Are Chinchillas Affectionate?[7 Ways They Show Affection]

When you first purchase a chinchilla, you may be wondering, are chinchilla’s affectionate?

Maybe you haven’t even purchased a chinchilla yet, and you are curious about the bond and affection they may show as time passes.

This is normal and a question that comes up frequently about chinchillas.

Are chinchillas affectionate?

I’ve now been raising a chinchilla for 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Yes, chinchillas are affectionate. Chinchillas do not prefer to be overly handled or cuddled but chinchillas do show affection in various other ways. Chinchillas become especially affectionate and loving towards their owners.

Luckily, I intend on breaking down how chinchillas show affection and what to expect in-depth in this post here today.

Here’s what’s on our agenda for today’s post:

😕Adopting and caring for a new chinchilla can be intimidating and confusing. It does not have to be so do not let it be.

Be sure to check out my full digital eBook “Avoiding Critical Mistakes Ultimate Chinchilla Care eBook” to have the best advice, tips, and tricks and supply recommendations to make adopting and caring for a chinchilla much more comfortable and easier to understand.

You can learn more about this eBook offer using the link directly below.

Learn more here:👉 Avoiding Critical Mistakes Ultimate Chinchilla Care eBook Offer 

7 Ways Chinchillas Show Their Affection: How A Chinchilla Shows Affection

As stated in our direct answer above, it’s clear that a chinchilla has many ways to show affection.

They form strong bonds with their owners.

Chinchillas enjoy and need social interaction and grow to love and trust their owners and other members of the family.

Chinchillas need a time out of their cage daily to have social interaction and to remain happy and content.

I know some of you may already own a chinchilla and it’s been a few weeks.

Maybe you are confused as to why your chinchilla isn’t showing much affection yet.

This is a completely normal chinchilla behavior to display.

We briefly touched on the fact that chinchillas are in fact, very affectionate animals, and they do indeed crave the attention and love from their owners.

This is 100% true.

Chinchillas do, however, show their affection in different ways.

So, how do chinchillas show their affection?

In fact, I have compiled 7 unique ways that chinchillas will show their affection towards you.

If you notice your chinchilla doing any of these 7 things or showing these behaviors, it’s a sure-fire way to know your chinchilla is, in fact, warming up to you and loves you.

#1- Your Chinchilla Greets You When You Enter the Room at The Front of The Cage

When I first adopted my chinchilla, this was not the case.

In fact, she spent most of her time hiding in her hut hideout and avoiding me for the most part.

However, it didn’t take long for this behavior to change.

I continued to give her space and respect the vibes she was putting off.

After about 7-10 days she began warming up to me in a big way.

After those 7-10 days elapsed, she was greeting me front and center with her front paws on the cage bars acting as if she was 100% ready to play and interact.

Trust me, if you just adopted a chinchilla or are scared to do so, this day will happen much sooner than you think and it’s very cool when it does.

#2- Your Chinchilla Jumps and Climbs All Over You to Show Affection

Again, this didn’t happen immediately.

In fact, I was constrained on space in a house with an unfinished basement that was far too dangerous for my chinchilla to free roam when I first adopted her.

However, I went onto Amazon and purchased a Pop-Up Animal Tent (Link to Amazon).

I used this for playtime until I could cover more wires and protect her from further dangers.

I simply had not fully chinchilla proofed a room for her yet.

Now, keep in mind, we were both inside of this smaller space interacting with each other.

During the first few playtimes, she would do her thing, jump and climb around and poop about every 45 seconds or so.

In the beginning, my chinchilla was not acting overly affectionate towards me but this changed rather quickly.

My chinchilla started warming up to me in the second week after several interactions out of the cage together.

This is when my chinchilla really began showing that she’s affectionate and prefers to show it.

Once in my lap, she would almost purr like a cat and get relaxed and enjoy being pet.

This is also when it became easier to get her to enjoy being held.

Sometimes, the noises your chinchilla makes are a clear way to understand they are showing affection towards you.

Here’s a guide to understanding chinchilla noises in more depth.

She would also climb my arms and sit on my shoulders and on my head.

