Your chinchilla cage will need a water bottle and a food dish attached to the side of the cage. If you use a food bowl on the floor your chinchilla will use it as a bathroom. Glass water bottles are the best choice since chinchillas chew. If you can't find a glass bottle look for a metal guard that fits between the cage and the bottle. You can use pine shavings or fleece for the bottom of the chinchilla cage. Never use cedar wood of any kind in a chinchilla cage or carefresh because if ingested it could cause problems. Chinchillas have teeth that are constantly growing so you must provide something in the cage for chewing. We recommend wood toys. Parrot toys made from hanging wood are great and lots of fun for your chinchilla. You can also use Scoria Stores or lava stones made for small animals. Your new chinchilla will need a dust bath a few times a week. You can give it one daily if you like. Take a container that is large enough for your chinchilla to roll around in and fill it with about an inch of Chinchilla Dust. (This is a commercial product usually made of fullers earth. Do Not use regular sand). Place it in the cage for 15-20 minutes and let your chinchilla roll around in it. This removes his excess oils and keeps his fur looking thick and beautiful. Chinchillas do most of their sleeping during the day and prefer to have a house of some sort to sleep in. This can be a box made out of wood(not cedar or plastic). You can also use a Chin-Chiller (you can find it at petco and petsmart). Never use plastic in a chinchilla cage. Your chinchilla will most likely eat it and this can cause serious health problem.
Your Chinchilla will be happy and healthy if he is fed correctly. He should have access to pellets at all times. I use Mazuri Chinchilla pellets for all my chinchillas. Make sure that the pellets are fresh and that you keep them in an airtight container. As part of his daily diet he also requires hay (timothy or alfalfa). Chinchillas should not be given watery foods such as lettuce. This can cause serious diarrhea, which can be fatal. Chinchilla love treats, but remember that they are 'treats' and should not be given in excess. You can purchase various natural healthy treats for your Chinchilla. Some are in the form of dried grasses, often with Alfalfa, rosehips, dried papaya etc. Be careful if buying animal mixes that contain nuts and sunflower seeds. Your pet will readily eat and enjoy them, but caution must be exercised that he does not over indulge on treats that have a high fat content. Cereals that have no sugar content and are natural, such as cornflakes or cheerios, also help add variety and fiber to your pets diet. You could perhaps make up a rotation, allowing him one different treat every day. That way he will never know what is coming and will look forward to a nice treat each day.
A Chinchilla is very social and needs to interact with you every day but will be scared when you first bring him home. The first day leave him alone to get used to his new home. On the second day talk to him softly and place your arm inside the cage. Don't try to hold your new pet or take him out until he has begun to trust you. Use treats to get him to come to your hand. It may take a few days but with patience your chinchilla will soon be meeting you at the cage door. Once he has learned to trust you its OK to take him out to play. Remember your chinchilla will chew on anything so keep him away from electrical wires, plastics, and your favorite furniture. If you play with your chinchilla in the bathroom be sure to close the toilet. He can easily jump that high and many chinchillas have gotten a surprise swim that way!