Are Chinchillas Good with Cats?[Critical Things to Know]

If you already own a cat or a chinchilla and are considering getting the other pet in the near future, it’s natural to wonder how this may play out for you.

It’s completely understandable for you to inquire if your chinchilla and cat can co-exist and what kind of behaviors each of these pets are likely to display when they around each other.

Luckily, that’s what this entire post is designed to teach you.

More specifically, are chinchillas good with cats?

After owning a chinchilla for several years now and understanding their personality characteristics, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, are chinchillas good with cats? No, chinchillas are not good with cats. Cats are considered a predator, and chinchillas are considered prey. Chinchillas are rodents, and cats are mammals. A cat with a personality that instinctively enjoys hunting can end up causing harm to your chinchilla.

But hold on my friends.

That answer above only helps about 75% of you reading. The answer does have caveats, and it is 100% possible for a chinchilla and cat to co-exist.

While the friendship may never flourish, it’s still possible.

If you continue to read on, the rest of this post will enlighten you on what you need to know on the topic of chinchillas and cats co-existing and what dangers or perks it can present.

In fact, I’ve created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to quickly jump to any specific section or area of this post that you desire or prefer to learn more about.


Here is what I intend on discussing in this quick 3-minute post:

Like I said before, if you are in a hurry or only need limited information from this post, feel free to navigate around using the links above.

On the other hand, if you have those 3-minutes to spare, stick around, and learn everything you need to know about introducing a chinchilla to a cat and vice versa.

Here are the pertinent details to understand.

Are Chinchillas Good with Cats?

Alright, let’s get down and busy with the question of the day and cover it in a more comprehensive manner.

First and foremost, a chinchilla getting along with a cat and a chinchilla and cat co-existing are two completely different things with different answers.

It’s not likely that a chinchilla and cat will ever become bonded friends or companions.

At least, I haven’t heard of it happening in this fashion often, if ever.

Part of this is strictly because they are two completely different species with brains programmed to act in opposite fashions.

Chinchillas are naturally known to hide and be more reserved.

Even as a domesticated pet.

This doesn’t mean that a chinchilla acts in this fashion with their owners once they have established trust.

However, in general, a chinchilla will utilize a nest box often and find comfort inside of these accessories inside of their cage.

A cat, on the other hand, is the complete opposite.

Cats have the natural ability and desire to hunt rodents.

Which in case you didn’t know, a chinchilla is considered a rodent.

Let’s briefly dive into the difference in the personality traits of a cat and a chinchilla to gain a better understanding of what I am referring to.

Chinchillas Vs. Cats and Personality Characteristics

So, if you are going to own both a chinchilla and a cat as a pet, let’s cover what these animals have in common and what drastic personality differences they possess.

Let’s first start with the chinchilla and breakdown 5 key traits to understand.

Chinchilla Personality Traits

Now, let’s do the opposite and break down 5 critical behavior factors to understand about the cat.

  • Naturally Hunts Rodents
  • Not Timid or Shy
  • Considered a Mammal and Predator
  • Not Easily Stressed
  • More Sporadic Behavior

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, I’m sure you are starting to realize some of the challenges you may face attempting to allow your chinchilla and cat to hang out in the same room or co-exist.

Again, the above characteristics are simply for painting the picture.

Cats and chinchillas can still co-exist, and I will explain how further down into this post.

Do Chinchillas Get Along with Cats?

This is more of the same question, just phrased slightly differently.

Chinchillas may get along with cats or be comfortable in the same room as a cat depending on the cat’s demeanor and personality. Even though a cat and chinchilla can get along, it does not mean that they should ever be left unattended or unsupervised to interact with each other un-attended.

That’s the easiest way to explain that question.

You will be more comfortable with that answer after reading the remainder of this post.

However, I’m trying to be 100% clear that it is possible for a cat and chinchilla to get along in a fashion that’s simply “leaving each other alone”.

You won’t see a chinchilla cuddling up in your cat’s lap, but you also shouldn’t have to deal with your chinchilla attempting to bite your cat and vice versa as long as the personalities mesh.

