Sometimes our chinchillas make a sound or a noise that we do not understand and recognize.
Especially if we are new to owning a chinchilla and haven’t had as much time to get used to all of the body language and ways a chinchilla may communicate with us as the owners.
What do chinchilla sounds mean?
I’ve now owned a chinchilla for almost 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
Chinchilla sounds usually represent a feeling or mood your chinchilla is in. A chinchilla purring indicates your chinchilla is enjoying being handled while a chinchilla barking indicates fear, discomfort, and agitation. Other chinchilla sounds can hold several different meanings depending on your chinchilla’s personality.
- Understanding Chinchilla Sounds and What They Indicate
- The Specific Sounds A Chinchilla Will Make and What They Mean
- The More You Can Recognize Sounds with Your Chinchilla, The Better You Can Communicate
While the answer provided above may not explain every sound a chinchilla makes and what exactly it means, the rest of this brief 2-minute post will do just that for you.
Here are the details to understand and the meaning behind a majority of sounds you will likely hear at one point or another with your new chinchilla.
Understanding Chinchilla Sounds and What They Mean
As a new chinchilla owner, you are not expected to understand every sound a chinchilla makes nor what it may indicate.
This comes with time and patience.
Trust me, I had no clue in the beginning either what most of the sounds indicated but as time passed and the more I interacted with her, the easier it became to recognize what each chinchilla sound meant and what mood it typically indicated that she was in.
Chinchilla’s can have a wide variety of emotions and have plenty of sounds that can go with them.
I was shocked to begin witnessing this and took me some time to catch on.
The most significant piece of advice I can give you as a new chinchilla owner is that a chinchilla is typically trying to communicate something with you when they make a sound.
Sure, you have a sound from time to time that may mean nothing except they feel like sounding like a quacking duck.
However, most of the time, it is a message and the more you get your chinchilla out for playtime or interact with them in any fashion, the faster you can communicate with them clearly.
It is part of learning how to take care of a chinchilla in an ethical manner.
You cannot give them what they need or want or respect their message if you have no clue what it means.
With that being the case, I want to start diving into some of the specific sounds you can expect from your chinchilla but let’s first start by illustrating that sounds from your chinchilla ultimately indicate a mood or attitude they are trying to relay to you based on the situation.
Here is what I mean.
Certain Sounds Represent Certain Moods with Chinchillas
What I have come to realize in my time owning my 5-year-old female chinchilla since she was basically a kit is that certain sounds indicate certain moods or attitudes for the day.
It is rare that a chinchilla makes audible sounds for no reason at all.
With that being the case, it is extremely helpful to understand the sounds they are making so you can effectively adjust to the situation on the fly and respect the message that your chinchilla is trying to get across.
Here are some examples to give you a better idea of what I mean:
Anger and Fear
Chinchillas are a rodent that certainly gets spooked relatively easily and they will make a sound to inform you of this.
Most frequently, a chinchilla will bark when they are frightened but they may also make other sounds in these situations as well.
For me, barking or spraying urine are the only two behaviors I have ever seen from her when she is angry or fearful.
This will occur most frequently if you corner a chinchilla or they are in a new environment that they do not fully trust yet.
If this happens, be sure to respect what they are trying to tell you and give them some space.
Nest boxes can be your best friend in these situations and your chinchilla absolutely needs one inside of their cage.
Continue working on your bond and increasing the trust so that your chinchilla does not continue this fearful behavior.
I always recommended getting your chinchilla in and out of the cage more often if this is the case.
However, while they are out of the cage, you need to understand how to get them to enjoy being held.
It is also important that if you are doing this you fully chinchilla proof the room you are using.
Lastly, consider reading my post about using the playpen method to increase the bond even faster and remove the need for chinchilla proofing for the time being.
You can read that post about utilizing a playpen here.
Happiness is another mood or attitude your chinchilla may have for the given day.
Plenty of sounds may indicate your chinchilla is happy as well.
In fact, sounds and vocalizations from your chinchilla are one of the best ways to understand if your chinchilla is happy.
Here are some common sounds a chinchilla will make if they are happy:
- Teeth Grinding and Chattering
- A Gentle Squeak or Humming Noise
It should be noted, however, that teeth grinding may also indicate dental and teeth issues so be sure to understand the difference between the two.
