Advice on playtime and room setup?

rocket29

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Hello,
I noticed on some chinchilla blogs, stories and videos the owners let their chinnies free in their room, hallway, or staircases for playtime. What really bewildered me is how, if they are, they are able to keep their chins away from unhealthy objects to chew on. Also, how do they clean the wood or carpet when their little guys decide it’s time to go potty?

Currently, I have my chinchillas in a small room with both of their cages against the wall. This leaves some room in the front. It took me months to chinchilla proof their room, and they’re still able to get into trouble! Am I giving them playtime properly? They run around in the same area with the same toys and objects. I understand this is boring for them, but the only thing I can think of to make it interesting (while being safe) is adding more toys. I’ve seen someone put a branch for their chinchilla to hop on, but I don’t trust the trees in my area for that.

Here are pictures of my current setup. Does anyone know of an affordable way I can make their room more interesting? Also how do people let their chinchillas loose in the house without losing control and having a wild chin on the loose?
Thanks
 

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Amethyst

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The cheapest way to make new interesting things for the chin to do during playtime is using cardboard boxes. You can make all kinds of tunnels and forts for the chins to explore. You can even hide bits of hay, treats, and/or chew sticks for them to hunt around and find inside. Since it's only for playtime, and playtime should always be supervised cardboard shouldn't be an issue. However if they do chew and swallow it it'll no longer be an option.
 

Chinmama

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I've only had a chinchilla pee on the floor maybe once, so that was never really an issue. But they were on vinyl floor, so I just wiped it up. A lot of people use the metal playpen gates (I think they are for dogs?) to contain their chinchillas during playtime. I'm sure you can do a search for playtime and come up with lots of pictures and ideas.
 

rocket29

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I’ve tried cardboard before, but one of my chinnies loves to chew and swallow. Since then I have rarely given them cardboard
 

tunes

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I’ve tried cardboard before, but one of my chinnies loves to chew and swallow. Since then I have rarely given them cardboard
That's what makes life worth living for chinchillas - destroying everything! Cardboard is a cheap and fun way for them to do that. :)
 

Rocknrolldoc

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I have one that swallows as well as destroys cardboard, and other toys such as lava blocks, blue cloud rocks and such. I just have to watch her and redirect her attention if I feel she has eaten enough cardboard. I also encourage her to drink water. Help to push that cardboard through the digestive tract! She understands because I tell her how good she is when she drinks her water so she will happily drink it to get praise. She is 15 years old now (but acts like she's 2!) so it might be that her digestion isn't as good as it once was? Maybe she has always swallowed instead of just destroyed but is more prone to tummy aches due to her age? Anyway, I wouldn't dare deprive her of playing with the toys that she loves so very much. I just watched her more carefully and try to offer her a stick or a massage when she's had enough cardboard for one evening.
 

Amethyst

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I use to give my chins cardboard in their cage, my guys only shredded the cardboard, never actually ate it that I could tell. However after reading about several cases of chins dying from a gut blockage from it I don't feel it's safe unsupervised or if you know they actually swallow it. When swallowed the cardboard can actually absorb water and swell up in the gut, which can make passing it impossible.
 

Dragonflye

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I use a metal playpen to block off my baseboards and areas they shouldn’t be. I definitely supervise playtime. Chins are awfully good at getting into trouble. The floor in the chin room is bamboo, so I can just wipe up pee. I can put boxes in the playpen for a few of my guys. I have a fleece nylon tube that they like to run through and wood houses.
 

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