- Buying a standard gray chinchilla costs between $75 to $125
- Adopting a chinchilla ranges between $50 to $100
- More exotic colors cost between $125-$225
- The Royal Persian Angora can cost $10,000!
A chinchilla has its origins in South America, specifically in the Andes mountains. They’re exotic animals, which might give you the idea that they are quite expensive to buy and look after. However, unlike most exotic animals, the chinchilla cost is fairly low when it comes to maintenance.
That’s why if you are a wannabe pet owner on a budget, then a chinchilla might be a great choice for you. Not to mention, they are adorable!
So how much are the costs of chinchilla ownership? This article will do a step-by-step breakdown of how much of the budget you need to keep aside for your new little friend.
How much does a chinchilla cost?
The cost of chinchillas can vary depending on many factors. These can be regional availability, the popularity of the breed, cost mark-up of the chinchilla breeders, the rarity of the color, and such. Chinchillas are already rare creatures, but the rarer breeds can cost even up to thousands of dollars. So the type of chinchilla and how rare they are are your main concern for estimating your chinchilla prices.
It is highly recommended to buy your chinchilla from an animal shelter. It will be like giving them a second chance because these usually rescue chinchillas that their previous owners have abandoned as they are high-maintenance pets.
Take a look at your local SPCA or adoption shelter or animal rescue organization and see if they have one. Adopting a chinchilla comes with some additional costs, but it should take around $50 to $100 for a common chinchilla.
Chinchilla cost according to color
There are many color variations among chinchillas. Some are of standard colors, some of the exotic colors, and some of the select colors. The color of your chinchilla will also vary the prices based on the rarity. For example-
- Standard grey color: Gray chinchillas are the most common type of chinchillas, so they’re the least expensive. You can get them between $75 to $125 USD. Other standard colors are brown and beige. You can also find them within the same price range.
- Mutation colors: If gray, brown, and beige are too dull for you, mutation colors or exotic colors might satisfy you. These mutation colors can be white, mosaic, pink, and hetero beige. These can cost between $125-$225 USD.
- Special select colors or exotic colors: When it comes to colors, special select colors are the most attractive. But they’re a rarer color they’re also the most expensive. If you want chinchillas that are ebony white, chocolate, or violet-colored, then you can expect to spend between $175 to $250.
These are just the average cost, but there can be variations here too. The standard colors’ cost can change depending on the mixture or rarity of a mutation. Other additional features that may add to the cost can include the level pedigree of their fur and how in-demand the color is.
Chinchilla cost for buying from breeders
There are many reputable breeders around as chinchillas have been domesticated for a while now. These are professional breeders who know which breeds make more and breed the chinchillas in the best way. When you go to a breeder, make sure to confirm they are registered with a breeder’s association of some kind and have positive testimonials to show you from past clients.
The cost of buying a chinchilla from a private breeder will vary as well. It depends on availability, rarity, pedigree, coloring, fur quality, and all those things. But for an average cost, you can expect around $150-$400. It can, of course, be more if the chinchilla is of show quality or an extremely special breed. You should also know two types of chinchilla varieties—the long-tailed one and the short-tailed one. Prices also vary depending on that.
Show quality chinchilla cost
Just like all things, it is the better the quality, the higher the price. These are special breeds of chinchillas that pet owners like to have for the show. These pet owners travel with their chinchillas all over the world for championships. Their chinchillas even have certificates showing their accomplishments. If you want to get your hand on these show-quality chinchillas, you have to be willing to spend thousands of dollars.
It all comes down to the professional chinchilla breeders who will be breeding the special chinchilla. There is a wide range of prices for them, but low none. A color breed called Royal Persian Angora can cost as much as $10,000! So if you want quality chinchillas, you also need a quality bank account.
What are the care supplies for chinchillas, and how much do they cost?
Now that you have bought your chinchilla, it’s time for the care supplies. You need to be an active chinchilla owner to have an active chinchilla. Chinchilla’s costs for care supplies aren’t too much. There are mostly food and accessories per month for your chinchilla. As mentioned before, after the initial cost of buying the chinchilla, the maintenance cost isn’t all that much. Here are the care supplies you will need along with the costs-
- Food supplies cost: When it comes to feeding your little pet, there are some supplies you will need. You will need a hay feeder ($5, more depending on the brand). Since chinchillas like to chew, you can’t give them plastic bowls. The ceramic food dish or metal food bowls can cost $7 to $17. So in total, you can expect to spend $60-$95 behind food supplies initially. Expect to spend $35-$55 on quality chinchilla pellets and hay monthly.
- Food cost: If you have a pet, you will, of course, need pet food per day. Chinchilla’s favorite food is hay ($20-$30 per 6Lb bag, enough for 4 months), and it’s a huge necessity for them. If you have a pair of wild chinchillas but not enough hay for them, they might start chewing on the fur of their cage mates. This is because they’re social animals. They also need pellet food ($20-$30 for 10Lb bag, enough for 4 months) and dried snacks/goodies/healthy treats ($10). Make sure you give them a safe treat.
