Let’s get this out of the way immediately.
Chinchillas are the cutest animal on earth and that’s that!
But there are some animals that look like chinchillas.
They come close in terms of cuteness.
How about in terms of softness? Or their suitability as pets?
Not even close! At least not in my (admittedly biased) opinion.
But we all know that tastes differ, so perhaps you might prefer one of the 18 adorable species below. At the very least, you’ll see some more insanely cute little animals!
- 1 Animals That Look Like Chinchillas
- 1.1 Viscacha
- 1.2 Degu
- 1.3 Agouti
- 1.4 Chinchilla Rabbit
- 1.5 Mountain Cottontail Rabbit
- 1.6 California Ground Squirrel (Beechey Ground Squirrel)
- 1.7 Eurasian Red Squirrel
- 1.8 American Red Squirrel
- 1.9 Chipmunk
- 1.10 Prairie Dog
- 1.11 Rock Hyrax (Rock Rabbit/Dassie/Coney/Cape Hyrax)
- 1.12 Pika
- 1.13 Rex Guinea Pig
- 1.14 Gerbil
- 1.15 Sugar Glider
- 1.16 Rufous Bettong
- 1.17 Gophers
- 1.18 Wombats
- 1.19 Other Similar Pets
- 2 Chinchilla-Like Animals: Final Thoughts
Animals That Look Like Chinchillas
The following 18 animals all loos similar to a chinchilla. In some cases, the resemblance is extreme, in others few people would mistake one for the other.
It is not too surprising that viscachas and chinchillas look strikingly similar. After all, they both belong to the Chinchillidae family. In fact, the viscacha is the closest of all chinchilla relatives.
Both animals have thick, furry tails and are native to parts of South America. Both creatures have adapted to this rocky terrain and arid climate.
The main differences between viscachas and chinchillas are that the viscacha’s tail is more extended and furrier. Their ears are also larger than a chinchilla’s.
Viscachas are also larger and heavier than chinchillas. They measure around 12 to 18 inches long and weigh 2.2 to 6.6 pounds (1000 to 3000 grams). Chinchillas are 8 to 10 inches long and weigh up to 0.88 pounds (400 grams).
Degus and chinchillas also have several visual similarities. Both are small, furry rodents. Degus are native to the grasslands of central Chile.
Degus measure about 10 to 12 inches in length and weigh between 0.44 and 0.88 pounds (200 and 400) grams, whereas chinchillas are, as mentioned, 8 to 10 inches long. They weigh around the same as the average degu.
Both animals have fur. Degus have brown, gray, or tan-colored, coarse-textured fur, while chins have bluish-gray, soft, and dense fur.
Chinchillas have bushier tails, while degus have long, thin tails. Ears in both animals are slightly different in that chinchillas have round ears close to their heads, whereas degus have pointed ears set away from the head.
Agoutis (Dasyprocta) are medium-sized rodents measuring around 18 to 25 inches in length. They have longer tails than chinchillas. Like chinchillas, they are native to parts of Central and South America.
Agoutis have a reddish-brown, coarse coat and slender bodies. They are diurnal creatures that mainly eat vegetation, grass, nuts, and seeds. Like chinchillas, these rodents play a crucial role in seed dispersal in their ecosystems.
Although this species is named chinchilla rabbit, they are not related to chinchillas and cannot be bred with chinchillas. Rabbits are lagomorphs, while chinchillas are rodents. Chinchilla rabbits are named so because their coat greatly resembles the chinchilla’s coat.
Chinchilla rabbits were first bred to standard in France and brought to the United States in 1919. The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes three chinchilla rabbit breeds: standard, American, and giant chinchilla rabbit.
Chinchilla rabbits have medium, compact builds and weigh anywhere between 9 and 12 pounds (more than 4000 grams).
Mountain Cottontail Rabbit
The mountain cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus nuttallii) could be mistaken for a chinchilla due to its furry coat, which comes more or less in the same colors as chinchilla colors: brown, tan, and gray. It helps the animal blend into its surroundings.