Read my post here about a chinchilla’s teeth for a better understanding of what I am referring too.
Crying or Sadness
Yes, my friends and fellow chinchilla owners, it is 100% possible for your chinchilla to cry or feel sad.
They have emotions and feelings and are even capable of becoming depressed.
If this happens, it is advised to spend more time with your chinchilla in addition to making them a more luxurious space to live within.
This can be easily accomplished by purchasing one of the best chinchilla cages.
I have been recommending the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon) for a long time and it remains my #1 recommended cage for a chinchilla if this is something you need to cross off your to-do list for your chin.
When it comes to happiness and chinchillas, the primary ways to help increase their overall morale will come down to socialization time with you, a large enough and interactive cage, or perhaps even the need to adopt a second chinchilla.
Here are a few sounds that may indicate this with a chinchilla:
Illness, Death and More Serious Sounds a Chinchilla May Make
While this is not necessarily a mood your chinchilla will be in for the day, it is still extremely important to discuss.
Some sounds your chinchilla may make can easily indicate that you have a major issue and need to seek the help of a vet as soon as possible.
Understanding these sounds is going to help you to understand the signs and warnings of a chinchilla having an illness or even worse, potentially be heading towards death.
If you hear any of the following sounds coming from your chinchilla, I would recommend you at least take the time to call a vet and double-check that they do not recommend any at-home remedy or an in-person visit to take place:
- Squeaking That Persist
- Teeth Grinding For No Apparent Reason
- Spitting, Kacking, and Cooing
I also do not want you to panic if these are the sounds you have recently heard from your chinchilla.
It could mean absolutely nothing at all and all chinchillas are different but at least ensure that they are comfortable, appear to be acting normal, and make a brief call to a vet to double-check.
If it was me, I would always rather be safe than sorry in these kinds of situations with my pets.
Now, before sending you on your way, I want to dive into some of the specific sounds and explain more about what they will actually sound like as well as provide a resource that allows you to hear these sounds for yourself.
The Specific Sounds A Chinchilla Will Make and What They Mean
Teeth Chatter or Teeth Chattering
Teeth chattering from your chinchilla is when things may get a bit confusing.
This is another sign that your chinchilla may be frightened.
So how do you know the difference?
The point is to understand that a teeth chatter could be fear and to really confuse things anymore, it can also mean your chinchilla is content.
It can also mean pleasure and happiness.
Talk about a tough to read furry little creature.
Frustrating, I know.
The Chinchilla Cry
This is a sound no chinchilla owner wants to hear.
In most circumstances, the only time you will hear an audible cry out of your chinchilla is if he or she is in pain.
This is a cause of concern of course.
It is important to double-check what’s causing the chinchilla pain and if you can’t physically see any indication of why your chinchilla is crying, you may want to make a call to your vet to double-check.
The Chinchilla Coo
This is the opposite of the chinchilla cry.
This is a sound a chinchilla owner loves to hear.
Your chinchilla will coo when your chinchilla is happy or communicating with another chinchilla or maybe even you.
Sometimes they just want to let you know that they approve or there is nothing to fret over.
It is all going to be okay.
These are some of the most common sounds you hear from your chinchilla on a routine basis.
Not long ago, I ran into another post and chinchilla forum that mentioned a few other sounds your chinchillas can make that could help you distinguish what is going on with your chinchilla.
The Warning Call
The warning call is a lot like the chinchilla barking.
However, your chinchilla may make the sound repeatedly in a short burst.
Most believe this is to warn the rest of the group of something that just isn’t right or something your chinchilla may have heard.
The Second Version of The Warning Call- The Short Alarm
This is another bark-like sound, but it is quick and usually audible in a rapid outburst in response to a scare.
Usually, if this is the sound you hear your chinchilla make, it will be followed by a quick run as if the chinchilla is running from its worst fear.
The Angry Mother Call
The Female chinchilla is going to be your candidate for this sound.
This is one of the more entertaining sounds on the list.
A mother chinchilla can have up to 4 baby chinchillas known as “kits”.
When she does, the baby chinchillas will fight over the food source and audibly chatter their teeth while doing so.
The mother will become outraged and attempt to say, knock it off will let out a loud screech to get her point across.
Sounds like every other household in the world if you ask me.