Chinchillas are friendly pets but this is still difficult to find a perfect harmony with these two pets.

Can Chinchillas and Cats Live Together?

Yes, chinchillas and cats can live together. If you introduce a chinchilla and cat to each other slowly to allow them to adjust to the environment, smells, and behaviors, a cat and chinchilla can live together. If a cat and chinchilla live together, supervision is still recommended when both animals are out and active in the same room.

Nonetheless, it’s entirely possible to accomplish this.

With supervision and some patience, you can own both of these animals.

Especially if you a calm demeanor cat and a naturally social chinchilla.

If you plan to do this, be sure to read one of the last sections of this post a bit further down about the importance of monitoring these two pets during specific interactions that they may have with each other.

Will Cats Attack Chinchillas

This is a fantastic question to ask.

As chinchilla owners, we wouldn’t be providing nearly the best care possible if we aren’t careful to research these types of questions before disaster potentially strikes.

So, will cats attack chinchillas?

Yes, a cat could and would attack a chinchilla. If your cat has an active personality opposed to a calm temperament and is not introduced slowly to a chinchilla, then the cat will attack a chinchilla. A cat left unsupervised may enter it’s hunting state of mind at any time, causing the attack on your chinchilla.

Monitor Everything to Successfully Allow Chinchillas and Cats to Co-Exist

Okay, as promised, we need to cover some essential tips you need to follow if you plan on letting your cat and chinchilla co-exist with each other.

First and foremost, understand that the monitoring and babysitting of these two animal interactions begin on day 1.

The first few days are also going to be most informative and telling for you as the owner.

The same happened to me when I was bonding or allowing my dogs and chinchilla to co-exist.

Start with slowly allowing your cat near your chinchilla cage WITH supervision.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that a cage is separating these two pets.

Your cat is still a hunter and will terrorize or attempt to threaten your chinchilla and flex their hunting muscles at your chinchilla.

This may include hissing or pawing/clawing at the cage, which can still cause a great deal of stress for your chinchilla.

I also highly recommend ensuring that you have a good nest box inside of the chinchilla cage.

It’s a must-have accessory and what your chinchilla will use to run away and feel safe inside of their cage.

Without a nest box, your chinchilla may become even more stressed and feel as if they have no escape, which can cause panic, fur slips, and even overheating, which can ultimately be fatal.

Now, let’s assume that the cage introduction goes well.

I would classify this process going well if your chinchilla is not pacing, overheating, or going crazy.

Hopefully, your cat is simply not interested in your chinchilla and understands it’s just another animal under the same roof.

If this is the case, you have the green light to move onto phase 2.

Phase 2 allows you to have your chinchilla out of the cage in the same room as your cat.

You still don’t need to be placing them right in each other’s faces.

Simply interact with your chinchilla in the room so that the cat can begin to understand that your chinchilla is your pet and a member of the family.

After enough times of doing this, you should clearly understand if this is pushing your cat’s limits or if your cat seems like they are chomping at the bit for an opportunity to attack your chinchilla the first chance they get.

After enough times of doing things in this fashion, simply allow them out together and see how it goes but you absolutely need to always be in the room with them.

You would be surprised how much behavior changes when an animal can sense that the supervision is no longer present.

Remain in the room and never leave these two animals unattended.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, cats and chinchilla can indeed co-exist, and thousands of people have done it or do it without issue.

Just always keep in mind, this doesn’t mean they will be friends or be allowed to interact with each other without supervision.

It’s simply not a good idea and should never be attempted.

I wish you the best of luck with your chinchilla or your new cat!

Chinchillas make for fantastic pets.

They are easy to care for and a beautiful animal.

However, cats are also great pets and no one should be forced to choose between the two.

Share Your Thoughts on Cats and Chinchillas Co-Existing

Who here have both animals living together without issues?

Does anyone have any further information they can provide the readers to help them with the process?

Be sure to share your thoughts, concerns, and stories by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading.

Thanks again, and we will see you next time.

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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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