- Water supply cost: As for water, your chinchilla needs a glass water bottle, water bowl, or water container, which can be $6 to $26 in price. Again, no plastic bottles because chinchillas will chew it out. A $4-$10 water bottle should be enough.
- Dust bath cost: You need to give your chinchilla baths so that their fur coat doesn’t have excess oil. Chinchillas take baths in special substances called chinchilla dust. This bath is important to keep their coat clean. They don’t want a bath in water, so a dust bath is more natural for them. A container of dust can cost $5 to $20 USD per 2Lb bag, which should be enough for a year. It can also depend on the brand. Actual chinchilla dust might cost a little higher, but it’s better to keep the coat healthy.
- Covered shelter cost: Covered shelter, more commonly known as Hidey House or Nesting Boxes, gives your chinchilla safe spaces to sleep during the day. That’s right; chinchillas are nocturnal animals, so they are active after dusk and sleep through the day. The hide house can cost between $5 to $30.
- Cage and cage accessories cost: Chinchillas love to have personal space and need plenty of space to move around comfortably. That is why you need a sturdy cage for your friend. Chinchilla cages are usually more expensive than the chinchillas themselves, so it will be the biggest cost for you as a pet owner. Multilevel and tall cage gives more space for your chinchilla to play, and they can cost about $250. Good quality chinchilla cage can go between $250-$400. Climbing ledgers, ladders, wood shelves, and ramps can go to $5-$30.
- Bedding cost: Quality bedding inside the cage might cost between $5 to $100, depending on the material. Paper beddings need to be changed regularly.
- Carrier cost: You might need a carrier if you plan to take your chinchilla with you on trips. The carrier cost can be $15-$30.
- Toys and exercising toys cost: You want to keep your chinchilla happy, so toys are a must. But another important reason is that they need chew toys to keep their teeth ground down. A single chew toy can cost $3; a bundle can cost up to $50. If you see that the toys have sharp edges or are breaking down, throw them out.
Estimated Veterinarian Medical Costs for Chinchillas Per Year
Ensuring the best health conditions for your pet is an important point of being a pet owner. Healthy animals will be active animals. To keep your chinchilla healthy, you need to take regular veterinary visits. Chinchillas are healthy animals already, but they still need proper care. They mostly get sick if they grow up in poor conditions. As they are exotic animals, the vet fund will be a little high.
However, you will be saving money from other sides. This is because chinchillas don’t need vaccinations. They also don’t need spaying or neutering unless it’s an exceptional case. Female chinchillas being spayed is $125dangerous, so vets with proper animal knowledge won’t do that. Now let’s take a look at the yearly vet costs.
- Check-ups: For a basic check-up, your vet might charge you around $50 on your initial visit. But since chinchillas are exotic animals, this rate can go higher, so expect $100 to be safe. Routine check-ups are recommended because they might save you a lot of money in the long run if your chinchilla gets sick. But if you don’t want to do it, annual visits are a must.
- Insurance: If your country has pet insurance, you might need $10-$20 per month for it. Some providers either don’t cover chinchillas or charge more because they’re exotic animals, so check with them properly first. But as mentioned before, chinchillas are healthy animals, so insurance might not be that essential.
- Emergency visits: if you don’t take insurance, it’s still wise to keep a few notes tucked away in case of emergencies. $50-$200 per year should be enough. It’s not a must, but a recommend practice. It’s always good to have a rainy-day fund just in case.
- Parasites: Many small animals fall victim to worms and parasites, especially if you don’t keep your chinchilla clean. The most common one is the Giardia parasite. If caught early, they aren’t usually a massive issue. If you see unusual symptoms in your chinchilla, it’s best to go to a vet immediately. Depending on your location, the treatment cost can be $0-$50.
In total, you can expect to spend between $200 to $300 as the vet costs for your chinchilla pet. Chinchilla cost for medical needs may vary based on your location.
What is the annual cost estimate of chinchilla as a pet?
Now that we know how much it costs to have a chinchilla pet, we can estimate the annual care costs of having a chinchilla as a pet. The initial chinchilla costs are a bit high, but once that’s out of the way, you shouldn’t need to spend more than $20-$40 for your pet chinchilla monthly. That is $240-$480 yearly costs for a single chinchilla. Even for those under financial obligations, this is not a big maintenance cost.
Of course, that changes if there are medical emergencies. Depending on its seriousness, the costs can go up to $800 on an annual basis. As mentioned before, that’s why it’s good to have routine check-ups for your chinchilla. The earlier the problem is diagnosed, the lower the cost will be. In the long run, it will help you save some money.
Depending on the breed of your chinchilla, the maintenance cost can also notch up higher. Special breeds need special care. Some veterinarians might charge you extra just because the breed of your chinchilla is a rare one. So you should be ready to face additional costs for your show quality breed of chinchilla than the average cost of $240-$480.
Hi, my name’s Elena Coolidge, and this is my site. Chinchillas are so cute and such intelligent animals that make great pets. They’ve become the subject of fascination for many animal lovers who enjoy their antics. I blog about their care, where to buy them, breeders, and more. Shoot me an email if you have a question!