Dear Chris: a Chinchilla is the next thing on my list of "100 things to do in life" under the category of "own a weird pet." By the end of this article, you should be fully educated of the sweet nature of Skittles (the new name of our future fluffy creature) and of their low maintenance so they can soon be a part of our family. The information below comes from wiki.
Background: South America in the Andes Mountains so we don't need to go there. They live in rock crevices. Behavior: sweet, cute, precious, oh yeah they can jump up to 6 ft.
Looks: Body: doesn't sweat, oh and when it gets overheated he will tell us bc his ears well get red. Oh and this is what they look like in cute Halloween costumes.
Upkeep: so apparently their teeth keep growing and growing and it can come to a point where these things can't eat. So you give it sticks to file them down. Don't want an angry chinchilla.
Baths: It takes dust baths. Yes weird, but the dust stuff is pumice and absorbs the oils and dirt. They can't take water baths bc their fur doesn't air dry and then their skin gets fungusy or their fur rots which is really gross. Your worries are also over bc their hair is hypo-allergenic and they don't have fleas bc their hair is so thick.
Eating patterns: Wiki says "Chinchillas eat and digest desert grasses and cannot efficiently process fatty foods, high protein foods, or too many green plants." They have a sensitive digestive tract but they love hay and we can't give him mixtures of food. No nuts, veggies, or fruit. Maybe dried stuff here or there
Defense Mechanism: Many things want to kill them in the wild, its two defense mechanisms: "spraying urine and releasing fur if bitten." So its saying they don't bit in defense like a cat or dog.
NO PIC NECESSARY
They usually live in groups or herds, but we'll just work on getting one then maybe we'll get him some friends :)
Chris, I hope you understand more about these cute loving creatures and hope it changes your mind about these little guys. Let me know what you think :)