My husband and I had been looking into adopting a Chinchilla for a while and fell in love with this little guy at a local pet shop. After much research on how to care for a Chinchilla, we decided it was something we could handle and took him home. He was almost a year old and very well socialized. Chinchillas require advanced care and I would not recommend to a beginner or someone that has not done proper research.
A Chinchilla is very active, full of energy and requires a lot of attention. I provided Burrito a very large cage (39-Inch long, 27-inch wide, 63-inch high) and plenty of toys. Chinchillas go through toys quickly and they love playing and destroying them, so expect to replace the toys often. Chinchillas also need time out of the cage to play. I have a safe room that I will put him in for an hour a night, so he can run and play. Chinchillas are escape artists, so watch out!
One thing to watch for is overheating. Chinchillas can overheat pretty easily, so I try to keep his area nice and cool. If I notice that his ears are turning red or he is laying down, I end his play time and put him back in his cage which has a marble slab that stays cool and he will lay on it.
Feeding Chinchillas is fairly simple and you can find lists of what they can and can't eat online. Always keep fresh pellets, hay, a mineral treat and water in the cage. Occasionally, I give him a raisin for a treat, but be careful not to give them treats too often.
Chinchillas are very social and intelligent creatures. Burrito knows his name and will come running to the edge of the cage to stare at us if we talk to him. He loves to be scratched under his chin and is incredibly soft. Chinchillas take dust baths and I provide Burrito one about once a week. Chinchillas can be a bit messy, but they like a clean cage.
My Chinchilla has never been sick, so I do not have any experience in that, but I do know that they will require a Veterinarian that has experience with Chinchillas.
In conclusion, Chinchillas are wonderful creatures. Just remember they are similar to children, they require a high amount of attention daily. If you think you have the time and money to care for one of these amazing creatures, one would make a wonderful addition to your family.