Every Monday, our favorite veterinarian, Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald shares his expert tips and advice on house pets that may or may not be a good fit to your family.

This week, he introduces us to a couple chinchillas. Chinchillas are smaller than a house cat, with large dark eyes and velvety rounded ears and perhaps one of the most enchanting rodents around.

Chinchillas are clean, quiet and attractive rodents that don’t smell. They can live for 10-20 years, and they’ve been bred and farmed for their soft, dense fur. They’re quite shy and are more appropriate as pets for adults and older children.

Chinchillas have only been kept as pets since relatively recently, and experts are still learning about how best to care for them. There’s no single ‘perfect’ way to care for chinchillas, as long as you meet their needs.