, so an ideal room temperature is somewhere between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius.
Add Toys to the Cage
Lack of space and climbing areas can stress out your chinchilla. You may need to provide it with a cage large enough to handle some climbing toys.
This will give them enough space to roam and climb, allowing them to stay active and exert energy.
You should also make sure that the cage is always clean. If you use fleece liners for the cage, it’ll be much easier to maintain. Moreover, the cage will be much more comfortable for your chinchilla.
Maintain a Proper Diet
Chinchillas feed on grass and hay. Any foods with high water and sugar content can affect your chinchilla negatively.
Give your chinchilla timothy hay and chinchilla pellets for food. If you want to give it a treat, a healthy treat that won’t cause any harm is dried oats.
On rare occasions, you can stimulate a chinchilla by giving it a tiny piece of dried fruit. Chinchillas love sugary treats; nevertheless, they shouldn’t eat them frequently.
Visit a Vet
If all of these solutions fail and your chinchilla is still throwing poop and exhibiting signs of stress, you should contact a vet specialized in chinchillas.