This is when being a chinchilla parent became very fun for me, and I could tell that she loved me and wanted to show affection towards me.

#3- Your Chinchilla Makes Squeaks and Noises Towards You but Remains Calm

This is honestly new to me.

My chinchilla just started doing this.

She has always made random noises from time to time but not as much during cuddle or scratch time.

Now when I pet her, she seems much more relaxed than she used to be during these playtime and cuddle sessions.

Now I get almost a subtle squeak and sound of happiness that she puts off when being scratched, pet, or just interacted with.

Again, these noises are clear signs of affection that my chinchilla is showing.

Affection displayed by chinchillas in the first few weeks is by no means reached it’s peak and will continue to grow and develop as time passes.

Chinchillas take a bit of time to adjust to their environments fully.

Although it’s quick, it’s still important to understand this is taking place.

You just need to understand that your chinchilla will be more cuddle friendly in the future.

Your chinchilla may be more open to being held in the future as well.

As time passes, chinchillas tend to be overall a more courteous and more friendly animal.

They just need to feel 100% comfortable with you as the owner and caretaker.

#4- Your Chinchilla Enjoys Being Pet and Scratched

Again, if you are catching onto our common theme by now, you will probably notice how all these affectionate behaviors begin to increase and show their faces with the more time that passes.

My chinchilla especially took some additional time to show this level of affection towards me.

Chinchillas naturally can be a bit “anti-touchy” when you first adopt them.

This doesn’t mean they don’t love you or want to show affection. It’s just how they are or can be in most circumstances.

That’s okay and nothing to worry about.

In fact, it’s 100% perfectly normal for this to be the case.

However, a few months in and she is much more loving and affectionate in this fashion.

She can sit on my lap, allow me to pet her for extended periods of time, and even encourages me to do so in some circumstances.

This is when it’s always important to just respect your chinchilla and their boundaries.

If they aren’t quite ready for this level of affection, don’t force it and just wait until it naturally becomes more enjoyable for you and your new furry friend.

Pushing this issue too much can cause problems such as fur slipping.

Your chinchilla may also become fearful and begin showing other odd behaviors like shaking or different audible noises your chinchilla may make.

No worries, in nearly all circumstances, your chinchilla will not bite you, and my chinchilla has never even shown any signs that she was considering biting me.

Chinchillas are extremely friendly pets and don’t’ want to harm anyone.

#5- Your Chinchilla Eagerly Exits Their Cage for Playtime

I love this, but sometimes it can catch you by surprise if you aren’t quite ready for it.

At one point in time, it took some effort to get my chinchilla to exit the cage for playtime.

It’s not that she wasn’t excited, but she was just more hesitant in the beginning to exit before she warmed up to me.

She absolutely loves it, and if it’s me opening the door, she’s ready to go just about any time of the day.

It’s a pretty cool feeling when the relationship hits this level.

#6- Your Chinchilla Nibbles or Attempts to Groom You

This is one of the behaviors my chinchilla started doing in the first three weeks or so.

This happened right about the same time she started climbing on my shoulders.

Long story short, she would jump on my shoulders and begin sniffing or nibbling around my hair and even my ear lobe.

It feels weird, and I’m not a fan, but you can tell with the very soft nibble nature that she was strictly trying to groom me and show me some love.

It’s not an aggressive act, and if it weren’t so weird, I’d venture to say it’s much like a dog licking their owner or showing love by giving kisses.

#7- Your Chinchilla Gets Comfortable, Relaxed and Almost Dozes Off with You

Keep in mind, all these recommendations aren’t guaranteed to take place with your specific chinchilla.

However, over time, your experience and behaviors you notice from your chinchilla will change.

My chinchilla isn’t quite the relaxing and napping type of chinchilla, but she seems to be getting there.

In recent times, I’ve been sitting on the couch in my basement as she runs around.

I’ve chinchilla proofed the entire basement.

No wires that she can chew are exposed.

I can basically kick back and get comfortable during playtime which is a dream come true.

However, instead of just roaming around, she loves to immediately come to the couch with me and get comfortable with me and allow me to pet her.