The Bring It On Cry
We have discussed in depth how much energy and personality chinchillas have.
Well, this personality can shine through at extremes when you have a female and male chinchilla living under the same roof.
If the male provokes or irritates the female chinchilla, she is sure to let you and the male chinchilla know about it.
You will hear a sudden scream come from the female chinchilla when this divorce is entering its beginning stages.
The Touch Me, No Do Not Touch Me Contact Grunt
This is a sound your chinchilla may let off when contacting another chinchilla.
In most circumstances, this means that your chinchilla is happy with the contact it’s having with another chinchilla.
Chinchillas are very loving creatures and enjoy the company of one another, but they are also like teenagers.
One moment they are perfectly content and the next, it is an entirely new sound indicating they are in the mood to do something different.
Here is a great resource for an even more detailed list of other sounds your chinchilla may be making.
It should help you gain a better understanding of what is going through your chinchilla’s mind when they make all these funny noises.
Chinchillas and Hiccups
Chinchilla’s do get hiccups and it will be noticeable by the sound they make when hiccups occur.
The problem is that when your chinchilla has hiccups, it is going to sound strikingly similar to the sound your chinchilla makes when they bark.
To understand and distinguish the two, all you need to do is pay attention to the pace of the hiccups.
If they are rapid and seem to be in response to some form of outside interaction, your chinchilla is likely barking.
If the barking noise is delayed and has intervals much like a human does when they hiccup, then your chinchilla has the hiccups and is not barking or trying to relay a special message to you.
Hiccups are nothing to fret over and do not require any special action on your part.
My Chinchilla Squeaks When Touched
If your chinchilla squeaks when touched in a slow and calm demeanor than you need to keep doing what you are doing.
This almost 100% means that they are beginning to trust or do trust you and are enjoying being handled by you and interacting with you.
If it is a persistent squeak or even turns into a bark then you need to either put your chinchilla back into the cage or stop handling your chinchilla in the manner you are currently handling them.
Overall, my chinchilla squeaks often when I touch her and is always calm.
It is almost always when she is jumping on my lap, shoulders, or head or when being petted by myself during playtime.
Another chinchilla sound and noise not to worry about and indicates you are doing a great job with your chinchilla.
Keep it up.
Mother Chinchillas And Baby Chinchillas Also Communicate Through Sounds and Noises
Another common sound you may hear at one point or another is the sounds a mother chinchilla and the baby chinchilla will make with one another.
Most commonly, this occurs when the baby chinchilla is investigating the mother chinchilla and sniffing her with nose to nose contact.
It creates a loud squeak in which the mother returns the sound of a grunt.
This is how the baby chinchillas can communicate with the mother chinchilla that they want to be fed.
The mother chinchilla will respond often by feeding her kits or by grooming her kits with gentle licks.
If You Have 2 Chinchillas, Be Aware Of Fighting
Last but not least you have the sound you may experience if you have two chinchillas housed together and they have decided that they want to fight.
This is relatively common with chinchillas and a dispute is bound to happen.
This will often either sound like barking but can also be indicated by a chinchilla screaming in some situations.
When it happens, the chinchillas will likely be standing on their two back legs in a defensive stance and it is advised to separate them in different cages to avoid any potential fur slips or other injuries due to biting or scratching.
The More You Can Recognize Sounds with Your Chinchilla, The Better You Can Communicate
It is clear at this point in this post that chinchillas have a wide variety of sounds, noises, and even postures that they use to communicate.
The best thing you can do as the owner is to continue to get better at understanding what each noise and sound means and responding accordingly in order to keep your chinchilla safe, happy, and healthy.
Ultimately, the more you begin to learn the different sounds and noises that a chinchilla may make, the better your bond will be and the better chinchilla parent you will become.
Do not fret over not knowing much about them now.
I didn’t know much in the beginning either and I doubt many do before they decide to purchase a chinchilla as a new family pet.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and hope you begin to learn your chinchilla sounds and noises as quickly as possible to further your communication skills even deeper with your new chinchilla.
Share Your Thoughts on Chinchilla Sounds and Noises
Does your chinchilla make any noises that I have not listed in this post?
Do you have any further advice you can provide the readers about chinchilla sounds and noises that may help us all to communicate with our chinchilla’s even more effectively?
Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and we will see you again next time.