How Can I Make a Better Habitat for a Chipmunk?

Pet chipmunks need a habitat with adequate space. A sizeable outdoor run, an adapted room or an aviary-like enclosure is the starting point for making a better chipmunk habitat. If you keep your chipmunk in a rat or ferret cage, your priority should be to build or buy a much bigger enclosure. After that, there are several ways to enrich the habitat and give your pet a better quality of life. Regularly varying the accessories prevents your chipmunk becoming bored and frustrated.

Fill one or more cat litter trays with peat moss and add it to the enclosure. Chipmunks are ground squirrels that like to dig and to bury food.

Place large, non-toxic branches such as fruit tree branches in the enclosure for your chipmunk to climb up and gnaw on.

Add large cardboard tubes and boxes. These are safe for chipmunks to chew and provide places for them to explore. Simply replace worn items with new ones when you clean the enclosure.

Place a large, irregularly shaped rock at one end of the enclosure for the chipmunk to climb on.

Fix a squirrel wheel a few feet up one side of the cage that can spin freely. But, ensure that the chipmunk can easily access it by climbing up a tree branch or rock.


Toys for pet ferrets and rats are also suitable for chipmunks.


Watch out for your chipmunk displaying repetitive behaviour, such as constantly running backwards and forwards along the same route. This is a sign your pet does not have nearly enough stimulation. Provide a larger cage, more accessories or allow the chipmunk out for longer each day. Don't use branches from trees that have been treated with pesticides.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss
  • Cat litter tray
  • Fruit tree branches
  • Cardboard boxes and tubes
  • Rock
  • Squirrel wheel
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About the Author

Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.