She enjoys it and will even close her eyes from time to time to allow me to continue scratching and petting her into a nice nap for a few minutes.

Like, I said, I don’t’ know if these same behaviors will happen for you, but with time, it should always get better, and the bond should continue to grow.

More Time With Your Chinchilla= More Affection

The number one thing I can recommend to all of you is to spend more time with your chinchilla.

Yes, other factors are significant such as having an adequately sized cage for your chinchilla.

Even keeping your room where you house your chinchilla at proper and ideal temperatures is absolutely critical.

However, these are essential care items that don’t ultimately build your bond and interaction time with your chinchilla.

It’s the time out of the cage.

It’s the time jumping on you and interacting that slowly makes your chinchilla much more comfortable with you which increases the activities, amount of handling, and options you have for playtime with your chinchilla.

It’s that simple.

Spend time with your chinchilla and get them out of the cage for at least a few minutes every day to experience the best bond possible.

Affection From A Chinchilla Is At Its Lowest In The Early Days

If you didn’t notice some of my examples I listed out before, it’s clear that chinchillas don’t act out these behaviors immediately and don’t show this level of affection right out the gates.

Always give your chinchilla time to adjust to their new homes and environments.

When I adopted my first chinchilla, my breeder specifically told me not to do anything with my chinchilla for the most part except feed her, change her bedding and provide her a safe room to sleep inside of her cage in.

She said for the first 10-14 days it’s crucial for your chinchilla to get comfortable.

Your chinchilla needs to learn the smells, sounds, and visuals around the new environment until they feel safer.

After this period begins winding down, you can expect a much more significant amount of affection displayed by your chinchilla.

Always remember never to push these loving and affectionate interactions with your chinchilla.

They will happen if you can remain patient.

Other Tips to Getting More Affection From Your Chinchilla

These are just a few additional tips I can give you to help increase the bond with your chinchilla which in return, will increase the amount of affection your chinchilla displays.

First, as I stated previously to ensure you spend at least a little time with your chinchilla every day.

If this is early in the morning, that’s perfect.

If it’s before bed, that’s fantastic.

It doesn’t matter, and your chinchilla won’t really care for the most part.

It’s the time and effort that counts.

Additionally, try and get down on your chinchillas’ level, such as sitting on the floor.

You must remember that your chinchilla was preyed upon in the wild and it’s likely that your chinchilla feels more comfortable when you are not towering over them.

In fact, chinchillas are brilliant animals, and they are also speedy.

Towering over them or forcing them to feel more intimidated is likely only going to cause you to be engaged in a hot game of “cat and mouse” trying to catch your chinchilla.

Good luck with doing this.

I still don’t have the answer to catching a chinchilla quickly when they are in the mode to run around and jump away from me.

If you do happen to figure out, be sure to share your methods by dropping a comment below.

A Few Caveats Your Chinchilla May Present Before Affection Arrives

Alright, it’s been all good news so far.

Now it’s time to present a few caveats about your chinchilla showing affection towards you.

First and foremost, don’t expect much early on and don’t expect anything until it happens.

Chinchillas can show affection in many ways, and it’s 100% possible that your chinchilla does 7 completely different behaviors than what I have laid for you today here in this post.

The point is that you should never feel like your chinchilla doesn’t love or appreciate you just because the affection isn’t being shown right out of the gates.

They may just show it differently.

I can assure you that if you are interacting and taking the time to play with your chinchilla that they surely love you, recognize you, and plan to show affection towards you.

Case closed, no arguments about it.

Chinchillas May Not Be Affectionate On Day 1 But Affection Definitely Increases

I know we have covered a lot of tips, and a lot of information about how affectionate you can really expect a chinchilla to be in the early days and the days following.

The main takeaway is to realize that chinchillas are in fact affectionate and you need to have patience until this comes to fruition.

I certainly wish you luck with your upcoming chinchilla adoption and promise you that chinchillas are 100% a worthwhile pet to own.

How Does Your Chinchilla Show Affection Towards You?

I would love all your feedback as well.

Does your chinchilla show affection in any different manners or ways than what I described to all of you above?

Be sure to share your stories and drop a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and we will see you again next time.


Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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