Brown Velvet Chinchilla

Scientific NameChinchilla lanigera
Common NameBrown Velvet Chinchilla
Care LevelIntermediate
Lifespan10-20 years
Adult Size10-14 inches in length
OriginDescendant of wild chinchillas; product of selective breeding
TemperamentSocial, Playful, Curious

About the Brown Velvet Chinchilla

The Brown Velvet Chinchilla, distinguished by its velvety brown fur and endearing characteristics, stands as a majestic variety of the classic chinchilla. This particular variant, with its enticing color and amiable nature, has become a beloved pet in numerous households and is a favored choice in chinchilla shows.

History & Domestication

Tracing back to the Andean mountainous regions of South America, chinchillas were originally accustomed to chilly, elevated habitats. Their dense fur served as a protection against cold, making them ideally suited for such environments. As chinchillas gained popularity, domestication became inevitable, and later, targeted breeding practices emerged.

The Brown Velvet Chinchilla is a result of such specific breeding efforts. By focusing on and nurturing the brown color genes within chinchillas, breeders were able to develop the exquisite brown velvet hue that differentiates this variant from others.


An average Brown Velvet Chinchilla grows to about 10 to 14 inches in length, excluding their fluffy tail, which contributes an additional 3 to 5 inches. This tail not only accentuates their beauty but also aids in maintaining their balance.


With attentive care, Brown Velvet Chinchillas can live a fulfilling life spanning from 10 to 20 years. Their resilience, paired with a nurturing environment, allows for a longevity that is both impressive and heartwarming for their caregivers.


Breeding Brown Velvet Chinchillas involves an intricate knowledge of chinchilla genetics. As the brown hue is a product of specific genetic combinations, breeders typically mate two Brown Velvet Chinchillas to attain this color in the progeny. Beyond color, reputable breeders also emphasize health, temperament, and overall vitality.

Unique Features

The hallmark feature of the Brown Velvet Chinchilla is its plush, brown fur that glistens with a velvety sheen. Unlike other chinchilla mutations that might display varied colors or patterns, the Brown Velvet variant has an even, consistently rich brown coat, making it a standout.

Behavior and Temperament

Being descendants of the same chinchilla lineage, Brown Velvets exhibit behaviors akin to their relatives: they are curious, playful, and energetic. Their active nature becomes particularly noticeable during the twilight hours. These chinchillas, being inherently social creatures, often thrive in the company of their peers, although care must be taken during introductions.


Though lively, Brown Velvet Chinchillas are inherently gentle. Consistent, calm interactions can facilitate a bond of trust between the chinchilla and its handler. They might even seek out attention when comfortable. It’s essential always to handle them gently and avoid sudden movements, ensuring their safety and comfort.

Grooming Needs

Their thick coat requires meticulous care to maintain its lustrous appearance. Offering dust baths several times a week, using special chinchilla dust, is imperative. These baths help remove excess oil and dirt, keeping their fur vibrant. Water baths are not advised, as they can lead to fungal infections due to moisture retention.

Diet & Nutrition

A staple in the diet of Brown Velvet Chinchillas is high-quality hay. Complementing this with chinchilla pellets ensures they receive essential nutrients. While they have an affinity for treats, moderation is key to avoid dietary imbalances and potential weight gain.


An environment ranging between 60°F to 70°F is optimal for chinchillas, inclusive of the Brown Velvet variety. Given their thick fur, they are susceptible to overheating. Therefore, during warmer seasons, it becomes crucial to ensure they remain cool.

Common Health Issues

Dental problems, respiratory ailments, and digestive disturbances are among the health issues that can afflict Brown Velvet Chinchillas. Their dense fur can sometimes trap moisture, leading to potential skin infections. Routine health check-ups and vigilant monitoring can help in early diagnosis and treatment.

Habitat Requirements

A spacious, stimulating, and secure habitat forms the cornerstone of a chinchilla’s well-being. Multi-leveled cages equipped with wooden platforms, hideaways, and climbing structures can provide an enriching environment. Materials like plastic are best avoided, as chinchillas might ingest them, leading to health complications.

Cost of Care

Investing in a Brown Velvet Chinchilla involves initial costs like purchasing the chinchilla itself, setting up its habitat, and procuring basic necessities. Monthly expenses will cover food, grooming essentials, and occasional veterinarian consultations. Anticipating unforeseen health concerns and budgeting for them ensures that the chinchilla’s health remains uncompromised.

Brown Velvet Chinchilla FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)