One of the first things a potential Chinchilla owner must be aware of is that a Chinchilla has a life span of 8-10 years and in some cases over 15 years. You must ask yourself, "Do I want just a pet or would I like to be able to breed for quality and enter shows with the aim of winning awards?"

The mutation coloured Chinchillas are popular, but many believe the beauty of a high quality standard grey (the natural colour in the wild) cannot be surpassed. While the numerous colours now available are attractive to many new owners, if you wish to breed and show mutation chinchillas (as well as standard greys) you should still purchase top quality Standard grey animals to breed from.

Below: An excellent quality extra dark standard

The reason is that generally speaking, mutations tend to lack fur density and size. A good quality standard grey animal bred to a mutation should contribute some of its good qualities to the offspring. This greatly increases your chances of an award with a mutation chinchilla at a show. Note: chinchilla genetics can be complex, but a standard grey bred to a dominant mutation colour will produce a combination of greys and mutations. It should be noted that two chinchillas with a white gene (be they Wilson White, Pink White etc.) or alternatively two with the velvet gene (e.g. Black Velvet, Brown Velvet) should not be bred together. This is because there are believed to be lethal genes. If the offspring inherit a white gene from both parents or equally a velvet gene from both, then they will not develop normally in the womb and cannot survive, causing potential breeding/health issues for the mother.          


Knowing that you have bred an award winning Chinchilla (be it a standard grey or a mutation) will give you enormous satisfaction. Whether you are looking for a chinchilla to breed from or just to have one as a pet, you may be able to purchase a good quality Chinchilla from members of the N.C.S. for a similar price you would expect to pay for in a pet shop.

Most members will be able to give you a pedigree which will tell you about the animal's background and if its relatives or indeed the animal itself, has won awards at NCS shows.

As with all things, a pedigree or price is not necessarily a guarantee of quality, so be sure of your requirements and if necessary get a second opinion on the animal rather than purchasing the first one that becomes available.

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© National Chinchilla Society Website Manager - 2014