sugar glider vs chinchilla
sugar glider vs chinchilla

Sugar glider vs chinchilla, what is the difference between them?

Sugar gliders and chinchillas are both small, exotic pets that have become increasingly popular in recent years. But what exactly is the difference between these two furry little creatures? Let’s take a closer look.

sugar glider vs chinchilla
sugar glider vs chinchilla

Sugar Gliders vs Chinchillas: Size and Appearance

One of the most apparent differences between sugar gliders and chinchillas is their size. Sugar gliders are much smaller than chinchillas, with an average adult weight of only 4-5 ounces. Chinchillas, on the other hand, can weigh up to 2 pounds. Sugar gliders also have much larger eyes relative to their body size, which gives them a cute “teddy bear” appearance. Chinchillas have more prominent ears and a fluffy tails. 

Sugar Gliders vs Chinchillas: Habitat and Diet

Another critical difference between these two pets is their natural habitat and diet. Sugar gliders are native to Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea, where they live in trees and eat a diet of insects, nectar, and fruit. Chinchillas are native to South America and live in rocky areas near cliffs or mountains. Their diet consists mainly of hay, vegetables, and a small number of pellets. 

Sugar Gliders vs Chinchillas: Exercise Requirements

Another big difference between these two pets is their exercise requirements. Sugar gliders are very active and need a large cage with plenty of toys to keep them entertained. They also love to play outside their cage and should have at least two hours of supervised playtime daily. Chinchillas are not as active as sugar gliders and only need a small cage with a few toys. They also don’t require as much playtime outside their cage; 30 minutes per day is sufficient. 

Personality Differences

Regarding personality, sugar gliders are much more social creatures than chinchillas. They love to play and be around people and do best when kept in pairs or small groups (no more than 4). Chinchillas are solitary animals by nature and do not like to be held or cuddled. They are also very active creatures who need plenty of space to run around and play. 

Sugar Gliders vs Chinchillas: Cost

The cost of owning a sugar glider or chinchilla can also be essential. Sugar gliders typically cost less than chinchillas, with an initial investment of around $100-$200 for the animal itself. Chinchillas usually cost $250-$500 upfront. However, because they have a longer lifespan, the overall cost of owning a chinchilla may be less than that of owning a sugar glider over the long term. 

Sugar Gliders vs Chinchillas: Lifespan

The final key difference between sugar gliders and chinchillas is lifespan. Sugar gliders have a 10-12 years lifespan, while chinchillas can live up to 20 years. A chinchilla may be the better choice if you’re looking for a long-term commitment. 

Can sugar gliders live with chinchillas?

Yes, sugar gliders and chinchillas can typically live together harmoniously. However, it’s important to note that both species require a different diet and housing set-up, so it’s crucial to do your research before introducing them.

Sugar gliders are omnivorous animals and need a diet high in protein and low in carbs. On the other hand, Chinchillas are herbivores and require mostly hay and fresh vegetables in their diet. As for housing, sugar gliders need a lot of branches to climb on, while chinchillas need a lot of room to run around. So if you’re considering introducing a sugar glider and chinchilla into the same home, it’s probably best to have two separate cages. 

Chinchilla meets sugar glider


So there you have it—comparing two popular exotic pets, sugar gliders and chinchillas. While they may look similar at first glance, these two animals significantly differ in size, appearance, habitat, diet, and personality. So which one is right for you? That ultimately depends on your personal preferences as a pet owner.