Chinchillas weigh between 1 and 2 pounds and measure roughly 9 to 15 inches long, not including the tail. Females are larger than males and are the dominant sex.
Chinchillas are native to the Andes Mountains of South America but are rare in the wild. They are bred in captivity for the pet trade and for their soft, dense fur. Pet chinchillas are curious and social and can live up to 20 years. They are too high-strung and fragile to be suitable pets for children. They also have sensitive digestive tracts that cannot tolerate fat, foods with high protein content, or fresh fruits and vegetables with a high moisture content.