How to Potty-Train a Chinchilla

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If you have a chinchilla, you might be happy to know that chinchilla potty training is possible. Be patient, pay attention to where she likes to go, and set up a litter box in a place where she likes it. Chinchillas are herbivores, and food constantly moves through their digestive tract. This causes them to poop hundreds of times a day in their chinchilla cage.

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Chinchilla potty training is possible.
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Start chinchilla potty training early

Similar to other types of training, chinchilla potty training is most effective if you start it when your chinchilla is young. However, he should be used to his chinchilla cage before you start training. The best time to start is when a chinchilla is about 6 months old and has control of the bladder.

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Give him a couple of weeks to settle into his cage before you start training. If your chinchilla is older, that doesn't mean you shouldn't try to potty train him. It just means it might be more difficult, or it may take longer to train him. Keep in mind that you can't train them to poop in one spot. The good news is their poop doesn't have a detectable odor. Their pee does have an odor, and that's why chinchilla potty training is useful.

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Using a chinchilla litter box

The chinchilla potty training process isn't about you telling your chinchilla where to go to the bathroom. It's more about encouraging her to be consistent about where she goes. You may have to pick up on some cues from her.

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Cover the entire bottom of the cage with the bedding you plan to use in the litter box, such as bedding made of hemp, fleece, or recycled paper. Don't clean the cage for about a week. You may prefer to clean it more frequently than that but bear with it for a little longer. The smell of her pee will encourage her to go in the same spot. Pay attention to the spots where she chooses to pee.

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After a couple of weeks, your chinchilla may have picked a few favorite spots in which to pee. Some chinchillas won't have any favorite spots yet, as each chinchilla will adapt at her own pace. Either way, only remove the bedding where your chinchilla hasn't peed. If she hasn't picked any favorite spots, leave quite a bit of bedding in the chinchilla cage. Keep this up and your chinchilla may eventually narrow it down to one or two spots, and it might stay that way.

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Chinchilla litter box placement

Put your chinchilla litter box filled with bedding in the spots where she has peed most often. By now, she may associate where she pees with the bedding. Continue with this process. In a few months, she may develop the same association with her litter box. It's important that you don't move the litter box around in the cage, at least until you're sure your chinchilla is fully potty trained.

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Use positive reinforcement

The chinchilla potty training process isn't going to happen quickly. It could take many months before your chinchilla is fully potty trained. For some, it may never happen. You can increase the chances of success by providing your chinchilla with treats to reinforce good behavior.

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Positive reinforcement is a strategy that's used to train many animals, including humans. If you give your chinchilla treats or toys every time she does something that you want her to do, she's more likely to continue doing it. Over time, you'll be teaching your chinchilla to feel good about using the bathroom in the same spot every time. With patience and a bit of luck, you may have a potty-trained chinchilla in the future.

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