Bedding - Litter
Whether you use a cage with a drop-in pan or a pull-out tray you will need to use some form of bedding. This will provide a substance to absorb urine. It is very important that you use chinchilla safe bedding.
Safe Beddings you can use are: Kiln Dried Pine shavings, Aspen or Carefresh.
Unsafe Beddings to avoid are: Cedar, mixed wood shavings, scented bedding, synthetic beddings, corn cob or cat litters.
I use KD (kiln dried) pine shavings for most of our cages. I have a couple of chins that are allergic to pine (it makes them sneeze) so we use aspen for them. I have also used Carefresh and feel it is a very good product, but it is costly. You can purchase pine shavings from feed stores by the bale, which is a large paper bag (about 30 lbs) which range in price from $4.50 - $6.75 depending on the time of year. It tends to cost more in the winter since it is used as bedding for farm animals and it is in high demand and there can be shortages. You can also purchase it from pet stores, but make sure it is kiln dried pine and there is no added scent. Kiln dried is when wood is dried by putting it in a kiln in which high heat dries it and kills any insects, eggs, mold and properly dries out sap. Wood that is air dried is just that, left to dry naturally, thus not properly making the wood safe for your chin who will chew on it. You can always tell when pine is kiln dried because the shavings should smell like fresh cut dried wood and not like pine scented.
You will find aspen shavings and shredded aspen in bags. I prefer to use the shredded aspen because it is finer and softer and we think the chins prefer it. I use Nepco Pure Shredded Aspen Bedding (blue label).
Carefresh is a recycled paper product. We recommend using only the original which is a grayish color. I don't like the white Carefresh because it has been bleached and the colored Carefresh is dyed. Colors are for the amusement of people not the chin. Your chin will eat and nibble on his bedding, especially when you've just cleaned. This is normal and ok.
Do not ever use scented bedding or bedding that has things added to it for a 'fresh' scent. These are harmful to your chin. Keeping your chins cage clean and changing the bedding on a regular basis of 1-2 times a week, will prevent odor.
Many people will use Blizzard or Anti-Pill Fleece fabric for their chins cages. This is nice for your chin and should be used to cover any plastic shelves in the cage. However, the fleece needs to be changed and washed at least twice a week, so you will want plenty of fleece on hand so when one is being washed, you will have clean fleece available to put in the cage. Do NOT use towels or any other fabric in your chins cage as your chin can chew it and he could choke on the strings. I have also heard of chins getting strings from towels caught around their toes, feet and leg. Use fleece fabric only in your chins cage.