Chinchilla pee/bedding smells?


New member
Nov 3, 2018
I recently got two chinchillas, and this is my first time taking care of them. When I bought them, I received FreshNews recycled paper cat litter. It helped absorb the smell however I noticed the chinchillas eating the litter. I changed the litter to CareFresh the paper bedding but then the cage smell seemed much stronger. I'm not sure why, but I'm suspecting that it may be their pee. I'm not sure whether it's normal but I read online that their pee should be odorless but there's a strong odor smell coming from their cage. I just changed their cage yesterday but the odor is already strong. Please help! If I do use different bedding besides fleece, what should I put underneath? And would you think it's because of the bedding or their actual pee? Thank you!


Staff member
May 7, 2012
Paper bedding in general is not the best, CareFresh tends to stink unless you clean up pee spots daily, and can cause a blockage if swallowed. Safer options are kiln dried pine shavings or aspen shavings, pine is fairly good at masking odor with it's pine scent. Aspen doesn't have a scent but is pretty much dust free so it's less likely to cause or affect allergies if that is an issue for you. If you still need a little more odor control you can use a little bit of deodorizer like Sweet PDZ or Stall Dry under the wood shavings.

Their pee is not odorless, but their poop should be. Their pee smells like pee, some chins pee smells stronger then others and some simply pee more then others. The type of litter, as well as the depth of the litter and size of the cage also can contribute to how quickly it smells.


Sep 2, 2011
San Diego
I always used CareFresh (or the Walmart equivalent) and changed it once a week religiously. I noticed the white or colored CareFresh didn't seem to do as good a job at keeping the odor down as the original. My guys all had metal cages from Quality Cage. When I would change their litter, I would scoop it all out, vacuum up whatever dust was left, wipe the bottom of the metal pan with Simple Green (it's a non-toxic cleaning solution, usually available at Home Depot or Lowes) and let that dry, then put in new CareFresh. It usually took about four days before *I* could smell them again, but visitors to my house always claimed they never smelled my chinchillas even once (and I had four cages at one time). I definitely noticed the smell more in humid weather, so perhaps that's contributing to the issue, depending where you live.


Super Moderator
Jan 29, 2009
Greenville, SC
I tried Carefresh in the beginning and couldn’t tolerate it. I am very sensitive to smells and I could smell pee instantly. We switched to pine and/or aspen pellet litter and it is much better.