Chinchilla VS Ferret: Which Is Right For You

Chinchilla VS Ferret Facts

LifespanHistorical OriginsGenus
Ferret8 to 10 yearsUnknown – Aristotle mentioned them in 350BCWeasel Family
Chinchilla15 to 20 yearsAndes of Bolivia, Peru, and ChileRodent Family

Should My Pet Be A Chinchilla or Ferret

Chinchillas (“Chins”) are the cutest pets ever, but they don’t necessarily like to play or keep company with their owners, and they don’t necessarily enjoy being handled. Therefore, if you want a more interactive pet, you want a Ferret. Chinchilla or Ferret – that is the question! The exotic rodent is a cute, fluffy squirrel looking animal and a Ferret is a long-bodied little weasel looking the type.

Chinchillas need a dust bath once a day, and they require a very clean environment and a cage to be happy. They like to chew or gnaw, so they must be restricted, especially if pet owners don’t want their woodwork ruined. Ferrets are interactive pets which do not like to be caged, and they are escape artists, who are always running around looking to explore.

Pet-Proofing for Chinchillas and Ferrets



Pet-proof your home for Ferret pets, because they are very dexterous and with their long bodies, they can squeeze into small spaces. They are smart enough to open cabinet doors, drawers, etc. If anything is made from rubber, foam, or sponge, they love chewing on these materials, even though it is harmful to their gastrointestinal system and which will probably require surgery to remove. Ferret proofing a home is a requirement for the rest of the pet’s life. Keep screened windows closed, because if the window is open, Ferrets, cleverly will chew through the screen.

They must be under constant surveillance when running loose. These animals love baskets full of laundry, and they can hide under clothing that is being put into a washer or dryer. They also like to play and hide under couch cushions. Keep your plants away from Ferrets because they want to dig down into the dirt and taste plants that are more than likely, toxic and poisonous to them.



Pet-proof your home with Chinchillas when you let them out to play. Exotic pet experts suggest that you keep them in one room, that is nearly bare and only contains their favorite toys. They are very temperature sensitive. Chinchillas dislike heat and humidity. Living in very humid and hot environments will make them sick or give them a heatstroke.

Chinchillas also love chewing on any and everything, even electrical cords. They are curious critters who get to know their environment by biting and chewing it.

Also, it is important that rodent pets chew, not by habit, but because it is what they must do as part of their nature. They explore their environment by biting and chewing your books, hanging threads, and furniture. Chinchillas are agile like cats; they too love to jump and climb. Also, they love water, so keep the commode lid closed.

Chinchilla VS Ferret Grooming


  • Brush their coats regularly, especially when they shed. Any hair that lands in their cage are an opportunity for them to eat it. Ferrets will not tolerate staying still long enough.
  • Ferrets easily develop waxy ears, therefore, keep them clean regularly to prevent infections.
  • Brush their teeth at least once a week as a preventative measure, since these creatures like biting and chewing


Regular dust baths, several times a week, will keep a Chin maintenance-free. Their luxurious, soft hair doesn’t need trimming. But, if they happen to get food in their hair, gently remove it out.

Some chinchillas develop malocclusion and overgrown teeth problems at some point in their lives. Provide regular oral exams for them.

A majority of chins never develop ear problems, even though their ears are long and big.

Chinchillas have tiny nails on their paws, but Chins don’t need them trimmed.

Chinchilla and Ferret Characterizations

Chinchillas will eventually warm up to the owners, after lots of treats. Since they are naturally nocturnal, they enjoy being more active at night or early dawn. Bribe them with lots of treats, first feeding them through their cage, then patiently graduate to placing treats around you. Chinchillas will not automatically climb all over an owner’s body because these cute and cuddly animals are not trusting humans.

Ferrets are very lively and affectionate, plus they develop a real bond with their owners. Ferrets are far more friendly and cuddly than cats or dogs. They can even be trained to wear a collar for short strolls down the street, plus they are so social, that they will like your family and friends also.

Chinchilla VS Ferret Dietary Needs

Chinchillas are vegetarians, and in the wild, they eat roots, grass, plants, fruits, etc. As a domesticated animal, their diet must be

  • low on fats
  • rich in fiber
  • low in sugar
  • low in protein
  • rich in vitamins and minerals

The Chinchillas’ digestive tract is very sensitive. Thus their nutritional needs are vital. There are enriched Chinchilla pellet type food products that fit their dietary requirements precisely. They love treats that can consist of raisin or sunflower seeds, but never feed them together, and in quantities of 2 to 3 raisins or 4 to 5 sunflower seeds.

Ferrets are natural carnivores. To remain healthy, they must have meat in their daily diet. An improved diet for a ferret must contain the following:

  • high in foods that help to boost their energy level
  • high in protein
  • low in fiber
  • lots of clean water

Ferret’s digestive system is very slow. They don’t need any snacks, because they are probably still digesting a previously fed meal. It is a good idea for a pet owner to discuss the best foods for a Ferret pet with pet store managers and veterinarians.

Chinchilla vs Ferret Infographic
Chinchilla vs Ferret Infographic


Both a chinchilla and a ferret would make a great pet, but potential pet owners need to do their research to find out their likes and dislikes to keep them happy and healthy. In summary, both animal companions need a multi-storied cage with lots of toys. However, a chinchilla could just as easily stay in their cage and play, while ferrets would love to leave their enclosure and play with their owners all day.

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Last Updated on December 30, 2022

About Leanne

Leanne is a writer with an intense love for animals. She’s always had this drive to work with them in some way, but unfortunately her passion doesn’t lie in the sciences. So now she spends her days researching and writing about all sorts of animals while playing with her naughty ferret, Rosa. Leanne will hopefully be adding to her family soon – maybe another cat and dog!