Q: If you’re going on vacation, can you use the travel carrier as an actual cage? This would be for about a week or so.
A: Many of the small travel carriers are wonderful for short car trips, but they do not allow a chinchilla enough room to move about and exercise, which is necessary for longer trips. If you have the room it would be better to use a small cage, perhaps one that is 24 inches wide by 16 inches deep or 24 by 24 inches, for any long trip. Whether you use a carrier or a cage, be sure your chinchilla has continuous access to food, timothy hay and water during the trip.
Note that cloth or plastic fabric carriers are risky to use for a chinchilla, because a chinchilla can chew through them. This makes escape and injury a possibility.
One very important consideration on trips is control of temperature. Temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit can result in heat stroke, brain damage and/or death in chinchillas. Never place the cage in direct sun and don’t leave the chinchilla and cage in the vehicle in the sun with windows rolled up.
If reasonable precautions are taken, chinchillas are usually good travelers and return home with no ill effects.