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An exotic animal that is gaining ground in the pet industry is the chinchilla. Chinchillas look like a cross between a rabbit and a grey squirrel. Chinchillas fur is incredibly soft and they do require a bit of special care because of it. Chinchillas originally came from the Andes Mountains in South America. They were introduced into North America for their fur to create blankets and clothing. Chinchillas are slowly becoming known as pets now. Make sure you learn about chinchilla care before you purchase one. Chinchillas are often very quiet animals that prefer to keep to themselves. They appreciate a large multilevel cage with many hiding areas so they can be shy when a stranger is around. Chinchillas can be taken outside of their cages for exercise but it is advisable to do it in a room where there are no electrical cords to chew on, and not a lot of furniture to get behind. Chinchillas are not readily litter box trained so also be very aware of that. Because they are not easily litter box trained some people prefer to confine them to linoleum floors when they let their chinchilla our to roam. You can provide your chinchilla the opportunity to do some grooming when you let them out of their cage. Unlike almost any other pet chinchillas should not get wet. When a chinchilla's coat gets wet your chinchilla can get skin problems because of it. Chinchillas fine coat actually needs a dust bath. Chinchilla Dust can be poured into a bowl for your chinchilla to roll around in. This can be done twice a week or so to help keep their coat clean. As far as food goes, there are a number of commercially produced chinchilla foods, and offering hay is also a good option. Recycled paper bedding is one of the best things you can use for bedding. Many pet stores will carry this bedding specifically because it is such a good option. Try to avoid pine and cedar shavings because they contain chemicals that may be harmful to your pet.