They are medium-sized rabbits, measuring around 14 to 17 inches in length and weighing about 2 to 2.2 pounds (900 to 1000 grams).
Rabbits have a lot in common with chinchillas. Like chinchillas, they are known for their strong jumping ability and agility. They also have a similar diet of grasses, herbs, and woody plants, but chinchillas should not eat rabbit food. Chinchillas and rabbits should not share a cage, either.
California Ground Squirrel (Beechey Ground Squirrel)
California ground squirrels are quite similar to chinchillas. This species is primarily found on the North American continent. They measure around 12 inches in length and weigh between 0.44 and 1.54 pounds (200 to 700 grams).
The coat of the California ground squirrel is similar to that of the long-tailed chinchilla. Like chinchillas, they live in rocky areas in burrows and tunnels.
Eurasian Red Squirrel
Eurasian red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) are tree-dwelling rodents. They are mainly found in Europe and Asia.
Eurasian red squirrels have a reddish coat but are similar to chinchillas in many ways. Both animals weigh around 0.66 to 0.88 pounds (300 to 400 grams) and measure around 7 to 9 inches.
Both also have bushy tails, which keep them warm during sleep. Like chinchillas, Eurasian red squirrels are agile climbers and can easily escape their predators by running away.
American Red Squirrel
The American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus Hudsonicus) is also a tree-dwelling squirrel that could be confused for a chinchilla. Both animals forage for nuts, seeds, tree bark, etc.
American red squirrels are similar in size to chinchillas. Their head-and-body measurements are around 9 to 11 inches, and they weigh around 0.66 pounds (300 grams). Like chinchillas, they eat a variety of nuts, fruits, tree bark, and seeds.
Chipmunks are small, lively rodents belonging to the squirrel family Sciuridae. They have an average length of 5 to 6 inches and weigh around 1 to 5 ounces (28 to 140 grams). Thus, they are a lot smaller than chinchillas.
While their fur is soft and dense (just like chinchilla fur), and comes in similar colors such as brown, gray, and reddish tones, they also have stripes or patches.
Also, chipmunks are diurnal (unlike chinchillas, which are crepuscular). However, both species are highly active and constantly foraging for nuts, seeds, and berries.
Like chinchillas, chipmunks are skilled climbers and burrowers and are also known to create elaborate underground tunnels for nesting and food storage.
Prairie dogs are burrowing rodents primarily found in North America. They feed on grasses, seeds, and vegetation found in their habitats. Their stout, compact bodies are covered in tan or brown colored fur, not too different from chinchilla coloring.
Prairie dogs measure about 10 to 12 inches in length and weigh between 1,1 and 2.2 pounds (500 and 1500 grams).
Like chinchillas, prairie dogs live in colonies and communicate with each other using barks and calls. They are also capable of building a network of underground burrows and tunnels.
Rock Hyrax (Rock Rabbit/Dassie/Coney/Cape Hyrax)
Procavia capensis, or rock hyrax, are small furry mammals native to the Middle East and Africa. They resemble chinchillas slightly.
The major difference between the two animals is the presence of tusk-like incisors on rock hyraxes. This is because they are related to mammoths or elephants.
As their name suggests, rock hyraxes live in rocky formations and are excellent climbers, just like chinchillas. They have thick but coarse fur that can range in color from grayish-brown to reddish-brown, helping them camouflage in their rocky surroundings.
Pikas (Ochotona) are herbivorous mammals found in mountainous regions of North America, Asia, and Europe
The American Pika is closely related to rabbits and hares and looks similar to chinchillas due to its coloring. On average, it measures 6 to 9 inches and has short limbs and round ears.
Like chinchillas, pikas burrow tunnels underground to survive the cold and escape predators. They also emit high-pitched calls to alert their group members about intruders.
Rex Guinea Pig
The American Cavy Breeders Association recognizes over 12 guinea pig breeds. Of these, the Rex guinea pig looks similar to a chinchilla, thanks to its dense, soft, curly (or wavy) fur.
Also known as Cavia porcellus, the Rex guinea pig is a domestic variety of guinea pig measuring about 8 to 12 inches in length.
Rex guinea pigs make excellent pets, just like domesticated chinchillas, due to their docile temperaments. They eat an herbivorous diet consisting of hay, vegetables, and fruits.
We have an article comparing chinchillas and guinea pigs. They are fairly similar, but you can not house a guinea pig and a chinchilla together. And you should not feed a chinchilla guinea pig food.
Gerbils, or Gerbillinae, are small rodents that are commonly kept as pets. They measure between 4 and 6 inches long. Unlike chinchillas, they have slender bodies and long tails. Their soft fur comes in various colors, including white, gray, and black.
Gerbils also display a curious nature like chinchillas and are social animals that thrive in groups or pairs. Just like chinchillas, they are excellent burrowers and engage in digging. Gerbils are omnivores and eat seeds, grains, fruits, and insects. Our comparison of the gerbil vs chinchilla has more.
Sugar gliders, scientifically known as Petaurus breviceps, are small, nocturnal marsupials native to Australia, Indonesia, and New Guinea. They are a chinchilla-like animal with big eyes.
They measure about 5 to 7 inches long and have furry bodies. A unique feature of sugar gliders is the presence of a patagium membrane, which allows them to glide from tree to tree.
Like chinchillas, sugar gliders form social bonds and have family-like structures. They also have grayish-brown coloring similar to chinchillas. Sugar gliders are omnivores that eat insects, nectar, tree sap, etc. See our article comparing the chinchilla vs sugar glider for more.
Like sugar gliders, rufous bettongs are marsupials native to Australia. Their scientific name is Aepyprymnus rufescens.
Rufous bettongs measure between 14 and 19 inches long. They also have a long tail that adds another 4 to 5 inches to their total length. Thus, they are a lot bigger than chinchillas. They also exhibit a hopping gait.
However, much like chinchillas, they live in social groups and burrow tunnels for protection. Their fur bodies have similar coloring to chinchillas (brown, gray, or tan), which helps camouflage them in their woodland habitat.
Rufous bettongs are nocturnal animals. Their diet consists of fungi, seeds, and tubers.
Gophers come into this list of animals that look like chinchillas because of similar coloring: gray, tan, or brown. Their scientific name is Geomyidae. Gophers are found in North and Central America.
These herbivorous rodents also burrow, as chins do, and build a complex network of tunnels.
Gophers measure between 6 to 12 inches in length, excluding the tail. Like chinchillas, their fur is soft and fine. They mainly feed on vegetation, tubers, and plant roots.
The scientific name of wombats, another creature similar to chinchillas, is Vombatidae. Like sugar gliders and rufous bettongs, these marsupials are native to Australia.
Wombats are longer and heavier than chinchillas. They can measure almost 3 feet in length and around 80 pounds.
However, their furry bodies and coloring (sandy brown, dark brown, or black) are similar to chinchilla fur. These herbivores mainly eat grass, roots, and tree bark.
Other Similar Pets
In addition to the similar animals above, there are also a number of other animals that while different, are somewhat similar as pets. These include most common rodent pets, like rats, mice, hamsters, ferrets, rabbits, and more.
We won’t go into detail on any of these species here, but we have articles on this site covering many of them. Here are all of the articles currently on this site on pets that are similar to chinchillas.
- Do Hamsters And Chinchillas Get Along? (What You Need To Know)
- Do Ferrets And Chinchillas Get Along? (Be Careful!)
- Chinchilla Vs Ferret As Family Pets (Here’s Your Winner)
- Chinchilla Vs Hedgehog (Which Is the Better Pet For You?)
- Chinchilla Vs Rat (Which Is The Pet For You?)
- Chinchilla Vs Hamster (In-Depth Comparison)
Chinchilla-Like Animals: Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are no animals that look like chinchillas 100%. But the 18 above bear at least some resemblance. Some of them could, in fact, easily be mistaken for chinchillas. Others, probably not.
The one thing all of these animals have in common is that they are adorable. Not all are suitable as pets, but all will make you want one! Or maybe it’s just me…